Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity

The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) provides detailed information on the finances of U.S. families, including income, net worth, balance sheet components, credit use, and other financial outcomes. A previous analysis indicated that the primary residence continued to be the largest asset category on the balance sheets of households in 2019 and it accounted for about one quarter of all assets held by households. However, the median home value and homeownership rate varied among race and ethnicity groups. According Read more…

How inaction on climate change can worsen the crisis in Afghanistan

After decades of foreign intervention and violent conflict, the American mission in Afghanistan has ended and the Taliban have announced a new government. But for millions of Afghans, human-induced climate change has only magnified the strife. Most of Afghanistan is dry and hot for much of the year, and from 1950 to 2010, the landlocked country warmed 1.8 degrees Celsius — about twice the global average, but it is only responsible for a tiny fraction of greenhouse gas emissions. The combined Read more…

World Health Organisation (WHO) Issues Tough New Air Quality Guidelines

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidelines to help reduce levels of key air pollutants, which are killing millions of people every year. Almost all the air quality guideline levels have been reduced and come with a warning that exceeding them could lead to “significant risks to health”. In particular, the guidelines for PM2.5 have been halved and those for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) have been cut by 75%. This is the first time Read more…

Democrats May Be on the Verge of Climate Disaster

I’m starting to become concerned about President Joe Biden’s ability to pass a climate bill. They’re speaking sotto voce, but still: In the past few days, Democrats on the party’s left and right flanks have started to hint that, well, in some circumstances, given some contingencies, they might prefer no bill to a negotiated compromise with the rival flank. The most worrying signs so far have come from Senator Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat Read more…

Real Estate Market Values Spike in the Second Quarter

The latest Federal Reserve Z.1 Financial Accounts of the United States, i.e., the “Flow of Funds”, show that in the second quarter of 2021 the aggregate market value of all owner-occupied real estate in the United States registered the largest quarterly increase in the last 21 years of data. From $33.8 trillion in the first quarter of 2021, real estate rose by $1.1 trillion in value to $34.9 trillion, making it the largest quarterly increase Read more…

New Home Sales Edge Higher in August

Strong demand, low interest rates and fewer existing homes for sale helped contribute to an uptick in new home sales in August even as home prices continue to rise. Sales of newly built, single-family homes in August rose 1.5% to a 740,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate from an upwardly revised reading in July, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales are up Read more…

USDA Takes Significant Steps to Build More Sustainable, Resilient and Inclusive Food Systems

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2021 – At the United Nations Food Systems Summit this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted $5 billion in planned investments and several steps it has taken to advance the goals of ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems. These efforts are guided by USDA’s deep commitment to science-based, data-driven decision-making and innovative solutions, and the recognition that trade and well-functioning markets at the local, regional Read more…

Nestle And Delta Are Among Dozens Of Firms Most At Risk Of Climate Change Hazards, Investors Warn

TOPLINE Leading companies like Nestle, Delta Air Lines and Clorox are among dozens of global firms “highly exposed” to climate hazards, a leading group of investors warned Thursday, as they urged businesses to do more to address the risks of climate change. KEY FACTS Fifty at-risk companies around the world are more likely to be threatened by natural disasters like floods, wildfires, extreme heat and hurricanes, according to the Institutional Investors Group On Climate Change Read more…

HBGI: Small Outlying Counties Have Greatest Share of Most Affordable Markets

Housing affordability has been a key driver of the suburban shift of home building activity over the last year and a half. As the following analysis from the NAHB Home Building Geography Index reveals, lower density markets in general have higher housing affordability conditions, which explains the shift in construction activity. The second quarter HBGI examined county-level Price-to-Income ratios. The analysis found that the growth of single-family home building in the middle affordability tiers outpaced those Read more…

No, eradicating poverty is not gonna mess with climate goals

For years, environmental researchers have been trying to understand if providing a decent living for everyone on Earth would be at odds with reaching our most ambitious climate goals. After all, eradicating poverty means consuming more energy: paving new roads, building hospitals and schools, and providing decent housing with clean water and heating. Some researchers have even argued that the world needs to decide “what level of poverty we’re OK with” if we want to stay on Read more…