Rocket Fuel Newsletter – 06/17/2024

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ... frozen emulsified desserts? Stemming from a recent TikTok uproar, experts have explained that some of summer’s most iconic treats, like the Drumstick cone, are not entirely made of actual ice cream, but rather filled with emulsifiers that help the dessert keep its structural integrity.

In this edition: the widening of the home affordability gap, the latest Fed decision and how remote work has affected migration patterns.

More here on the Drumstick "controversy" and explanation!

Fuel Up! 🚀   

The Housing Affordability Gap Continues to Widen 

Research from NBC shows that home affordability problems continue to rise throughout the country. According to their analysis, a household earning the county’s median income would only be able to afford a home in 60% of counties; this level is down from 90% of counties nationwide from just 5 years ago. The affordability gap is most acute on the coasts, as shown below.

Read More About Home Affordability Here 

As expected, the Federal Reserve kept the Fed Funds rate range unchanged at 5.25% – 5.50% last week. The committee is focused on sustainably reducing inflation down to 2% and is committed to keeping rates higher for longer to make that happen.

The Fed’s announcement comes on the heels of the most recent CPI readings that showed “all items less food and energy” levels at their lowest in the last 12 months.

Access the full CPI Release Here!  

From Navy To Mortgages: The Latest Build-A-Broker: The Journey Podcast
In this week’s Build-A-Broker: The Journey, sponsored by Rocket ProSM TPO, meets with Tim Tacl, an aspiring Navy SEAL turned successful mortgage professional. Learn how Tim’s background in the armed forces has influenced his business, from creating a strong team to developing practical and consistent business practices.

Listen to the latest Build-A-Broker: The Journey podcast here! 

Though much was made of increased mobility chances during the pandemic, research shows that Americans really aren’t moving as much they used to before 2020. While increasingly high mortgage rates since the height of the pandemic have dramatically contributed to this trend, so has the rise in remote work opportunities. Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a sharp increase in the number of workers with some remote work (telework) over the last year and a half.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

With the abundance of remote work possibilities, the motivating factors for moving have changed. People are not always forced to move when they land a new out-of-state job. Instead, they can choose where to live based on proximity to family, cost of living, climate, topography, etc.

The U.S. Census Bureau provides migration data showing the percentage of the population that moved within the last year. Ignoring the anomaly that is 2020 (2020 data was deemed unreliable and is excluded from their publication), the percent of Americans moving has been trending down.

Source: United States Census Bureau

A recent Rocket Mortgage study reveals the top five states people are moving to and from based on the census data.

Top five states people are moving to:

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. North Carolina
  4. Georgia
  5. South Carolina

Top five states people are moving from:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Texas
  4. Florida
  5. Virginia

Read the full post here to dive deeper into recent migratory patterns and potential motivations.

According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. is gaining one person every 16 seconds – either by birth or net migration. So while people are moving less often, the population is still growing, and we all need to live somewhere!

Are your clients hitting the brakes on buying due to high interest rates? You’re not alone: This year, 67% of home buyers are holding off on buying until rates drop.

We’re here to help – giving you strategies to help your clients understand the risks of waiting. You’ll also get tips on helping your real estate partnerships – showing their clients the value of buying now. Don’t miss this interactive session with our expert team and special guests!

Sign up here! 

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  1. Producer Price Index Press Release  
  1. Hourly Earnings Increase in May 
  1. Chief Climate Officer of Fannie Mae Talks to NPR 
  1. FHFA Seeks Public Input For Helping Underserved Markets 2025-2027 
  1. "Lag effect" From Rates Staying Higher for Longer 
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Last week’s super-sized puzzle was one of our most popular of the year. Out of the 800+ solvers, John F’s time of 1:45 topped the leaderboard, just two seconds ahead of Mike C. Shoutout to Stephanie, whose 1:59 was the only other time under 2 minutes. 

This week’s puzzle gets 1 Rocket out of 5. 

Click here to solve!  

Good luck!