Almost everything is up, and that's mostly bad news for consumers.

Homes: Values up 7 percent from a year ago

First, the good news. The waters continue to recede from the real estate market — at record speeds in some places.

“A total of 11 states, plus the District of Columbia, reached new highs in the Home Price Index dating back to January 1976 when the index started,” Analytics company CoreLogic says. “These states are Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.”

Arkansas was the only state to see a decline of nearly 1 percent. Overall, home prices rose 7.4 percent from July 2013 to July 2014. The company estimates a smaller increase of 5.7 percent for the coming year.

Hotels: Nearing 2007 peaks

For whatever reason, this is the week for releasing updated HPIs. This one is for much more temporary homes, but the Hotel Price Index shows the same trend: up.

The average hotel price in the first half of 2014 was $137 per night, up 5 percent from that period in 2013. That’s the highest since before the recession.

The biggest increases were in Nashville (20 percent), San Francisco, and Seattle (both 12 percent). Prices in Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, and Reno actually dropped 1 percent — the only major cities to do so.

New cars: Prices up 2 percent from a year ago

If you’ve waited since last August to buy a car, expect to pay $751 more for it now, according to car-trading site TrueCar. That works out to a 2.4 percent increase.

Counteracting that was higher incentive spending, the industry term for rebates and other things to get you on the lot. That was up 9.3 percent, or $236, over the same period.

The funny part? TrueCar breaks out average price changes by automaker, and the biggest hike is nearly 13 percent — from none other than the king of recalls, GM.

Auto loans: Less for people with bad credit

Experian Automotive, a branch of the credit bureau that is focused on car loan data, says people with poor credit are getting a smaller share of auto loans. Their share of new car loans has shrunk by 7 percentage points in the past year, and their share of used car loans 10 percent.

People are taking out bigger loans for used cars, too, but their monthly payments aren’t going up — meaning they’re paying more in interest. Meanwhile, interest rates and the credit scores needed for the loan continue to climb slow but steady.

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Meet the Author

Brandon Ballenger

Brandon Ballenger


Ballenger is a writer for and its first political columnist.

Credit & Debt

auto loans, hotels

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Article last modified on November 16, 2015 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: This week's Debt Report - AMP.