Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose at a faster-than-expected pace in June, advancing for the fifth straight month for the first time in six years, a real estate trade group said on Tuesday.

The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, rose 3.6 percent to 94.6. May's index was revised upwards to 91.3 from 90.7, while the percentage increase was bumped up to 0.8 percent from 0.1 percent.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast pending home sales to rise 0.6 percent in June. Pending sales were up 6.7 percent in June compared to the same period last year.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)