The year-over-year change in rental prices leaped from a recent low of 1.8% in Q2 2021 to 8.6% in Q2 2023. Now, nine states have median market rents topping $2,000 per month. Here are the states and metros with the highest rent prices in the nation. Click for more.U.S. Cities With the Highest Rent Prices
The St. Helena City Council has designated the former City Hall sites on Main Street and Railroad Avenue as surplus land, starting a process that could end with the sale of both properties.
Past councils have talked about pursuing a hotel at the Main Street site and affordable housing at the Railroad Avenue location. The current council didn’t identify potential uses on Tuesday. Instead its members focused on the state’s Surplus Land Act, which gives affordable housing developers first crack at both sites.
Before moving ahead with a sale, the Surplus Land Act requires the city to send a Notice of Availability to qualified affordable housing developers, which would have 60 days to indicate interest. Then the city and the developers would have 90 days to negotiate a deal. (The city couldn’t be forced to sell the land for less than fair market value.)
People are also reading…
If no agreement is reached, the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development could authorize the city to sell the land.
That whole process could last until next July, or sooner if no affordable housing developers show interest.
Selling one or both properties could raise much-needed money for a city that faces an operational gap of about $6.9 million per year and a long list of unfunded capital projects.
The former City Hall/police station at 1480 Main St. was abandoned at the end of 2019 due to smoke damage. The property was appraised at $4.9 million.
The second surplus parcel is at 1572/1574 Railroad Ave. 1572 was used as a temporary City Hall until city employees moved to the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus. 1574 is occupied by the Parks & Recreation Department, which could move to the Carnegie Building or Crane Park to free up the space.
The Railroad Avenue property was appraised at $3.1 million, and rezoning it would drive up its value.
Mayor Paul Dohring said he’s “committed to getting some housing on one of our properties.”
“I don’t want this to be focused totally on revenue,” he said. “We have to make a compromise there.”
The Surplus Land Act process could give the city a better idea of what’s possible on both sites. For example, developers could get creative by proposing commercial development on one site to finance affordable housing on the other.
Aside from the Surplus Land Act, there are other options to consider before the city sells the land.
The firehouse sits on the Main Street property, but City Manager Anil Comelo proposed a lot split that would allow for the sale of the City Hall/police station site without affecting the firehouse.
The city could also partially vacate the area of Pine Street known as Britton Way to enhance the property’s functionality.
As early as Dec. 12, the council could consider demolishing the old City Hall/police station and soliciting proposals for short-term use of the property.
Metros with the biggest housing shortages
Metros with the biggest housing shortages
Where shortages are happening
#15. Williamsport, Pennsylvania
#14. Youngstown, Ohio
#13. Trenton, New Jersey
#12. Manhattan, Kansas
#11. Salinas, California
#10. Syracuse, New York
#9. Lawrence, Kansas
#8. Springfield, Illinois
#7. Jefferson City, Missouri
#6. St. Joseph, Missouri
#5. Huntington, West Virginia
#4. Vineland, New Jersey
#3. Cape Girardeau, Missouri
#2. Anchorage, Alaska
#1. Scranton, Pennsylvania
You can reach Jesse Duarte at (707) 967-6803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTINENTAL, OH (WLIO) – A Putnam County family is getting a new home for the holidays, thanks to a lot of volunteers and Habitat for Humanity.
“It means a lot to me and my kids,” says Jamie Dudgeon, Homeowner. “It’s going to be a great home. It’s also going to teach me stuff and I just thank everyone that has helped tremendously. I just really appreciate it and it’s from the bottom of my heart. I just want to thank everybody.”
In around 20 weeks, Jamie Dudgeon new house went from a piece of ground to a home and future for her and her daughters. This is the 13th complete home that the Putnam County Habitat has built and it could have been their smoothest from start to finish.
“Really, we have such a dedicated group of volunteers that stepped right in from the last build. They were ready to go,” says Anne Coburn-Griffis, Ex. Dir. Putnam Co. Habitat for Humanity. “The family dove right in and worked very hard. Also, the village of Continental has been very supportive in the program and they help expedite the process as well.”
For Dudgeon, her new house is like a dream come true.
“It feels wonderful. Finally, a house of our own,” adds Dudgeon. “I am 46 years old, and I never thought I would be able to have a house of my own and now I do.”
“To know that they are going to move in within a week or two, it is really a feeling of accomplishment,” says Teresa Lammers, Putnam County Habitat for Humanity Board Member and Family Advocate. “It speaks so well of the Putnam County people and the numbers it took to build this house.”
While the Putnam County Habitat may not be putting up new homes every year, they are making sure that people are living safe and comfortable in the county year-round.
“All year round, 365 days a year, I think we do Critical Home Repair,” adds Coburn-Griffis. “So, where we don’t do complete homes, we do an awful lot of things to keep people living in their homes safely and decently.”
