Pending home sales rose sharply in May with all regions of the nation experiencing gains from a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The NAR pending home sales index rose 8.2 percent to 88.8 in May from 82.1 in April and is 13.4 percent higher than the 78.3 reading in May 2010.

Some markets including Chicago made a rapid turnaround by rising more than 30 percent from a year ago, according to NAR chief economist Dr. Lawrence Yun. The Midwest index jumped 10.5 percent to 82.8 and is 17.2 percent higher than May 2010.

In the recently issued Illinois housing market forecast (pdf), economists from the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) anticipate  Illinois year-over-year home sales to rise 22-35 percent in July and August sales; the Chicagoland region can expect a 25-36 percent increase in home sales.