January 2016

There are 3 blog entries for January 2016.

The U.S. is building new homes at about half the historical rate, and it's causing our cities to become unaffordable.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images




America's future is happening first here, in Seattle. Just this year, Seattle technology jobs increased 21 percent. Housing prices rose 12 percent. And all the people who built this city out of coffee, lumber and airplanes have struggled to keep up.

Only a third of Seattle homebuyers outside of technology now report being confident they'll be able to afford to live here in 10 years. The same thing will happen in Austin, Boston, Denver, Portland and, eventually, to a dozen other American cities that will become less affordable over the next decade.

The problem is housing.

When

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Mortgage rates have been so low for so long that it is hard to believe nearly everybody hasn't refinanced to a lower rate yet. Believe it. More than 5 million borrowers could both qualify and benefit from a mortgage refinance, according to a new report from Black Knight Financial Services.

True, that is less than the nearly 7 million who could have refinanced just last spring, when the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was below 3.7 percent. Today, thanks to the rout in the stock market, rates have fallen back just below 4 percent. About 2.4 million borrowers could potentially save $200 or more on their monthly mortgage payments and an additional 1.9 million could save $100 to $200 per month. Add it up, and that is $1.2 billion

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