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Category Archives: Housing

The economic costs and benefits of Airbnb

Economic Policy Institute – No reason for local policymakers to let Airbnb bypass tax or regulatory obligations. “…In our cost-benefit analysis, we find:

  • The economic costs Airbnb imposes likely outweigh the benefits. While the introduction and expansion of Airbnb into U.S. cities and cities around the world carries large potential economic benefits and costs, the costs to renters and local jurisdictions likely exceed the benefits to travelers and property owners.
  • Airbnb might, as claimed, suppress the growth of travel accommodation costs, but these costs are not a first-order problem for American families. The largest and best-documented potential benefit of Airbnb expansion is the increased supply of travel accommodations, which could benefit travelers by making travel more affordable. There is evidence that Airbnb increases the supply of short-term travel accommodations and slightly lowers prices. But there is little evidence that the high price of travel accommodations is a pressing economic problem in the United States: The price of travel accommodations in the U.S. has not risen particularly fast in recent years, nor are travel costs a significant share of American family budgets.
  • Rising housing costs are a key problem for American families, and evidence suggests that the presence of Airbnb raises local housing costs. The largest and best-documented potential cost of Airbnb expansion is the reduced supply of housing as properties shift from serving local residents to serving Airbnb travelers, which hurts local residents by raising housing costs. There is evidence this cost is real..”

20 percent of Americans have no emergency savings

Axios: “Nearly 20% of Americans surveyed say they have zero savings in case of emergency, a recent survey by bankrate.com reports. Why it matters: With the jobs outnumbering the jobless, a lowering unemployment rate and wages trickling upward, Americans theoretically should have more money to put away for a rainy day fund. If an economic… Continue Reading

Unpaid Federal Workers Owe $438 Million in Mortgage and Rent Payments This Month

Zillow Research: Federal employees who are not being paid during the shutdown and own their homes make about $249 million in monthly mortgage payments. Those who rent pay about $189 million for housing each month, according to a recent HotPads analysis. About 3,900 mortgage originations are processed each business day for loans backed directly by… Continue Reading

Federal government was bleak workplace for past 2 years and worsened after the shutdown

Washington Post: “Over two years, the Trump administration has dealt blow after blow to government employees — budget cuts, hiring freezes, inept Cabinet secretaries and, for some, open hostility to their fundamental mission. President Trump promised to shake up Washington, and he has. But the country’s 2 million federal workers have mostly soldiered on, believing… Continue Reading

A Lot of Government Information Is Freely Available

GAO Watchblog: “From health and education statistics to budget and spending information, the federal government produces a lot of information, or data. Agencies are making more and more of this data open for everyone to use. Our recent report identified 5 key practices that can help the government’s open data reach a wide range of… Continue Reading

Nearly 75% Of Coastal States Aren’t Prepared For Sea Level Rise

Forbes: “…As climate change progresses, storms will increase in strength,  sea levels will rise more rapidly, U.S. coasts will flood more frequently, and shoreline properties will disappear. Each year, $500 million worth of coastal structures are lost as coastlines disappear. The federal government spends nearly $150 million each year to manage the loss of beaches and coastal real estate. Two-thirds of… Continue Reading

How private equity firms are fueling the housing crisis

New York Magazine – Intelligencer: “Nationwide, single-family homes — white-picketed symbols of the American Dream — are increasingly owned by far-flung investors, with the percentage held by landlords growing from 13 percent nationally to 17 percent between 2008 and 2016, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. These homes are offered to local residents… Continue Reading

CDC data – Large cities still segregated even as nation becoming more diverse

Washington Post: “…Even as the United States becomes increasingly diverse, neighborhood segregation patterns persist in large urban areas, including in the Washington metro region, according to five-year trend data from the Census Bureau. Segregation has remained most entrenched between black and white residents, while segregation between whites and Hispanics and whites and Asians is more… Continue Reading

Letting Algorithms Replace Human Appraisers

UK Daily Mail: Proposed new regulations would allow homes to be bought and sold through electronic valuations rather than human appraisers Home appraisals could be done electronically without the need for a licensed human regulator, according to new proposals   Regulators say the vast majority of homes could be appraised using electronic algorithms which could make house buying… Continue Reading

Economy and development have increased emptying of DC houses of worship

Washington Post: “For decades, changes in American religious behavior and the District’s demographics spurred a slow emptying of city houses of worship. And in recent years, many have shuttered, largely because of skyrocketing real estate prices, an exodus of African Americans from the city and millennials’ desire for unusual abodes. But how great is the… Continue Reading

Tracking Property Transactions in Philadelphia using official dataset

“The City of Philadelphia has released a dataset of 3.7 million records detailing all property transactions that occurred in the city over the past twenty years. The dataset includes information such as properties’ market values, mortgages, and deeds. Prior to the dataset’s release, Philadelphia residents often had to visit City Hall to learn about property… Continue Reading

Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is at a Record High: 114,659 Students

The New York Times – One out of every 10 students lived in temporary housing during the last school year. “Tonight, about one out of every 10 students in New York City will sleep in a homeless shelter or in the homes of relatives. That’s more children than at any other time since city records… Continue Reading