GDP Growth More Positive in Revised Report

first_img Share GDP Growth More Positive in Revised Report March 28, 2013 409 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologycenter_img Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, the “”Bureau of Economic Analysis””:http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2013/gdp4q12_3rd.htm (BEA) reported Thursday. The report, coming just three days before the end of the first quarter, was an improvement over the first two GDP reports that showed the economy contracted by 0.1 percent then improved by 0.1 percent. [IMAGE]While the revised numbers are hardly anything to get excited about, they could give the economy a running start as it heads into the second quarter.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected GDP to grow by a 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted annualized growth rate. At 0.4 percent, the annualized fourth-quarter growth rate was the weakest since Q1 2011, when the economy grew at 0.1 percent. Since the officially declared ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£end├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø of the recession in mid-2009, the average quarterly growth rate (annualized) has been 2.4 percent.BEA, in reporting the revision in GDP, said it was based on more complete source data than were available for the “”advance”” estimate issued in January or the estimate issued in February.Real personal consumption (adjusted for inflation) increased 1.8 percent from the third quarter to the fourth, slightly faster than the 1.6 percent increase from the second to the third. Non-residential fixed investment was up 13.2 percent in the fourth quarter after falling 1.8 percent in the third.The main drag on the fourth quarter economy–as it had been in the previous two fourth-quarter reports–continued to be government spending. Although the mandated sequester cuts kicked in on March 1, most of the impact will be delayed. Nonetheless, reduced government spending in the fourth quarter, down an estimated $45 billion from the third quarter, subtracted an estimated 1.4 percentage points.The report also includes estimates of corporate profits in the fourth quarter, showing them at $453.8 billion for the quarter, down from $457.3 in the third quarter. Full year profits for 2012 were up $51.3 billion after a $2.7 billion loss in 2011. .Headline inflation for the GDP price index showed a 2.2 percent annualized inflation rate for 2012, up from 1.8 percent in 2011. Excluding food and energy, inflation was revised to 1.7 percent for 2012, down from 1.9 percent in 2011._Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. and again at 9:20 a.m. Eastern time._ Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Consumer spending GDP Home Values Homebuilders Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Residential Construction Service Providers 2013-03-28 Mark Liebermanlast_img read more

Farris Law Group Hires 3 New Members to Steer Growth

first_img Share May 13, 2013 482 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Texan law firm “”Farris Law Group, PLLC””:http://farrislawgroup.com/ announced the hiring of three new team members to focus on the company’s growth and expansion, especially in the mortgage document preparation department.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Farris brought on Kortney Harward as SVP of business development; Patrick Fitzgerald as manager of the loan fulfillment department; and Ali Linthorst as VP of marketing.””I wanted to bring on a varsity team that is excited about the growth and knows the industry inside and out,”” said Matt Farris, principal of Farris Law Group. “”These three new hires are going to create a lot of new business for Farris Law Group and we are all excited to see what happens next.””””I am excited for this new opportunity with Farris Law Group and the potential we have tosucceed in providing Texas lenders with mortgage document solutions,”” Harward said. “”I am eager and excited to build new partnerships and business relationships to further the success we are already witnessing.””center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-05-13 Tory Barringer Farris Law Group Hires 3 New Members to Steer Growthlast_img read more

Norcom Unveils New Origination Exchange Portal

first_imgNorcom Unveils New Origination Exchange Portal November 18, 2013 448 Views In Connecticut, “”Norcom Mortgage””:https://norcommortgage.com/ touted the creation of its new Norcom Origination Exchange (NOX) Portal, a secure loan exchange program designed with the firm’s wholesale and correspondent partners in mind.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The new portal creates a seamless workflow between employees and partners that starts from when a loan is submitted and lasts all the way through closing and funding, Norcom explained in a release.Scott Blanchard, Norcom’s manager of Web operations and the creative mind behind NOX, said his goal was to assist in making business transactions more efficient and eliminating troubleshooting issues.””Good technology allows you to achieve your business goals better and faster by being simple, helpful and unobtrusive,”” he said. “”We believe that NOX will be all of that and even more.”” in Origination, Technologycenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-11-18 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Audit Finds Room for Improvement in FHFAs Insurer Oversight

