Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Downturn keeping Americans’ wanderlust in check (Wash Post)

Monday, December 28th, 2009

[Editor's note: Perhaps having a better sense of local place + broadband internet access isn't so bad?]

Republished from The Washington Post.
By Carol Morello. Thursday, December 10, 2009

Study: Fewer moving than at any time since World War II

The wanderlust that helped define the American character has been reined in by the recession and the collapse in housing prices, according to a new study showing fewer Americans changing residences than at any time since World War II.

About 12 percent of Americans moved in each of the past two years, down from 13 to 14 percent a year during the first part of this decade. Historical trends show a more precipitous drop. In any given year throughout the 1990s, 16 to 17 percent of Americans changed homes. Throughout the 1950s and in the early 1960s, it was one in five.

William Frey, the Brookings Institution demographer who wrote the study, said the economic slowdown has accelerated a long-term trend of people growing more rooted as homeownership has increased and the average age of Americans has risen. Add the bursting of the housing bubble, the credit crisis and the resulting recession, and many people are cemented in place.

“This triple whammy of forces made it riskier for would-be homebuyers to find financing, would-be sellers to receive good value for their home and potential long-distance movers to find employment in areas where jobs were previously plentiful,” said Frey, who analyzed statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the IRS for the study released Wednesday.

The report paints a picture of an America slowing down. The numbers for metropolises such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, which had been losing tens of thousands of residents in search of more affordable housing, are stabilizing. The flow out also subsided in the Washington area, whose population growth has been fueled by the arrival of tens of thousands of immigrants.

The effect of foreclosures was suggested in the study. In the year beginning in March, the percentage of people who moved to another house in the same county inched up more than half a percentage point from 2007 to 2008. But the percentage of people who moved to another state — a statistic more likely to reflect a new job — stayed the same, a record low level of 1.6 percent.

The phenomenon affected people across every demographic except immigrants.

The young and the footloose in their 20s are usually responsible for an outsized share of those who move, and they showed the steepest decline as jobs grew scarce, prompting many to return to their parents’ homes.

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Affordable Housing Mashup (Envisioning Development)

Friday, December 11th, 2009

wholiveshere

[Editor's note: Google mashup with fun charting trying to make sense out of simple yet complicated subject.]

Republished from EnvisioningDevelopment.net.

“Affordable Housing.” The phrase seems plain enough, but it doesn’t always mean what people think it does! It actually has a technical government definition that can determine what gets built and who lives there. Use these tools to answer the all-important question: “Affordable to whom?

What Is Affordable Housing? from the Center for Urban Pedagogy on Vimeo.

A stop-action animation on the technical definitions of affordable housing — by Rosten Woo and John Mangin of CUP, animator/designer Jeff Lai, and Glen Cummings of MTWTF. Narrated by Lisa Burriss. Sound by Rosten Woo.

Housing Market State by State (Wash Post)

Friday, March 6th, 2009

[Editor's note: This graphic mixes a free-form Dorling cartogram with a bar chart. Both examine the same nominal geographic data but the bar chart shows "underwater" mortgages as a percent of all mortgages while the cartogram shows the same by total per state. Since most US state choropleth maps are simply visual lists, this graphic dispenses with the map entirely and examines the thematic data through two lenses to show two different results.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
March 5, 2009.
Graphic by Todd Lindeman and Laura Stanton.
Related story >>

At least one in five U.S. mortgage holders – or about 8.3 million households – owed more on their mortgages by the end of 2008 than their homes were worth, sometimes called “underwater.”

SOURCE: First American CoreLogic | The Washington Post – March 5, 2009

U.S. Launches Wide-Ranging Plan to Steady Housing Market
$75 Billion Plan Would Help Borrowers Avoid Foreclosure

Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 5, 2009; Page A01

The Obama administration yesterday sketched in the details of its most ambitious attempt to reduce foreclosures and stabilize the beleaguered housing market at the root of the economic meltdown.

The program has two key elements: a refinancing program for borrowers with little equity in their homes but current on their loans, and a $75 billion program to help reduce mortgage payments for struggling borrowers.

Several large lenders praised the program, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. There were also converts among those outside the industry. “I was skeptical at first, but I think these guidelines are helpful in a lot of ways,” said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a nonprofit group that has been critical of industry efforts to modify mortgages.

Homeowners with loans as large as $729,750 could see their interest rates temporarily cut to as low as 2 percent under the program. The administration also said it will add new incentives to persuade lenders that hold second mortgages to give up their claims, further lowering homeowners’ debt obligations. While the Obama administration initially said it would focus on owner-occupied properties, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they would refinance loans for some second homes and investment properties, too.

That the programs would apply to mortgages worth up to $729,750 throughout the country and not just in high-priced regions surprised some industry officials who praised the move. “It will allow us to help more borrowers, especially those who have been hit hardest by the current crisis,” said John A. Courson, chief executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

The Geography of a Recession (NY Times)

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

[Editor's note: This interactive Flash map from the New York Times allows the user to mouse over each of the 3,000 some county-level jurisdictions in the US and examine unemployment rates. Users can view all counties or limit the analysis to preset thematic filters. Thanks Mary Kate!]

Republished from the New York Times.
Interact with the original Flash version.

Job losses have been most severe in the areas that experienced a big boom in housing, those that depend on manufacturing and those that already had the highest unemployment rates. Related Article

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Ofheo; U.S.D.A.
Graphic by The New York Times

The Crash: Risk and Regulation (Washington Post)

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

How did the most dynamic and sophisticated financial markets in the world come to the brink of collapse? The Washington Post examines how Wall Street innovation outpaced Washington regulation.

[Editor's note: All content republished from The Washington Post's 15 October 2008 edition.]

The Story

What Went Wrong?

How did the world’s markets come to the brink of collapse? Some say regulators failed. Others claim deregulation left them handcuffed. Who’s right? Both are. This is the story of how Washington never caught up to Wall Street.

Key Players in Market Regulation
Bio pictures and quotes.

The Graphics

Creating the Wave

Riding the Crest
Wall Street devised exotic securities to earn fees from the debt boom.

Click graphic to see full size version.

The Crash
Overburdened by debt, a relatively small percentage of homeowners began missing mortgage payments, creating a domino effect that sent losses throughout financial markets.

Click graphic to see full size version.

Graphics by Brenna Maloney, Jill Drew, Ellen Nakashima and Todd Lindeman – The Washington Post – October 15, 2008.