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Expand chart
Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of new homes sold in the U.S. reached its highest since 2006 last year, at 811,000, which is an 18.8% increase over 2019, the Commerce Department estimated.

The big picture: In December, new-home sales rose for the first time in five months, with the median price of a home reaching an all-time high of $355,900.

Go deeper

High-end liquor sales jumped to a 40-year high during pandemic

Frankie Arguinzni, an employee at Supreme Liquor in Cambridge, MA, gets down three 1.75 liter bottles of vodka from the top shelf in April 2020. Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

High-end liquor gained its sharpest increase in sales in at least 40 years after the coronavirus pandemic brought lockdowns across the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Adults in a peer-reviewed JAMA report said last September that they drank 14% more often over a five day period in 2020 than they did in 2019.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."