Pending home sales rose 5.9 percent in May compared to April, marking the highest levels since 2010 when the housing market was boosted by the homebuyer tax credit, according to the Pending Home Sales Index released today by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist:

“The housing market is clearly superior this year compared with the past four years.  The latest increase in home contract signings marks 13 consecutive months of year-over-year gains,” he said.  “Actual closings for existing-home sales have been notably higher since the beginning of the year and we’re on track to see a 9 to 10 percent improvement in total sales for 2012.”

May’s strong numbers show a broader strength to the market and not just one that benefited from an earlier start to spring, the Wall Street Journal reports.