Four Seasons chain is gearing up towards the launch of its most recent Puerto Rico project. The Four Seasons Cayo Largo officially launched work in the area of Fajardo. Puerto Rico’s government is supporting the project through tax credits from the Department of Finance and the Hotel Development Corporation.The $230 million hotel project is slated for a debut at the end of 2018. It will have 140 rooms and will generate 400 permanent jobs (along with 400 construction jobs).The hotel will be Four Seasons’ third property in the region, along with Anguilla resort (which was formerly a Viceroy) and its flagship resort in Nevis. The formerly stalled project will reportedly include a hotel and an 18-hole golf course and a residential real estate component.
First time claims for unemployment insurance fell 6,000 to 357,000 by the end of March, the “”Labor Department””:http://www.dol.gov/ reported Thursday. [IMAGE]The previous week’s report were revised upward to show a jump by the end of March to 363,000 instead of the originally reported 357,000. Nonetheless ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô subject to revisions ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the new current week’s total represented a four year low.Economists had expected initial claims would increase to 355,000. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, also fell, dropping 16,000 to 3,338,000 for the week ended March 24, the third straight week-week decline. The previous week’s report of 3,340,000 individuals receiving benefits was revised up to 3,354,000. That revision is significant because continuing claims reflect the other part of the employment picture and often reflects hiring trends. The revised data were for the week ended March 17, the “”reference”” [COLUMN_BREAK]week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the monthly unemployment rate. That report is to be released Friday. With the revision, the report showed continuing claims down 63,000 from mid-February. February continuing claims were down 124,000 from mid-January.The Labor Department routinely revises data in this report. For each of the last three weeks, the initially reported tally of first time claims has represented a four year low.The four week moving average for initial claims improved to 361,750, down 4,250 from the previous week while the four week average for continuing claims declined 24,000 to 3,367,750.Initial claims ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô with some bumps ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ôremain on a steady downward and have fallen wee-week for six weeks in the first quarter suggesting the pace of layoffs has slowed. Continuing claims have also decline been falling steadily, dropping wee-week for eight of the 12 week reported for the first quarter. The number of people collecting benefits under all unemployment insurance programs, reported on a two-week lag, fell 107,760 to 7,050,709. That tally though includes data from non-seasonally adjusted reports making conclusions less certain. According to the latest BLS report, 7.24 million people were officially counted as unemployed.According to the Labor Department detail, also reported on a one-week lag, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 24 were in Texas (+4,185), California (+2,199), Kansas (+1,555), Arkansas (+1,141), and Washington (+714), while the largest decreases were in Pennsylvania (-1,956), North Carolina (-1,656), New Jersey (-1,511), Massachusetts (-1,083), and Hawaii (-650). Initial Unemployment Claims Again Hit Four Year Low April 5, 2012 427 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Service Providers Unemployment 2012-04-05 Mark Lieberman Share in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis GDP Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Profits Residential Construction Service Providers 2012-08-29 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Secondary Market GDP Growth Pegged at 1.7%, Up From Earlier Estimate The U.S. economy grew in the second quarter at 1.7 percent, slightly faster than the originally estimated 1.5 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday. [IMAGE]At the same time BEA reported second quarter grew at a meager 0.5 percent from the first quarter, but an improvement from the 2.7 percent drop in corporate profits registered in the first quarter. Profits in the financial sector though fell more than 9 percent.The upward revision in second quarter GDP growth was in line with the forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.The improvement in total profits ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô though modest – could be a key driver in labor markets. The drop in profits in the first quarter coincided with weak employment reports. Businesses often use profit per employee as a metric.Domestic financial corporations, according to BEA, made $389.7 billion in the second quarter, a drop of $39.2 billion from the first, more than the $12.3 billion decline in profits from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of this year. Non-financial corporations made $1.1 trillion, an increase of $30.4 billion from the first quarter and more than four times the $7.3 billion in profit growth from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of 2012.The revised estimate of the second-quarter percent change in GDP, BEA said, primarily reflected a downward revision to imports and upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures, to exports, and to state and local government spending that were partly offset by downward revisions to private inventory investment and to nonresidential fixed investment.[COLUMN_BREAK]Even with the improvement, the growth pace is below the 3.0 percent level need to add jobs to make a dent in the nation’s unemployment rate.The GDP report covered the same quarter which saw the weakest job growth ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 225,000 jobs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô since the third quarter of 2010 when the economy grew at a relatively robust 2.5 percent. In dollars, GDP increased $58.1 billion in the second quarter, down from the $65.4 billion increase in the first. Most of the second quarter increase was due to a $40.1 billion gain in personal spending, also down from the first quarter when personal spending grew $57.5 billion.Residential fixed investment added $7.6 billion to the economy in the second quarter, a sharp drop from the $16.1 billion it contributed in the first quarter.Government spending continued as a drag on the economy, subtracting $5.5 billion from overall GDP but less than the $19.0 billion subtraction in the first quarter. Most of the reduction in government spending – $5.1 billion ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô came at the state and local government levels. Government spending has fallen for eight straight quarters ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô dating back to the third quarter of 2010 – during which time GDP growth has averaged an anemic 1.9 percent. In the preceding four quarters (since third quarter 2009, just after the official end of the recession), GDP growth averaged 3.3 percent.The slowdown in total growth was due to a combination of factors: real personal consumption grew at just 1.7 percent in the second quarter compared with 2.4 percent in the first> Non-residential fixed investment grew at 4.2 percent in the second quarter compared with 7.5 percent in the first. Residential fixed investment grew 8.9 percent in the second quarter after growing at 20.5 percent in the first.Personal consumption represented 70.7 percent of total GDP in the second quarter compared with 71.1 percent in the first.Inflation according to the GDP price index was 1.6 percent, annualized, down from 2.0 percent in the first quarter.BEA issues three GDP reports for each quarter: an “”advance”” report one month after the quarter ends and revisions in each of the following months as more data are received. August 29, 2012 416 Views Share