This is the 3rd home that Habitat for Humanity has built in Continental.
Copyright 2023 by Lima Communications Corporation. All rights reserved.
When Amazon launched in 1995, founder Jeff Bezos had a fairly modest goal. He wanted to disrupt the book-selling business. Bookstores, by their very nature, were inefficient because customers were encouraged to browse, handle the merchandise, and linger in stores without spending any actual money.
Amazon (AMZN) – Get Free Report, by getting rid of the brick-and-mortar store, lowered costs and decimated the industry. Two major bookstore chains Borders Books and Waldenbooks closed while the remaining industry titan, Barnes & Noble, got smaller and was at times at risk of going under itself.
What is Amazon trying to do?
Amazon tries to disrupt car sales (sort of)
Parade aims to feature only the best products and services. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.
Yeti products almost never go on sale, but right now, in a rare turn of events, you can score major discounts on the brand’s most popular items during Amazon’s massive Black Friday sale that ends on Cyber Monday (Nov. 27). Now is the time to buy quality drinkware that keeps beverages cold and hot for hours on end for less.
More Can’t-Miss Black Friday 2023 Deals:
Long past its painful peak, inflation in the United States may be heading steadily back toward its pre-pandemic levels, without the need for further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
Such a scenario became more likely, if hardly guaranteed, after Nov. 14’s surprisingly tame report on consumer prices for October. The Labor Department’s data showed a broad-based easing of inflation across most goods and services. The price of gas? Down. Appliances? Down. Autos? Down. Same for airfares, hotel rooms and doctors’ fees.
Overall inflation didn’t rise from September to October, the first time that consumer prices collectively haven’t budged from one month to another in more than a year. Compared with a year earlier, prices rose 3.2% in October, the smallest such rise since June, though still above the Fed’s 2% inflation target.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation was just 0.2% last month, slightly below the pace of the previous two months. Measured year over year, core prices rose 4% in October, down from 4.1% in September, the smallest rise in two years.
People are also reading…
“The inflation fever has broken,” said Bill Adams, chief economist at Comerica Bank. “Rising petroleum production is holding down gas prices, house prices are rising more slowly after mortgage rates surged in 2023 and rents are also rising more gradually” as more apartment buildings are completed.
October’s milder-than-expected price figures make it much less likely that the Fed will impose another rate hike. Many economists now say that the Fed’s most likely next move will be to cut rates, likely sometime next year, though that would depend on whether inflation continues to cool.
What’s driving inflation lower?
A major factor has been a big improvement in the supply of many things — workers, housing and components for manufactured goods.
Millions of Americans have come off the sidelines in the past year and flooded back into the workforce, seeking and (mostly) finding jobs. Immigration has increased, too, and with it more people looking for work. With more hires available, businesses haven’t had to raise wages as much to fill jobs, thereby easing the pressure on those businesses to raise their prices.
At the same time, the largest number of new apartment buildings nationwide in decades are being completed, a trend that is helping slow rent increases. Rental costs, after a spike in September, rose at a much more gradual pace last month.
Rents and other housing costs are likely to keep coming down, economists say, as the cost of new leases continues to fall, according to real-time data providers such as Zillow. Those lower prices show up in the government’s data with a lag.
And the supply chains that were badly snarled during the pandemic have pretty much unwound. An ample availability of products, parts and components help keep a lid on their prices. Automakers, for example, are having a much easier time finding semiconductors.
Partly as a result, new car prices declined last month, defying fears that the now-settled autoworkers’ strike would reduce dealers’ inventories and send prices higher. Used car prices, too, are down. They fell for a fifth straight month in October and have tumbled 7% from a year ago.
“We’re finally undoing that and getting the benefits,” Austan Goolsbee, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said Tuesday in remarks at the Detroit Economic Club.
Separately, consumers are widely expected to pull back on spending after a blowout summer, with credit card debts — and delinquencies — rising and average savings falling. Cooler demand should force businesses to compete more on price.
Gas costs have kept falling this month, with the national average price at the pump averaging $3.35 Tuesday, down 42 cents from a year earlier. Those prices declines could push overall inflation, measured year-over-year, below 3% by December.
Aren’t things still pretty expensive?
Yes, inflation is still painfully apparent in many areas. They include auto and health insurance and some groceries, like beef and bread.
The average cost of auto insurance, which jumped 1.9% just from September to October, has soared nearly 20% from a year earlier. As new and used vehicles have grown more expensive, so has the cost of insuring them. And health insurance prices rose 1.1% last month, though that was largely due to a change in the government’s methodology.
But even as overall price increases slow, it doesn’t mean inflation is reversing or that most prices are falling back to pre-pandemic levels. The consumer price index, the most widely followed measure of inflation, remains about 20% higher than it was before the pandemic.
