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Data: Investing.com; 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: Investing.com; 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.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse under scrutiny for elite club affiliations

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in February. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Image

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement Wednesday that he is a member of an exclusive Rhode Island sailing club that lacks diversity.

Why it matters: Whitehouse has repeatedly spoken out against systemic racism and come under scrutiny this week for his family's affiliation with elite clubs. This is the second such club accused of lacking diversity that the senator has been linked to in recent days

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.

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