Top investor bets BIG on the housing market

Plus, our reaction to these record mortgage rates

Two important notes

First, we want to tell you that we have some BIG news that we’ll be announcing on Tuesday, so please be on the lookout for that.

Second, if you are an agent affected by the cyberattack on Rapattoni, California Regional Multiple Listing Service, the largest in the nation, is offering free access to Rapattoni users in the state. MLSs in other states are offering other workarounds as Rapattoni works to fix its system.

We know how absolutely vital listings are to agents, so we encourage you to take advantage of these programs while they last. We love seeing the industry coming together to help agents. It’s one of many reasons why our industry is so terrific!

- James and David

Warren Buffett’s big bet on the housing market

This week, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it had invested in three major U.S. homebuilders: D.R. Horton, Lennar, and NVR. Here’s a breakdown of what Berkshire Hathaway bought:

  • 5,969,714 shares of D.R. Horton

  • 152,572 shares of Lennar

  • 11,112 shares of NVR

Those shares are worth over $800 million, with more than $700 million in D.R. Horton.

Our take

These are obviously some massive numbers. This only reinforces our confidence in the housing market. Even with all the craziness of the current market, the home building sector has performed excellently this year. New-home sales are still strong. Of course, not as strong as during the pandemic, but still very solid. We expect homebuilders to keep up the momentum through the end of the year and into next year as well.

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Mortgage rates hit the highest level in more than 20 years

As you’ve likely seen on all the major news websites, mortgage rates are now at the highest level since the spring of 2002. Here’s a brief overview of what’s happening.

  • Mortgage News Daily estimated the 30-year fixed rate was 7.37% as of Thursday morning.

  • Mortgage loan applications dropped another 0.8% this week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

  • Purchase applications are at the lowest level since 1995, according to Odeta Kushi, chief economist at First American.

Our take

Welcome to the new normal. These rates aren’t coming down anytime soon, so we’ve got to get our clients adjusted to this reality. But it’s always good to remember that we’re still nowhere near the rates of the 1980s, when buyers were paying a whopping 19%. The rates we’re seeing now are similar to those in the mid-90s & early 2000s. We know a lot of buyers would love to see a return to those incredibly-low rates we saw during the pandemic, but those were the exception and definitely not the norm.

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Top 10 zip codes with the most REOs

Source: ATTOM

In July, the number of foreclosed properties was down 9% from June 2023, but up 5% from a year earlier. That’s according to ATTOM’s just released and latest foreclosure market report. There were 31,877 properties under foreclosure at the end of July in the U.S.

Here are the markets with the highest number of foreclosures, listed by their zip code:

  1. 48708 - Bay City, MI

  2. 17104 - Harrisburg, PA

  3. 60628 - Chicago, IL

  4. 19962 - Magnolia, DE

  5. 08648 - Trenton, NJ

  6. 63136 - St. Louis, MO

  7. 60619 - Chicago, IL

  8. 48706 - Bay City, MI

  9. 21702 - Frederick, MD

  10. 60466 - Park Forest, IL

Our take

We think this info is very helpful. We know that as an agent, it’s tempting to focus on looking for that next big commission check. We suggest stepping out of that mindset. Use lists like these to generate income through real estate investment opportunities. The banks in these markets are eager to get these houses off their books, and they’re willing to sell them at a steep discount. Either by fixing and flipping, whole selling, or generating income through rental properties, we think this is a great way to expand your sources of income.

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The news that just missed the cut

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Everything in our business starts with the relationships we have with our clients. That is why it is so essential to build a good rapport from the get-go. Here are three useful tips:

Be honest and upfront – This may seem obvious, but this is the difference between a good agent and a great agent. There are too many real estate agents who will say anything to drum up business. That is bad business, period. Present the data, facts, and hard truths you want to communicate in a truthful, but non-confrontational way. Be upfront and set expectations early.

Give your clients something to take home – Give every client and prospect you meet some take-home information. Some agents do everything digitally, but we also recommend giving your clients something tangible that they can hold onto and use for reference. That will definitely help you stay top-of-mind.

Follow up when you say you will – There is nothing worse than an agent who says, “Yeah, I’ll call you Monday,” and they totally forget about it because they didn’t use their CRM or didn’t set a reminder. Clients want someone they can depend on, so it’s crucial to always deliver on your word.

Remember, there is no one way to be an agent, so use these tips and adapt them to your own unique style and personality. For more helpful advice, start here.

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Mortgage News Daily

That’s a wrap on this edition of The Blueprint!

Remember: each day is a gift and a new opportunity to lead the life you want and to become the person you want to be. The mistakes and missteps you’ve made in the past don’t define you. Live as intentionally as you can and be ruthlessly focused on the goals you’ve set out to achieve. You can do it!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday!

- James and David