Showing posts from November, 2019

Gen Z FICO scores higher than Millennials & Gen X

Gen Z may be just getting into their credit-using years, but they are already showing significant differences in their credit profiles from the Millennials and GenXers that preceded them – and outhe latest Data Lab survey reveals a surprising insight into the economy’s youngest generation. Data Lab recently analyzed just over 5 million NearPrime loan applications received between July 2018 and July 2019 to find that Gen Z, or those born after 1996, have an average FICO score that’s  higher than both Millennials and Gen X . [1] This is especially interesting when you consider that how long you’ve had credit is a key factor when it comes to credit scoring. And even with duration of credit use playing a role in FICO scores, Gen Z is off to a strong start in building their credit profile. Making up  40% of consumers  by 2020, this rising post-Millennial generation thinks about personal finance differently than any other age group, setting the stage for lasting change across th

When's the best time to buy a home?

Despite spring commonly being thought of peak homebuying season, there’s actually another time of year when it makes the most sense to buy a home. And it’s coming right up. According to new analysis from  ATTOM Data Solutions , there are only three days out of the year that see homes sold at discounts below their estimated market value – all of which happen to fall in December. The report shows that buyers willing to close on a home the day after Christmas see the biggest discounts below full market value, with an average discount of 0.3% over the expected sales price. Beyond that, the next best days to buy are New Year’s Eve (December 31) and December 4, both of which offer discounts of 0.1%. “Closing on a home purchase the day after Christmas or on New Year’s Eve can be one of the most financially beneficial holiday-season gifts you can get,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer of ATTOM Data Solutions. ATTOM determined the best days to buy by conducting an analysis of

10 Ways To Decorate With Outdoor Christmas Lights

1. Wrap Shrubs Adding just a few lights to the landscape can make a big difference in making the garden an inviting place to walk through or gaze at. In this walled garden in Manchester, England, a pair of clipped shrubs wrapped with white lights makes a lovely entrance to a garden room. Get the look:  To evenly cover outdoor shrubs, pick up “ net lights ,” which have bulbs distributed over a square or rectangular lattice of cords. Read the packaging to be sure the netting is large enough to wrap all the way around your shrubs. Wilson Lighting 2. Deck Out Your Front Porch This front porch in Kansas — done up with festive garlands, strings of lights and a planter shaped like Santa’s boots — looks lavishly festive without being overwhelming. Get the look:  Concentrating outdoor decorations in a single area, such as the entryway or a garden bed, can be a great way to go all out with holiday exuberance without turning your front yard into Disneyland. 3. Showcase Tree

Federal Reserve united against Trump's demand for negative interest rates

President Donald Trump has extolled negative interest rates on Twitter and in speeches, making clear he wants the  Federal Reserve  to slash its benchmark rate below zero, a policy it has never used before. Fed policymakers are unanimous in their distaste for the idea, judging from the  minutes  released on Wednesday for the Fed’s October meeting. The use of negative rates carries “risks of introducing significant complexity or distortions to the financial system,” according to the minutes. It’s the first known time the policymakers on the  Federal Open Market Committee , or FOMC, have had an on-the-record discussion about the possibility of using the monetary policy the  European Central Bank  introduced in 2014. At the Oct. 29 to 30  meeting , the Fed cut its rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% and signaled it likely was done with easing, for now. “All participants judged that negative interest rates currently did not appear to be an attractiv

Four Trends In Outdoor Furniture

1. Refreshing Pastels Muted palettes of calming pastel colors have filled this year’s furniture and design trade shows, with recently announced colors of the year following suit. From the looks of it, the trend has moved outdoors, with several of the vendors who showcased new furniture lines and color palettes at the ASLA expo leaning toward these softer shades. Fermob , a French producer of colorful outdoor lounge and dining furniture seen in public and private gardens, displayed three new colors that will join its color family in January 2020: Iced Mint, Clay Gray (both seen in this photo) and Frosted Lemon. In the press release for the 2019 Maison & Objet trade show in Paris, where these colors made their global debut, the company wrote, “ These three pastel colors provide a touch of softness, freshness and light. They have been designed to exist alone, together or in combination with other colors from the color chart.” Pastels also dominated at  Kettal , a Spanish

Americans are staying put in record numbers

Americans seem to be losing their wanderlust, according to migration data released by the  Census  on Wednesday. The share of people who moved in the 12 months through March fell to the lowest level on record, adding to the woes of a housing market plagued by  supply  shortages. Just 9.8% of the U.S. population moved during the year ended in March, the lowest level in Census records going back to 1947. That’s half the 20% average seen from the end of World War II through 1970. It declined to 18% in the 1980s, 17% in the 1990s and 14% in the 2000s. Some of the decline is caused by the greying of the U.S. population as the Baby Boomers move into retirement years, coupled with the popularity of “aging in  place .” And, some is due to a shortage of homes to move into. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the  National Association of Realtors , said despite historically low mortgage rates, U.S. home sales have not commensurately increased, in part due to a low level of new housing o

Some Millennials say they plan on renting forever

Although Millennials seem to be taking over the  housing market , nationally, 12.3% of Millennial renters say they plan to keep renting. Last year, 10.7% said they plan to always rent, up over 2%, a study from  Apartment List  said. For most, being able to make a  down payment  is the biggest struggle when it comes to  purchasing  a home. In fact, nearly half of Millennial renters have no down payment savings, according to the study. Another major barrier for this generation? Student debt. Even those who are debt-free are only saving about $100 more a month than those who have the burden of paying off loans. Almost half of Millennials with no college degree have $3,221 saved for a down payment, while 50% with a college degree and debt have $8,200 saved for a down payment. Meanwhile, 58% of Millennials with a college degree and no debt say they have an average of $18,914 saved for a down payment on a home. According to the report, only 25% of Millennial renters will be ab

U.S. housing starts rise 3.8% in October

Housing starts rose 3.8% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.314 million and the pace for September was revised upward, according to the  Department of Housing and Urban Development  and the  Department of Commerce . While household construction is on the rise, Mark Fleming,  First American ’s chief economist, said homebuilders are yet to construct enough homes to meet demand. “ Low mortgage rates ,  rising household income  and a  surge in household formation  among Millennials have significantly boosted demand for housing over the past year,” Fleming said. “However, we have underbuilt new housing relative to  demand  for years. Building will have to exceed household formation for a number of years to reduce the housing stock “debt” we have accumulated.” Single-family starts grew 2% from  last month  to 936,000 units while multifamily starts climbed 6.8% to 362,000 units, according to the report. Single-family completions increased 4.5% to a rate of 897,000,

U.S. homebuilder confidence weakens in November

The nation’s  low-interest rates  and  strong job market  weren’t enough to maintain homebuilder confidence in November as the  National Association of Home Builders  and  Wells Fargo  said sentiment fell 1 point to 70 points in this month’s Housing Market Index. Despite the decline, the November reading now marks the second-highest level in 2019 and is 10 points above the year-ago month. “Single-family builders are currently reporting ongoing positive conditions, spurred in part by low mortgage rates and continued job growth,” NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said.  “In a further sign of solid demand, this is the fourth consecutive month where at least half of all builders surveyed have reported positive buyer traffic conditions.” The index measuring current sales conditions fell to 76 points, while buyer traffic slid to 53 points and sales expectations over the next six months rose to 77. The three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores show the Northeast increased to 62 poi