Posts Tagged 'Economy'

Asheville: One of the best places to work, if…

Asheville gets props from financial website Mint.com for being the best place in America to work…

if you’re a claims adjuster.

The Mint Blog rates Asheville as tops in the Claims Adjuster salary category of Business and Financial Operations — at $87,410 annually. Anybody know of any claims adjuster job openings?

Not happy with your present salary? Wondering what city holds the gold at the end of the rainbow? We’ve done the research for you.

Follow the Money: The Best and Worst Places to Work by Average Salary | MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice.

In a nutshell: If you’re a graphic designer, don’t work in Florence, Alabama. And if you’re a surgeon, move to Panama City, Florida.

And if you’re looking for a job in the Carolina mountains, try the Iwanna classifieds.

Salary Comparison at Mint.com

Is Asheville buyer’s market for homes slowing?

New data on Zillow.com shows about a third of the homes for sale in Asheville were listed with price cuts in August.

909pricecuts

Asheville listings with price cuts

That’s a 0.4% improvement from July, and an indication that the buyer’s market for homes may be easing in Asheville. But the median price cut was slightly higher than July (about 6%) and the median list price per square foot declined again.

The Zillow blog promised more details next week, but it noted that homebuyers nationwide lost a bit of negotiating power in August.

New Zillow data from surrounding metro areas may provide some perspective.

Greensboro shows the largest percentage price reductions in North Carolina at an average of 5.3%. Over a quarter of the homes in that market had recent list-price reductions. Greensboro’s home value index is 4.4% lower than a year ago.

The Tri-Cities Tennesse area, known as the Johnson City MSA, came in at an average 4.1% price reductions. Its Zillow Home Value Index year-over-year is down almost 9%, which is closer to the housing value trend Asheville has been experiencing. We reported last month that the buyer’s market for real estate was raging on in Asheville.

Charleston leads South Carolina in declining home prices, according to the data. Spartanburg and Greenville rank in the middle of the list of 144 metro areas, with average price reductions in the 3.5% range.

Average days on the market are over 100 days in each of the metro areas mentioned above – sometimes well over 100 days. Zillow reports Asheville’s days-on-market in August as 110.

The biggest house price declines are in Florida. Zillow reported that 14 of the top 20 metro areas had the biggest discounts in list prices.

The good news for sellers is that the first-time buyers credit is helping stretch the traditionally strong summer home-selling season this year. Video from Trulia.com is below:

Americans are freely shedding their past

The latest Zogby interactive poll says that Americans continue to shed their material past, and are giving a lot of it away for free.

Even during economic hard times, we find Americans more likely to give things away. I don’t believe that most are doing so in order to make room for new material objects. Instead, people are moving toward a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle. I call them Secular Spiritualists because they are looking for more meaning in their lives, and will seek it through family, friends, volunteering and leisure activities that fulfill their needs.”

via Zogby International.

One of the most popular search terms on Iwanna.com is “free” and it returns hundreds of items. You can see what people are giving away on Iwanna just by clicking here.

Poll shows Americans adopt a more frugal lifestyle

Zogby International today documented America’s trend toward a more frugal lifestyle with poll results showing that the recession is affecting more than just discretionary spending.

Pollster John Zogby said:

Increasing numbers of people have become less materialistic and more interested in other, simpler forms of personal fulfillment.

via Zogby International.

The survey asked questions about economic lifestyle changes and found that cost-cutting is prevalent in all demographic groups — even those making over $250,000 a year. Americans are not just driving and eating out less, but they are reducing their housing expenses and are purchasing more second-hand apparel.

Iwanna has been the primary source for frugal shoppers in the Carolinas for more than 30 years. Now it is the area’s largest online user-generated shopping network.

Housing prices falling in Asheville but not like Atlanta ‘zombies’

Biltmore Forest home prices

The impact of falling housing prices is illustrated in this Zillow.com chart showing plunging home values in Biltmore Forest. Asheville seems to be holding together comparatively well, however, and Zillow reports some North Carolina communities such as Fayetteville are actually seeing housing appreciation.

In the South, nothing may be as bad as Atlanta, where failed housing developments and failed banks have left “zombie” subdivisions forming a “ring of death” around the city, according to the local newspaper.

To say the market has been sluggish would be an understatement. The main problem is sheer volume – a staggering 150,000 vacant housing lots across metro Atlanta are available, more than a decade’s supply at current absorption rates.

via Volume of ‘subdivision’ vacant lots overwhelms banks | ajc.com.

There are reports that Reality TV star Lisa Wu Hartwell and husband, former Oakland Raiders linebacker Edgerton Hartwell, have lost their home to foreclosure in Atlanta.

Experts say the bottom in housing prices may still be a long way off. Analysts at Deutsche Bank in New York are saying that 48 percent of mortgaged properties will eventually be underwater as they expect prices to drop through the first quarter of 2011.

We haven’t seen a bottom in home prices, and it could take into 2011 before we see equilibrium in the market,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital in New York.

via Underwater Mortgages May Reach 30% | Bloomberg.com

The good news is for first-time home buyers and investors with liquidity. Now is probably as good a time as any to look for housing deals.

Update: Data in distressed areas is showing that most housing sales indeed involve first-time home buyers using government assistance programs and investors using cash.

How to eat for 33 cents a meal

Eating consumes a lot of your budget, and everyone has tips on how to  feed yourself more cheaply. Yesterday, tech startup enthusiast Andrew Hyde posted his tricks for eating for about 33 cents a meal.

One of the most humbling experiences I have ever had was shopping for two weeks worth of food with a twenty dollar bill. … Hacking your food budget is one of those things that I am surprised more people don’t do.

via How To Live (Comfortably) on $36 A Month For Food | Andrew Hyde – Startups. Start Here.

One of his basic tenets is that if you are serious about sticking to a budget, you have to change your thought process on food. And he rattles off tips from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks. Don’t miss the reader comments at the end of his post.

Deep discount grocery shopping is one of his tips, and good local sources of low-cost food are grocery factory outlets such as Go Grocery. Local farmers markets are another source, and calendars can be found in the weekly Iwanna.

Then again, there are even more extreme measures like dumpster diving, which local blogger Ashvegas explored earlier this year. And not surprisingly, Hyde notes that “the smaller your stomach is, the easier this is going to be.”

North Asheville shows biggest decline in home values

North Asheville zip 28804 — home to expensive developments such as Reynolds Mountain — shows the biggest decline in average home values, while south Asheville zip 28704 shows one of the smallest declines, according to Zillow.

The real estate site has revamped its real estate market reports and home value pages to allow users to drill down to the local level and build charts like the one below.

It’s now easy to compare different regions. Just check the regions you want to compare and we’ll show you the difference. At the neighborhood level, this is great for home buyers. At the higher levels, it’s just plain fun to play with.

via Data Junkies, Get Your Mice Ready! | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News.

The Zillow Home Value Index takes the mid-point of “Zestimate” valuations for zip codes — half the Zestimates are above the number and half are below it.

Zillow updates the numbers twice a month and the data is even available for download.

For the latest homes for sale, check out the Castles & Coves section of Iwanna.com or at your local newstand.

Asheville home value comparison via Zillow.com


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