Rocket Fuel Newsletter – 07/08/2024

As the United States celebrated its birthday last week, so too did a culinary staple – the Caesar salad. In fact, July 4 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of the dish; today it’s commonly seen in Italian restaurants throughout the U.S., but its origin stems neither from Italy nor the United States.

In this edition: how to turn a no to a yes this summer, home prices continue to climb, and the two personas created by these continually rising prices.

Read the story of the classic side, and enjoy a Caesar salad this week!

Fuel Up! 🚀  

Couldn’t Make Pro Performance? Watch It Here!

Get ready to help more clients see the value of acting now instead of waiting for rates to drop. Watch the replay of last week’s Pro Performance webinar and hear how to move buyers in the right direction this summer!

Watch the webinar here! 

Rent Regulation: Who Really Benefits? 

A recent report from the National Multifamily Housing Council’s reveals that rent regulation policies often backfire. While intended to make housing more affordable, these policies reduce housing supply, discourage investment, and chiefly benefit higher-income renters. The report suggests that alternative strategies are needed to more effectively address housing affordability.   

Dive into the details here! 

U.S. Home Prices Continue Climbing

This month’s Home Price Insights (HPI) report from CoreLogic highlights a 4.9% increase in year-over-year U.S. home prices in May 2024, the lowest rate of appreciation since October 2023. Nevertheless, this marks the 148th consecutive month of annual growth. Despite the cooling in home price growth, CoreLogic still projects a 3% increase on a year-over-year basis from May 2024 to 2025.

Curious about more trends? Check it out!

Jennifer Wilford, Coast National Mortgage 

Tell us about the beginning of your career. What got you started?

After getting my degree in finance from Texas Tech, I moved to California and got my first job as a personal banking officer, where I did mortgages, equity loans, auto loans, and account openings. I learned A LOT in the banking industry and about loans and quickly realized I really only wanted to focus on just mortgages. I applied at a retail lender where I was solely writing negative amortization loans and after 2 years, I wanted to offer more than 1 product. After making one more stop at Keystone Mortgage, I decided to open up my own brokerage in 2005 and that was the best decision I’ve ever made!

Tell us about some of your biggest lessons you’ve learned in your tenure.

The biggest lesson is perseverance as well as working hard even if it means you’re not getting paid. It’s important to look at the long-term relationship with each client. I always think how I can be of help to each client, and that has [led to] my success.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you got started?

I definitely would have would have started my own company a lot sooner. I love what I do and enjoy all the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

What’s your favorite thing about being in this industry?

Meeting new people. I learn a lot about other people, whether it’s from clients or other people in the industry; growing my network is my favorite part of this business. Helping clients with homeownership is fulfilling but more so when you have an actual relationship with your clients.

What is one thing you want to learn this year?

How to win the lottery 😊

How would you describe your brand?

I have a slogan that I’ve added in my email signature: “Your lender for life.” I feel like my brand is not just helping you with one transaction; I’m here for you and your family for all your transactions and plan to guide you as best as I can.

Why Rocket ProSM TPO?

  • I love that Rocket's portal is so easy to use.
  • I can always get a hold of someone either through call or chat. As a broker, availability is crucial!
  • My Account Executive, Moe is AMAZING.
  • The pricing is always good.
  • I just know and trust I can get a loan closed quickly when I send a loan to Rocket.
  • I also love that Rocket offers SOS/Scenario desk because it gives me so much support in a business where guidelines constantly change. It’s helpful to have SOS to confirm and give reassurance before proceeding on a loan.

What is your “why”?

I truly love what I do. Meeting new people, whether it be clients or other professionals in this industry, allows me to grow and build connections as well as share knowledge to help clients with homeownership.

I’m truly blessed that I’m able to be doing what I do each day.

May brought another month of slowing home sales both for existing and new structures. At the same time, the pending home sales index (which gives a forward look at the next couple of months of existing home sales) also dropped, hitting its lowest index level since 2001.   

The bright side for folks looking to purchase a home is that there is more availability of homes as fewer people purchase – the same inventory is stretched further, and monthly supply is at its highest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also of note is the $1M+ category, which is seeing double digit sales growth. There are two clear categories of buyers right now – those for which affordability is an issue, and those who are likely taking advantage of price cuts on higher-end properties as they expect home prices to continue growing after some markets experienced pauses and slight corrections.

The government and the GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.) are still focused on affordability and finding product and pricing solutions to help Americans’ homeownership prospects, but the crux of the issue is the elevated federal funds rate, which Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his band of economists are still carefully waiting to cut until they’re confident they won’t create another bubble. 

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  1. FHFA & CFPB Release Updated Mortgage Borrower Trends
  2. FHFA & National Mortgage Database Introduce New Mortgage Dashboard
  3. Case-Shiller Index Reached All-Time High In April 2024
  4. Department Of Labor Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report
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Ali W and Mike C were neck-and-neck on last week’s puzzle; Ali’s time of 35 seconds just barely beat Mike’s 36. Great job to all solvers – over half finished in less than 2 minutes! 

This week’s puzzle gets 3 Rockets out of 5. 

Click here to solve!

Good luck!