Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose more than expected in May, a trade group said on Wednesday, but a glut of unsold properties remains a drag on the housing market.
The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index increased 8.2 percent to 88.8, bouncing back from April's seven-month low. Pending homes sales lead existing homes sales by a month or two.
Economists had expected home resale contracts to rise only 3.8 percent after a previously reported 11.6 percent drop.
Pending home sales increased in all four regions, with the Midwest and West notching double-digit gains.
In the 12 months to May, pending home sales rose 13.4 percent.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by James Dalgleish)