A new report from RealtyTrac finds that despite claims of student loan debt holding down U.S. housing, 96 percent of markets in the country are still considered affordable for recent debt-burdened graduates. Looking at nearly 500 of the nation’s largest counties, RealtyTrac found that even with the added debt of student loans, homeowners earning the local median income can still afford to pay for a median-priced home in 96 percent of markets. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges, however. Here’s RealtyTrac vice president Daren Bloomquist to explain.
Employment growth in the United States took a sharp downturn in August, according to government figures released Friday. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of 142 thousand in U.S. payrolls last month, well short of the 230,000 predicted by economists. August's sudden decline snaps a six-month period in which payroll growth came in at 200 thousand or higher. There was one silver lining in Friday’s report, at least for the housing market: Construction employment continued to trend up with a gain of 20 thousand in August, coming in above the monthly average over the last year—a positive sign for a group that continues to report a shortage of workers needed to boost homebuilding.