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In July, Anil Lilly tours his new home, in Washingtonville, N.Y. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Existing-home sales jumped by 24.7% in July, the National Association of Realtors reported Saturday.

Why it matters: July's surge beats last month's record as the largest recorded monthly increase in previously owned home sales since 1968, when NAR began collecting data.

What they're saying: “The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a press release.

  • “With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”
  • “The number of new listings is increasing, but they are quickly taken out of the market from heavy buyer competition,” Yun said. “More homes need to be built.”

Details: The national median home price breached $300,000 for the first time in July, NAR said, and total housing inventory has decreased 2.6% since June.

  • Sales jumped in all regions, but saw the most dramatic increase in the Northeast and the West.

What to watch, per the Wall Street Journal: "Buyers are ready to move farther from cities, now that many workers aren’t commuting every day."

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.

51 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.

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