Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week we’re taking a BYTE out of some changes from the higher ups, who’s buying into social media, renting forever, smart homes, and tiny intruders. Dig in!
Ups And Downs
With each new President that takes office new budget focuses are revealed; President Trump’s first budget includes a proposed $6.2B cut to HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). In other government news, the Federal Reserve is raising the short-term interest rate .25%.
Along For The Rollercoaster Ride
Reactions are mixed. The 13.2% funding cut to the HUD is seen to some as a something that is going to hurt many low income and homeless families at a time when housing and rent prices won’t stop rising. Others see it as a good move and say the cuts are aimed only at parts of HUD that have not shown any progress or real impact in past decade. Cue a long debate before the budget gets passed.
Home ownership rates aren’t the best right now, which has some wondering why the Federal Reserve upped the short-term interest rate. Since short-term rates usually are very similar to mortgage rates the effects in housing aren’t far away. The Fed says that with the unemployment rate being low and wages getting better, the hike will help keep inflation under control; while opponents say this will make it just that much harder to buy a home at a time when it’s already not that easy.
The Social Media Effects
More and more people are looking at social as the best way to find new things to buy and even the best ways to look at homes. A study by SoFi showed that 44% of people, between 25-44, prefer social media for information over magazines and home improvement shows. Almost a third of all respondents have made at least one purchase for their home based on a friend’s post. Pinterest and Instagram were the two biggest influencers. Looks like we might see more companies hold social post competitions.
The CurRENT Situation
Will millennials ever buy homes? In 1980 the homeownership rate for those under 35 was almost 44% now it’s only 34.7%, which is near a 50 year low. A more in depth look at the current situation reveals it might not be all millennial’s faults. They entered the job market right in the middle of the Great Recession. Now that everything is actually recovering, rent is higher than ever because of so few people buying homes. Millennials are getting caught in a deadly circle where saving the money to buy a home is harder than ever, with everyone worrying if they’ll be renters for eternity.
1 In 10
The number of homeowners that have a connected smart home. New smart home products are released every day trying to make consumer’s lives easier, however it seems not everyone has jumped on the fully-connected-home ship quite yet. Gartner Inc. released a study that showed 58% of people were interested in standalone products but didn’t see the need in setting up everything on one platform. With companies trying to be the first to dominate this space, it may just take a bit of time to convince everyone.
The Top 5
In terms of lists you don’t want to be on, especially in the top five, America’s 5 Most Pest-Infested Cities is one of them. The cities that crawled their way to the top are Philadelphia (for most rats), Atlanta (for most mosquitos), Washington D.C. (for rats, but mainly bed bugs), and New York (for rats and roaches). The coveted top spot on the list went to Houston, TX for pretty much all of the above in one place.
Pick These Two
If you need help building a fort in the middle of the night, these two-year-old twins are your guys.