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 best places to live, what the biggest homebuilder is up to, drones, a few housing numbers, and a new building/community planning tool. Dig in!
The Returning Champ
U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live list was released and Austin, TX is again number 1 for the second year in a row.
Any Other Big Winners?
Colorado. Colorado Springs and Denver took the number two and three spots respectively. Following Denver, Des Moines, IA and Fayetteville, AR rounded out the top five. These cities are chosen based off of the affordability, job prospects, and quality of life. The results are also determined in part by a public survey of thousands of Americans across the country. The top ranked places are cities where the residents feel socially, physically, and financially fulfilled.
Pushing For Innovation
Lennar is bringing together smart home manufacturers to make smart homes as simple as possible for homeowners. With so many smart brands releasing products, conversations like these will help everyone come towards a more cohesive future. In other Lennar news, they are introducing their very own digital mortgage platform, the Eagle Digital Mortgage platform will be accessible from any mobile device. They hope to streamline the digital loan experience with the use of the latest technology.
How’s The View From Up There?
NAHB reported that 46% of single-family builders have used aerial drones at least once in their construction business. This is over double the builders from when they asked just two years ago. In 2016, only 22% said that yes they had used drones. When breaking it down across size of builders, 58% of builders with 100+ homes have used drones and builders with less than 6 homes using drones jumped from 12% to 38% in the last two years.
Up and Up
Average mortgage payments went up 5% in Q1 of 2018 and there is a chance that they will go up another 10-15% by the end of the year. With demand, home prices, and interest rates all rising while supply is shrinking, we may see a highly competitive spring buying season. Homebuilder confidence dropped one point to 69 in April marking a four month decline, however it’s still not far from the record post-recession high of 72.
Make Your Mark
A start-up, UbranFootprint, is trying to make it easy for builders and city planners to know exactly the impact a new building or community could have. The interactive map pulls comprehensive data and allows one to see the impact on traffic, jobs, energy use, carbon emissions, and more. The goal is to make it easier to build effective and useful buildings and communities.
A Case of the Monday’s
If you just aren’t feeling it this Monday, you might really relate to this weatherman who’s tired of people complaining about the weather.