Pending home sales climbed 4.1% to an index reading of 101.4 in March after a revised 0.4% increase to 97.4 in February, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

The February reading was initially reported as a 0.5% decrease to 96.5.

Economists predicted a 1.0% rise.

Year over year, the pending homes sales index is up 12.8% from last March.

“First-quarter sales closings were the highest first-quarter sales in five years. The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

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