Friday, May 20, 2016

BOOM: San Fran home prices record high, Two-thirds would struggle to cover $1,000 emergency

With high demand and a tight market, Bay Area housing prices continue to soar, setting record highs in April in Santa Clara and Alameda counties.
The median price of a single-family home in Santa Clara County hit seven figures for the first time last month: $1 million on the button. Prices grew even dizzier in San Mateo County, where the $1.2 million average matched the previous record, set in May 2015.
The East Bay also saw a run-up in prices, with the median Alameda County home reaching $750,000, up more than 10 percent from the previous month. Tugged upward by prices in Walnut Creek and other high-end areas, the median Contra Costa County price grew to $525,000, its steepest in seven years, according to new housing figures released Wednesday.
“We just don’t have a market under $700,000 in Walnut Creek,” said Alain Pinel agent Margaret Garber-Teeter. “And even at $700,000, you’re going to be in second-tier schools. So there’s still an affordability problem for young families, unless their parents help them, and a lot of young families get help.”
US Home Ownership – Massive Downtrend

Poll: Two-thirds of US would struggle to cover $1,000 crisis
NEW YORK (AP) — Two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years of recovery from the Great Recession, Americans’ financial conditions remain precarious as ever.
These financial difficulties span all income levels, according to the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Seventy-five percent of people in households making less than $50,000 a year would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected bill. But when income rose to between $50,000 and $100,000, the difficulty decreased only modestly to 67 percent.
Even for the country’s wealthiest 20 percent — households making more than $100,000 a year — 38 percent say they would have at least some difficulty coming up with $1,000.
“The more we learn about the balance sheets of Americans, it becomes quite alarming,” said Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute focusing on poverty and emergency savings issues.
Harry Spangle is one of those Americans. A 66-year-old former electrician from New Jersey, Spangle said he thought he would always have a job and “lived for today” but lost his job before the downturn. He said he would have to borrow from friends or family in order to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense.

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