Some great news!

The most recent inflation report is out, and it’s GREAT news. U.S. inflation eased to 5% in March from a year earlier, dropping to its lowest level in nearly two years!

We are unsure what the Fed is going to do, but this just gives us more confidence in the housing market (and if you want even more confidence, check out the first story below!).

At the end of the day, it’s amazing to think about where we were this time last year. There was so much fear in the market. But now, it’s looking like everything is going to be okay!

– James and David

Housing market is on the upswing

According to a new CoreLogic report, it looks like the housing market hasn’t just stabilized, it may be growing. After a historic decline in home sales in the second half of 2022, the market began to stabilize in Q1.

Here are the report's key takeaways:

  • CoreLogic expects U.S. home prices to rise 3.7% between February 2023 and February 2024.

  • After seven straight months of price declines, the CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a 0.8% home price increase in February.

  • Market improvement in Q1 was due to higher buyer confidence, low housing inventory, and lower home prices and mortgage rates.

Our take

Well, to say the least, this is a headline we definitely like! We’re still not sure exactly how the market is going to play out over the next six months, but we have confidence that everything is headed in the right direction. Now, we just need everyone to share that confidence. We’ve had some deals fall through recently, but we are using some of this information to re-engage clients. We can’t totally get rid of their unease, but hopefully, we can show them this data and start to alleviate their concerns.

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Zillow releases new home search filter

Source: Unsplash

Zillow launched a new search filter that lets home buyers search based on monthly payments, in addition to the full home price search.

Here's what buyers need to know:

  • The average U.S. home monthly payment, not including insurance and taxes, is $431 higher today than in March 2022.

  • Zillow's filter factors in up-to-date interest rates in order to help buyers determine the monthly payment they can afford.

  • The new filter is only available on the Zillow app, but it's coming soon to

Our take

Great move by Zillow! Affordability is the biggest problem facing homeowners, and this just makes the platform better and more user-friendly. At the end of the day, there are still other costs associated with buying, but it’s our job as agents to tell our clients the true price of buying a home, and all the many financial responsibilities that come with it. You’ve heard it a million times from us, but you can’t remove the human experience.

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Property taxes surge on single-family homes

Source: Unsplash

Total property taxes on single-family homes jumped 3.6% last year, according to ATTOM's 2022 Property Tax Report. This is double their rise of 1.8% in 2021.

Here are the 5 states which had the lowest property tax rates in 2022:

  1. Hawaii (0.30%)

  2. Alabama (0.37%)

  3. Arizona (0.39%)

  4. Colorado (0.40%)

  5. Tennessee (0.42%)

And the 5 states which had the highest tax rates in 2022:

  1. New Jersey (1.79%)

  2. Illinois (1.78%)

  3. Connecticut (1.57%)

  4. Vermont (1.43%)

  5. Nebraska (1.36%)

Our take

Nobody likes taxes, but it’s part of the rules! We know a lot of people moved to different states during the pandemic and taxes were a big reason why. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the property taxes in your state to make sure you can have the right affordability conversation with your clients.

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The news that just missed the cut

Source: Mansion Global

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Here are three tips from Broke Agent for using TikTok for lead generation:

  1. Add value. The more value you offer your buyers, the better. Don't just rehash what other creators are doing on social media. Think about the expertise that sets you apart as an agent, and focus on making videos that add value for potential buyers!

  1. Optimize your profile. This goes for all of your social media channels! You can offer a ton of value to buyers, but if they can't find you online, you're not going to generate many leads. Optimize your profile by including your name, local market, contact information, and a link to your website's contact page.

  1. Be consistent. Post consistently and think about the long game! TikTok might not be a lead magnet overnight for you, but with a few months of consistent posts that add value, you will start seeing leads coming in!

Want to learn more about generating leads with TikTok? Click to read the article.

Just in Case

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

Source: Rocket Mortgage

That’s it for this Friday’s edition of The Blueprint.

Have an amazing weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday!

– James and David