Milk prices, which have ticked down compared with the past year, are still 23% higher than they were pre-pandemic. Ground beef prices are 31% higher. Gas prices, despite a steep decline from a year ago, are still 46% higher than before the pandemic.
Many economists say a key reason why so many Americans hold a gloomy view of the economy despite very low unemployment and steady hiring is that these prices — on items that they buy regularly — remain much higher than they were three years ago.
Are paychecks keeping up?
Barring a deep and painful recession, prices aren’t going to fall to their pre-pandemic levels. Instead, economists say, Americans’ wages need to rise to help pay for the higher costs.
Wages and salaries trailed inflation in 2021 and 2022, exacerbating the pain of higher prices. Yet this year, as inflation has cooled, average pay has pulled ahead of inflation. By most measures, average paychecks, adjusted for inflation, are back to where they were before the pandemic.
Yet that essentially means that Americans, on average, have had scant real pay increases compared with three years ago. And while average pay may be back to pre-pandemic levels, many people have received below-average pay raises and are still behind inflation.
How might the Federal Reserve respond?
The Fed will likely welcome last Tuesday’s report as evidence of further progress toward getting inflation back to its target of 2%. Fed officials, led by Chair Jerome Powell, are considering whether their benchmark rate is high enough to quell inflation or if they need to impose another increase in coming months.
Powell said recently that Fed officials were “not confident” that rates were sufficiently high to tame inflation. The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate 11 times in the past year and a half, to about 5.4%, the highest level in 22 years.
But the central bank has raised its key rate just once since May. Since its last meeting on Nov. 1, a government report showed that hiring cooled in October compared with September, and wage growth slowed, thereby easing pressure on companies to raise prices in the coming months.
Adams, the Comerica economist, said he thinks the Fed’s most likely next move will be to cut rates, likely by mid-2024.
The Fed’s rate hikes have increased the costs of mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and many forms of business borrowing, part of a concerted drive to slow growth and cool inflation pressures. The central bank is trying to achieve a “soft landing” — raising borrowing costs just enough to curb inflation without tipping the economy into a deep recession.
Said Eric Winograd, chief economist at AB Global, an asset management firm: “They look like they are on course to generate a soft landing. There’s no guarantee that they will actually manage to accomplish it. But right now, that’s the story that the data are telling.”
Home sales in six Forsyth County residential markets included in U.S. Treasury-certified “opportunity zones” continue to produce mixed results, according to a third-quarter report released by Attom Data Solutions.
Opportunity zones, launched in May 2018, are economically-distressed census tracts qualified to receive private investments.
The program was created by Congress and is designed to connect those tracts with investors, offering tax credits and other incentives.
All but one of the 11 Forsyth tracts are in the central part of Winston-Salem. They account for more than 25,000 residents. They are among 47 in the Triad and 252 statewide.
The Forsyth tracts reviewed by Attom for the third quarter are:
Tract 1 in the central business district. The average sales price was $413,750, compared with $268,000 in the second quarter and $190,000 a year ago.
People are also reading…
Tract 3.02 in the Kimberly Park neighborhood. The average sales price was $71,000, compared with $81,000 in the second quarter and $75,000 a year ago.
Tract 14, which contains Whitaker Park, a 1.7-million-square-foot former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. plant. The average home sale price was $107,500, compared with $150,000 in the second quarter and a year ago.
The campus is part of a high-profile renovation project being undertaken by Whitaker Park Development Authority Inc. and Cavalier Winston Development, an affiliate of Frye Properties of Norfolk, Va.
Tract 16.02, Smith Reynolds Airport and neighborhoods south of the airport. The average home sale price was $62,500, compared with $50,000 in the second quarter. There was no sales during the third quarter of 2022.
Tract 17, which contains Lakeside Villas multifamily housing development. The average home sale price when the opportunity zone program began was $143,000. It has since fluctuated from a low of $55,000 in the third quarter of 2020 to $214,000 in the third quarter of 2022. It was $167,000 in the second quarter and $210,000 a year ago.
Tract 33.13, which contains Horneytown Road. The average home sale price was $235,000, compared with $277,500 in the second quarter and $296,500 a year ago.
Not reviewed for the third quarter were: Tract 2 in the central business district; Tract 3.01 in the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood; Tract 7 contains Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem; Tract 8.01, which encompasses Winston-Salem State University, the UNC School of the Arts and Happy Hill neighborhood; and Tract 8.02 covers the Atkins Community Development Corp.
Winston-Salem city officials consider opportunity zones as another “tool in the economic and community development toolbox that can be used to help spur private development and redevelopment in some of the areas in our community that have not seen the growth.”
