Newsletter April 1, 2024

Monday Morning Coffee 4.1.24. Market updates and Some DID YOU KNOW??

The housing market appears to be picking up. The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales surprised everyone with a 9.5% gain in February, the biggest in a year, following a healthy January increase. Inventories are up more than 10% the past year.

Plus, more new homes are on the way, as housing starts went up more than 10% in February, with much needed single-family starts now up more than 35% from a year ago. Home completions are almost 20% up for the month.

Finally, more sellers are putting their homes on the market. In the week ending March 16, a whopping 17.8% more resale listings hit the market compared to last year, the highest year-over-year growth rate in nearly three years.

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” ~ Mark Twain

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian Calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the Spring equinox around April 1.

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.”

These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caug ht fish and a gullible person.

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fool Day Hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and websites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences.

In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees.

In 1985, Sports Illustrat ed writer George Plimpton tricked many readers when he ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour.

In 1992, National Public Radio ran a spot with former President Richard Nixon saying he was running for president again… only it was an actor, not Nixon, and the segment was all an April Fools’ Day prank that caught the country by surprise.

In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell.

In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.

Google notoriously hosts an annual April Fools’ Day prank that has included e verything from “telepathic search” to the ability to play Pac Man on Google Maps.

For the average trickster, there is always the classic April Fools’ Day prank of swapping the contents of sugar and salt containers. ~

Cindy Glynn
Coldwell Banker American Home