MReport August 2019

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TH E M R EP O RT | 51 O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T DATA THE LATEST T he AEI Housing Center recently spotlighted the Dallas-Fort Worth area as the best metro in the nation for homebuyers hoping to break into careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). To rank the top-30 STEM metros, the AEI Housing Center started with the 30 metros with the highest number STEM jobs in 2018. It then took into account two other important factors: total employ- ment growth of any type since 1990 and relative affordability for first-time buyers. The report found the DFW area to have a STEM workforce of 250,000, which is more than Seattle and San Jose, California. Overall employment growth in DFW grew 77% since 1990—more than double the national average of 33%. Home affordability in DFW was among the 10 best in the nation. "A vibrant new home con- struction sector helps Dallas-Fort Worth maintain both a high rate of employment growth and FTB affordability," the report stated. "New construction sales accounted for 24.6% of all home sales in [Q 4 2018], well above the national rate of 11.2%. For the entry-level home segment, the new construction share was 15.1%, also well above the 6.2% rate for the national entry-level home segment." 1. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas 2. Houston 3. Atlanta 4. Austin, Texas 5. Chicago 6. Phoenix, Arizona 7. Charlotte, North Carolina 8. Washington, D.C. 9. Columbus, Ohio 10. Seattle 11. New York City 12. Minneapolis 13. Denver 14. Raleigh 15. Boston 16. Philadelphia 17. Kansas City 18. Detroit 19. Miami 20. Tampa, Florida 21. St. Louis 22. Cincinnati 23. Portland, Oregon 24. San Francisco 25. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 26. San Jose, California 27. Baltimore, Maryland 28. San Diego 29. Los Angeles 30. Sacramento, California Examining Finances A CFPB and DoD report has revealed that military servicemembers have a higher level of financial well-being. A ccording to the De- partment of Defense's (DoD) Annual Report on financial literacy and preparedness, military ser- vicemembers show slightly higher levels of economic well-being compared to the general popula- tion. The report was released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which created a test to measure financial well- being. Scores range from 0-100, with a higher score correlating to higher levels of financial well- being. The average score was 61 for a servicemember on active duty and 60 for reserve members. The general population had the lowest share of higher scores at just 36%. Fifty percent of active service- members and 45% of reserve members scored higher than 61. The average rating for the general population was 54. The general population had the most individual scores in the bottom tier at 13%. Only 10% of servicemembers combined had scores lower than 10. "The higher levels of financial well-being exhibited by service- members may be explained by certain characteristics and benefits of military service," the report states. "For example, the CFPB found in its research that U.S. adults with a stable month-to- month income had a higher score (56) than those whose income varies from month-to-month (50). Individuals with employer-pro- vided health benefits had a higher score (56) than those without (51)." Of course, this report does not imply that servicemembers do not have financial challenges. According to the survey, about one-third of servicemembers have less than one month of emergency savings, and 23% of junior enlisted servicemembers had no emer- gency funds. The CFPB recently started its "Start Small, Save Up" initia- tive, after research found 40% of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency expense. A 2018 National Association of REALTORS Research Group report entitled "Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers Profile" found that active-duty military makes up 2% of all American homebuyers, with veterans ac- counting for 17%, and 81% non- military. The report also found that, while active-duty military homebuyers do have a lower median income than non-military buyers at $84,000, they have other advantages, including stable job security and no-down-payment financing options. A full 56% of active-duty homebuyers put no money down when purchasing a home, and 41% of veterans. For comparison's sake, only 7% of non-military buyers can make use of no-down-payment financing options. Among active-duty military who financed their home, 77% used a VA loan, and 15% used a conventional loan. For veterans, 58% used a VA loan and 33% used a conventional loan. Overall financial well being has been a topic of discussion in recent weeks after April's job's report showed the lowest unemployment rate (3.6%) since 1969. The Best Housing Markets for STEM Careers AROUND THE U.S.

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