Triangle Business Journal is a daily business newspaper. Each day, our editorial staff selects the most popular features published on our website and summarizes them here.
Today’s Featured Popular Features:
TRIANGLE JOURNAL’S RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE – A HOT MARKET
The Triangle’s housing market is red hot, with home prices rising double digits for more than a year. While in the past five years, low-interest rates and high demand have pushed prices up 20 percent to $252,000; it’s the lack of inventory that has buyers seeing red. In a report released this week by Raleigh-based Real Estate Economics Inc. (REI), the Triangle ranked fourth out of 100 major markets in new listings per month and ninth in inventory months. Last year there were 40 percent fewer homes for sale than there were five years ago—from 27,000 to 16,000 units—and today there are just 2.5 months of supply available compared to 6 months in 2011. This is creating fierce competition and some sellers are accepting offers after only a few days on the market.
TRIANGLE JOURNAL’S HEALTH CARE – TRACKING THE NEW HEALTH CARE LAW
As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is slowly implemented, a mix of private and public efforts are working to educate consumers about the new health insurance options and a variety of organizations have been set up to track the law’s progress. Organizations like Enroll America, Covering Carolina, and the Durham-Orange Local Health Improvement Program are presenting information to residents in hopes of getting healthcare covered. In North Carolina, more than 1 in 5 residents are uninsured, according to Covering Carolina’s estimates. Those that do have coverage may struggle with high deductibles or premiums. Under the new law, consumers can expect to pay more for some of their medical needs, but are likely to get better care. It’s expected that many will buy their own insurance, or recommend it to friends and relatives.
TRIANGLE JOURNAL’S AIRPORT – TAKING OFF FOR VIRGINIA
The passenger terminal at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is getting a $450 million makeover that includes a major expansion of the concourses now being constructed. The projects will add 40 gates and nearly 1 million additional square feet of space on the 29-acre site. The project’s design is being overseen by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and includes the airport’s largest expansion of its satellite facilities in 20 years. The new concourses will add additional rooms for rental cars and car services, as well as more departure areas.
TRIANGLE JOURNAL’S FOOD & LIFESTYLE – FOOD COUPONING
Couponing is back–and it’s not just about the groceries. The Food Coupon Network recently launched a new website that gives cash back to members when they shop online through participating retail websites. Members can earn cash-back incentives by purchasing select brand-name products from participating retailers and then posting those coupons to their network on the website. In order for the cash rewards to get paid, coupons must be uploaded to the network within seven days of purchase. Generally, a cash-back of 20 percent to 30 percent is offered, with regional differences.
TRIANGLE JOURNAL’S PERSONAL FINANCE – CAN’T AFFORD THE CAR YOU WANT?
Car payments are the second largest line item on most budgets behind housing. In today’s changing economy, with more people working for themselves or as contractors, people are looking for vehicles that are more affordable. Some are turning to used cars, financing and leasing new vehicles, and even borrowing money from friends and family members. The average price of a new vehicle has risen to $31,000—a record high in the U.S., according to TrueCar Inc. With incomes remaining flat over the last decade, that’s out of reach for many buyers. In fact, according to Experian Automotive Inc. data, the average sales price of a new vehicle in the U.S. is now $1,500 higher than the previous record set in 2007.
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