Housing News Roundup: April 30, 2015
Homeownership Drops, Rentals Rise
Homeownership rates are at their lowest levels in a quarter century, while apartment rentals are harder to find. Weak income growth, higher sales prices, and difficulty getting mortgages are the reasons behind the drop in homeownership. Economist Sam Khater at CoreLogic in Irvine, California says the decline in homeownership is pushing homeownership rates back to the “more normal” levels seen between the 1960s and 1990s. At the same time, high demand for rentals is pushing up housing costs for individuals and families in the rental market.
Source: Market Watch
‘Yurts’ Move to U.S. as Portable, Affordable Homes
“Yurts” – a portable, domelike transportable home that is commonly found in Mongolia – have developed a following in the United States. With a price tag of between $5,000 and $20,000, the cost is much lower than conventional options. However, local regulations pose limits for this unconventional housing type.
New York City Advocates Push for Housing for the Homeless
Advocates in New York City say previous city administrations granted more affordable housing to families living in homeless shelters than is currently being offered. Currently, 750 of 6,000 new public housing units are slotted for homeless households by the city. Advocates want that number increased to 2,500.
Source: NY Observer
An App Attempts to Even Irregular Incomes
The phone app “Even” is aimed at workers with irregular paychecks, such as Uber drivers and other service workers whose monthly bills stay the same but whose paychecks don’t. For a $3 monthly fee, Even provides customers with a steady flow of income. While still in the development and testing phase, the ultimate goal of the app is to address the issue of income volatility, which has been called America’s “hidden inequality.”
Source: New York Times
Regulations Account for up to Forty Percent of the Cost Housing in San Diego
A study of San Diego’s building permits over the last three to five years by researchers at Point Loma Nazarene University finds that regulations, such as building permits and building delays, are keeping housing costs soaring and out of reach for too many. Specifically, the study found that regulations are adding as much as 40 percent to the cost of developing housing.