NAR’s May Pending Home Sales Index (which is based on contract signings, not closings) was up 13.3% in May from 2011.

That May number was also up 5.9 percent from April, although the consensus estimate (what “experts” predicted) was only for a 1.2% increase. In other words, good news.

The index is at the same level is was in March (also up from 2011) — and that’s the highest level it’s been since April 2010. Oh, and April 2010? That’s when people were rushing to qualify for the home buyer tax credit.

The biggest gains were in the Northeast and Midwest, but the South did well too — our region was up almost 12 percent from May 2011.