The numbers: More Americans signed on the dotted line to buy a home last month, but the factors that have tested the nation’s housing market are likely to eat into sales in the months to come.

Pending home sales rose 8% in May compared with April, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected a 1% decrease for pending home sales in May.

Compared with a year ago, pending home sales were up 13.1%, but at that time last year home sales activity had fallen amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“May’s strong increase in transactions — following April’s decline, as well as a sudden erosion in home affordability — was indeed a surprise,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “The housing market is attracting buyers due to the decline in mortgage rates, which fell below 3%, and from an…

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