What’s Happening in the News: Late September 2020

Today’s news updates examines the interest rate forecast and the changing landscape of work and home ownership. Plus, we look at some exciting ways innovators are solving problems for people in need of housing.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Low Rates Staying Low

Back in March, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to encourage spending and stave off the recession. Now rates are forecast to stay that low for the foreseeable future–maybe even until 2023. The Washington Post reports that factors like inflation and unemployment will determine how low rates stay and for how long. It’s good news for the economy in general, and specifically for real estate: if you’re thinking about buying or refinancing, you’ve still got time to take advantage of the historically low rates.

Remote Work Could Be a Game Changer for Renters

macbook pro displaying group of people
These days, the office is coming to us. Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Traditionally, jobs are more available in urban areas. Unfortunately, the demand for housing near jobs makes even a starter home unaffordable for workers in many of these markets. Families are stuck with renting in expensive areas, unable to move because they need to be close to their jobs. According to research by real estate site Zillow, nearly two million such renters could soon realize the possibility of moving, buying a home, and building wealth through home ownership. When the pandemic forced many workers to start telecommuting, employers and employees alike realized that it was more feasible than most had previously imagined. If companies continue to offer their people the option to work remotely, many would have the option to move to places where houses are more available and less expensive.

Energy Sector Jobs and More

And speaking of jobs, members of Gen Z who are interested in energy sector careers are most interested in solar and wind, as reported by Electrek. The article goes on to outline the possible impact of presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s energy plan. It also explains how food giant Nestle is working toward some very ambitious sustainability goals.

Investing In Good

Last time we linked to a story about impact investing (here in case you missed it)–a 2020 trend we can actually feel good about! Here’s a specific investment that fits into the category. A Real Estate Investment Trust (or REIT) issues stock market shares and uses the proceeds from selling them to invest in real estate. In London, a new REIT will be specifically purchasing properties that charities or similar groups will use to provide housing for homeless people. While REITs usually aim for a return of at least 5 percent for their investors, Home REIT is projecting an ambitious 7.5 percent. So just because it’s an investment in a worthy cause doesn’t mean it’s more of a donation than an investment.

person sitting on floor near people
London’s homeless could soon be receiving help backed by international investors. Photo by Tom Parsons on Unsplash

Rebuilding Puerto Rico with Shipping Container Homes

And here’s something else you can feel good about: a third-generation Puerto Rican architect who has created a design for an affordable shipping container home. It’s earthquake-proof, hurricane proof, and can be quickly mass-produced to provide housing for people in disaster areas. You can watch or read the story at CNN.

Thanks for Reading!

Drop us a line in the comments and weigh in about one of today’s stories. Check back for another news update in early October. And stay tuned for some really exciting Attainable Home developments in the near future!

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