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors ISGN Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-05-29 Tory Barringer May 29, 2013 454 Views Share New,ISGN Appoints Chief Product Officer In Florida, “”ISGN Corporation””:http://www.isgn.com/ announced the addition of former Xerox executive Nancy Alley as the company’s chief product officer.[IMAGE]Alley has been in the industry more than 20 years, serving most recently as VP and general manager for Xerox Mortgage Services. Previously, she founded her own company, SignOnline, Inc., which provided e-signature and e-record technology for the mortgage industry. That company was acquired by Wave Systems, where Alley stayed for two years leading product management.””Joining ISGN allows me the opportunity to align my product management expertise with my passion to drive innovative solutions throughout the entire mortgage value chain,”” Alley said. “”Over the last year, the company has gained significant momentum, so becoming part of their team was a natural fit for me. I recognize ISGN’s potential for continued innovation and growth and look forward to being a part of their future success.””In her position at ISGN, she will oversee the company’s technology business unit, which includes all aspects of the mortgage life cycle from loan origination to servicing and default management, as well as construction lending, settlement services, and vendor management.””ISGN continues to rapidly grow, fueled by the increased demand for intelligent solutions across the mortgage industry,”” said Ritesh Idnani, CEO of ISGN. “”To support that growth, we have a strong need to recruit the very best of the industry and continue to expand our leadership team. By appointing Nancy to oversee technology products, we are encouraged that her leadership will play a pivotal role in driving our next generation technology to help the industry return to a profitable housing market.””
Affordable Housing Senate Finance Committee 2017-08-02 Joey Pizzolato Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News August 2, 2017 630 Views Bipartisan Compromise The United States Senate Committee on Finance recently held a full committee hearing to discuss ways to increase access for affordable housing across the country; the hearing is part of the committee’s larger endeavor to reform the tax code.Five expert witnesses were invited to testify before the committee, including: Daniel Garcia-Diaz, Director of Financial Markets and Community Investments at the U.S. Government Accountability Office; Grant S. Whitaker, President of the National Council of State Housing Agencies; The Honorable Katherine M. O’Regan, PhD, Faculty Director and Professor of Public Policy at New York University; Kirk McClure, PhD, Professor of the Urban Planning Program at University of Kansas; and Granger MacDonald, Chairman of the Board at the National Association of Home Builders.According Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-Oregon) opening comments, these experts were invited to help brainstorm ways in which the industry could increase supply, a key challenge to the housing market, as well as find ways to incentivize home starts near schools, public transit, parks, and retail establishments. Senator Wyden was also quick to point out that this reform is a bipartisan effort—and was confident if the two sides continued to work together tax reform would likely be “on the horizon.Daniel Garcia-Diaz’s testimony, of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, focused on how agencies implement federal requirements when awarding Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) while still assessing property costs and monitor compliance, along with the IRS’s oversight of the LIHTC Program. The testimony used reports from the past three years in outlining a suggested route forward. Grant Whitaker also discussed LIHTC, along with Housing Finance Agencies, which work to issue both Housing Credits and Housing Bonds on a state and local level. Katherine O’Regan presented statistics and the eventual backlash of high housing costs.The main goal of the testimonies for all participants was to discuss ways of eventually lowering housing costs, either by increasing inventory or finding ways for affordable, government subsidies that are sustainable long-term.
Even though it’s only five years from now, predicting what will be important marketing wise in 2022 can be a challenge. Technology and particularly what the emerging millennial generation finds important changes, in what seems like, every week.According to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Survey, real estate leaders don’t really know which technology will lend them the highest ROI in 2022, either. Many think the best bet is to take a step back from new technology and stick to what has been proven to work.Though 50 percent or more of all agents surveyed agreed that emerging technology will be important to real estate brokerages by 2022, only 30 percent or more said they would be likely to invest in it. These technologies included predictive analytics (74 percent thinking it’s important and 65 percent willing to invest), big data (72 percent, 64 percent), marketing automation services (67 percent, 65 percent), augmented reality and virtual reality 3D tours (60 percent, 46 percent), and artificial intelligence such as chatbots or automated virtual assistants (50 percent, 30 percent).“I don’t believe the relationship will change drastically,” David Marine, Coldwell Banker SVP of Marketing said. “Agents will still act as ‘guides’ to informed consumers to help them through this process. Just the way the agents are discovered, engaged and [how they] build these relationships with consumers will change. The agent ultimately ‘owns’ the relationship but how it’s started, grows or continues can impact brands, brokers, etc.”The survey showed that agents would like to see innovation such as virtual tours and virtual reality by 2022. Though there are similar technologies around now, one agent would like to see it more refined to allow for the agent to walk the buyer through the home, answer questions, and maybe even see each others avatar while being in separate places. Others wanted to see more simple things like easier access to agents’ databases without actually needing to import to their own database.“Agents get very nervous that we’re trying to steal their customers,” the anonymous survey responder said. “If we could manage without actually having these databases, agents would be more willing to allow us to assist them in doing it the right way.” Agents Brokers Virtual Reality 2017-08-08 Brianna Gilpin August 8, 2017 579 Views Oh, Where Technology Will Go in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share