first_img Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Mortgage Insurance 2014-05-11 Colin Robins Audit Finds Room for Improvement in FHFA’s Insurer Oversight Share The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) performed an audit on the financial conditions of mortgage insurers used for loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to assess their exposure to risk. FHFA, as the regulator for Fannie and Freddie, provides oversight of the GSEs and contracted CohnReznick LLP to perform the audit.The OIG commented, “The Enterprises typically require mortgage insurance underwritten by private mortgage insurers as a credit enhancement to reduce the amount of losses in the event of borrower default.” The GSEs currently hold over $587 billion in single-family residential mortgage loans insured by private mortgage insurance companies.CohnReznick found that FHFA has “opportunities to further strengthen its oversight of the Enterprises’ monitoring of the financial condition of mortgage insurers and their related risk exposure.”Specifically, the company reported FHFA could better coordinate the oversight of risk by issuing a formal oversight plan that defines roles and responsibilities. FHFAOIG reported distressed insurers were potentially responsible for up to $49 billion in the event of borrower defaults, representing over a third of coverage for both Fannie and Freddie.Furthermore, the audit found the FHFA can provide better oversight when approving new mortgage insurers. CohnReznick said that the FHFA delegated the approval decisions for a new mortgage insurer to the GSEs.”FHFA does not have a formal process for evaluating new mortgage insurers, including Enterprise risk assessments and justification for conditional approval requirements,” the company’s audit found.The group suggested that the FHFA be directly involved in the review and approval process for new mortgage insurers, which would strengthen governance over new approval decisions.CohnReznick also suggested that the FHFA establish policies, procedures, and processes to help execute the FHFA’s oversight of the GSEs business with mortgage insurers, as well as develop specific criteria and methodology for reviewing new mortgage insurers.”FHFA generally agreed with the first recommendation but did not provide responsive comments to the second and third recommendations, which OIG considers unresolved,” the report said.The audit was performed from September 2008 through May 2013. Fieldwork was performed from April 2013 through January 2014 at FHFA’s and Fannie Mae’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., as well as Freddie Mac’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia.center_img May 11, 2014 502 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Marketlast_img read more

Mortgage Originations Expected to Decline in 2014 CoreLogic Estimates

first_img CoreLogic Home Mortgage Disclosure Act mortgage originations Refinance Activity 2015-09-02 Staff Writer September 2, 2015 675 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Mortgage originations are expected to decrease by 30 percent in 2014, due to a decline in refinance activity, according to estimates from CoreLogic.Every year, in mid-September, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data for the prior year of mortgage activity is released. This report provides lenders and policy makers with information about mortgage denial rates, borrower and applicant details, mortgage pricing, and the level of mortgage originations.The most important figure within the HMDA report is the amount of first-lien mortgage originations. As the industry awaits these for these numbers to be released, CoreLogic produced a preview of the expected number of originations. The company’s estimate is usually not too far off from the HMDA data.  CoreLogic recently reviewed its public records data to estimate mortgage originations in 2014. Using public records deed information, CoreLogic was able to determine if there was a mortgage related with a sale and the amount of the mortgage. CoreLogic predicts that the number of mortgage originations fell by 30 percent from 2013 to 2014, while the mortgage origination dollar volume decreased by 27 percent.On average, the CoreLogic estimate of mortgage origination volume is 1 percent below the HMDA estimate. Thus, the $1.28 trillion in mortgage origination dollar volume that CoreLogic forecast for the HMDA report is a minimum level. Most analysts estimate that lenders reporting under HMDA cover about 95 percent of the mortgage market, so CoreLogic estimates that total market originations accounting for under coverage is closer to $1.36 trillion.”The decrease in mortgage originations in 2014 was due to a drop off in refinancing,”CoreLogic said.The CoreLogic data determined that refinance origination counts fell by 49 percent and the dollar volume fell by 47 percent. The drop in refinancing was partially offset by an increase in purchase money originations, which increased by 5 percent and the dollar volume increased by 7 percent in 2014. Purchase mortgage originations were able to pull out a small increase in 2014 due to a decrease in the cash sales share and strong home price appreciation.center_img Mortgage Originations Expected to Decline in 2014, CoreLogic Estimates Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Credit Availability Drops in Q2

first_imgMortgage Credit Availability Drops in Q2 Credit Access Credit Box mortgage Urban Institute 2015-10-14 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, Market Studies, News The availability of mortgage credit to borrowers declined slightly in the second quarter of 2015, despite impactful federal efforts to expand the credit box.The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center reported in their Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI) that mortgage credit availability decreased from 5.5 in the first quarter to 5.3 in the current quarter.However, the report notes that credit access remains above the all-time low of 4.6, which occurred in the third quarter of 2013.The HCAI determines the percentage of purchase loans that are likely to default, or go unpaid for over 90 days past their due date. Urban Institute explained that a lower HCAI number means that lenders will not tolerate default loans and are issuing higher lending standards, but a higher HCAI means that lenders will tolerate defaults, ease lending standards, and accept more risks.Credit availability has eased 17 percent since September 2013 in the GSEs, while availability in the government channel has eased 7 percent, the institute noted. In the portfolio and private-label securities channel, credit remains tight at well below 3 percent since 2013.Many mortgage lenders are still applying credit overlays that are stricter than what Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or Ginnie Mae require.Survey data from Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research group found that approximately 40 percent of lenders who deliver loans to the GSEs or Ginnie Mae reported applying credit overlays that are more stringent than what the GSEs or Ginnie Mae require.Effort to expand the credit box have been made on both ends and are “having an impact” within the mortgage industry.In August, Fannie Mae made an effort to ease harsh lending standards by revamping its HomeReady affordable loan program to offer creditworthy borrowers with low and moderate incomes the opportunity to obtain a mortgage.”Our priority is a safe, responsible balance between expanded access to mortgage financing and the long-term viability of today’s mortgage loans—limiting risk to lenders, investors, homeowners, and taxpayers,” Fannie Mae said. “Our goal is straightforward: to work with lenders to make mortgages more accessible, affordable, and sustainable.”The Federal Housing Administration also introduced their Supplemental Performance Metric, intended to evaluate the lending practices of FHA-approved lenders and help them understand the type of borrowers they are serving.Although getting a mortgage has been progressively getting easier since 2012, the first few months of this year indicate that credit is tightening and obtaining a mortgage is no easier than it was a year ago.The Zillow Mortgage Access Index (ZMAI) quarterly report found in early September that access to mortgage credit reached 65 in Q1 and is over two-thirds of the way back to 2002 pre-crisis levels. In August 2004, mortgage credit was easiest to obtain when the ZMAI reached 136.8.”Recent market volatility is causing some lenders to be more cautious in their underwriting,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Tighter mortgage access will make it harder for people with low credit scores to get a home loan, and even people who can get approved for a mortgage will have fewer options in terms of available mortgage products.”center_img October 14, 2015 527 Views Sharelast_img read more

