A US Home Ownership Turn Around?

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The Census Bureau reports that home ownership in the United States rose to 63.9 percent in the third quarter of 2017. This continues a rising trend since the second quarter of 2016, when home ownership had dropped to 62.9. This equaled the previous low of 51 years before (1965), just a year after annual data reporting began. Home ownership peaked at 69.2 percent during the housing bubble and had been generally declining since late 2006 (Figure).  read more »

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The Changing Urban Patterns in College Degreed Younger Adults

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While doing some research for a forthcoming presentation, I was looking at some data about younger people with college degrees and put together some maps I’ll share with you today.

The Census Bureau tracks educational attainment by age cohort. I decided to look at 25-34 year olds with a bachelors degree or higher. This is roughly today’s “young, educated Millennial” segment. Here is a chart showing the change in the share of 25-34yos with degrees between 2000 and 2016:  read more »

The GOP Establishment No Bargain Either

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Perhaps nothing has been more ironic than the canonization of respectable, moderate-seeming Republicans. People like Mitt Romney and the Bush family, once castigated as practitioners of unmitigated greed or even Hitlerian fascists, have suddenly become laudable in the mainstream media.  read more »

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What Happens After Half Your Town Burns Down?

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Last month I wrote about how insurance companies are getting ahead of the curve by preemptively dropping coverage and/or significantly raising the cost of policies for properties believed to be at increased risk. Less than four weeks later forest fires ripped through Sonoma and Napa counties and destroyed 7,000 structures – most of them single family homes. These fires are now ranked as the most destructive and expensive in California history.  read more »

2nd Quarter Home Price Indices

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Someone just paid $1.1 million for a tear-down/fixer-upper in Mountain View, California. That’s not really news, as prices in Silicon Valley have been increasingly outrageous. What’s news is that they bought the house with the provisos that the existing owner will get to live there for seven years; the buyer didn’t get to see the interior of the home; and the buyer is required to make improvements before closing on the home.  read more »

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Why Is the Trump Administration Promoting Further Economic and Media Centralization?

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The Federal Communications Commission is planning to lift ownership restrictions on local media. This would allow, for example, ownership of multiple major TV stations in the same market by the same company:  read more »

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RBC Report Highlights Increasing Housing Affordability Challenges in Canada

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Households could face even greater housing affordability challenges in the years to come, according to the September 2017 RBC Economics (RBC) Housing Trends and Affordability report.  read more »

Chicago's Story Of Population Loss Is Becoming An Exclusive About Black Population Loss

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Population estimates released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau show that Chicago’s population has declined for the third year in row.

According to the latest estimates, Chicago’s population fell by about 350 in 2014, by just under 5,000 in 2015 and by more than 8,600 in 2016. Among the nation’s 50 largest cities, Chicago is the only city to lose population each year since 2013 and for those population losses to worsen each time.  read more »

Is There A Civilization War Going On?

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“Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” — Arnold J. Toynbee

From the heart of Europe to North America, nativism, sometimes tinged by white nationalist extremism, is on the rise. In recent elections, parties identified, sometimes correctly, as alt-right have made serious gains in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, pushing even centrist parties in their direction. The election of Donald Trump can also be part of this movement.  read more »

Highest Cost Rental Markets: Even Worse for Buyers

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There is considerable concern about rising rents, especially in the most expensive US housing markets. Yet as tough as rising rents are, the high rent markets are also plagued by even higher house costs relative to the rest of the nation. As a result, progressing from renting to buying is all the more difficult in these areas.  read more »