Post image for In Post-Recession Era, Young Adults Drive Continuing Rise In Multi-Generational Living

A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population of the United States, lived in multi-generational family households in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980. After three decades of steady but measured growth, the arrangement of having multiple generations together under one roof spiked during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and has kept on growing in the post-recession period, albeit at a slower pace, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Young adults ages 25 to 34 have been a major component of the growth in the population living with multiple generations since 1980 – and especially since 2010. By 2012, roughly one-in-four of these young adults (23.6%) lived in multi-generational households, up from 18.7% in 2007 and 11% in 1980. Historically, the nation’s oldest Americans have been the age group most likely to live in multi-generational households. But in recent years, younger adults have surpassed older adults in this regard. [Read this article]

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Builder Confidence Surpasses Key Benchmark In July

July 20, 2014

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Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points to a reading of 53 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. The July reading marks the first time since January that the index has been above a level of 50. Better employment data and economic growth for the second quarter have buoyed builder confidence as the summer progresses. Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months. The index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 57, while the index measuring expectations for future sales rose six points to 64. [Read this article]

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Consumers Expect Economic Improvement

July 20, 2014

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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released the findings of its June 2014 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE), revealing a slight uptick in economic hopes among Americans. According to the New York Fed, the median earnings growth expectation among consumers polled in its June survey was 2.5 percent over the next year, up half a percentage point from May. Employment hopes also firmed up. The mean perceived probability of job loss fell to 14.7, matching a low first seen in June 2013. At the same time, consumers put their probability of finding a new job within three months (if they lost their current one) at an average 51.8 percent, a new high. On the housing front, the West topped all other census regions in expected price gains, as it has since February. Prices one year out are expected to rise a median 5.3 percent in the region compared to 3.8 percent in the South, 3.6 percent in the Northeast, and 3.3 percent in the Midwest. [Read this article]

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Why Mortgage Rates Haven’t Risen As Expected

July 20, 2014

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By most estimates, mortgage rates were expected to climb this year, with rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage predicted to exceed 5%. Instead, rates are now lower than they were this time in 2013 – much to the advantage of mortgage shoppers. There are a few reasons why higher rates never came to pass. Rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.15% for the week ending July 10, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates. A year ago, rates averaged 4.51%. “In January, we were projecting at the end of the year that the 30-year would be 5.1%,” said Leonard Kiefer, deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac. “We most recently revised that down to 4.4%. Eventually mortgage rates will go higher – unless there’s some sort of slowdown in economic growth, a recession or some big shock to the economy, Kiefer said. “It’s likely to be gradual, but [rates are going] up, for sure,” he added. [Read this article]

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Where Do The Smartest People Move?

July 7, 2014

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There are obvious economic reasons why people move some places and not others: Maybe they want a higher-paying job, or maybe a lower rent or mortgage. There might be personality factors involved, too, hence American stereotypes about friendly Midwesterners or irritable Northeasterners. But what role, if any, does basic intelligence play in determining where people choose to live? That’s the question at the heart of a new analysis from psychologist Markus Jokela of the University of Helsinki. Jokela reports that cognitive ability does explain some of America’s migration decisions, even after accounting for factors like income. But the findings are hard to boil down into any simple takeaway other than this: Smart people just don’t like to stay put. [Read this article]

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More Would-Be Home Sellers Say Prices Are Attractive

June 30, 2014

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Here’s a data nugget that portends well for the housing market: This month the largest share of homeowners in eight years said prices had increased, making sales more attractive. Echoing that finding, few consumers said in June that they would lose money if they put their home on the market and sold it, the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported. These findings are important because they signal that one major roadblock for the housing market’s rebound – a low number of properties available for sale – is easing. Rather than select from a meager number of housing options, some families have preferred to sit on the sidelines of the market, even when home prices and mortgage rates were at ultra-low levels in 2013. But prices have now strengthened enough that more families are becoming willing and able to put their homes on the market. [Read this article]

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Millennial-Driven Housing Boom Coming

June 30, 2014

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The Millennials who for years have been holed-up in their childhood homes, won’t be there forever. They really do want to move out, according to a study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, and by 2025 could form 24 million new households. Some 11 million recent grads were living with a parent in 2012, according to Pew. The homeownership rate for those under age 35 was 36% in the first three months of 2014, down from a high of 43% in 2005, according to the Census. Three main factors have been holding them back, said the Harvard study: A weak job market for recent graduates. Student loans. And tight lending standards. But as the economy turns around, the obstacles have begun to fall. “When the job market recovers and their income recovers, they are going make their mark on this housing market,” said Christopher Herbert, research director at the Harvard division, in a panel discussion following the release of the Harvard report. Instead of a mass exodus from their parents’ homes, the authors said Millenials’ might just trickle out, mirroring what Herbert called the economy’s “steady, slow recovery.” [Read this article]

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Rise In Home Prices Is Slowing, And That’s A Good Thing

June 30, 2014

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The latest readings on United States home prices are the latest confirmation of a slowdown in that area: Prices are still rising in most cities, but much more slowly than they were a few months ago. And that’s news we should cheer. Just two years ago, buying a home looked to be a screaming bargain across most of the country. But the gains in home prices since then have made it a much closer call. This housing recovery seems healthier and more sustainable than the bubble of the early 2000s. Then, even as home prices soared beyond any traditional level relative to income, home buyers responded by taking on more risk and buying anyway, speculating on further home price gains. This time, they seem to be looking at high valuations and not getting caught up in the excitement, instead drawing the line and paying no more than they can afford. [Read this article]

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There Are More 23-Year-Olds Than Any Other Age (And They’re Going To Save The World)

June 30, 2014

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By now we’re all familiar with the plight of the millennial generation, those born after 1980. They owe the bulk of America’s $1 trillion in student debt. They have little or no savings. A third still live at home with their parents. Those with jobs are often underemployed and underpaid. Millennials do have one big thing going for them: numbers. At 4.3 million, 23-year-olds are now the single largest age group in the U.S. This is good news for twenty-somethings, who will benefit from their overall size through the economic growth they’ll create. It’s even better news for the economy, which will need every penny of taxes they pay and consumer demand they generate to offset the impact of 70 million baby boomers entering retirement. Today’s 23-year-olds are starting their work lives in a weaker economy than the one the boomers entered. Yet they are better off than older millennials who graduated from college in the worst of the recession. [Read this article]

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Pending Home Sales Surge On Growing Inventory, Lower Mortgage Rates

June 30, 2014

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The number of homes that went under contract in May leaped from the previous month as lower mortgage rates and growing home inventory stimulated buyer activity, the National Association of Realtors reported. Pending home sales – a forward-looking indicator of existing home sales based on contract signings – jumped 6.1 percent month over month in May, but were down 5.2 percent from year. All four regions of the country posted increases in pending sales, with the Northeast and West showing the largest gains. The jump in pending sales provides the latest evidence that the housing market may have shrugged off a recent slump. [Read this article]

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