Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, December 29, 2020

Numbers don’t lie, especially in real estate. But amid the ever-escalating property values for houses, the share of family income necessary to make the mortgage payments has decreased compared to 20 years ago, meaning it’s actually more affordable to buy these days.

Unless you’re looking in the usual hotspots, like New York, Miami and California. But outside of the happenin’ spots:

In Dallas, the share of income needed to buy a typical house has fallen to 13 percent this year, from 14 percent in 1995 and 31 percent in 1980. In Tampa, it has dropped to 21 percent, from 26 percent in 1980. Even in New England, where the soaring prices of the last decades have frustrated many young families, house values have still not reached the heights of the early 1980’s, when calculated as a share of income.

“Over 20 years, affordability has definitely improved because interest rates are much lower,” said Kenneth T. Rosen, chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economic Research at the University of California, Berkeley. Houses have also grown bigger during that time, he said, so people are getting more for their money.

Relative measures like this are clearer than reports of absolute numbers. The context is easier to grasp. Doesn’t make it easier to come up with the down payment, of course (unless you go the double-mortgage route).

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/29/2005 10:00:42 PM
Category: Society
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In space, no one can hear you scream ask for a bag of peanuts. Prepping for the future hordes who’ll be visiting Lunar Disneyland, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued premilinary regulations for space tourists before they board that big rocket.

The 123-page report does not cover box-cutters or cigarette lighters, though.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/29/2005 09:24:16 PM
Category: Politics, Science, Society
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dope rhymin'
Someone must have slipped up — “Saturday Night Live” actually did something funny for a change.

“Lazy Sunday”, aka “The Chronic(What?)les of Narnia” (also available for download via iTunes) is the geekiest whiteboy rap-quest you’re ever likely to see. I particularly liked the “I’m Ghost like Swayze” bit.

This little piece of filmed merriment isn’t enough to reverse a full decade of suckiness by “SNL”. But it’s a start, I suppose.

(Via Lost Remote)

UPDATE: Josh Levin at Slate annoints the clip with a post-modernist oldschool hip-hop video sensibility. I can see where he’s coming from, but I can’t help but think it sounds like grousing for the “good ol’ days” of rap, and how the current lineup doesn’t measure up. And before “SNL” becomes an influencer on the music, it ought to try becoming relevent in a comic vein first.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/29/2005 08:40:56 PM
Category: Comedy, Movies, TV
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