Pending sales based on contracts signed -- contracts that will likely close by the end of May -- rose 5.1 percent, lifting the Pending Home Sales Index to 94.1, the trade group said.
"Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending home sales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market is recovering on its own," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.
The trade group said the pending home sales index fell 3.2 percent to 63.4 in March in the Northeast and rose 3 percent to 83.5 in the Midwest. In the South, the index jumped 10.3 percent to 110.2. In the West, the index rose 3.1 percent to 103.7.