🏡 How home prices went crazy - The Hustle
The Hustle

🏡 How home prices went crazy

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To the veterans across America and their families, the team at The Hustle thanks you for your service. 🙏

Today’s rundown:

  • Cashing out: How homeowners are banking off rising home prices.
  • One Mississippi: Here’s how much money Apple makes every second.
  • Swipe night: Tinder’s interactive date night play.
  • Around the web: The world’s oldest song and more cool internet stuff.

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea

Homeowners are banking off rising home prices — here’s how

Home equity is the difference between the value of a home and the amount still owed on it.

If the value of a home stays flat, home equity rises slowly — one mortgage payment at a time. But if the value of a home rises quickly, the amount of equity jumps along with it.

That exact scenario is playing out all over the country, with rising home prices pushing US home equity to a record high of $23.6T in Q2 — leading homeowners to cash out their equity at record levels as well.

Per Bloomberg, US homeowners logged 1.1m+ cash-out refinances* in Q2, and are using their newfound cash to pay for renovations, invest in stocks, and probably buy NFTs.

So how’d the market get so frothy?

It all started in March 2020

When the pandemic struck, the federal government took several steps to stabilize the economy, including embarking on a massive bond-buying program.

The program sent mortgage rates downward, kicking off a virtuous cycle:

  1. Lower mortgage rates opened the doors to more buyers
  2. More buyers led to bidding wars and higher purchasing prices
  3. Investment firms (e.g., BlackRock) and iBuyers (e.g., Zillow, Opendoor) snatched up inventory, pushing prices even higher
  4. Higher prices drove up valuations for surrounding homes

As a result, home prices jumped by 11% in 2020, then 17% in 2021.

But the cycle could be ending soon

The Federal Reserve plans to wind down its monthly bond purchases before ending them in mid-2022. The move would likely push mortgage rates higher, putting a damper on the current cycle.

However, some analysts believe the housing market will stay hot — claiming a shortage of inventory with sustained demand could keep current prices intact.

Even if prices do fall a bit, it could bring sidelined buyers back into the mix, pushing prices up again and kicking off a new cycle of refinancing.


*Cash-out refinancing: A type of mortgage refinancing option where homeowners get to pocket cash in exchange for taking on a larger mortgage.


Look Ma, no checkout lines: Amazon opened a 35k-square-foot Fresh store in Illinois that’s entirely equipped with its “Just Walk Out” tech. #ecommerce-retail

The power of dance: A Glasgow nightclub will try out tech that turns patrons’ body heat into energy, which will then be used to control the club’s temperature. #clean-energy

Starfish bots: Researchers at ETH Zurich are studying microrobots inspired by starfish larva. The bots use ultrasound, not batteries, to move. #emerging-tech

Scooter companies often share mobility data (i.e., where people pick up rides and where they go) with cities. Cities see the data as a resource, but others say it’s a violation of privacy. #privacy

Careful: Crypto scams are apparently all over the internet, in livestreams, on social media, and in ads. #fintech-crypto

Positive vibes only: YouTube is hiding the dislike count, meaning only a video’s creator can see how many people gave it a thumbs down. #big-tech

One Mississippi

Visual: Singdhi Sokpo

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, Apple made $20k

It’s hard to comprehend how quickly Apple rakes it in. In the 12 months ended Sept. 25, 2021, the company saw $365.8B+ in net sales.

Of that, ~$192B came from iPhone, ~$68.4B from services, ~$38.4B from wearables, ~$35.2B from Mac, and ~$31.9B from iPad.

That’s $1B+ every day, ~$41.8m every hour, ~$696k every minute, or ~$11.6k every second.

We expect Apple’s numbers to surge next quarter, when revenue from its truly groundbreaking $19 screen cleaning cloth is reported.

Free Resource

8 viral TikTok videos for your swipe file

Going viral just hits different on TIkTok.

Despite copycat spinoffs like Instagram Reels and Snapchat Spotlight, as of September it was the fastest app to reach 1B users.

