Rocket Fuel Newsletter – 06/03/2024

Fast food – a luxury item? According to a recent survey, nearly 80% of Americans now view fast food as a luxury and are eating it less often. Unfortunately, not even Big Macs are safe from inflation.

In this edition: Home prices hit another all-time high, consumer confidence is rising and more homes are available to buy!

Will that increase in consumer confidence carry over to the drive-thru lane?

Fuel Up! 🚀 

Home Prices Hit (Another) All-Time High

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index revealed that home prices hit another new high in March due to some easing in mortgage rates and the continued shortage in housing supply. Year-over-year, home prices rose 6.5% in the U.S., with San Diego seeing the largest metropolitan increase at 11.1%.   

How Often Do Home Buyers Shop Around For a Mortgage?

According to a recent study from LendingTree, 54% of people with a mortgage did not shop around and only got one mortgage offer. For the people that did shop around, 45% of them got a lower offer when they got more than one offer. The study also found that those doing a refinance were much more likely to shop around and find a lower rate than those purchasing.

Read more from the study here.

Consumer Confidence Rebounds 

After declining for 3 straight months, the consumer confidence index from May jumped higher than expected. The strong labor market continues to lift the economy, and unemployment remained below 4% for the 27th consecutive month – the longest period dating back to the Vietnam War. High prices continue to weigh on consumers however and are stated as having the greatest impact on their view of the overall economy.

Home sales dropped for both existing and new structures in April as home prices reached all-time highs again.

Mortgage rates have remained high over the last 2 months as the Federal Open Market Committee members have had a lot less vocal confidence about the progress on disinflation. Those betting on interest rates are moving their bets for federal funds rate cuts into 2025.

Luckily for buyers, this slide in sales means that supply continues to grow. If the seasonality looks anything like it did in 2024, buyers might see more options for homes opening up in the next few months.

To further help buyers, the inventory of new homes continues to climb toward 15-year highs, and according to research done by JPMorgan Chase, homebuilder stocks still have some good fundamentals that should keep new homes coming!

Travel team members Billie McLeod and Abe Khoury were on-site at the Inman Connect event in Miami last month. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth!

  1. Some Good Housing News? Foreclosures Are Down 24% From The Same Time A Year Ago
  2. Best – And Worst – Large Metros For Homeownership
  3. Pending Home Sales Slumped 7.7% In April
  4. GDP Shows U.S. Economy Grew 1.3% In The First Quarter As Consumer Spending Slowed
  5. Mortgage Application Payments Increased 2.5 Percent To $2,256 In April

Bryan blazed through last week’s puzzle with a time of 17 seconds, by far our best time on a puzzle that averaged a solve time of over 3 minutes.

This week’s puzzle gets 2 Rockets out of 5.

Click here to solve!

Good luck!