Is a September Rate Hike Off the Table Now

first_img Employment Federal Reserve Jobs 2016-09-02 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News September 2, 2016 729 Views The August 2016 Employment Situation released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday indicated that 151,000 jobs were added during the month, a number that fell short of expectations after June’s and July’s revised numbers of 271,000 and 275,000, respectively.The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent from July to August, and the average hourly wage bumped up by 3 cents to $25.73 (a year-over-year gain of 2.4 percent).The August jobs report was widely viewed as the final piece of the puzzle for Federal Reserve policymakers to determine if economic growth has been sufficient enough to raise short-term interest rates. After the report fell short of expectations, some analysts have their doubts as to whether the widely-forecasted September rate hike will take place.“While this was a solid report overall, it nonetheless fell short of expectations. Job growth and wage gains both slowed, while the unemployment rate and labor force participation remained at previous levels,” said Long. “Simply put, this report is not enough to compel the Fed to raise rates in September, and the focus will shift to December as the most likely date for the next rate hike.”Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan expressed similar sentiments with regard to whether or not the Fed will raise rates in September.“Despite recent attempts by Fed officials to convince the market that economic conditions are ripe for a rate hike, we believe today’s August jobs report did not pass the high bar needed for a target rate increase this month,” Duncan said. “Headline hiring slowed markedly from the prior two months to 151,000 amid weakening earnings growth and a declining workweek. However, by itself this is not a weak report given that only about 100,000 jobs need to be added monthly to hold the unemployment rate constant. While the goods sector job losses were quite discouraging, including a decline of 6,000 total construction jobs, details for residential construction hiring were more positive. Construction employment in the residential sector grew by 10,800, the biggest monthly gain since March, providing a silver lining for residential investment following bearish news on new construction spending and existing home sales at the start of the third quarter.”On September 1, the day before the August jobs report was released, Freddie Mac reported that near-record low mortgage rates bumped up by 3 basis points from the previous week up to 3.46 percent (for the 30-year FRM) in anticipation of a September rate hike by the Fed. Rates are expected to hover around that level for the near term, and possibly even longer if a Fed rate hike does not occur in September.Click here to view the entire August 2016 Employment Situation from the BLS.center_img Share Is a September Rate Hike Off the Table Now?last_img read more

