Great Expectations in 2010: More Personal Savings and Cheaper Food, Heat, Electronics, and Homes

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As we leave 2009 behind, there are many signs that life will be way better in the year to come.

And that’s reason to party, as Kiplinger’s notes with its list “11 Things to Celebrate as 2009 Comes to a Close.” Among the positives we can see right now and can expect more of in 2010 are:

It’s the best time in decades to buy a new home.
First time home buyers, take note. Home prices will continue to edge downward through mid 2010. Fiserv Lending Solutions forecasts that the median home price nationally will fall another 9.2% in 2010, following a 7.5% decline in 2009. But more pain for existing homeowners also means the ratio of median family income to median home price has dropped to 2.8 — just under the long-term historical average of 2.9, according to Fiserv. Affordability combined with historically low mortgage rates (still around 5% for most 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, including jumbos) presents opportunities for buyers who have good credit and secure jobs and plan to live in their homes for a long time.

Hmmm … good credit and secure jobs? Those are deal breakers for a lot of people, especially that latter stipulation. Another positive:

Innovation for everyone.
The recession and aggressive competition globally are driving down prices on consumer electronics, making dazzling, new technology affordable to more and more people. Just look at high-definition, flat-screen televisions. A few years ago, a 32-inch unit started at $1,000. Effective November 19, 2009, Best Buy started offering all entry-level 32-inch Dynex LCD HDTVs for $299.99 and 40-inch Dynex 1080p televisions for $499.99. Smart-phone service providers are trotting out a host of new phones and service plans to give Apple’s iPhone a run for its money. And prices for lightweight computer laptops, netbooks, video games, Blu-ray players and digital book readers are all falling fast as well. The trend is likely to continue into 2010.

This is a good thing, I suppose, but part of me wishes the technology stayed expensive—because then I’d have more incentive to make due with whatever perfectly good TV or phone I already own. Oh well.

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