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Reproduced from National Association of REALTORS; Note: Historical data set used through December 2018. April 2019 is preliminary.; Chart: Axios Visuals

The April reading of U.S. existing home sales missed expectations on Tuesday, adding another losing month to a long trend on a year-over-year basis.

The big picture: After sales fell by almost 5% month-over-month in March, which was the biggest drop since November 2015, there was hope April would show a major pickup. That didn't happen, but LendingTree chief economist Tendayi Kapfidze tells Axios it's still too early to panic.

  • "In many ways a slowdown was inevitable given the affordability challenges in the market. Home prices have risen about 3 times the pace of incomes since 2012, which can’t go on forever."

Mortgage rates fell for the 4th straight week, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage hitting its lowest level since January 2018, the Mortgage Brokers Association reported this morning. That should help boost next month's reading, Kapfidze added.

  • "Mortgage rates have been falling since November 2018, while prices have moderated. And yet the figures might not match the analysts' optimism."

Go deeper: The housing slump gets worse

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. EST: 32,062,182 — Total deaths: 979,701 — Total recoveries: 22,057,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m EST: 6,967,103 — Total deaths: 202,558 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  5. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  7. Science: During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
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The child care tax on America's economy

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Axios Re:Cap digs into the problems and what can be done to solve them, with Vox senior reporter Anna North.

Viral load is a puzzle in COVID-19

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How sick a person gets from a virus can depend on how much of the pathogen that person was exposed to and how much virus is replicating in their body — questions that are still open for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: As people try to balance resuming parts of their daily lives with controlling their risk of COVID-19, understanding the role of viral load could help tailor public health measures and patient care.

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