Starter homes across the U.S. are gaining equity faster than any other type of home on the market, according to a recent report by Zillow. In fact, over the past year, the report notes that homes in the most affordable segment of the market—typically desired by first-time buyers— gained 8.5 percent in value, compared to a 3.6 percent gain for the most expensive homes.To determine this, Zillow divided the U.S. housing stock into equal thirds based on value and determined the median value of the most and least valuable homes. Looking back at the past five years provides an even more significant difference, as people who own starter homes have experienced an increase in equity by 44.4 percent, meanwhile, owners of top-tier homes fall behind only gaining 26.6 percent.”When the housing market crashed, owners of the least valuable homes were especially hard hit, and lost more home value than homeowners at the upper end of the market,” said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. “Since then, though, demand for less expensive, entry-level homes has built steadily, causing prices to grow rapidly. As a result, these homeowners have been able to build wealth at a faster pace than owners of more expensive homes.”While the home value appreciation among more affordable homes serves as a major benefit for the consumers who already own those homes, there is a struggle for buyers to enter the market as demand for entry-level homes continues to grow faster than supply. Zillow’s analysis discovered that the market is limited and competitive—as nearly 18 percent fewer entry-level homes are available on the market compared to a year ago.Regionally and among the largest U.S. housing markets, owners of the most affordable homes in Tampa, Florida are experiencing the greatest gains in home equity, with a 20.4 percent increase in value. Las Vegas homeowners come next with affordable homes appreciated 19.9 percent from last year.San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose, California are the only large markets where the most expensive homes are gaining value faster than starter homes, the report noted.To view the full report, click here. Appreciation HOUSING mortgage Zillow 2018-02-16 Nicole Casperson in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News February 16, 2018 562 Views Cheaper Homes Gaining the Greatest Equity Share
The Home Sales and Supply Conundrum Share Homes in May went under contract faster than ever, according to a report by Redfin. With properties going under contract in 34 days, May broke April’s record of 36 days. But that was just the average. According to the report, a typical home in Denver went under contract in just six days. Seattle and Tacoma were a close second, with homes going under contract in seven days. Boston and Grand Rapids saw the typical home spend eight days on market. Speed was not the only thing on the rise in May. Redfin found that across the 174 markets the national median home sale price rose to $305,600, a 6.3 percent increase from last year. Sales in May saw 28 percent of homes go above their list price, which was also a record, Redfin reported. At the same time, nearly a quarter of homes for sale had a price drop in May, the highest percentage of price drops since September of 2017. “Prices are still increasing, but not at the same rate we saw earlier in the spring,” said Taylor Marr, Senior Economist at Redfin. “The record percentage of homes sold above list price is at odds with the higher percentage of price drops in May. This tells us that while it’s still very much a seller’s market, price growth and rising mortgage rates may be pushing buyers to the limit of what they’re able to pay.”Then, of course, there is inventory. According to the report, the national market had 2.5 months of supply at the end of the month. Individual markets, however, varied widely.In San Jose, the supply of San Jose homes fell 14 percent in May, compared to last year. That drop was the smallest decline in a 16-month stretch of inventory declines, Redfin reported, adding that the numbers show “the intensity of San Jose’s inventory shortage.” However, the number of newly listed homes in May ticked up 11 percent in San Jose compared to last year. Indianapolis had the largest decrease in overall inventory, with the number of properties for sale down 38 percent from a year earlier. Portland, Ore., on the other hand, saw the number of homes on the market increase by 35 percent.Overall, the number of newly listed homes for sale increased 4.3 percent compared to last May, though the total supply of homes national declined 5.4 percent during the same time period. June 14, 2018 646 Views Contracts homes homes under Contracts HOUSING Inventory pending sales sales Supply 2018-06-14 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News
Analytics company and Credit rating agency TransUnion recently announced the addition of Robert E. Beauchamp to its Board of Directors. Beauchamp is currently the Chairman of BMC Software Inc. and formerly served as the software company’s President and CEO from 2001-2016.“Bob brings a great track record of leadership to TransUnion, with specialized expertise in cybersecurity and information technology innovation,” said Jim Peck, CEO, and President of TransUnion. “As we continue to grow and execute on our strategy, Bob’s proficiency in technology and security will help to keep us well-positioned to succeed for consumers and our customers.”Throughout his 27 years with BMC Software, Beauchamp held a variety of leadership roles. In addition to information technology and cybersecurity, he brings significant experience to TransUnion in the areas of strategic planning, risk management, global operations, sales, finance, and mergers and acquisitions.He is currently a board member of Agile Upstream, Forcepoint LLC, and Raytheon, Inc., and previously served on the board of National Oilwell Varco. He also served as a member of the Board of Regents of Baylor University for nine years. Beauchamp earned a Master of Science from Houston Baptist University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.Using historical information and alternative data sources TransUnion helps markets and businesses to manage risk and consumers to manage their credit, personal information, and identity. TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries across North America, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. in Headlines, News, Technology June 29, 2018 532 Views operations Risk Management sales TransUnion 2018-06-29 Radhika Ojha Robert Beauchamp Joins TransUnion Board of Directors Share
Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the July issue of MReport, out now.The success of the summer homebuying seasons depends on three factors: home prices, housing supply, and mortgage rates. However, there’s also a fourth factor in play this year—the rise of the first-time homebuyer.Statistics suggest that this year, the largest group of homebuyers will be those shopping for properties for the first time. According to data from the latest 2019 SCE Housing Survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, renters are seriously contemplating becoming homebuyers and that not only did they perceive the access to mortgage credit “had loosened somewhat,” but the share of renters saying that getting a mortgage had become easy or very easy rose “above 21% for the first time since at least 2014.”Additionally, a recent study by First American found that more than half of all mortgage loans originated by government-sponsored enterprises are now for first-time homebuyers. However, traditional measures of affordability offer a somewhat misleading perspective for this demographic.“With the bulk of millennials turning 30 in 2020 and entering their prime homebuying age, millennial homebuyer demand is expected to continue to grow,” said Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist for First American. “That means the markets with the most promise are those most affordable for renters looking to purchase their first homes.”New Buyers Coming of AgeNearly 45 million people in the U.S. will reach the typical age for first-time homebuyers in the next 10 years, a recent study by Zillow pointed out. That is nearly 3.1 million more than the past decade.Giving insights into the profile of these buyers, Mark Palim, Deputy Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, said that the typical first-time homebuyer is approximately 35 years old when they purchase a home, younger than repeat borrowers, who tend to be between 40 and 46 years old.“First-time homebuyers typically take out smaller loan balances and buy homes within the lower price tiers,” Palim said.In 2018, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR’s) Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers report gave the following snapshot of a typical homebuyer:The share of first-time buyers was 33%.They looked for homes that had a median purchase price of $250,000.Their household income averaged $91,600 annually.Eighty-two percent of these buyers purchased a single-family home and could afford a median down payment of 13%.While the NAR report found that the share of first-time buyers had fallen slightly in 2018, it pointed to signs that the number is likely to grow soon. “Low inventory, rising interest rates, and student loan debt are all factors contributing to the suppression of first-time homebuyers,” Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR wrote in the report. “However, existing home sales data shows inventory has been rising slowly on a year-over-year basis in recent months, which may encourage more would-be buyers who were previously convinced they could not find a home to enter the market.”This growth of first-time buyers hasn’t been sudden but rather a steady one, according to Liz Bryant, Retail National Sales Manager for Wells Fargo Home Lending. Apart from millennials, she listed baby boomers looking to downsize as another sizeable portion of homebuyers looking for affordable homes this season.“The retiree market has tended to be more consistent, fueled by a rising number of aging baby boomers looking to downsize and/ or relocate to warmer climates and lower tax states,” Bryant pointed out. “Buyers are value-focused in both cases and are moving quickly on homes priced at or below the median price in most rapidly growing markets.”The growing number of this demographic has also meant that affordability and inventory remain sizeable headwinds for these buyers to achieve their American Dream. “Homeowners are remaining in their homes longer than in the past, which means fewer homes are becoming available,” Bryant said. “First-time homebuyers are concerned about the down payment needed to qualify in many markets. We continue to work with buyers to educate them about our low downpayment loan program and the availability of down payment assistance programs.”“Affordability will remain a challenge for most buyers despite mortgage rates providing a measure of relief,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist for Lending Tree. “Inventory is also a challenge, particularly at the lower price points where investors have taken a lot of properties off the market and home builders are not adding a lot of new supply.”Speaking of affordability, saving for a down payment remains the biggest hurdle for this group by far.“The hurdle for buyers has always been the down payment, and as prices rapidly recovered in the early 2010s, many buyers began to gravitate towards lower down payment options,” said Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “Moreover, given millennials are the dominant buyer in today’s market, the reason that the first-time homebuyer share is elevated, housing affordability will remain by far the most dominant force holding back buyers from purchasing homes.”“While the vast majority of millennials want to purchase a home, high student loan debt and the lack of savings for a down payment are some of the barriers to entry for them,” said Randy Viars, Regional Production Manager for Planet Home Lending.However, there is hope, with certain cities in the country providing the best starting point for this group. According to Kushi, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Cincinnati are the most optimal markets for these homebuyers.Then there are cities like Houston, that are particularly attractive for the middle class according to Kapfidze, who also listed Pittsburgh along with Buffalo, Dallas, and Minneapolis that remained largely affordable.Another factor that could improve affordability for these buyers in the coming months is the softening of home prices.The Price Flip-FlopThe New York Fed survey found that consumers’ expectations of average home prices at both the one- and five-year horizons fell relative to last year. It revealed that the mean one-year ahead expected a change in home prices in 2019 was 3.6%, over a percentage point below last year’s 4.6% and the second-lowest level since the inception of the survey in 2014. Five-year growth expectations average 2% per year, almost a full percentage point lower than last year.A CoreLogic forecast also recently projected a 4.8% appreciation of home prices nationwide in 2019 and while many states and metros would see solid appreciation rates, “many others will experience significant slowdowns for the first time in over seven years.”Interestingly, the forecast revealed that cities with a “wide array of amenities, active lifestyles, and good career opportunities,” would likely continue to perform well over the next few years. The cities that would experience a decline in home price growth through December 2019 were spread out across the Northeast and Midwest in areas such as New Jersey, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Texas.However, one market that is already feeling the pinch of softening home prices is California. According to Khater, it has cooled down the most over the past year, primarily because it was an expensive housing market. “California experienced rapidly growing price appreciation, and when rates increased, it meant the monthly payment increased by 15-20% in one year, which caused the market to experience a decline in sales, a rise in inventory, and a deceleration in home price growth,” he explained.Another reason why these markets have cooled somewhat, according to Palim, is to avoid what “Alan Greenspan called (in another context) ‘irrational exuberance.’”