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Category Archives: Housing

Zillow Is Buying And Selling Lots Of Homes And It’s Almost Half Its Business Now

BuzzFeedNews – Zillow made more than 40% of its revenue last quarter from selling homes: “Zillow, the real estate search and advertising platform, has gotten into the house-flipping business in a big way. That means the company earned about 41.5% of its revenue from selling homes in the three months ending June 30, according to its most recent earnings report. Zillow made $599.6 million in revenue last quarter, $248.9 million of which came from its Homes segment, which refers to the “buying and selling of homes directly through the Zillow Offers service,” which it kicked off in 2018. Zillow is now buying thousands of properties, investing in minor repairs, and then selling them — essentially flipping houses — in 15 markets around the country, with plans to be in 26 markets by mid-2020. It collects a fee from the seller with each of these transactions. The company sold 786 homes and bought 1,535 homes from April to June…”

United States Congress Creates AI Task Force

“Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, announced the creation of a Task Force on Artificial Intelligence chaired by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL).  “I am excited to Chair the Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and I thank Chairwoman Waters for her foresight in creating this important… Continue Reading

Visualizing Income Inequality in Boston

“The Atlas of Inequality is a project from the Human Dynamics group at the MIT Media Lab and the Department of Mathematics at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. It is part of a broader initiative to understand human behavior in our cities and how large-scale problems like transportation, housing, segregation or inequality depend in part… Continue Reading

OECD survey of 21 counties – many people unhappy with public services and benefits

“Many people in OECD countries believe public services and social benefits are inadequate and hard to reach. More than half say they do not receive their fair share of benefits given the taxes they pay, and two-thirds believe others get more than they deserve. Nearly three out of four people say they want their government… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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