OCC Financial Industry Should Not Change Course

first_img Share September 16, 2016 527 Views OCC: Financial Industry Should Not Change Course in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Newscenter_img Banks Capitalization Financial System OCC 2016-09-16 Seth Welborn The U.S. banking system in 2016 is as well capitalized as any in the world as key industry participants continue to apply the basis lessons they learned from the financial crisis of 2008, according to Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry in a public address this week.In a speech this week at Harvard Kennedy School, Curry said in the eight years since the crisis, the banking system has progressed to the point where it would be a mistake to change course.“The hard work that U.S. regulators and bankers did in response to the crisis now has U.S. banks in a position of strength,” Curry said. “But my job is to ask how well we—regulators and bankers—are preparing for the next stress event or downturn. And, now is not the time to change course. We must remain vigilant about the levels of capital in good times so it will be there to serve as a bulwark during the next recession. We need to manage the risks of eventually increasing interest rates after this extended period of historic lows.”Curry noted that the banks are stronger today, but that those who have been in the business for more than one cycle know that a downturn is inevitable.“Effective regulation and supervision will help ensure that the trough will not be so deep or so wide,” Curry said.Comptroller of the Currency Thomas CurryThe three basic lessons that the crisis taught financial regulators are the value of strong capital and its corollary the danger of excessive leverage, the need for ample liquidity, and the importance of effective supervision, Curry said.“With regard to capital, our banking system is now as well capitalized as any in the world,” Curry said. “We achieved this level of capital through the concerted effort of regulators and bankers who recognize that stronger capital means stronger banks and that banks should grow their capital during healthier economic periods so that it is available during a downturn.”Curry stated that the danger of excessive leverage is tied to insufficient capital levels, and leverage among financial services firms increased in the period leading up to the crisis—particularly at the “investment banking” firms such as Lehman Brothers.“While it makes perfect sense for banks to hold capital levels commensurate with their risks through the application of aptly named risk-based capital standards, we also have long recognized that such measures are not perfect,” Curry said. “For this reason, we have employed leverage ratios to serve as an additional line of defense, or backstop, to the risk-based capital measures. As noted previously, we have taken a proportionate approach to constraining bank leverage by employing a slightly more sophisticated leverage ratio measure for the largest banks.”A lack of liquidity was a key issue in the solvency issues that banking and finance companies faced in 2008, Curry said, but that problem has been sufficiently addressed by regulators.“Since then we have taken steps in the right direction by implementing the Liquidity Coverage Ratio and proposing the Net Stable Funding Ratio,” Curry said. “These two ratios complement each other and push covered banks to hold sufficient ready resources to meet short-term cash outflows and encourage banks to shift to more stable, longer term funding by relying less on short-term wholesale funding.”Click here to read Curry’s complete speech.last_img read more

Big Cities are Running Out of Space

first_img Building cities Construction 2017-05-22 Seth Welborn Cities are starting to run out of space, according to a report on Bloomberg. Especially space-constrained cities like New York have started to run out of room for builders, leading them to move to city-center areas where high-density building is allowed, and charging much higher prices for it.Bloomberg notes that historically, cities expanded outward, but as land ran out, builders moved outside the city. Cities like Dallas saw new home sales decrease within a 30-mile radius of the city, but increase outside that radius. The same trend has played out to varying degrees in Phoenix, Atlanta, and San Antonio, among other cities. Meanwhile, more expensive cities like New York have seen the opposite trend.Unlike Dallas, cities like New York have run out of space to expand, leaving builders to move their construction focus toward downtown areas with high-density construction. Builders must utilize sparse lots plagued by land price increases in order to build inside the existing boundaries. This means builders focus more on high end apartments with better profit margins, leaving only the wealthiest residents as the ones who can buy.“As long as these cities continue to do well economically, you’re going see poorer folks replaced by richer folks,” said Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom. “You’re going to read stories about teachers not being able to find place to live.”What happens next depends on whether voters and their elected officials rewrite zoning rules to allow denser construction, said Romem, particularly in neighborhoods currently limited to single-family homes. “Under current rules,” he said, “it’s unlikely new housing will get built at affordable prices, pushing city-dwellers into a game of musical chairs rigged to favor the rich.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Sharecenter_img Big Cities are Running Out of Space May 22, 2017 819 Views last_img read more

Wells Fargo Closes Door on VA Refi Issues

first_img Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $108 million to the Federal government to settle long-time allegations that it improperly issued VA refinance loans that weren’t actually eligible for Veterans Administration backing. The government filed the claim in 2006, seeking compensation for the VA, which took losses when many of the loans in question defaulted.According to the suit, the government alleged that some of Wells Fargo’s VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs) were not eligible for VA guarantees because the bank charged certain fees at the time of origination.Though the bank will pay the $108 million to settle the claim, Wells Fargo denies the government’s allegations. The bank settled a related class action suit in 2011, compensating veterans who were issued a VA IRRRL between 2004 and 2010 to make up for the origination fees charged at the time. In total, the suit cost Wells Fargo $10 million in refunds, with about 60,000 mortgagees receiving $175 each.This new settlement, according to Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan, will finally close the door on the issue.“More than six years ago, when questions about fees on Veterans Administration refinance loans were raised, we resolved those concerns by improving our internal controls and made compensation available to VA customers who closed a refinance before that time,” Sloan said. “Settling this longstanding lawsuit allows us to put the matter behind us and continue to focus on serving customers and rebuilding trust with our stakeholders. We are committed to serving the financial health and well-being of veterans, and we will continue to honor that commitment now and in the future.”The two VA-related suits aren’t the only legal troubles Wells Fargo has faced as of late. Last week, the bank revealed it would pay out $80 million in remediation funds for forcing auto insurance policies on customers, and before that, the bank was accused of opening more than 2 million unauthorized accounts in its customers’ names.See Wells Fargo’s full response to the Federal government’s suite at WellsFargo.com. HOUSING mortgage VA Loans va refinance Wells Fargo 2017-08-04 Aly J. Yale in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Origination August 4, 2017 703 Views center_img Wells Fargo Closes Door on VA Refi Issues Sharelast_img read more