“In general, market forces often cause short-term house price appreciation rates to revert to a long-run average, and that’s likely what we’ve seen recently,” Palim said giving the example of markets like Seattle where home price appreciation had averaged more than 12% per year from Q2 2012 to Q1 2018.Similarly, in San Jose, Portland, and Denver, the average rate over the same period was more than 11% per year. “By contrast, we haven’t seen much cooling in Gary or Wichita, but over the same six-year period house prices increased by an average of less than 5% per year in each city,” Palim said.According to Sarah Mikhitarian, Senior Economist for Zillow, these previously hot markets have even experienced small monthly declines in home values for the past few months.“It’s a natural price correction following explosive home price growth that outpaced incomes, causing potential buyers, who could no longer afford the down payment, to bow out of the market,” Mikhitarian said. “Prices are still high and these are by no means buyer’s markets, but it’s a stark difference from the extreme seller’s markets from the past couple of years.”For investors, Kapfidze said, some of the best cities where monthly mortgage payments were lower than monthly rents included Miami, Orlando, and Virginia Beach. But, he warned investors looking for price appreciation would need to be wary “as some previously high flying metros are seeing price growth slow, in particular, in high-tech cities on the coast like San Francisco and Seattle.”However, according to Kapfidze, while these high-tech cities on the coasts are cooling, there is something in the air which may change this trend.“The raft of tech IPOs like Lyft, Pinterest, and Uber will mean many employees and investors in these companies could cash out, this may put some momentum back in these markets in the second half of the year,” he predicted.Homebuyers, especially those looking for starter homes are not out of the woods.“Consumers most often cite high home prices as a top concern,” Palim said. “Additionally, they are less likely to attribute homebuying pessimism directly to tight “Consumers most often cite high home prices as a top concern,” Palim said. “Additionally, they are less likely to attribute homebuying pessimism directly to tight inventories, perhaps because inventory levels may not be as obvious to the vast majority who are not actively looking for a home.”Supply ShortageA Zillow study found that starter homes have gained 57.3% in value over the past five years, while inventory in the bottom third of the market has fallen 23.2%, creating a shortage of affordable homes for first-time buyers.“The potential first-time buyer bulge, without inventory to meet it, suggests that the typical age of first-time buyers will continue to be pushed further and further out,” Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow noted in the study. “The rate of single-family construction is still behind the pace we experienced in the 1990s, and without an increase in truly new supply, would-be first-time buyers will instead persist in the rental market.”According to Kushi, demand for homeownership is likely to peak over the next three to five years as most millennials born in 1990 (the peak year for millennial births) enter the homebuying age. “However, the existing supply shortage—the trend that characterized 2018—remains a factor in 2019, inviting the question as to whether the market is ready for rising millennial demand for homeownership,” she pointed out. “While the supply shortage appears to be easing in some markets, it is largely among higher-end homes. The supply-demand gap will likely continue into the second half of the year as millennial demand continues to grow, and supply for starter homes lags.”Palim agreed. “Recently there has been limited inventory within the lower priced tiers, and home price growth has been more rapid compared to homes in higher priced tiers. Home price growth has also outpaced wage growth, making affordability a growing concern for all homebuyers,” he said.However, according to Mikhitarian some of the recent signs in housing supply have been encouraging for buyers. “Homes are staying on the market longer, which means more inventory is available to choose from and there’s less chance of a bidding war that pushes the sale price well above asking,” she observed. “In addition, a higher share of listings have experienced a price cut, especially in the most-expensive third of homes for sale, as sellers look to find the new asking price sweet spot in a shifting market.”The fact that investors have taken a lot of properties off the market and home builders are not adding a lot of new supply could add to the inventory woes, according to Kapfidze. Additionally, “affordability will remain a challenge for most buyers despite mortgage rates providing a measure of relief,” he said.But, a report by Freddie Mac forecast a steadily growing market in the second half of 2019. “We still expect stronger home sales and housing starts in the coming months due to favorable market conditions and accelerating wage growth,” Khater observed in the report.Additionally, Freddie Mac pegged mortgage rates to average 4.1% during the year, for the 30year fixed-rate mortgage slightly below last year’s 4.6%. And the ongoing stable rates mean that consumer confidence in the housing market is growing.Lending Right“Consumers’ income perceptions, as well as their mortgage rate and home price outlooks, suggest improving affordability conditions,” Palim said.Additionally, the fact that mortgage rates have remained low could help more homebuyers enter the market.“While there has been a slowdown in home sales and prices, the monthly payment remains affordable because mortgage rates remain fairly low,” Khater said.According to the New York Fed, on average, households perceive that mortgage rates have risen about 40 basis points since last year and that the rate they would be offered has risen about 30 basis points. This perception, however, was based on the change in rates through December 2018, but by February 2019 rates had returned to their February 2018 levels, the New York Fed survey revealed.Lenders are also taking advantage of the low rates to get more buyers involved in the mortgage process. According to Viars, the best way for lenders to help homebuyers is education. “There are many different types of mortgage loans available today as we are seeing the non-prime loans return to the market,” he said. “Educating the buyers regarding their options and advising them on what type of loan might be right for their individual needs is more critical today than in the past, especially with the first-time homebuyer.”Bryant listed a number of ways that Wells Fargo is working towards achieving this goal. “Customers can apply for loans where, when and how they want—from the convenience of their kitchen table or in person with one of our home mortgage consultants,” she said. “We’re also taking the work out of the process for customers wherever we can by striving to collect more and more of the information needed for the application on their behalf, so they spend less time typing in information or collecting documents.As consumers demand more from lenders such as a smooth lending process, good information, and the ability to choose the way in which they work with their lender, Bryant observed that lenders were also going that extra mile to fulfill those demands.“Even as we invest in making the process easier, we believe many buyers—and especially first-time buyers—want help along the way,” she said, giving an example of how the home mortgage consultants at Wells Fargo were helping customers to make the entire lending experience one that ended with a customer getting the keys to their new home. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features Home Home Sellers Homebuyers HOUSING Housing Market loan mortgage 2019-07-04 Radhika Ojha Share 29 days ago 534 Views The Summer Homebuying Spree
