Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week we’re taking a BYTE out of family homes, inventory, AR ads, electric vehicles, and consumer sentiment. Dig in!
My How Times Change
Compared to a decade ago there are 3.6 million fewer families with minor kids who own their home.
Limited starter-home inventory, recovery from the recession, and a declining birthrate in the U.S. are being cited as the main reasons for the big drop. Not only are there 3.6 million fewer families, the number of renter families has increased 1.9 million over the same time range. Almost every large metro is seeing a surge in renting families with children. The Charlotte, NC area saw the biggest increase in renting families jumping 73%. A new report from the Urban Institute takes us through a deep dive of exactly how millennials actually compare to previous generations. Some big takeaways include, millennials starting their families and owning homes later, about 8 percentage points lower than baby boomers. A big reason for buying homes later is millennials want to live in big cities, where the price of buying a home is simply out of reach for most.
A Good Trend
Nationwide housing inventory increased 12.2% in Q2 of 2018. 30 of the 100 largest metros saw inventory increases compared to this time last year. Nashville and Salt Lake City saw the largest gains at 52% and 48.6% increases respectively. Since a lack of inventory has been in the news a lot lately this is a trend we hope to continue to see. While this is a step in the right direction, year-over-year home prices are still up 5.8%. Hopefully we will continue to see the inventory rise and that will eventually help with affordability around the country.
Facebook has started using Augmented Reality ads within the app. Currently the activation is being used so buyers can “try on” sunglasses. While this is a niche product and use case at the moment this is a big moment for AR, being natively used to sell a product. This could possibly lead to more opportunities for AR uses from other industries, such as being able to “tour” a floorplan right from Facebook.
Electric Comes Standard
A report out of the UK government this week says that it will soon mandate electric vehicle chargers in new homes. This is part of the country’s big push to move away from gas/diesel by 2040. This is happening across the pond, but it could be a sign of something that could start happening around the world.
A new study showed nearly a quarter of people thought it was a bad time to buy a home. The primary reason they thought it was a bad time was because of high home prices. The last time prices were this high was in August 2004 and at that time only 13% said price was the main reason not to buy, now it’s 22%.
Are you one of those people that can’t even keep cacti alive? This robotic spider pot might be just the thing. It moves your plant in and out of the light if gets too hot, while scaring you at the same time.