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Photo: Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis via Getty Images

Given the latest reports on existing and new home sales and mortgage applications, "housing is the strongest major sector of the economy," says Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The state of play: Friday's report showed new home sales jumped to the highest level in nearly 13 years.

Why you'll hear about this again: The impact of falling mortgage rates, which have fallen 80 basis points this year, "is more than offsetting the wave of Covid-induced job losses, which seem to be hitting younger renters rather than would-be homebuyers," Shepherdson writes in a note to clients.

  • He notes that sales rose across the country in June, despite the resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

By the numbers: Applications for mortgages to purchase a house dropped sharply after the pandemic outbreak, "but all the lost ground has been recovered and the trend is now running some 17% higher than a year ago," Shepherdson says.

  • "That points to a modest further [increase] in sales, and with inventory very low — just 4.7 months in June, compared to 5.5 months in June last year — prices are likely to rise at a solid rate."
  • "The median price data are wildly erratic in the short term but it’s pretty clear that developers cut prices at the height of the Covid crisis and are now pushing them back up."

Go deeper

The sluggish rebound for services

Data: U.S. Department of Commerce; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus recession is technically over, but the GDP report makes clear the most important part of the U.S. economy — the services sector — is still mired in a severe downturn.

Why it matters: It makes up a whopping 70% of the U.S. economy. The services sector is also comprised of what has become undesirable in the wake of the pandemic, including eating in restaurants and traveling.

UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as fighting enters 7th day

Smoke billows from a fire following Israeli airstrikes on multiple targets in Gaza on May 16. Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

6 hours ago - World

In photos: Protests in U.S., across the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

A protest march in support of Palestinians near the Washington monument in Washington, D.C. on May 15. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.