Argentine lemon export season delayed significantl … Argentine lemon industry expects first exports to … May 30 , 2019 U.S.-based citrus company Limoneira has completed the joint venture and land acquisition with family-owned Argentine citrus operation FGF Trapani (FGF).FGF has over 3,200 acres of lemons and oranges in the Argentina Provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Tucuman and owns and operates a juice processing facility in the Province of Tucuman.As part of the agreement, Limoneira has created a subsidiary in Argentina under the name Limoneira Argentina S.A.U. and acquired 25% of the parcels of Finca Santa Clara. Its current share represents around 1,200 acres of planted lemons, and it will acquire an additional 25% a three-year period. You might also be interested in Limoneira Argentina and FGF’s joint venture will operate under the name Trapani Fresh, with Limoneira Argentina holding a 51% interest as the managing partner responsible for all fresh fruit sales and FGF holding a 49% interest.FGF will maintain 100% ownership and control of its juice processing facilities and operations.”This joint venture and land acquisition with FGF will be accretive in fiscal 2019, expands our global footprint into Argentina and strengthens our position as a 365-day, 24/7 global supplier of fresh citrus to our valued customers around the world,” said Alex Teague, senior vice president of Limoneira.”This joint venture is a perfect fit with our One World of Citrus™ initiative and we are excited to welcome FGF’s family owned business to the Limoneira team.” Argentine blueberries: Country will be “niche” pla … Argentina to send increased blueberry volumes in s …
It’s a bit chilly in Whistler right now but that hasn’t stopped MTA members Leisa Crotty and Mel Sherry jumping at the opportunity to take part in a Whistler Tourism and Vancouver Tourism exclusive study tour. Itinerary highlights included a host of ‘cool’ activities including skiing, snowmobiling and snow shoeing, a float plane tour of Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain, a visit to the popular Granville Markets, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a food tasting tour of Gastown and a Vancouver city tour.Leisa and Sherry are pictured, blue with cold but putting on brave faces, in Whistler’s famous Vodka Ice Bar. agentsCanadafamilMTA
asiaBuffalo ToursResponsible tourismSustainable Plastic waste is one of the most urgent environmental challenges currently facing Asia, with increased tourism playing a significant role in intensifying a bad situation, and Buffalo Tours is committed to taking steps to drastically reduce its contribution to the problem.The company is now providing the option to use refillable water bottles on group tours, instead of single-use plastic. So far this has resulted in a reduction of plastic waste by over 200,000 water bottles in less than a year. “We believe that responsible travel can be achieved by offering sustainable alternatives to our customers, without compromising on service and comfort. We are delighted to see how small changes can result in dramatic progress,” said Greg Martin, General Manager, Buffalo Tours Australia & New Zealand.Buffalo Tours is further reducing its impact on the environment by replacing other forms of single-use plastic with 100% biodegradable and environmentally-friendly alternatives. This includes individually wrapped food, beverage and hygiene items.“This is a global problem that requires a global effort to solve. It is estimated that almost two thirds of all plastic waste in our oceans originate in Asia. This is believed to be one of the biggest threats to coral reefs in Asia-Pacific, from Thailand to Australia,” said Malte Blas, Responsible Travel Advisory Board, Buffalo Tours.Hotels and tour operators are a significant contributor to plastic waste, providing every guest with several complimentary water bottles each day. Waste management in many popular tourist destinations, such as Bali, are simply not adequately equipped to deal with the issue.“We have a duty to keep our guests hydrated and happy, but we also have a duty towards the environment. By offering travellers an alternative to single-use plastic bottles, even if we only save one bottle per person each day, it has a huge impact,” said Peter Christiansen, Country Manager, Buffalo Tours Indonesia.CLICK HERE for Buffalo Tours’ Responsible Travel eBook.
What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Heap joined Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Monday to discuss his injury status. “For me its a day-to-day thing,” Heap said. “It’s been that way for a while now, I’ve had days that have set me back that’s what kind of happened last week so it’s hard to say at this point.” Heap hopes his return will come Sunday in the Cardinals’divisional matchup against the 49ers. “I’d love to be out there especially in a division game,” Heap said. “It’s a big game for us, they’re playing so well it’s going to be a huge test for us.” Just because the tight end hasn’t played in six weeks doesn’t mean the hamstring isn’t getting better, but Heap is proceeding with caution. “I started Wednesday practices and it felt decent but not great,” Heap said. “I continued on Thursday and it was still sore from practice on Wednesday and then on Friday I was frustrated and tried to push through it and I don’t think that helped me.” Heap signed a two-year contract and his extended time away from the field may hurt the player’s chances of remaining with the team next season. Comments Share Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Tight end Todd Heap was one of the Arizona Cardinals bigger offseason acquisitions, but like another unnamed offseason addition he hasn’t performed to expectations. This season Heap has played in five games, catching 13 passes for 150 yards and no touchdowns. This is a player who, coming into this season, had 480 receptions, 5,502 yards and 41 touchdowns with his former team, the Baltimore Ravens. To be fair, Heap has been battling a hamstring injury that has rendered him useless for over a month now. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ “I’m not really worried about that right now, I’ve got other things that concern me,” Heap said. “My biggest concern is getting on the field and making an impact for this team.”
