Having trouble selling your house? A slow Internet connection may be to blame.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that “the availability of speedy Internet service is starting to affect Americans’ biggest purchase: their homes.”
In a study released earlier this week, researchers at the University of Colorado and Carnegie Mellon found that fiber-optic connections can add $5,437 to the price of a $175,000 home. A 2014 study by the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater showed similar results. It found that high-speed access could add $11,815 to the value of a $439,000 vacation house in Door County, Wisconsin.
Some real estate agents are going so far as to tout high-speed Internet service in listings, along with the number of bathrooms and other desirable features.
For most Americans, adding a high-speed Internet line is relatively cheap and easy. And it sure beats renovating the kitchen.
Federal, state and local governments spent about $441 billion on infrastructure in 2017, with the money going toward highways, mass transit and rail, aviation, water transportation, water resources and water utilities. Measured as a percentage of GDP, total spending is a bit lower than it was 50 years ago. For more details, see this new report from the Congressional Budget Office.
The GOP tax cuts have provided a significant earnings boost for the big U.S. banks so far this year. Changes in the tax code “saved the nation’s six biggest banks $3.3 billion in the third quarter alone,” according to a Bloomberg report Thursday. The data is drawn from earnings reports from Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.
We told you Thursday about the Trump administration’s announcement that average premiums for benchmark Obamacare plans will fall 1.5 percent next year, but analyst Charles Gaba says the story is a bit more complicated. According to Gaba’s calculations, average premiums for all individual health plans will rise next year by 3.1 percent.
The difference between the two figures is produced by two very different datasets. The Trump administration included only the second-lowest-cost Silver plans in 39 states in its analysis, while Gaba examined all individual plans sold in all 50 states.
The cap on Social Security payroll taxes will rise to $132,900 next year, an increase of 3.5 percent. (Earnings up to that level are subject to the Social Security tax.) The increase will affect about 11.6 million workers, Politico reports. Beneficiaries are also getting a boost, with a 2.8 percent cost-of-living increase coming in 2019.