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 the working life, the reality of VR, the start of 2017 housing, renovations, and the state of mortgage debt. Dig in!
Get To Work
Don’t Get Worked Up
43% of American workers said that they spent at least a little bit of time working from home last year, which is up four percent from 2016. That might not sound like that much of a change, but when broken down not only are employees working from home more but working from home for longer periods of time; 31% of these people said they work from home four to five days a week. You would think with more staying put in their home office there would be less cars on the road, which would lead to less traffic, but the Census says, “Nope”. Commute times have increased since 2010 and on average over 3 hours were added to everyone’s commute from 2014 to 2015. The largest growth in commute times was in the group of people that had over 90 minute commutes growing by over 8%.
The New Reality
VR/AR Are Ready
More and more companies are figuring out ways of using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to change the world around us. For example, Peer, a new project in NY, is built around incorporating AR into the class room to let students create and test things in virtual reality to solve engineering and STEM problems in real time. With more uses being created and applied to the real world, AR and VR spending is expected to double in 2017 and could reach $13.9 billion. The market is expected to grow to $143.3 billion by 2020 and basically change everything.
Quick For Some, Not So Much For Others
Redfin took a deep dive into the 10 markets that are the most supply-constrained. Basically if you are selling a house, you’re doing great; if you’re trying to buy a house, you’re not doing so great right now. New listings and inventory are down across the board. To add to that the median days of homes on the market is 31 days, five days faster than 2016 and 45 days quicker than in 2012. Denver was the quickest with homes only staying on the market an average of 23 days. Redfin does a nice deep dive into each market. Check it out here.
Upgrades On Upgrades
2017 is the year for home improvement. According to a survey by LightStream, 59% of homeowners are planning on dropping some cash and upgrading their homes. 23% plan on spending at least $10,000 on these projects. The most common area being targeted for upgrades is the outdoors. Gen Xers are leading the charge with 72% saying that they planned home renovations this year. Got to love the sound of construction in the morning.
Mortgage debt is everywhere but some places are worse than others. The top three worst places for mortgage debt is Washington D.C., Hawaii, and California. Washington D.C. has the highest mortgage debt at $385,159 and West Virginia has the lowest with $113,436. The average nationwide is $196,013. The current average price of a home across the U.S. is around $250,000.
Under Dah Sea
The annual Underwater Photography Awards happened last week, check out the amazing winners here.