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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

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.

3 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten the embassy's ability to assist Americans.