New Rise Or Fall? Fannie Mae Updated Its Mortgage Rate Predictions

Are you done with finding Easter eggs and looking for April updates? Hopefully, yes, because we prepared a looooot of fresh insights from the world of economy and finance for you.

APRIL 2024 HOT NEWS

  • New rise or fall? Fannie Mae updated its mortgage rate predictions. 
  • Selling homes can become cheaper due to the Realtor’s Lawsuit Settlement. 
  • Warren Buffett invested over $350 million in new stocks. What can we learn from the billionaire’s move?

TODAY’S TOPICS

  • The US economy thrives thanks to consumer confidence and labor market strength. 
  • 3 top best-performing stocks according to NASDAQ.
  • Easter potatoes instead of eggs. Is a new tradition emerging?
  • Forrest Mars and his chocolate empire.

QUIZ

1. How many Americans planned to celebrate Easter this year?

  1. 98%
  2. 81%
  3. 52%
  4. 29%

2. How much were Americans planning to spend this year on Easter?

  1. $22.4 billion
  2. $10.8 billion
  3. $38.4 billion
  4. $980 million

3. According to 76% of respondents, which part of the chocolate bunny should be eaten first?

  1. Paws
  2. Head
  3. Ears
  4. Tail

(You will find the answer below)

REAL ESTATE

Current mortgage rates

  • 30-year – 7.05% 
  • 20-year – 7.39%
  • 15-year – 6.50%
  • 10-year – 5.77%

Real estate news

  • Fannie Mae updates mortgage rate forecasts for 2024.Fannie Mae adjusted its projections. They anticipate the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to reach 6.4% by the end of 2024. A quick reminder: earlier, the number was about 5.9%. Why could the increase happen? Economists attribute this change to a robust job market and higher-than-anticipated inflation. Learn more 
  • Selling homes can become cheaper due to the Realtor’s Lawsuit Settlement. The recent settlement can change forever how real estate agents get paid. The whole idea of the lawsuit was to control artificially inflated commissions sellers pay. Now, as the NAR agreed to a $418 million settlement, buying and selling homes will change forever. Some economists think that commissions might drop by about 30%. Learn more

U.S. ECONOMY

Inflation

  • Current US inflation rate: 3.15%

Unemployment

  • Current US unemployment rate: 3.90%

FED rate

  • Fed funds interest rate: 5.5%

U.S. economy news

  • The US economy thrives thanks to consumer confidence and labor market strength. Consumer spending, driving over two-thirds of the US economy, recently rose by 3.3%. This alone is boosting GDP growth by 2.2%. Last quarter, GDP grew by a 3.4% annualized rate, with 3.2% previously reported. Besides, initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped. They decreased by 2,000 claims weekly. Learn more 
  • Hilton Honors Amex Business Card update. The yearly charge for the Hilton Honors Business Card has risen. It jumped from $95 to $195. Besides, cardholders will no longer receive a complimentary night reward. Previously, they could get it upon spending $15,000 in a calendar year. As for the pros, cardholders now have an opportunity to earn up to $240 in statement credits for eligible Hilton purchases. Learn more
  • Americans planned to spend an average of $321 on Easter 2024. That number is $34 higher than the average spending in 2023, which was $287. Chocolate and candy topped the list of purchases. Thus, about 65% of customers planned to buy some sort of these sweet treats. Learn more

GLOBAL OUTLOOK

  • Finally, this happened! Japan makes monetary policy adjustments. After 17 years, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) raised interest rates, making Japan the last country to eliminate negative policy interest rates. Now, the BOJ has increased its benchmark interest rate from -0.1% to 0.1%. Learn more
  • The game changer: Xiaomi launched an electric car that is cheaper than Tesla.  Xiaomi announced its entry into the car market with its first model, the SU7. It is priced $4K lower than Tesla’s Model 3 and will start at $30,408 for the standard model. Learn more

STOCK EXCHANGE

Stocks recommended by experts

3 top best-performing stocks by NASDAQ

  1. CERo Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. Common Stock (CERO)+88.34%
  2. Mesoblast Limited American Depositary Shares (MESO)+43.55%
  3. Binah Capital Group, Inc. Common Stock (BCG+36.32%

Stock market news

Warren Buffett invests over $350 million in these stocks. Recently, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. paid about $257.95 million to buy 8.9 million Liberty SiriusXM Series C stock LSXMK (+0.64%). Liberty SiriusXM Group, through its subsidiaries, operates in the entertainment business in the US, the UK, and internationally. The company offers music, sports, entertainment, comedy, talk, and news services through its satellite radio systems. It also provides streaming through its app for mobile and home devices. Learn more

COFFEE BREAK

Fun facts

5 top-ordered Easter candy choices nationwide:

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  1. Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs Candies
  2. Cadbury Creme Egg Milk Chocolate Easter Candy
  3. Starburst Jelly Beans Original
  4. Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate Candy Share Pack
  5. Snickers, Twix, Milky Way & More Assorted Easter Chocolate Candy Bulk Variety Pack Learn more

Which one is your favorite?

5 top planned purchases by Americans this Easter:

  • Candy – 89%
  • Food – 89%
  • Gifts -62%
  • Clothing – 49%
  • Decorations – 48% Learn more

Fun news

Easter potato painting: A fun spin on a classic tradition. This year, Potatoes USA took the initiative to color potatoes instead of Easter eggs. This is an alternative to the well-known tradition. “Easter potatoes are an awesome spring activity, and if you use food coloring, you can even eat the potatoes when you’re finished decorating,” said Marisa Stein, director of marketing at Potatoes USA. Learn more

Investor of the month

Forrest Edward Mars Sr.

Do you know who is the most famous chocolate investor in the world? If not, it’s time to meet Forrest Mars. He is a real Willy Wonka. Most likely, you are familiar with his products. He launched Milky Way, Mars, and M&M’s.

His greatest investments were always related to the confectionery industry, particularly Mars, Inc. Still, he diversified his investments into other sectors, including pet care brands, such as Pedigree and Whiskas.

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Under his guidance, the Mars company expanded its reach to over 100 countries. It became one of the largest and most prosperous confectionery and pet food enterprises globally. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated to be $24.4 billion. Learn more

QUIZ ANSWERS

  1. 81%
  2. $22.4 billion
  3. Ears

CONTENT YOU CAN’T MISS

This month’s recommended book

Trade Wars Are Class Wars

In their eye-opening analysis, Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis reveal that trade disputes often arise from policies favoring the wealthy over workers and retirees. You can learn about the connection between trade policies, economic inequality, and global finance and find out how these factors can lead to better policy decisions.

Real Estate Will NEVER Be The Same: Realtor Commission Settlement

Whether you are selling or buying property, you have to know this. How will Realtor Commission Settlement affect real estate transactions and the real estate market in general?

Mortgage Game Changer: New Fannie Mae 5% Down Payment Option Explained!

Why do real estate experts advise homebuyers to take their time before buying a house? Does this work for everyone? Let’s get deeper into the research in this episode.

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