The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't just driven Americans to panic-buy toilet paper. Business Insider reports the hottest pandemic purchase of 2020 is a house. More and more Americans are snagging low mortgage rates to acquire spacious backyards and more comfortable work-from-home locales. Existing home sales soared to a 14-year high in August, and new home sales are also up. Home prices are soaring, too, recording the highest two-month appreciation between May and July — at 2% — in 30 years of record-keeping. Existing homeowners are holding off on selling. In fact, there are 20% fewer houses for sale now than there were at this time last year. Uncertainty about employment and the economy is being exacerbated by the US' failure to keep up with home building needs over the past decade.