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Time keeps ticking as the Arizona Cardinals continue their search for a new head coach. One of those candidates left sitting and waiting patiently is current Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Most coaches and coordinators have hobbies they enjoy during the offseason to help get their mind off the game. Horton’s happens to be different than most — he enjoys flying planes. “For me it’s just relaxation and something I’ve always wanted to do,” Horton said after a recent flying session. “I don’t know if it’s a male thing or not but you know you look up as a kid and you see planes and birds and you think, ‘why can’t man fly?’ “I just had the opportunity last year during the lockout and I did and it was amazing. It’s so much easier than I thought and so much more peaceful.”The defensive coordinator revealed his unique hobby to me after practice one day and mentioned he has his pilot’s license. He joked about being a good pilot. “You’re more than welcome to come along some day,” he said. As the offseason began and Horton’s future in Arizona in limbo, I started to think about his offer because he also said it’s something he does because it’s relaxing for him. What better time to join him on a flight than in the midst of a head coaching search when peace and relaxation could be at a premium?? My thoughts exactly…“With our schedule I try to fly every other Friday just to stay proficient at it. It’s one of those skills you can lose and get rusty at it,” Horton said when asked how he fits flying in with the busy schedule of an NFL coach. “So during the season twice a month and then during the offseason, this is the first offseason since I’ve had my license, so I don’t know.” Horton said he’s enjoyed flying in Phoenix, Flagstaff and even in the Pittsburgh area. He’s flown during the night, logged cross-country hours and continues to improve, but admits there’s still learning to do. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “I’ve been probably flying twice a week where I actually go fly somewhere. I’m still a novice at it and learning. Michael Bidwill, the Cardinals owner, is a pilot and he says you’re always learning. It’s not really a license to fly; it’s a license to learn, because you’re always learning something. You should learn something every flight.”That statement from Horton should not be a surprise to anybody who has spent time covering the coordinator during his two years in Arizona. One could have guessed he’s as meticulous and detail-oriented when flying a plane as he is at breaking down offenses in the NFL. Horton sees something he wants and goes after it without hesitation. He finished his ten-year playing career in the NFL in 1992 and has been a coach in the league ever since, including seven successful years with the Pittsburgh Steelers before joining Arizona in 2011. So what was different about flying? Why wait until he was 50 years old to get his pilot’s license?“Because of the time it takes. It would be hard to do that on your five weeks of summer vacation that you get,” he said. “I don’t think I would’ve had the time to devote during the season during the offseason of scouting and playbook and it just happened when the lockout came that everything was locked down for whatever that period was.” – / 4 Horton said it takes 60 hours total between flight and ground school. “I started May 1 and basically got it right before training camp. Basically it was May, June, July; a three-month process to get it which was amazing but I flew twice a day sometimes.”For a coach that doesn’t like to sit still, this coaching search may lead to a few more flying opportunities as it drags on. Horton would argue he uses his flight time as something fun to do and not an activity to relieve a little stress that comes with the unknown of a coaching search.“I’m not stressed,” he said laughing. “Why would I be stressed? I have no worries in my life.”He’s proven to be pretty good at breaking down offenses and now proven to me that he’s pretty good at flying, too. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments Share
The Arizona Cardinals Broadcast Department contributed to this report It was not long ago when Dontay Moch was an incredibly intriguing linebacker prospect.A third-round pick out of Nevada by the Cincinnati Bengals, he entered the NFL as a player many believed would develop into a very useful linebacker.Said his NFL.com Draft profile, “Moch brings speed, athleticism and explosiveness to the Bengals’ lineup. Although he has limited experience playing from an upright position, he is a dynamic pass rusher with the skills to be effective as a situational rusher. He gives them a versatile option to incorporate in their exotic schemes on passing downs.” Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Moch knows it’s a tough blow to his new team, but also feels like this is now a chance for the Cardinals to unearth some new contributors, too.And though he’s only been with the team a few weeks, Moch thinks he’s ready to step in and help.“I have been, since I’ve been out here, just staying in the playbook and so far, so good,” he said. “And I’m just going to go out there and make no errors.”How much the Cardinals will rely on Moch remains to be seen, but he expects to be used for his pass rushing abilities. Head coach Bruce Arians said Moch brings speed along with long arms, and noted Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told him he was disappointed to see the linebacker leave.“I’m anxious to see him play,” Arians said. “In practice he’s been tough to block, and he’s earned this right.”Moch recorded 28.5 sacks at the collegiate level, but has yet to take down an NFL QB in anything but a preseason game. Given an opportunity, though, the 25-year-old expects that to change. Because along with speed and power, the third-year pro said his character will help him make plays.“I’m a predator out there, I’m not prey, that’s for sure,” he said. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Things have not exactly gone according to plan. Moch was part of the Bengals’ final round of cuts in August, making the former Chandler Hamilton High School star a free agent. He was signed to the Cardinals’ practice squad on September 2, and was promoted to the active roster September 23 due to injuries.“It’s a business out here, it’s tough, and at the same time you have to understand it and come ready and be prepared,” Moch said Wednesday. “I’ve got the opportunity to come home to my hometown and do something that I was blessed to do with my life, and I’ve just got to go out there and prove it now.”Moch has appeared in just one NFL game — last season — and failed to record any stats. Injuries as well as well as a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances have slowed Moch’s progress, and he admitted to feeling some frustration with how his career has gone and how long it has taken to get a chance. However, he said it all serves as motivation to step up now that he’s getting a chance.Of course, he will be on the field Sunday when the Cardinals take on the Tampa Buccaneers because of a rash of injuries suffered by the Cards at the outside linebacker position, as Lorenzo Alexander, Sam Acho and Alex Okafor have all been lost for the season.
