Pending home sales soared 6.7% to an index reading of 112.3 in May, after a downwardly revised 0.5% decrease to 105.2 in April, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted that the index would be up 1.0%.
April's increase was first pegged at 0.3% to 106.0.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001.
Year-over-year the pending homes sales index is up 12.1% from last May, when the index was 100.2.
Regionally, pending sales were mostly higher. The Northeast saw a flat reading at 92.3, while sales soared 10.2% in the Midwest to 115.5. In the South, sales grew 2.8% to 121.8, and sales surged 16.0% to 109.7 in the West.
"Even with limited choices, it appears some of the rise in contract signings could be from buyers wanting to take advantage of current affordability conditions before mortgage interest rates move higher," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. "This implies a continuation of double-digit price increases from a year earlier, with a strong push from pent-up demand."