• January home sales jump 6.7% despite a record low supply. Sales of previously owned homes in January rose 6.7% from December to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.5 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. The supply of homes fell down 16.5% from a year ago. Tight supply and strong demand pushed the median price of a home sold in January to $350,300, an increase of 15.4% from January 2021.

  • Mortgage rates close in at 4%. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 3.92% for the week ended Thursday, according to mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac, up from 3.69% a week earlier. That is the highest level since May 2019. Expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates several times this year to control inflation are driving up mortgage rates, which are closely tied to the 10-year U.S. Treasury. Read more here.

  • and Visa reached an agreement allowing customers to use Visa credit cards across the online retailer’s websites and shops. As part of the agreement, Amazon will also drop surcharges it had imposed on Visa credit-card purchases in Singapore and Australia. The two companies would also work together on product and technology initiatives related to payments.

  • Housing starts dipped in January amid the Omicron surge and cold weather. Monthly housing starts dipped 4.1% in January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million, due to a surge in the Omicron variant of COVID and a mercury drop that slowed construction, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single-family housing starts also declined 5.6%.


  • Gas prices may soon hit $7 per gallon. Energy expert, Dan Dicker’s guess is that we are going to see $5 a gallon at any triple-digit oil price as soon as it gets to $100. And we might get to $6.50 or $7. He sees oil going higher than $150 per barrel, mirroring the spike in prices back in 2007. U.S. gas prices, currently hovering at around $3.5 per gallon, could soon double to $7 as pressure mounts between Ukraine and Russia. Read more here.

  • Battery recycling startup Redwood is partnering with Ford and Volvo in an attempt to create a “closed-loop” supply chain for EV battery materials. Dealers and dismantlers in California can ask Redwood to pick up lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries from EVs that have been turned out to pasture. And Redwood, Volvo, and Ford will shoulder the costs of transportation. Read more here.

  • 61% of property owners say they plan to raise the rent on at least one of their rental properties within the next 12 months, a new survey from® shows. The most common increase will be between 5% and 10%, according to the survey. The majority of renters don’t seem to be shaken up over recent increases. 82% of renters said they have not missed a rental payment over the past 12 months.

  • Shopify announces plans to bolster its warehouse and delivery network. Shopify plans to spend $1 billion over two years, starting in 2023, to greatly increase the number of company-owned warehouses; the end goal is to offer two-day or less delivery to over 90% of the US population. If the plans to bolster the Shopify Fulfillment Network goes well, the company will greatly increase its role in storing and shipping merchant customers' products.

  • Ford is looking to split its new electric vehicle (EV) business from its legacy internal combustion engine (ICE) product line. CEO Jim Farley and other senior executives are looking at ways to separate Ford's EV operation from its legacy business. Such a separation could take the form of a "wall" between the two businesses or possibly a spinoff of one or the other.

  • Bitcoin will be accepted for state tax payments in Colorado this June. Colorado Governor Jared Polis says his state will soon allow its residents to pay state taxes using Bitcoin and Ethereum. He also said that state lawmakers are working on legislation to allow Colorado to issue its own digital tokens to raise funds for special projects and building initiatives rather than issuing bonds or raising taxes. Read more here.
Share this post