Ups and downs in the market

The Debt Report: Ups and downs

Homes: Millennial malaise

Even though the economy is officially rebounding, home ownership will keep falling — and millennials are to blame.

“The national home ownership rate fell in the second quarter, and a majority of experts said they expect it to fall further in coming years as the millennial generation delays home purchases and the age of typical first-time home buyers rises,” says a new report from online marketplace Zillow.

The website assembled a panel of 104 experts to opine on the latest data. The grand conclusions…

  • In 2013, the typical first-time homebuyer was 31. Over the next 10 years, more than half of the panelists expect that to rise to 32 or 33, while nearly a quarter predict 34 or higher.
  • Most panelists think median home values will end the year up 4.6 percent, while interest rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage will reach 5.3 percent by mid-2016. Both those numbers make it tough for millennials to get into a home.

Jobs: Guys rule

In July, the United States added 209,000 new jobs — and men got hired for nearly two-thirds of them.

“Women gained 68,000 jobs, while men gained 141,000,” says a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Although the total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered, men are still short 392,000 jobs from their pre-recession peak, having recovered 94 percent of jobs they lost.”


Shopping: Who are “boomeroomers”?

First, there was showrooming. You drove to the store, found items you liked, then went home to buy them cheaper online.

Then came webrooming, which was the opposite. You researched items online but bought them in the store, sometimes scoring a deal by pointing out how much cheaper you could get them with a click of a button.

Now there’s boomerooming, which combines both. You research products online, then drive to the store to check them out in person, then drive home and find the best price online.

Who came up with the word boomerooming? Who knows. But a recent study shows how popular it is, at least in the United Kingdom — 62 percent of U.K. customers have done it. Can’t wait for the U.S. study.

Cars: Summer sales up or down?

You’ve heard the expression, “A man with two watches never knows what time it is”? Try figuring out how auto sales are going by reading these two surveys…

  • Kelley Blue Book: New-Car Transaction Prices Rise 2 Percent In July 2014
  • TrueCar: New Vehicle Transaction Prices in July Decline 1.2 Percent Year-Over-Year

I’ve diligently studied both methodologies and can’t figure out why these competing companies came to such different conclusions. If you can, explain in the comments below and I’ll send you a $10 Amazon gift certificate if it seems to make sense.

Travel: Labor Day airfare

If you’re flying somewhere for Labor Day, says today is the best time to book your flight. “Failing to book Labor Day flights before Aug. 9 could cost travelers an additional 30 percent or more,” the site declared Monday, after analyzing prices and dates from “years past.” It concluded that today was “a clear sweet spot” for the best bargains.

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