Rocket Fuel Newsletter – 12/09/23

close up of male hands with newspaper and coffee

What do you get the person who’s just impossible to shop for? How about their very own Paul McCartney wax figure or a used carousel? Both are available now

Fuel Up! 🚀

December To Remember Rolls On 
Rocket Pro TPO’s December to Remember is in full swing – make sure you’re taking advantage of each win that’s rolled out! 

Visit the Rocket Pro TPO promotions page for all the details about each win. 

And because we’re feeling generous, how about a bonus win from Fawaz? 

Hey Fawaz! 👋 What are the changes with jumbo!?

  • “Jobs Friday” came again this month as the economy added 199k jobs vs the 183k expected, and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.7%. This means that even as rates are expected to remain flat in next week’s meeting, these numbers give even more firepower for those officials who believe the tightening cycle is not quite finished. 
  • Golfers are being told that they’ll need to purchase new golf balls designed to perform worse to remain in compliance and ensure that golf can be sustainable since players are hitting much further these days. 

    The advertised 10-yard projected decrease in drive distance is supposed to make the game more sustainable, as golf phenom Jon Rahm will take his talents to the oil-financed LIV Tour. 

    Perhaps LIV will keep the current golf-ball technology as “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” is promoting the Saudi Arabian mega future city project of NEOM, which is set to include some mega golf projects that can probably afford the extra 10 yards a hole. 
  • McDonald's announces partnership with Google to implement new Gemini AI models to help bring efficiencies to the fast-food behemoth – is the BurgerBot next? 

    Google has taken the recent drama at OpenAI as an opportunity to court new partnerships and launch this new Gemini model as it has fallen behind the OpenAI/Microsoft partnership in the last year. The company also admitted that the demo video they published of the AI was edited to make the interactions seem more real and seamless.

On a month-over-month basis, the index was up 0.3% in September, with increases seen in 15 of the 20 metro markets measured. Annually, prices rose 3.9%. 

Diving deeper into the individual metro areas – the largest increase seen on both a month-over-month and annual basis is our very own Detroit, Michigan, which is up 0.68% and 6.72% respectively. 

This highlights a theme of Rust Belt cities seeing the value of homes appreciate. Other Rust Belt cities seeing 5% or more increases year-over-year include Chicago (5.99%) and Cleveland (5.05%). The Midwest (+5.0%) and Northeast (+5.3%) were the nation’s strongest regions and held four of the top five spots. 

The West was the weakest region, decreasing 1.3% on an annual basis. San Deigo was a bright spot for the West and had the second largest 1-year increase. With the West being the weakest region, it is not surprising the lowest three metros are all in the region. Portland, Phoenix and Las Vegas were the only three metros to have a year-over-year decrease, coming in at the bottom of the list. 

Moving into the end of year, CoreLogic expects home prices to remain relatively steady, citing elevated mortgage rates and winter being the slowest point of the year. Low inventories remain a driving factor behind prices, and as cited in last week’s Rocket Fuel, interest rates beginning to drop could offer a glimmer of hope for buyers heading into 2024. 

The weather has changed in Detroit, so it’s time for a chili cook-off! Over a dozen team members brought in their best chili recipes for a team-wide taste test on Monday. Congrats to our winner, Senior National Account Executive Jeff Jaboro! 

  1. Job Openings Decrease To 8.7 Million In October
  2. Initial Jobless Claims Increase
  3. Pending Home Sales Fall To Lowest Since April 2020
  4. Mortgage Applications Increase In Latest MBA Weekly Survey
  5. Understanding The Generational Gaps In Homeownership

Ten solvers finished last week’s puzzle in under a minute! Bret T and Moo both finished in 35 seconds and were only bested by Michael Bazavilvazo’s time of 14 seconds. 

This week’s puzzle gets 4 Rockets out of 5. Click here to solve!