Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Housing’
Project America - Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Housing’

Enrollment Surge Creates Pressures on Community Colleges
Published Monday, August 3rd, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

Contrary to a system that is based on open admission to higher education all, community colleges now have to contemplate turning away students. The reasons for such a reversal of principle are fueled by the current recession, an enrollment surge greater than the past 2 decades, and tight state budgets. Normally, an economic downturn would boost community college enrollment.  Yet, the current recession poses a three sided crush of students who are out of work and looking for a career boost, limited to lower tuition choices by a tighter credit market, and threat of home foreclosure requiring extra income. The tuition for a four year university and a two year community college is drastically different in that private 4-year is $25,143 and public 4-year is $6,585.  Community college is less than $2000 on average.

The Obama Administration has planned to add $12 billion to the community college budget over the next decade, yet there is no immediate relief in sight. The most up-to-date information on college enrollment suggests that the growing enrollment is coming from the Hispanic college age population, which increased nearly 4 percentage points to 57.9% between 2005 and 2006. The enrollment by the white population decreased by 4.7 percentage points to 68.5%, and blacks had a -0.2 point change during the same time period to 55.5%.

Housing Prices Slow Their Decent in May According to Index
Published Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

In the last week, there has been some good news and bad news in the housing market, depending on whether you are a buyer or seller. For the seller, the good news comes from the Case-Schiller 20-City home price index: existing housing was up 0.5% in May over April, the first increase since April of last year. This means that housing prices were falling at a slower pace in May than in April. Also, new-home sales spiked 11% in June over May, which is remarkable giving the market’s slump in June, the worst month since 1982. Yet, many are finding that their homes will not sell in such a tough market, which may have contributed to the number of residential renovation permits to jump 10-15% in the last 18 months. For the buyer, the glut in the market, while good for a while, has now begun to impact median prices as demand increases.

Also, overall new commercial and residential construction spending during May 2009 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $964 billion, which is 0.9% below the revised April estimate and 11.6% below the May 2008 estimate of $1090.7 billion. Of that number, residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $240.2 billion in May, 3.4% below the revised April estimate of $248.8 billion, adding to the lower value of newly constructed homes.

South Supplies Larger Houses Desired by Today’s Buyers
Published Thursday, July 16th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

According to the US Census Bureau’s 30-year report on housing trends, which studies trends from 1975-2005, neighborhoods nationwide reflect changes over time in consumer tastes. The old split levels that dotted America have been replaced with modern houses that have higher ceilings, multiple garages and more square footage. In order to accomodate these requirements, these new houses generally sit on smaller lots. Another trend points to upscale kitchens and baths, outdoor kitchens, larger closets, more natural light and updated curb appeal. The “green” trend also permeates buyer’s desires in the form of new products that are energy efficient, plus high-tech homes that are built into housing structures such as wireless and Energy Management Systems or “smart” meters.

Meeting the desires of home buyers is a marriage of knowing the trends and the limits of what your neighborhood can support. The overall size of privately owned housing units shows that the largest growing housing market, the South, is fulfilling that desire for larger housing by nearly double that of its closest competitors, the Midwest and West.