Pressure Points for Home Sales

first_img The sale of new single-family homes saw a month-over-month decline of 8.9 percent to 544,000 in October, according to the latest data on new home sales released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday.On a year-over-year basis, home sales declined 12 percent compared to October 2017, the report indicated.“New home sales continued the slowing trajectory they began in the spring as rising mortgage rates and high prices dampen buyer enthusiasm and hold back sales,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com. This was despite a fall in higher-priced homes compared to last year, according to Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “The sharp increase in interest rates has led homebuyers to buy lower-priced homes,” Liu said. “Except for a few players, the construction industry is vulnerable to this shift as it has focused on building higher-priced homes since 2011.”However, according to Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree, while the decline in home sales is real, it might be overstated. “An upward revision to September sales, from 553 to 597 was likely due to measurement challenges from natural disasters, with August sales also revised upwards. Similar challenges may have affected October’s data and it may be revised upwards in subsequent months,” he said. Yet, he agreed with his fellow experts that high mortgage rates were putting pressure on home sales and prices, despite the fact that the “median sales price of $309,700 was the lowest since February 2017.”Despite the declining sales, Hale said that the market was experiencing a new housing bubble. “While numbers of new homes for sale across various stages of construction are increasing, the median number of months that a completed home sits on the market is at an all-time low at 2.7 months,” she said.  “This suggests that even as the supply of new homes relative to recent sales is increasing, finished homes are generally selling quickly.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News November 28, 2018 1,558 Views Pressure Points for Home Salescenter_img Census Bureau Danielle Hale Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. Home Home Prices Home Sales Homebuyers HOUSING HUD Inventory LendingTree Mortgage Rates New Home Sales Realtor.com tendayi kapfidze tian liu 2018-11-28 Radhika Ojha Sharelast_img read more

Why Mortgage Risk Is Rising

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination February 25, 2019 3,474 Views American Enterprise Institute Banks Borrowers Home Price Appreciation Home Prices HOUSING Lenders mortgage NMRI Nonbanks 2019-02-25 Radhika Ojha Sharecenter_img Why Mortgage Risk Is Rising Mortgage risk is rising even as the growth of home price appreciation continues at a different pace at the lower and higher end of the market. According to the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI’s) Center on Housing Market and Finance.The center which released its monthly housing market indicators (HMI) for November on Monday found that mortgage risk had jumped in November with all purchase loan indices either setting or matching all-time highs. On the other hand, it found that house price appreciation remained “strongly bifurcated” with prices at the entry level appreciating at 5.3 percent on an annual basis, while prices at the higher tiers appreciated only 1.5 percent.Rising Risks: A Cause for Worry?According to the latest HMI data, the trend of increasing mortgage risks was led by FHA loans with the purchase National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) for these loans rising 1.7 percentage points and refinance index going up by 1.8 percentage points. The composite purchase NMRI was up 0.5 percentage points from the same period last year.Looking at the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), the report said that Fannie Mae’s risk index continued to outpace Freddie Mac. However, the report pointed out that the risk pick-up had not “translated into any meaningful market share gains for Fannie.”One of the factors that led to rising mortgage risks was the share shift from banks to nonbanks, especially since nonbanks have a greater risk tolerance. The report revealed that “The nonbank’s agency purchase market share set a series’ high in November 2018, while the large bank market share fell to a series’ low.”However, the report noted that purchase volume for November 2018 was down 5.1 percent compared to a year ago. The drop in volume, the report indicated, could be due to greater access to credit allowing first-time buyers to offset higher mortgage rates and higher house prices “while repeat buyers with less access to credit are electing to drop out of the market in larger numbers.”Home Prices Splitting the MarketReiterating what the last report said, Edward Pinto, Co-director of AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance said that the HMI’s preliminary January 2019 HPA index confirmed that entry-level home price appreciation was accelerating with the “rate of HPA for repeat buyers continues to slow, further evidence of a bifurcated market.”Additionally, Pinto said that the implications of leverage during a long-lasting seller’s market were that higher home prices were concentrated at the lower end of the market as well as lower-income neighborhoods where “leverage has been increasing the most.”“After a short period of slower growth at the end of 2018, house prices, especially at the lower end of the housing market, are picking up steam again,” said Tobias Peter, Senior Research Analyst at AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance. “This is something we have been predicting as mortgage rates have fallen back below 4.5 percent, inventories have remained tight, and access to credit, especially for entry-level buyers, has been plentiful.”last_img read more

