Data:; Chart: Axios Visuals

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell 17.8% month over month and 17.2% year over year in April, but the median price jumped to a record high, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said last week.

Why it matters: The data shows the combination of decreasing supply and historically low interest rates continued to push prices higher in an already expensive housing market.

  • The numbers were based on closed sales, so it corresponds to sales made in late February and March, suggesting the coronavirus pandemic began hitting the real estate market early.
  • The supply of homes for sale fell 19.7% annually to the lowest April inventory figure ever.
  • The median price of an existing home sold in April rose 7.4% annually to $286,800, a record high in nominal value.

The big picture: The disruption to sales was limited and listings on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release.

  • “Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year, and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily reopen,” he said. “Still, more listings and increased home construction will be needed to tame price growth.”

What's next: The government's FHFA home price index of single-family homes will be released today at 9am ET, followed by the Commerce Department's new home sales report at 10 am ET.

Go deeper: Coronavirus is squeezing more people out of the housing market

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

PMI reports show V-shaped recovery in services and manufacturing

Expand chart
Data:; Chart: Axios Visuals

Early readings of IHS Markit's manufacturing and services purchasing managers' indexes rose by more than expected in August, showing continued improvement in expectations and output among U.S. firms.

By the numbers: The manufacturing index rose by 2.7 points month over month to 53.6, continuing the series' rise from 50.9 in July.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.

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