Why Is Living In America Becoming Harder And Harder These Days?

Average city rent passes $3,000 while home prices soar in Brooklyn and Queens

The average monthly apartment rent in the city has soared past $3,000 for the first time, and the scarcity of housing is driving home hunters out to suddenly pricey Brooklyn and Queens, new reports on the super-tight market show.

In contrast, the average national apartment rent is $1,062, a little more than one-third the average city rent of $3,017 excluding Staten Island, according to Reis Inc., a real-estate research firm.

Second-place San Francisco isn’t even close, at a mere $1,998.82 a month.

Residents who feel priced out of Manhattan may soon be priced out of the five boroughs altogether.

Median sales prices for Brooklyn homes rose 15.3 percent in the past year — to $550,000, a 10-year high, according to a new Douglas Elliman market report.

In Queens, the inventory of homes for sale is at an eight-year low, and the median price jumped 9.9 percent to $390,000.


Sharp Jump in US Gasoline Prices Seen Within Days

Gasoline is expected to jump 10 to 20 cents per gallon in the next several days, as risingoil prices and peak driving season create a perfect storm for higher prices.

Industry experts say gasoline prices at the pump should follow the already higher prices in the spot wholesale market. The national average at the pump Wednesday was $3.50 per gallon for unleaded gasoline, up two cents from Tuesday’s level, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge report.

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Prices in the spot market, which are quickly passed on to the retail market, are 30 to 61 cents higher per gallon than they were June 28, according to Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with GasBuddy. “Even if it were to stop where it is today, we’re looking at a considerably sticker shock for people at the pump,” Kloza said.


Sorry, Students: Higher Loan Rate May Still Be Best Option

Students scrambling to find an alternative to government-subsidized student loans that recently got a lot pricier may not want to waste too much time on the effort.

Even at the higher interest rate that recently kicked in, a subsidized Stafford loan is still one of the best deals around, experts say.

“If that person looks for a loan on the private market, they’re often not going to find anything close,” said Heather Jarvis, an attorney and student loan expert.

The Senate failed again Wednesday to strike a compromise to temporarily keep the rates on the loans from doubling to 6.8 percent. Some lawmakers are pushing for a long-term plan that would tie student-loan rates more closely to market rates. That could potentially save the government money.


Analysis: Wages Drop Most for Low-Wage Workers 

While real wages dropped almost across the board from 2009 to 2012, wages dropped the most for the lowest paid workers, according to a National Employment Law Project (NELP) analysis.



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