This week, we look at the state of the housing market, affordability around the country, and a few different ways that green is catching on.
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Housing Is Still Leading the Economy
The housing market is keeping up as the high point in an otherwise depressed economy. The adjusted annual rate of new home sales increased for the fourth month in a row in September, as reported by Business Insider. The current rate of 1.01 million units is the highest since 2006. And the 3.3 month supply is the shortest since 1963. Nationally, the median price of a new home is down more than $50,000, to $312,800.
But Affordability Is Still a Problem
Although the national median home price is down, ATTOM Data Solutions’ third-quarter report shows that affordability has declined in many parts of the country. Their detailed county-by-county analysis is based on wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compared to the payment necessary to own a median priced home in each market.
One way to address affordability is by making homes greener (and it doesn’t cost as much up front as you might think). Here’s a video about an exciting new housing development in Wales. It’s an entire neighborhood of 200-plus homes all built on target to become net-zero in the next decade or so. I really liked how the builder summed up his company’s energy philosophy of “Reduce, Balance, Generate.” Building tight homes that reduce the need for energy, balancing energy use to avoid high-cost/high-carbon peak hours, and then adding technology to generate energy on-site is a great plan to reduce both operating costs and carbon footprints over time.
Green Earns More Green
On the business side of things, builders and other professionals are starting to see better profits when they go green. This article from Green Building Advisor reports that “As many as 75% of UK businesses that invested in green technologies subsequently enjoyed commercial benefits, even if financial concerns pose barriers to making these green investments in the first place.”
And Another Kind of Green at Home
Speaking of green, are you part of the millennial houseplant craze? Casey Bond at HuffPost.com talks about the motivation behind, benefits of, and potential pitfalls of many millennials’ new favorite hobby. Whether plant keeping is an attempt to keep up with Instagram or a substitute for children and pets, all in all, it’s a positive trend, she concludes. “Ultimately, the millennial obsession with houseplants is a healthy one. Not only does it encourage nurturing, patience and self-care, but it fosters community in a world where people can feel otherwise isolated.”
Check Back Soon!
We hope our links informed and inspired you this time around. Be ready for some exciting developments for Attainable Home (and attainable housing) in the near future!