Sales of existing U.S. homes rose to their second-highest rate on record in March, spurred by lower mortgage rates, a realtors group said on Wednesday.

The National Association of Realtors said U.S. March sales of existing homes rose 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million units, the second highest rate on record.

The record is 5.45 million units seen in June 1999, according to the NAR.

The rate for February was revised up slightly to 5.19 million units from a previously reported 5.18 million. The March reading was well above Wall Street expectations of 5.13 million units.