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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 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.