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 the soon to be biggest homebuilder, housing numbers, a new best city, American’s lives, and a new data base tool. Dig in!
Lennar’s acquisition bid of $5.7 billion gets them the 5th largest builder in the U.S. The companies combining gives them control of 240,000 homesites, and they’ll have 1,300 active communities in 49 markets spread out in 21 states, where about 50% of the population lives. If Lennar wasn’t already a powerhouse within the market, it definitely is now.
The Good And The Bad
Up and Up
In August new home sales hit a new low, but in September new home sales jumped to the fastest pace in the past decade. Sales rose 18.9% from August and are up 17% compared to September 2016. This was unexpected by almost everyone, but definitely a pleasant surprise. In other news of things that are jumping up, lumber prices. Since renegotiating NAFTA has been on the table for the current administration, lumber prices have been on the rise and are currently at its highest in 4.5 years. This may only get worse depending on how the situation is handled going forward and could lead to a shift in the types of homes being built.
The View From The Top
The Urban Land Institute and PwC released their annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate report and Austin has broken its three year streak as the number one city and Seattle has swooped in. Some interesting notes from the report this year show smaller cities breaking into the top 10, like Salt Lake City. This could signal the start to a larger trend of more investment in smaller but growing cities because of an educated workforce and relative affordability.
Well That’s Not Good
Americans are working more, not living as long, and are sicker than before, just what everyone wants to hear on a Monday. New research shows that average retirement age is rising as the government is pushing the age to receive social security higher and workers are just staying put longer. Some say that the life expectancy is getting worse now because as a country the U.S. has done a good job kicking its smoking habits, which gave us a boost a few years ago.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and PolicyMap have created an interactive map, called The Place Database, which allows anyone to drill down into a plethora of specific details. For example you can look up housing prices, incomes, open space, land use regulations, and much more. It pulls information from the census, the IRS, EPA, and so on. It’s a great tool to plan your next project or learn more about your neighborhood.
If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit take a look back some of the best Halloween pranks and tricks from the past few years.