0 Comments Share Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Jones, who is making roughly $7.8 million in the last season of his rookie contract, figures to command a higher salary than that. Should the Cardinals be unable to come to an agreement with him, the option of using the franchise tag — which would pay him a salary that is the average of the top five highest paid players at his position for on year — would be there.“That’s always an option, but that’s not the reason we made the trade,” Keim said. “We made the trade with the mindset that the guy is going to have success, which he has, and that he could potentially be a fixture here long-term.“So hopefully, again, we’ll get something ironed out, but I’ve been doing this long enough now where I understand how negotiations go, so you can never tell.” Jones’ seven sacks lead the Cardinals and have him tied for eighth in the NFL, and on Sunday, FOX’s Jay Glazer reported the team and player have been in discussions for a contract extension.A guest of Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday morning, Cardinals GM Steve Keim had nothing but praise for Jones, who tallied two sacks in Sunday’s 23-20 win over the 49ers.“I would say this about him, and without getting into the dialogue of the negotiations, but you know, when you make a trade for a player that you don’t know well personally, you’re not sure how it’s going to go,” Keim said. “Although you see what you see on tape, he has been a great teammate, he’s been fantastic in the locker room, he works extremely hard on and off the field.“So, just when I look at the person and the player, he’s been a great fit for us and hopefully we can get something ironed out long-term.”A 2012 first-round pick of the Patriots, the 26-year-old Jones has amassed 43 sacks in 64 career games, while also forcing 12 fumbles. Players of his skill set and age do not come cheap, and just last offseason less accomplished pass rushers like Bruce Irvin (4 years, $37 million, Raiders) and Olivier Vernon (5 years, $85 million, Giants) cashed in as free agents. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Your browser does not support the audio element. LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals general manager Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling When the Cardinals traded for Patriots pass rusher Chandler Jones last March, talk of the deal centered around how the team had acquired a premier talent, albeit one who was set to become a free agent after the season.At the time, the Cardinals maintained that they had every intention of keeping Jones around long-term, and Jones himself seemed open to the idea of sticking around for a while.Nine games into Jones’ Cardinals tenure, nothing has changed. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Carson Palmer has been in Sam Bradford’s seat, debuting on a new team and playing under a first-year coaching staff.The last time Palmer did it, Bradford was there, playing for the St. Louis Rams in September of 2013 and hosting an Arizona Cardinals team debuting Palmer at quarterback and Bruce Arians as head coach. That game ended as a 27-24 Arizona loss despite Palmer throwing for 327 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Five years later, Bradford’s first game as Palmer’s replacement for the Cardinals also ended in defeat.Arizona put up less of a fight compared to the debut of their last head coach, falling 24-6 to the Washington Redskins on Sunday as Bradford completed 20-of-34 passes for just 153 yards and an interception.Palmer, enjoying his retirement, was watching his successor and told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that he empathizes with his former team.Related LinksArizona Cardinals’ first impression against Redskins was a debacleFormer Cardinal Carson Palmer to be featured in ‘A Football Life’Booed in opener, Cardinals focus on improvement after loss to RedskinsPeterson, Redskins paint a portrait of what the Cardinals want to be“Let me start off by saying, give them some time. This is Week 1,” Palmer said Monday. “As you heard Coach Wilks say it, this is a reload — a reload doesn’t happen in Week 1, it doesn’t happen overnight. You look at this group and there’s great players on this team.”Cardinals players didn’t express panic, nor concern after their season-opening loss.Growing familiar with one another, however, wasn’t an excuse in the locker room. They expected more of themselves. But Palmer believes cohesion will take repetition and live game action to develop.Bradford, who signed as a free agent this offseaosn, played sparingly in the preseason and could have more rust to knock off after he appeared in just two games last year before a knee injury ended his 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings. His offensive line includes a rookie center, two new players on the right side, and two returnees on the left side who each played less than half of last season. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “This offensive line, all five of these guys are just now playing with each other,” Palmer said. “And it’s nice to get some reps and some repetition with each other during camp and during practice, but it’s the games where you really start to get a comfort level of playing with each other.“It’s not college football. In college football, you lose one game, your season’s kind of over if you’re trying to win a national championship,” Palmer added. “There’s so much more football to be played.” Top Stories Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer drops back to pass during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson) 25 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
A new luxury hotel from Starwood, The Grand Mansion, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanjing, is expected to be unveiled in August this year.With an elegant, contemporary design by I.M. Pei and HBA befitting its auspicious setting next to the Presidential Palace, The Grand Mansion will offer discerning global travellers exclusive access to exceptional experiences and uncompromising luxury.Situated at the crossing of Changjiang Road and Dongjian Road in one of the city’s most historically significant neighbourhoods, The Grand Mansion, a Luxury Collection® Hotel, Nanjing offers a luxurious and elegant home-away-from-home from which to explore and unlock the history and culture of Nanjing. The hotel is connected to the Oriental Metropolitan Museum on the archaeological site of the Jiankang Palace, right across the street from the iconic Presidential Palace, with the Nanjing Library and the Jiangsu Art Gallery just steps away.
Talise Spa at Madinat JumeirahGo back to the e-newsletter >Talise by Jumeirah has been crowned the World’s Best Hotel Spa Brand at the first World Spa Awards during a red carpet ceremony at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort hosted by Vietnam television personalities Anh Quan and Minh Ha.Also recognised among the winners was Gaia Retreat & Spa, which took the title of World’s Best Day Spa, and Emirates Palace Spa, which claimed World’s Best Hotel Spa.HARNN Heritage Spa at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort walked away with the awards for Vietnam’s Best Hotel Spa and World’s Best New Hotel Spa.World Spa Awards Managing Director Gina Reynolds said: “What a fantastic evening and congratulations to all our winners. Each and every one of you truly deserve the recognition you have received from our voters around the world … With such a wonderful inauguration, the World Spa Awards will return next year, bigger and better than ever.”The event was launched by the World Travel Awards, currently celebrating its 22nd anniversary, which already operates the World Ski Awards and the World Golf Awards.See the full list of winners here.Go back to the e-newsletter >