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Category Archives: Housing

Presentations about the Budget Outlook – CBO

Doug Elmendorf, CBO Director, at the Macroeconomic Advisers’ 24th Annual Washington Policy Seminar: “I was very pleased to speak last week at Macroeconomic Advisers’ Washington Policy Seminar and at Cornell University. (See my slides for the first talk and my slides for the second talk.) In both presentations I described CBO’s updated outlook for the federal budget under current law (based on An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024) and the sharp shift in the composition of federal spending that is occurring:

  • The retirement of the baby boomers will increase the number of Americans age 65 or over from about 46 million today to about 61 million ten years from now. As a result, spending for Social Security is projected to rise relative to the size of the economy, from 4.9 percent of GDP in 2014 to 5.6 percent in 2024, under current law.
  • The expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance, rising health care costs per person, and the retirement of the baby boomers will push up federal spending for the major health care programs—Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and subsidies being provided through insurance exchanges. Such spending (net of premiums paid by Medicare beneficiaries and some other offsetting receipts) is 4.9 percent of GDP in 2014 and under current law will be 5.9 percent in 2024, CBO projects.
  • The strengthening economy will generate a marked increase in interest rates during the next few years, CBO expects. That rise in rates, along with growing federal debt, causes net interest payments by the federal government to jump from 1.3 percent of GDP in 2014 to 3.0 percent in 2024 in CBO’s baseline projections.
  • However, the improvement in the economy and limits set by law on the annual funding that can be provided for defense and for a range of nondefense activities (including highways, elementary and secondary education, housing assistance, veterans’ health care, and more) will cause spending for other programs to increase much more slowly than the economy. All federal spending apart from that for Social Security, the major health care programs, and net interest is 9.3 percent of GDP in 2014 and 7.3 percent in 2024 in CBO’s baseline projections. That latter amount is the smallest figure for that category since at least 1940, the earliest year for which comparable data have been reported.”

NY Fed Finds Consumers Expect Lower Home Price Growth but Improved Credit Availability

“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released results from its August 2014 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE), which provides insight into Americans’ views on inflation, prices, the labor market and household finance. The median home price change expectation at the one-year ahead horizon in August was 3.5 percent, its lowest reading since the dataContinue Reading

Additional 2013 Characteristics of New Housing

“The U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, which is jointly funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has released new annual characteristics tables. This release includes never before published data on age-restricted developments, presence of homeowners association, sewer and water systems, framing material and laundry. The report provides estimates of new privately ownedContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Education of homeless students, World Trade Center Health Program, SNAP

EDUCATION OF HOMELESS STUDENTS: Improved Program Oversight Needed, GAO-14-465: Published: Jul 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 2014. WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH PROGRAM: Approach Used to Add Cancers to List of Covered Conditions Was Reasonable, but Could Be Improved, GAO-14-606: Published: Jul 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 22, 2014. SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Enhanced Detection Tools and Reporting Could Improve Efforts toContinue Reading

New FICO Score Model to Help Expand Consumer Access to Credit

Tara Siegel Bernard – NYT: “The creator of one of the most widely used and influential credit scores, FICO, said on Thursday that the latest version of its score would no longer weigh medical debts — which account for about half of all unpaid collections on consumers’ credit reports — as heavily as it didContinue Reading

Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households

“In its new Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, the Federal Reserve Board provides a snapshot of the self-perceived financial and economic well-being of U.S. households and the issues they face, based on responses to the Board’s 2013 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking. The report provides insight into numerous topics of current relevance toContinue Reading

Why Is the Economy Still Weak? Blame These Five Sectors – NYT

Neil Irwin: “The economy keeps underperforming. Yes, new G.D.P. data last week were better than expected. But the United States is still producing around $800 billion a year less in goods and services than it would if the economy were at full health, and as a result millions of people aren’t working who would be ifContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Data Transparency, Manufactured Housing

DATA TRANSPARENCY: Oversight Needed to Address Underreporting and Inconsistencies on Federal Award Website, GAO-14-476: Published: Jun 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2014: “Although agencies generally reported required contract information, they did not properly report information on assistance awards (e.g., grants or loans), totaling approximately $619 billion in fiscal year 2012. Specifically, 33 of 37 agencies withContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Budget Issues, Combatting Nuclear Smuggling, Federal Real Property, 401(K) Plans, Medicaid Financing, Flood Insurance, USDA Farm Programs

BUDGET ISSUES: Opportunities to Reduce Federal Fiscal Exposures Through Greater Resilience to Climate Change and Extreme Weather, GAO-14-504T: Published: Jul 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014. COMBATING NUCLEAR SMUGGLING: Past Work and Preliminary Observations on Research and Development at the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, GAO-14-783T: Published: Jul 29, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014. FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY: Better Guidance andContinue Reading

Debt in America

Debt in America by Caroline Ratcliffe, Signe-Mary McKernan, Brett Theodos, Emma Kalish, Additional Authors. July 2014. “Debt can be constructive, allowing people to build equity in homes or finance education, but it can also burden families into the future. Total debt is driven by mortgage debt; both are highly concentrated in high-cost housing markets, mostly along the coasts. Among AmericansContinue Reading

In Post-Recession Era, Young Adults Drive Continuing Rise in Multi-Generational Living

“A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population of the United States, lived in multi-generational family households in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980. After three decades of steady but measured growth, the arrangement of having multiple generations together under one roof spiked during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 andContinue Reading

2014 CoreLogic Storm Surge Analysis

News release: “CoreLogic®, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its 2014 storm surge analysis featuring estimates on both the number and reconstruction value of single-family homes exposed to hurricane-driven storm surge risk within the United States. According to the findings, more than 6.5 million homes along the U.S. Atlantic and GulfContinue Reading