Fortifying Housing Against Climate Change

first_imgFortifying Housing Against Climate Change Share April 10, 2019 573 Views cities Communities households HOUSING infrastructure Urban Institute 2019-04-10 Radhika Ojhacenter_img As the hurricane season approaches, a white paper by the Urban Institute’s Next50 has given insights into what is being done by states across the country to protect homes from climate change and what steps can be taken to mitigate any future challenges.The report looks at what it would take for the government and housing agencies to ensure that households across the country live in “a physically secure home and a stable community that’s prepared for the effects of climate change.” It makes a case for efforts that must focus special attention on supporting underresourced communities.Though a lot needs to be done to mitigate the risks posed by climate change, the report points out that housing is one area where such steps are already underway and must be strengthened to improve the lives of communities living in areas most affected by weather phenomena.The report gives examples of some emerging ideas to “alleviate climate-related upheavals. For housing, these ideas include:Retrofitting homes to better protect them from disaster, and providing insurance discounts to homeowners that do, such as in Alabama’s fortified home programPromoting parametric insurance pools and cooperatives, which estimate property damage based on environmental benchmarks (like wind speeds) and issue payouts when those benchmarks are met, rather than delaying payouts until the actual damage can be assessedCoordinating actions across government agencies—especially emergency management services, housing, and food assistance—in the aftermath of climate events, along with community and economic development investments to provide the rudiments of a “climate safety net,” as is being done in California and MemphisLooking at future solutions, the report indicates that various cities and towns across the United States are “exploring more fundamental reforms to land use, building techniques, and property rights that respond adaptively to climate change’s increasing effects.” It gives the example of new governance models such as the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact and Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network, “since climate effects don’t respect jurisdictional boundaries.”Another future solution, according to the report is relocating communities to safer ground through property buyouts. “We expect that these bold solutions will ultimately occur in deserts as well as low-lying coastal and river communities,” researchers at Next50 said in the report. Click here for the full report.This June 5-6 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, the Five Star Disaster Symposium will be examining climate change and the challenges facing the housing and mortgage sectors in the years to come. To learn more, and to register to attend, click here. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

Colombian avocados are the business

first_img Colombian avocados are the business … South Africa: Maluma Symposium has ‘become a highl … Australia expects bumper avocado crop, plans expor … You might also be interested in U.S.: LGS enhances summer citrus, Peruvian avocado … center_img In the ‘In Charts’ series, Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the article will look at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.Peru has the golden opportunity to produce avocados right when the market most needs it. Coming in on the heels of California’s supply and right before Chile’s, Peru’s season happens to be countercyclical to Mexico’s with its volumes arriving in the market right when Mexico has the hardest time producing.Avocado movements in lbs 2018(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]Because of its fortunate positioning, Peru’s presence in the U.S. Market has been growing impressively, rushing to keep up with demand right in the middle of the U.S.’s summer. In 2010, the USDA reported 300,000 lbs of imports from Peru, while in 2018 we saw Peru send an impressive 88 million lbs.Avocado shipments to the US from Peru(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]In fresh produce, timing is everything. Fortunately for Peru, timing works in its favor. June, July, and August have seen some of the highest prices to date. This also happens to be when Peru’s supply is most prominent, creating the driving engine behind the origin’s meteoric rise.Hass avocado shipping point prices in USD (cartons to layer), average historic comparison June 11 , 2019 (Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]These high prices are not only created by high demand from consumers – they are also a sign that producers are having a hard time keeping up with the market. To satisfy the markets there are three major origins trying to meet the U.S.’s avocado needs during this time. This in turn creates a complex symphony between all origins striving to maintain balance. If any one of these origins lets up, big spikes in prices follow, such as those in 2016 and 2017.A shining example of this imbalance is the delay that the market saw from California’s season, which pushed prices to over US$50 a box at the beginning of April.Historic avocado shipments from California(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]This year looks like it is going to be an interesting season for the origin. With California experiencing important delays in production, Peru is coming online to a rosy commercial picture with high prices for the category. According to Pro Hass, there will be decreases in Peru’s expected production, a more spread out commercial window, and ever-increasing diversification of the nation’s customers (Peruvian avocados: Greater early-season volumes mark “new trend” for industry). The combination of these factors means that receivers may have a hard time finding fruit from Peru that isn’t pre-committed.  As a result, Peru’s volumes may not serve to completely dampen the high prices the market is experiencing.In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 23 fruits we currently track.last_img read more

