What’s Happening in the News: Late August 2020

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

This week, home listings rise while mortgage rates (potentially) fall further, and we take a peek inside the green building movement. But first (again), will millennials ever recover from a second recession or be able to take an active role in government?

Deja Vu All Over Again

When financial conditions are bad, those with less savings and less stability are hurt worse. And when financial conditions are good, they’re less able to cash in on the opportunity. This article from MSNBC points out how millennials, hurt by the Great Recession, couldn’t take full advantage of the stronger economy during the last decade. And unfortunately, it’s getting ready to happen again. The two big factors hurting younger generations are lack of savings and poor financial literacy. (The article cites millennials tapping retirement funds to get through the recession, and using expensive resources like payday loans.) We say it a lot around here: it pays to get educated about money.

When Government Isn’t Representative

Jill Filipovic over at CNN doesn’t think the situation of younger generations in the U.S. will improve until more millennials are elected to Congress.

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

For-Sale Home Listings Rise

The housing supply has remained low throughout the pandemic, but for the first time in months, new listings of homes for sale are actually on the rise. Realtor magazine breaks down the numbers from realtor.com, reporting that although new listings are up, they’re still 6 percent below last year’s numbers. Prospective buyers can still hope that more listings will bring prices down a little, though.

Will Mortgage Rates Decline Further?

On August 8, Bill Conerly at Forbes predicted that mortgage rates would fall even further, based on the usual spread between 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 10-year treasury bond yields.

Interest rates on 30-year mortgages and 10-year Treasury bonds
Image Courtesy of Forbes.com

On August 20, he updated his forecast because of a new fee being charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consumers refinancing their mortgages. Rates should still fall, he says, but the additional charge may slow them down a little. (This second article also has a good explanation of what Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac are and how they work.)

Modular and More

Here’s a fun podcast to listen to about all things sustainable construction. One thing I love about the sustainable building community is that they always seem to circle back to ending the problem of homelessness. Yes, there’s an opportunity for large profits in coming years, as green construction becomes more mainstream.

But at the end of the day, it’s about people and the planet.

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