Here are four of the trends and expectations that could affect you — and your wallet — in the new year.
With rents rising faster than most Americans’ paychecks, many consumers are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to housing. With rent costs so high — and mortgage rates low — more millennials who have postponed homeownership in favor of renting will be buying homes in 2015, according to Zillow.
Others will be putting their pride aside and getting roommates to share the costs. This trend has been escalating for several years. Zillow analysis shows that the percentage of Americans living with someone other than a spouse or partner hit 32 percent in 2012 — up from 26 percent in 2000. It will continue to gain momentum in 2015, particularly since rents are projected to continue to grow around 3 percent this year.
A recent study by Freelancers Union and Elance-odesk shows that 53 million Americans are currently working as freelancers. That’s a whopping 34 percent of the workforce.
While for some workers this arrangement is a choice, companies are ultimately driving the trend. After all, temp workers and consultants are often cheaper because companies don’t have to pay them benefits.
Experts are predicting another good year for stocks in 2015. While it is expected to be a bumpier, more volatile ride than last year, there will be plenty of opportunities if you know where to look.
For example, some of the biggest beneficiaries of lower oil prices could be low-end retailers, which specialize in staples. A strengthening greenback favors companies that derive the bulk of their sales here at home.