The curmudgeon in me says: NO MORE TANNING BEDS IN CAMPUS DORMS! Check out colleague Dawn Wotapka’ story on the fact that college kids are demanding tanning beds or booths in college housing – despite the health risks and costs involved. Tanning beds have become “an amenity in many dorms that some budding scholars consider as essential as high-speed internet and good cuisine.” Moreover, students increasingly require tanning beds rather than “stand-up machines” because they “want to relax horizontally, instead of standing up,” one analyst tells Dawn. I would like to see the heads of the U.S.’s institutions of higher learning band together and actively discourage the use of tanning beds and booths on campuses and in college towns. Do adults (including young ones) not know the dangers of tanning beds – from falling asleep and incurring horrific burns to raising one’s skin-cancer risk? When my son, now 11, was a toddler his nursery school teacher in London was badly burned after snoozing in a tanning bed; she spent a long time in hospital and recuperating at home. It was awful. These stories need to be told.
Some good news from Toll Brothers today: the big home builder says it’s managing to boost prices in some communities across the U.S. The company’s not specifying where, but any sign of rising home prices adds to the growing sense the economic downturn has plateaued. DJN colleague Dawn Wotapka quotes Toll CEO Robert I. Toll as saying “customers are recognizing that now is the time to get into the market to take advantage of near-record affordability and what is still, for now, a buyer’s market.” So, as buyers surface, Toll’s able to offer fewer incentives and lift some prices. Another builder, Ryland Group, likewise says “incentives are pulling back” and prices are stabilizing in most of its markets across the nation. As a very recent home buyer myself, this is reassuring – suggesting as it does that our new abode isn’t poised to sink in value if indeed the U.S. housing market has stabilized. Fingers crossed.
Economy, Housing, Mortgages, Politics, Unemployment / Comments Off
If there was a question about how important employment is to turning around the U.S. economy, look no further than at some housing data released a short while ago. Newswires reporter Dawn Wotapka reports an increase in national foreclosure filings in the U.S. There were about 336,000 filings in June, the fourth straight month the figure rose to more than 300,000.
RealtyTrac said that increased unemployment was responsible for the increase in foreclosures, and with the unemployment trends being higher each month this year, no relief is in sight. The U.S. Labor Department reported unemployment rose to 9.5% in June, the highest level since 1983.