News Alerts, Aug. 27, 2013, Afternoon Edition, 3 New Articles, Real Estate +, Don't Miss Them

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  1. JPMorgan Sub-New Normal Growth Seen Vexing Next Fed Chief – Bloomberg

    Not what we want to hear:

    The next chairman of the Federal Reserve faces an alarming possibility: the new normal for the economy is even worse than advertised.

    The long-run potential growth rate for gross domestic product has slid to around 1 3/4 percent per year, from an average rise in GDP of 2 1/2 percent since 1990, according to economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by assets. That would be the lowest level since World War II and below the 2 percent mark that Pacific Investment Management Co. pegged as the new normal for the economy.

    We saw what the Sequester did, the payroll-tax increase, and just the fear of future Fed tapering on bond purchases. Let's stop shooting ourselves in the feet. There are ways to vastly increase productivity, etc., without causing price inflation.

    We wish the rather insulated economists were less so, so they'd listen to ideas coming from beyond their circle.

    Read the source article …  /jpmorgan-sub-new-normal-growth-seen-co nfronting-next-fed-chief.html

  2. Soaring rents force lifestyle changes | Local News | The Seattle Times

    Even after hundreds of other units opened up in Seattle this year, demand and rent prices have continued to move up and show no signs of settling down soon.

    For renters and homeowners, market forces are permanently altering the familiar face of many neighborhoods. While wealthy newcomers are helping to revitalize neighborhood business districts, the reality is that many renters, saddled by stagnant wages, are being forced to reexamine lifestyle choices and, in some cases, move out of Seattle altogether.

    Low housing inventory, a growing population of young tech-company workers and changing attitudes about when to buy a home are all contributing to rent increases throughout the Seattle metro area.

    Affordable, low-income rentals should be a goal. Many people, for instance the elderly on fixed incomes, just can't afford the changes.

    Read the source article … 021673014_rentincreasesxml.html?prmid=49 39

  3. Smart city thinking, from Seattle to New York | Opinion | The Seattle Times

    Another from Seattle:

    Another innovation opportunity: efficient housing. And across North America, as populations of the elderly increase, the approach once called "mother-in-law" or "granny flats" offers a promising opportunity to keep aging parents close to their families in cities and smart suburbs.

    Compact apartments mark a 180-degree turn from zoning codes of the post-World War II suburban era that favored single-family homes and often made it literally illegal to recreate the intimate, mixed-use neighborhoods of earlier times. Adding extra units on home lots has often been opposed by neighbors complaining they'll bring renters or undesirable people into communities.

    But increasingly, change is in the air. Seattle first piloted an "accessory dwelling unit" (ADU) policy in 1994 and now allows one- and two-family homes to build a separate self-contained residential structure, providing it's no larger than 800 square feet and covers no more than 40 percent of the rear yard.

    Vancouver has pushed even more aggressively, relaxing its building code to allow detached accessory dwelling units of up to 500 square feet, plus legalizing basement conversions.

    Read the source article … 1676422_peircecolumnsmartcitiesxml.html

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