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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Existing home sales jumped by 20.7% in June over the prior month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a report released Wednesday.

Why it matter: It's the largest recorded monthly increase since 1968, when NAR began collecting data on single-family houses, and comes amid mass unemployment and an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • House sales overall have dipped compared to last year, the association says, with an 11.3% drop in purchases compared to June 2019.

What's happening: The surge is due to "apartment renters seeking more space, young families moving to the suburbs, and wealthy city dwellers looking for second homes," the WSJ reports.

  • Most existing home sales took place in the West and the South last month, per the WSJ.
  • “The housing market is hot, red hot,” said Lawrence Yun, chief NAR economist. “As we are coming out of the lockdown, we see this backlog of buyers…trying to take advantage of the record-low mortgage rates.”

Flashback: The median price of existing homes jumped to a record high in April, per NAR.

What's next: "Now, the major question is whether June’s strong sales pace can continue this summer, or if home sales will slow as pent-up demand falls off and unemployment remains high," the WSJ's Nicole Friedman writes.

Go deeper: Rising home sales show Americans are looking past the coronavirus

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

Midwest manufacturing survey soars

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Unexpectedly strong U.S. data may have helped pull the stock market out of its funk over the past few days.

Driving the news: Following Tuesday’s stronger-than-expected consumer confidence report from the Conference Board, ADP reported the biggest increase in private-sector job growth in three months Wednesday and a measure of business conditions in the Midwest rose to the highest level since the end of 2018.

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.