With the rate increase and persistent elevation—the higher number is also affecting the Fed’s ability to pay down pandemic induced debt.
Homeownership has been a big part of the classic American dream and deemed the pinnacle of success to many, though today’s volatile housing market is making it difficult to save up for that first home.
City centers are struggling to fill the gap left by commuters who now come into the office a few days a week, if at all. These workers were patrons of downtown businesses, from restaurants to dry cleaners. Without them, offices are desolate and businesses are shuttering. To save these downtowns, cities are trying to turn unused office space into housing. San Francisco officials are making efforts to adjust current building codes and get rid of extra fees for office-to-residential projects. In Washington, D.C., the mayor wants to put more money into a tax relief program for office conversions. Even cities like New York, where many companies have offices, vacancy is becoming a problem. Office vacancy in Manhattan was 15% recently, according to real estate investment firm CBRE. "The commute has crushed a lot of people's willingness to trudge into the office every day," said Jason Alderman, the head of real estate giant Hines' New York office. He said Hines' buildings within a half-mile of the major transit hubs Grand Central and Penn Station have higher occupancy rates than others. But, he added, "buildings that are catering to people — making it exciting to come back to the office or easy to come back to the office — are winning." As demand for other office buildings decreases, Hines is considering office-to-apartment conversion projects. Alderman said the company is actively bidding on properties. Converting an office building into a residential space can be difficult, and that's when the building already has the right structure to work with. A lot of buildings don't — they're too wide, or have the wrong kind of windows, which makes conversion more expensive. But politics may be a greater factor in a project's success. Even as cities try to entice developers to turn office buildings into apartments, they've also installed obstacles. In New York, strict zoning rules already impact which buildings — and in some cases, how many floors — can be converted into housing. Rezoning a property for residential use can be timely and costly. Alderman said approval also requires support from politicians, who often add requirements for affordable housing a developer may be unable to afford. Source: NPR
A recent Axios/Ipsos polling on retirement finds that about one in five Americans believe they will never retire. Financial worries are the main reasons people feel they can’t retire. When it comes to how Americans finance retirement, few feel Social Security will cover most of their expenses. Instead, most Americans—both retired and those who aren’t—look to retirement accounts to finance this life stage. Interestingly, majorities of retired Americans lean on pensions in their retirement, while few Americans who aren’t retired plan to do the same. Likewise, many Americans report never talking to friends, family, or a financial planner about saving for retirement. Most Americans feel that the point of working hard is to enjoy retirement and spend time with friends and family. Majorities of retirees say it’s easier to take care of their mental, emotional, and physical health after retirement, while fewer people who aren’t retired agree. Most Americans who are retired say they feel better than ever now that they’ve retired. Among the people who don’t think they’ll ever retire, a decisive majority (70%) say that they won’t ever retire because they can’t or won’t be able to afford to retire, versus 19% of people who just don’t want to retire (an additional 10% picked ‘other’ as a response). Source: Ipso