There are 12 tracts in Guilford County, along with four in Alamance, three each in Randolph, Rockingham, Surry and Wilkes, two in Davidson and one each in Alleghany, Ashe, Davie, Stokes, Watauga and Yadkin.
The certified “opportunity zones” list for North Carolina has at least one low-income census tract in each of the state’s 100 counties.
Median home sale prices in the United States have nearly doubled in the past decade to $422,000 in July 2023. That’s up from $220,000 in July 2013. Although prices are trending higher nationwide, affordability is significantly different by state.
An analysis of recent data provided by Redfin, a national real estate brokerage firm, shows the Midwest and South have the lowest median house prices in the United States, making these regions the most affordable relative to income.
Because of rising real estate prices, housing on the west and east coasts is the least affordable, along with certain Rocky Mountain states and Hawaii. However, many states across the Midwest and South have housing prices below $350,000, with some counties seeing prices below $150,000.
Housing Prices Increasing
Homes everywhere are increasingly unaffordable relative to income because median sale prices climbed quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the national median home price was $304,000, and continued to escalate because of low rates, demand, and availability.
Before the lockdown, low mortgage rates made new and used homes more affordable for many people in America. A $500,000 house with a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of 4% has a monthly cost of $2,005. The same home bought with a 7% rate has a $2,794 monthly payment — a $789 difference.
Because rates were below 4% from early 2019 to mid-2022, Americans invested in real estate, causing prices to rise.
At the same time, housing inventory declined. After peaking in 2006, home construction was below average for many years, causing demand to outstrip supply, putting upward pressure on house prices.
Least Expensive States in The Midwest and South
The Midwest and South contain the top five low-housing cost states, which lead the country in affordability.
Iowa The Most Affordable State
Iowa has the lowest median sale price of $239,000 in 2022. The state is primarily rural but has smaller cities like Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City. Additionally, the population is relatively small and growing at only 0.3% annually, keeping demand and, thus, housing prices low. According to the Federal Reserve, the state’s median income was $76,320, making housing relatively cheap for families.
Ohio’s Declining Population Limits Home Price Gains
Ohio is the second most affordable state, with a median sale price of $249,000. The state is more industrialized than Iowa but still has a significant agricultural industry. In addition, Ohio has three large cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. Based on the state’s median income of $67,520, housing is less affordable than in other Midwestern states. Also, Ohio’s population is declining, suggesting home prices will gain little.
Oklahoma Most Affordable State Outside The Midwest
Oklahoma has the third-lowest median sale price of $256,000. The state is largely rural, with two main cities: Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Oklahoma’s median household income is below Iowa’s and Ohio’s at $63,440. As a result, its residents pay a higher percentage of their income for housing costs. Oklahoma’s population is gaining 1.5% annually, so real estate prices should continue to rise.
Most Expensive States on The West and East Coasts
On the other end of the scale, California was unsurprisingly the most expensive state to buy a home. In fact, the most expensive states are concentrated on the West Coast, Northeast, and a few Rocky Mountain states, attracting people from other parts of the United States, like Utah and Colorado. The three least affordable states are California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.
High Demand Makes California Expensive
Housing in California is costly. Prices continue to rise because of demand, insufficient construction, and labor costs. In 2022, the median house price was $799,000 — more than three times the price of Iowa. Median household incomes are higher at $85,300, but are generally not enough to account for the sale price differences. After years of growth, California’s population has declined in the past couple of years, but not enough to impact affordability.
Homes in Hawaii Are Expensive
Hawaii is next on the list, with a median home price of $713,000. The state has strict permitting requirements, and as a result, construction cannot meet demand. Therefore, housing prices have risen. Besides expensive housing, Hawaii also has the highest cost of living, making it challenging to make a simple 50/30/20 budget strategy work and purchase a home, too. Household incomes are high, too, at $91,010, but the extraordinary cost of living expenses reduces buying power. One advantage, though, is the state has the lowest property tax rate in the country.
Massachusetts Home Prices Are Rising Fast
Massachusetts is third, with a median house price of $640,000. The state is building more luxury, high-end residences, and not enough affordable housing. Demand is also high because the population grows in most years, drawn by high-paying jobs in healthcare, information technology, and education. In fact, the median household income of $93,550 is among the highest in the country. The combination of forces driving prices higher is unlikely to subside.
The Bottom Line About Real Estate Affordability
Real estate prices have risen faster than incomes. Consequently, already expensive markets are now pricier than ever. Based on median home prices, the Midwest and South lead the country in affordability, especially after considering household incomes.
That said, rising mortgage rates mean it may be prudent to wait until they change direction. High mortgage rates hinder selling and buying.
Arnie Nicola of Pregnancy and Motherhood says, “We had planned to buy a house and the high interest rates pushed up monthly payments and brought down our home value below our expected selling price, so ultimately we decided to just hold.”