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 numbers, numbers, and more numbers, Harvey, a new thought on power plants, livability, and shiny bricks. Dig in!
Too Many Numbers
If you’ve ever found it hard to keep up on the latest housing data, this past week was no different. Realtor.com, NAHB, Trulia, Bloomberg, and BuilderOnline all published new data on various parts of the housing market.
Realtor.com and the NAHB both focused on single-family homes. Realtor.com covered how construction has been shifting back to single-family and away from multi-family homes, where as the NAHB covered the decline in single-family homes being built-for-rent.
Trulia and Realtor.com both covered the state of new homes. Trulia covered which places in the country are building more homes vs less homes. The south, specifically Austin, Charleston, and Nashville are all on track to build 65% more than their historic average and Texas in general is building a crazy number of homes. Realtor.com looked at the 9.4% new home sales dip in July and put any rumors to rest that the market might be slowing or bursting.
Bloomberg and BuilderOnline covered everyone’s favorite topic, Millennials. Bloomberg highlighted the trend of millennials moving to the ‘burbs in droves. BuilderOnline took another look at the amount of debt facing the average millennial. The average amount of student loan debt is $17,000 per person and student loan debt now totals $1.3 Trillion.
Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas and it entered the state as a Category 4 hurricane. It is currently a tropical storm and causing serious damage in Houston and other cities near the coast. Initial damage costs could come in around $30 billion. A lot of people are still fighting this storm and trying to stay safe. The Red Cross is sending in some serious reinforcements to help. If you would like to help you can text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross.
Power Plants Are Old School
A new neighborhood in Wales is looking to shake up the power plant way of doing things. Each house in the neighborhood is packed with solar panels. The power is stored in communal batteries, so each house pulls what they need. The homes are being built with tech that is already available, just organized in a way that is scalable. They say, “you would reduce the need for central energy generating stations by around three gigawatts, which is equivalent to a large nuclear power station.”
Big Cities Did Not Do Well
The 2017 Global Livability Ranking has been published and U.S. big cities are becoming less livable. U.S. cities are falling because of some less than desirable infrastructure, crime, education, access to healthcare, overcrowding, and more. Most big cities declined in livability but, Washington D.C. remained neutral. Melbourne was ranked as the most livable city.
Brick By Brick
Researchers from across the pond at England’s Exeter University have announced new “Solar-Cell Embedded Glass Bricks.” The bricks are optimized to absorb as much light as possible, are stackable, and scalable. They also allow natural light into a space. Not only are they going to power your house, but after you factor in the energy cost savings, they are cheaper than conventional glass bricks.
Starting School Is Always Hard
If you know anyone heading back to school, or just going to work this week, this two year old talking about going preschool is here to help us all get through this.