That 2012 Bundle Of Joy Will Cost You $241,080 To Raise

The United States Department of Agriculture has crunched the numbers and it concludes today that if you had a child in 2012, it’ll cost you $241,080 to raise him or her for next 17 years.

If you adjust it for inflation, that number soars to $301,970.

This represents a 2.6 percent increase from 2011. The USDA reports:

“Expenses for child care, education, health care, and clothing saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2011. However, there were smaller increases in housing, food, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses during the same period. The 2.6 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 is also lower than the average annual increase of 4.4 percent since 1960.”

CNN reports that despite that bit of good news, wages aren’t keeping up with the increases.

“The country’s median annual household income has fallen by more than $4,000 since 2000, after adjusting for inflation, and many of the jobs lost during the recent recession have been replaced with lower-wage positions,” CNN reports.

We’ll leave you with a cool graphic put together by the USDA:

 Image

A graphic put together by the USDA.

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Home prices continue their upward trajectory

 

 

ImageHome prices in June rose for the 16th consecutive month, rising 1.9% from May and jumping 11.9% from year earlier levels, research and analytics firm CoreLogic (CLGX) said Tuesday.

Those numbers include distressed properties – namely short sales and real-estate owned transactions. This is the first time in 36 years that prices have risen at this fast a pace, the research firm suggested.

When CoreLogic excludes distressed sales from its calculation, home prices month-over-month increased 1.8% and grew 11% from June 2012 levels.

“In the first six months of 2013, the U.S. housing market appreciated a remarkable 10%,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This trend in home price gains is moving at the fastest pace since 1977.”

The first half of the year brought “robust price appreciation,” Anand Nallathambi, president of CoreLogic said. The firm accurately predicted double-digit growth during the first six months of the year.

When including distressed sales, the states experiencing the steepest home price climbs included Nevada, with prices up 26.5%; California (21.4%), Wyoming (16.7%); Arizona (16.2%) and Georgia (14.3%).

Home prices in Mississippi and Delaware saw prices fall 2.1% and 1.1%, respectively.

Obama Answers Housing Questions from Public During Live Discussion

Following a speech Tuesday night in Phoenix, in which President Barack Obama discussed his ideas for housing finance reform, the president today took questions from American citizens during a live discussion hosted by Zillow CEOSpencer Rascoff.

During the question and answer session Wednesday, Obama reiterated his stated goals to bring a gradual end to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to bring private capital into the housing market, and to offer affordable housing options—both rental options and 30-year mortgages.

Obama admitted that while it is the American dream to own a home, not all Americans are in a position to purchase a home. In particular, younger Americans with

student debt may not be in a position to accrue more debt through a mortgage loan.

In fact, Obama said one of the problems leading to the housing crisis was that many Americans who should have been renting were being offered mortgage loans.

Obama plans to combat the housing dilemmas facing young Americans in two ways—by helping ensure affordable rental housing options and by reducing the cost of college.

Money that for past generations would have gone toward a down payment on a house is now going to student debt, Obama said. Thus, helping reduce the cost of college will positively impact the housing market by allowing more young people to purchase homes instead of returning to their parents’ homes, he said.

Obama also discussed plans for the future of housing finance, including scaling back Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s portfolios and encouraging private capital to enter the market.

In most developed countries, the government does not have such a large role in the housing market, Obama said.

“We’re actually confident that the private market can step in, do a good job, and the government can be a backstop,” Obama said, adding, “In some ways it’s a return to earlier models.”

 

 
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