This streak of picture-perfect daytime weather continues today as temperatures are again in the 80s with sunny skies.

The rabidity of the real estate market has cooled nationwide, but in Philly, mortgage lending activity hasn’t wavered. Today, we take a look at what’s fueling our region’s ability to buck a nationwide downswing.

And, with just three more days left in office, Philly School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. discusses the good, the bad, and the most memorable moments of his decade-long tenure.

Finally, our food critic, Craig LaBan, and video journalist Monica Herndon traveled to Thailand with Kalaya chef Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon for this inspirational piece that feels like a virtual vacation.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

🏠 Philly, the home mortgage Mecca

Nationwide, the decrease in home loan activity is another indication that the overall housing market is cooling.

But it appears the Greater Philadelphia Region is the anomaly, bucking national trends in lending activity earlier this year. In fact, our region was one of only three of 216 studied by Attom, a real estate data firm, where the total number of mortgages issued by lenders actually increased from the last quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of this year.

Here’s a look, by the numbers:

  • 11%: The increase in mortgages issued by lenders in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

  • 2.71 million: The nationwide number of home loans originated by lenders in the first quarter of this year.

  • 32%: The drop in mortgage loans from the same time in 2021. It’s the most significant annual drop since 2014, according to Attom.

  • 2019-21: The period in which mortgage lending nearly tripled nationwide, according to Attom. However, as fewer homeowners refinance their mortgages due to high rates and fewer potential home buyers are applying for loans, the cooling-off period in most places outside of Philly is significant.

Our reporter Michaelle Bond has more on what made Philly an anomaly in the housing market as rates and inflation continue to rise.

What you should know today

Philly school superintendent reflects on a decade

In his last weekly presser at the helm of the Philadelphia School District, William R. Hite Jr. reflected on the last 10 years in front of students at Philadelphia High School of the Creative and Performing Arts, on Thursday.

From working to resolve union contracts to mitigating a global pandemic for over 120,000 students, here’s a sampling of what Hite had to say.

🍎 On students: “I’m going to miss all of you the most. Many of you had to be flexible with things that we had to do just to get the district financially viable again.”

🍎 On the most crucial work to date: “There was no more important thing than getting schools reopened for young people after the pandemic.”

🍎 On what stands out over his tenure: “We had to improve water fountains, and access to clean water for our children. We had to graduate more children and get more reading on grade level. We had to eliminate the Persistently Dangerous schools. I think it’s a body of work.”

Our reporter Kristen A. Graham has more highlights and lowlights as the sun sets on Hite’s time leading Philly schools.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Camden County experienced an EF-1-level tornado Wednesday night as part of the overnight storm that blanketed much of the region. Today’s question: Do you know the top wind speed for an EF-1 tornado? Take a guess and find the answer here.

a. 75 mph

b. 80 mph

c. 85 mph

d. 90 mph

What we’re …

💼 Sharing: All the ways you can stand out in today’s frenzied job market.

🍋 Applauding: The efforts of this young boy and his lemonade stand add to the pot of over $1 million in estimated funds that have been raised in our region for Ukraine.

🌱 Reading: About these seven great Philly plant shops to purchase your next greenery.

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

She’s an inspiration. 🏀


Think you know? Send your guess our way at We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Thomas Lee, of East Mount Airy, who correctly guessed WILLS EYE as Thursday’s answer.

Photo of the day

That’s all I have for this week. Ashley Hoffman has your guide to summer planned to check out Sunday and I’m back in your inboxes Monday. Have a great weekend. ✌️