Lennar CEO: Housing market improving, but… -CNBC June 3, 2015

Recent housing data suggest the market is improving, but the gains are a “pretty low slope,” Lennar CEO Stuart Miller said Wednesday.

“For the average American across the country … it’s really tough to buy a home. Homes are in short supply and we haven’t seen production come back,” Miller said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Homebuilder sentiment in May dropped 2 points month-over-month to 54, the National Association of Home Builders said May 18. Still, home prices in 20 metro cities rose 5 percent year-over-year in March, according to S&P/Case-Shiller’s 20-City Composite

Miller made his remarks ahead of the release of weekly U.S. mortgage applications data, which showed the number of applications fell 7.6 percent from the week ending May 29.

He added the market’s slow recovery can be attributed to a number of factors, including the reluctance of Generation Y from buying houses.

“The millennials have not jumped into the market as first-time buyers,” he said. “Historically, it’s always been an axiom of our business that when 20-year-olds move back home, it takes six to 12 months for everyone to realize it’s a bad idea. This time around, that’s not the case.”

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Pot Seen as Reason for Rise in Denver Homeless-ABC News-July 26, 2014

Pot Seen as Reason for Rise in Denver Homeless
Denver – July 26, 2014

Officials at some Denver homeless shelters say the legalization of marijuana has contributed to an increase in the number of younger people living on the city’s streets.

One organization dealing with the increase is Urban Peak, which provides food, shelter and other services to homeless people aged 15 to 24 in Denver and Colorado Springs.

“Of the new kids we’re seeing, the majority are saying they’re here because of the weed,” deputy director Kendall Rames told The Denver Post. “They’re traveling through. It is very unfortunate.”

The Salvation Army’s single men’s shelter in Denver has been serving more homeless this summer, and officials have noted an increase in the number of 18- to 25-year-olds there.

The shelter housed an average of 225 each night last summer, but this summer it’s averaging 300 people per night. No breakdown was available by age, but an informal survey found that about a quarter of the increase was related to marijuana, including people who moved hoping to find work in the marijuana industry, said Murray Flagg, divisional social services secretary for the Salvation Army’s Intermountain Division.

Some of the homeless have felony backgrounds that prevent them from working in pot shops and grow houses, which are regulated by the state, Flagg said. He also thinks others may find work but don’t earn enough to pay rent in Denver’s expensive housing market.

At the St. Francis Center, a daytime homeless shelter, pot is the second most frequently volunteered reason for being in Colorado, after looking for work.

St. Francis executive director Tom Leuhrs also sees an economic reason for the increase of the number of homeless young people. They’re having difficulty moving from high school and college to the workforce, Leuhrs said.

“The economy is not supporting them. There are not enough jobs,” he said.

Edward Madewell said he was on his way back home to Missouri when he decided to head to Colorado so he could keep smoking the marijuana he uses to control seizures. “I’m not going to stop using something organic. I don’t like the pills,” he said.

Dusty Taylor, 20, said he moved back to Colorado, where he grew up, to avoid legal problems. “I don’t want to catch a felony for smoking,” he said.

Information from: The Denver Post,