A group of ATAC Agents recently enjoyed a true bu

first_imgA group of ATAC Agents recently enjoyed a true ‘bucket-list’ experience on the Trans-Mongolian Railway, hosted by Air China and Sundowners Overland, the Group travelled from Beijing to Irkutsk, experiencing the beauty, culture and extremes of nature along the way. In Beijing, the agents visited the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall Huanghacheng section, then made their way through the Gobi Desert onto Ulaanbaatar and Terelj National Park. Highlights included visiting a nomadic family in their Ger for tea and spending the night in a Ger camp, as well as stopping at the Chinggis Khan Statue, the National History Museum and Turtle Rock; then onwards through Siberia and the frozen Lake Baikal to Irkutsk. Warm days and cool nights in Listvyanka, Russia, were followed by a Shaman visit for good luck, bestowed upon the travellers for their return journey.IMAGE: Visiting a Husky Sledding centre in Listvyanka, Russia agentsATACfamilTrans-Mongolian Railwaylast_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals’ first-round draft pick Haason Reddick speaks after being introduced at the teams’ training facility, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) “And I’m like, ‘OK.’ When he got the phone call, I exploded immediately.”In other words, she was a mother, though this experience is something few can really prepare for. It’s taken time to sink in.“I’m like somebody pinch me,” she said. “But as we got closer (to Arizona), and the pilot’s like, ’30 minutes to land,’ and I’m sitting there and I’m like, ‘Wow, we are headed to Arizona because just hours ago my son got drafted to the Arizona Cardinals.’“Like, are you kidding me? Once we touched down it definitely sank in it was real.”Reddick’s story, however, has hints of being a fairy tale.The 22-year-old has gone from being a walk-on defensive back who was on the verge of leaving the Temple program to now, where he was the 13th overall pick in the draft as a linebacker.The adversity he faced in his career is part of the reason the Cardinals have such affinity for him, and it’s a big reason why they are confident he will be a quality addition to their team.“The thing that separates the good from the great ones, and I say this many times, is the heart and the mind; it’s the passion, it’s the ability to process information, and it’s the want-to,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said. “In our evaluation process of Haason Reddick, that was never ever a question. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Reddick did not have a hard time convincing his parents to come out west with him, with his mother saying that if that’s what he wanted, they were ready to pack up make the move.It has all happened quite quickly, however, as it was later Thursday, early Friday, when Reddick asked his parents to join him in Arizona.“Sure, we’ve got it,” Raelakia said. “We’re here, he’s here, he’s happy to be here — he wanted to be here — I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”Follow Adam Green on Twitter Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires TEMPE, Ariz. — The NFL Draft is a time for celebration and excitement.It’s also a time for nerves. Incredible, knee-buckling nerves.Thursday night in Philadelphia, Haason Reddick was joined by, among others, his mother, Raelakia, and father, Raymond Matthew. Everyone knew he was going to be picked, yet that did not make the night any easier for those who raised him.“I was so nervous; my legs were shaking so bad, I was like, ‘Oh my god, my knee is going to flip the table over,’” Raelakia said Friday afternoon, after her son was formally introduced as the newest Arizona Cardinal. “And he’s like, the whole time, he’s calm, he’s cool, he’s collected. He’s like, ‘Mom, relax, it’s going to be OK.’center_img Top Stories “A young man who’s dealt with a lot of adversity and has answered the bell every step of the way.”Keim attributed Reddick’s having great character and intangibles to his parents.“Obviously the job that you have done raising your son has put him in this position today,” the GM told them Friday. “So, thank you.”Keim was not the only one to credit Reddick’s folks.Asked what his parents have meant to him, the player took a deep breath before saying, “Everything.”“I truly don’t think I would be here without them,” he said. “The guidance, the support, the way they’ve kept me out of trouble, the way they gave me an outlet so I wouldn’t get into the wrong things back from where I’m at.“A lot of that is them, and their hard work and the things that they’ve done, I reflect that — I reflect the time that they’ve put in, the things that they’ve done for me, and I’m truly grateful and blessed to have them as my parents.”There were times during his tumultuous college career where Reddick said he would call home feeling like things were not going to work for him, only to have the voice on the other end of the line tell him to keep pushing and not let anybody discourage him. 0 Comments   Share   Recalling how he would respond that they did not understand what he was going through, he chuckled.It’s easy to laugh now. He’s in the NFL, after all, and set for all that has to offer.One such thing is a bit of money, although the rookie said the first thing he plans on buying is a home for his mother.“Just get her out of the neighborhood that I was born and raised in,” he said. “I want to move her out here. It’s sunny all year round — I told her it was a beautiful place, I’d seen her looking out of the plane, ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ when we were landing.“I think she agrees this is a beautiful place, and somewhere that would be a blessing to live.”Raelakia, who raised her son in Camden, New Jersey, had never been to Arizona prior to Friday but said thus far, it is everything her son proclaimed it to be. Soon it will also be home to them all, and she said the idea of her son buying her a house is something she appreciates.“I’m not looking for handouts, it was never a thing of pay me back,” she said. “Good kid — he’s got a heard of gold, especially when it comes to mom.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 😂 pic.twitter.com/hM4c0yH2NI— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 6, 2017This clip from the Cardinals’ “All or Nothing” documentary shows the bucket challenge.Palmer has already lost the QB challenge this year more than once, and another loser has been Blaine Gabbert, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was the latest victim among those who have lost the quarterback bucket challenge this year. His punishment? Dressing as a mermaid.Palmer was seen wearing a mermaid — or merman — costume as he boarded the team’s flight to Philadelphia where the Cardinals will take on the Eagles this Sunday. And while Palmer will be the starting quarterback in that Week 5 matchup, he’s not immune to the embarrassment that the losers of the bucket toss must face. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 8 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Here to stayP2 had a message for all of the A

