Housing

The housing market faces an uncertain 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After being one of the weaker sectors of the U.S. economy in the first half of 2019, the housing sector rebounded, spurred by a trio of U.S. interest rate cuts from the Fed that lowered the cost of mortgages.

Yes, but: There are clouds on the horizon for 2020, as declining home affordability continues to be a concern, especially for first-time home buyers.

Microsoft adds $250 million to Seattle affordable housing investment

Illustration of a teacher's hand drawing a house on a blackboard
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

One year ago, Microsoft announced it would invest $500 million to address the affordable housing crisis in Seattle. Today, it announced an additional $250 million in the form of a line of credit to the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

Why it matters: The additional allocation brings Microsoft's total investment to $750 million, deepening its role in its hometown as part financier, part philanthropist in trying to lessen the low- and middle-wage housing shortage plaguing many tech hubs around the country.