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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.

Pelosi condemns GOP lawmakers for downplaying Jan. 6 Capitol attack

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday tore into Republican members of Congress who downplayed the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot during a House hearing on Wednesday, telling reporters: "I don't know of a normal day around here when people are threatening to hang the vice president."

Why it matters: House lawmakers are currently in negotiations over forming a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission to examine the attack and the events that led up to it.

Trial for ex-officers charged with abetting Floyd murder delayed until 2022

The memorial in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 21. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The trial for three former Minneapolis police officers charged by state prosecutors with aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd has been moved to March 7, 2022, AP reports.

Why it matters: Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said he wanted to move the date from Aug. 23 to accommodate a new federal case against the officers and Derek Chauvin, who has already been convicted on state charges for Floyd's murder.