If you’ve been neglecting TikTok marketing, it’s time to give it a real look.

8 feel-good ads from industry-leading brands

Including Chipotle, Dunkin’, The Washington Post, Fenty Beauty, and the NBA.

Quirky creativity and authentic experiences are thriving on TikTok. This HubSpot blog post has examples and tips to help you manifest virality for your brand in a variety of ways.

Honestly, we recommend these clips regardless.

Easy TikTok inspiration →

Tinder’s new meet-cute is solving a murder

Is crime-solving a good way to fall in love? Well, it worked for that couple on “Bones” and it might work for you on Tinder.

Tinder’s “Swipe Night” is an in-app, interactive show. Each episode, players make choices that affect how they view the story, then can match and chat with people who made similar choices.

“Swipe Night” originally debuted in 2019 with an apocalypse-themed story. It attracted 20m+ players, and on the dates it aired, matches increased by 26%. But despite its success (and an Emmy nom), Tinder scrapped it in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Now, ‘Swipe Night’ is back with ‘Killer Weekend’

This time, it’s a classic whodunit about a murder at a birthday party. Some player choices reveal clues, but you can also weigh in on important topics like if bucket hats are fashionable. New episodes drop every Sunday.

Why a murder mystery? Kyle Miller, a product VP at Tinder, told Fast Company that they’re conversation starters (remember when everyone was obsessed with “True Detective”?). And a lot of Tinder users list true crime as an interest.

Plus, interactive media is in

Netflix launched “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” in 2018, which let viewers make narrative choices to unlock multiple endings. If viewers didn’t make a choice, one was made for them, but Netflix found 94% of viewers were active participants.

Netflix has since launched several other interactive titles including crossovers with “Minecraft” and WWE.


Just a few ideas…

Another week, another Trends report packed with business ideas for our members to pounce on.

In case you missed it, here are some highlights:

  • 🧸  Sensory toys for toddlers are surging in popularity. We break down why some folks are bringing in an extra $329k/mo. selling “sand and water tables” for tots.
  • 🛰  The satellite industry may be moon-bound (as in 10x by 2030, according to McKinsey). There are many new live satellite imaging data use cases for small- to medium-sized businesses on the horizon.
  • 💸  Small products generate big revenue — just look at plastic hair clips. One seller is bringing in $446k/mo. from selling a 4-pack on Amazon.

To read the full reports and get access to thousands more profitable business ideas that you can build in a weekend, try one week of Trends for just $1.

We’ll see you on the inside.

Get Access →

🎖️ On this day: In 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated to unidentified US service members who died at war. Earlier this week, for the 1st time in 96 years, the public was allowed to place flowers here.

📺 Useful: If you want to watch a particular movie or show, JustWatch will tell you all available streaming options so you don’t have to individually check your subscriptions.

🎵 That’s cool: The oldest known song is the Hurrian Hymn written 3.4k+ years ago on a clay tablet. And you can listen to it.

🦌 Wow: Photographer Dave Newman started using his lunch breaks to take pictures of local wildlife. Check out his incredible snaps here.

🤓 How to: People get 6k-10k ads each day. Entrepreneur shares how taking a customer-first approach to brand-building can cut through the noise.

🚴 Wait, what: And now, a screaming ostrich joins a group of cyclists. Did you know ostriches can run up to 45 mph?

Pic of the day

Apple Car rumors have been floating around for years. Here is a 3D rendering based on patent filings, per Auto Evolution. Not pictured: the $5k dongle Apple will inevitably force everyone to buy with it.

Kitchen Hack: The Bacon Method

If you’re tired of bacon grease splashing all over your stovetop and counter, have we got a hack for you. The Bacon Method is a tried and tested way to cook bacon in the oven and make sure it comes out perfect every time.


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Today’s email was brought to you by Trung Phan, Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, Rob Litterst, Sara Cravatts.
Editing by: Mark “About to call my broker to refinance” Dent.
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