first_img“Here to stay.”@P2 had a message for all of the @AZCardinals fans in attendance @WMPhoenixOpen Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/0iNUnyOWsW— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 30, 2019Peterson recently reached out to Brown on Twitter after the news broke about Brown potentially being traded, so he most likely wants him on the Cardinals with him — not to be traded for him. Related LinksCardinals awarded 4 late-round compensatory NFL Draft picksNFL.com: OT Daryl Williams is a good free-agent fit for CardinalsMarkus Golden to Sirius XM: Agent, Cardinals had talks of re-signingThe Cardinals are in the driver’s seat with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and ArizonaSports’ own Dan Bickley, as well as Sando, believes the team should take a chance and draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.“[The Cardinals] coach is on the record, he loves Kyler Murray,” Sando said.“We’re going to go into the season with Kyler Murray, Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Brown, David Johnson — buy tickets, Arizona fans!”In 13 starts for Arizona, Rosen threw for 2,278 yards with 11 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. The 10th overall pick in 2018 was sacked 45 times, the most of any rookie quarterback.Newly-hired head coach Kliff Kingsbury was brought in to help turn around Arizona’s offense, which ranked last in yards per game last season.Kingsbury could start his tenure drafting his own franchise quarterback, or work on improving Rosen and the offense.Sando poked fun at possibly being criticized over his scenario.“I thought that was a fun fantasy football move,” Sando said. “Beat writers in Arizona are rolling their eyes”Not only do the Cardinals have the first pick in the draft, they have a three-time All-Pro cornerback and eight-time pro bowler who Sando believes would intrigue the Steelers front office. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 81 Comments   Share   My other scenario was, you consider doing something with Patrick Peterson. He talked about his future, he’s been really great. He’s performed well almost every year, and he’s not 30 yet. You could say he may have five more really great years. That’s hard to give up on, he’s got two more years left on his deal though. If you want to build this thing offensively, is there a way you would send Patrick Peterson for Antonio Brown? And I would want more back — I need picks maybe.The 28-year-old cornerback has since apologized for requesting a trade, expressing that he was frustrated with how the season went for Arizona. He made it clear to fans that he is “here to stay” during his appearance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in January. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury yells out to his team during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling After agreeing with the team that it was “time to move on,” Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will likely be traded soon.ESPN writer Mike Sando came up with two scenarios for the Arizona Cardinals to land the 30-year-old All-Pro receiver.Brace yourselves.“What if you send Josh Rosen to the Steelers? Get (Antonio) Brown and a draft pick or something,” Sando said on The Bill Barnwell Show on ESPN radio. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories last_img read more

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority L

first_imgThe Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia recently hosted nine Australian agents and PCOs for four action-packed nights in Las Vegas to showcase the exciting offerings available throughout the city for groups.Staying in style at MGM Grand and Aria Las Vegas, attendees got the full VIP experience with a backstage meet and greet at both Mystère by Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group, took in the Las Vegas Strip at night via helicopter, sampled delicious dishes on a walking food tour, ziplined over Bootleg Canyon and got down and dirty at Dig This Las Vegas.Bart Druitt from LVCVA AUS/NZ commented: “With around 150,000 hotel rooms, unique experiences and activities for groups, exceptional dining and plenty of air access, it’s no wonder Las Vegas constantly ranks among the top MICE destinations in the world. This familiarisation trip aimed to educate our groups agents and PCOs on some of the amazing things they can offer their clients in Las Vegas.”last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Virtuoso has entered in

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterVirtuoso has entered into a strategic partnership with Luxury Retreats, a full-service villa rental company dedicated to creating authentic travel experiences. With an increased preference by upscale travellers for greater personalisation and flexibility – as well as the more immersive experience that comes with villa stays – Virtuoso’s affluent clientele will now have access to Luxury Retreats’ more than 4,000 private villas in hundreds of the world’s top destinations.Luxury Retreats will also offer Virtuoso clients additional advantages, such as a generous travel credit, superior technology and the support of a global team of 400+ people for an unmatched experience.“Over the past year, we’ve seen demand for private villas reach new heights with a 40% year-over-year increase in bookings, leading us to seek out more products and services to feed this skyrocketing trend,” says Albert Herrera, Senior Vice President, Global Product Partnerships at Virtuoso.“People want to experience destinations as if they’re living like residents, and many times they want seclusion and privacy as well. Whether it’s a Parisian pied-à-terre, beachfront getaway in Malibu or private island in the Caribbean, Luxury Retreats’ portfolio keeps Virtuoso’s industry-leading Hotels & Resorts program at the forefront of traveller demand,”– Virtuoso Senior Vice President, Global Product Partnerships, Albert HerreraWith homes in coveted destinations including Hawaii, Tuscany and Mexico, along with urban retreats, Luxury Retreats provides personal concierge services 24/7 to assist with details big and small. In recognition of Virtuoso’s leading position in the industry, Luxury Retreats will offer the network’s clients a generous concierge credit per rental.Virtuoso clients can now enjoy the best of both worlds when booking a Luxury Retreats property: access to some of the world’s most exclusive private homes coupled with the expert guidance and peace of mind that come when collaborating with and booking through a Virtuoso-affiliated travel advisor.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more