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Housing Market Continues Slow Climb Toward Stable Levels

first_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Housing Market Continues Slow Climb Toward Stable Levels February 25, 2015 1,266 Views Sign up for DS News Daily The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Freddie Mac Housing Market Multi-Indicator Market Index 2015-02-25 Brian Honea Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Related Articles Previous: Increased Litigation Expenses Cut Into Q4 Earnings for FDIC-Insured Institutions Next: Survey: Delinquency, Foreclosure Inventory Rates Fall to Lowest Levels Since 2007 About Author: Brian Honea  Print This Post Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days agocenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Freddie Mac Housing Market Multi-Indicator Market Index Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Housing Market Continues Slow Climb Toward Stable Levels The latest Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) from Freddie Mac, released Wednesday, showed that the U.S. housing market showed continued stabilization for the fourth straight month in December.According to the latest MiMi, 38 states plus the District of Columbia and 40 out of 50 metros showed an improving three-month trend in December. The metro areas of Buffalo, Boston, and Nashville, all entered their “benchmark stable” ranges of housing activity.While Freddie Mac said the latest MiMi value indicated a weak housing market, it has been showing improvement. The national MiMi value for December was reported at 74.9, which is a year-over-year increase of 4.41 percent and a slight uptick of 0.37 percent from November to December. The all-time high for the national MiMi is 121.7, set in April 2006 prior to the recession. The all-time low for the national MiMi was 57.2, set in October 2010 at the height of the foreclosure crisis. The housing market has rebounded by 31 percent since hitting that all-time low nearly four and a half years ago.”Housing markets are getting back on track,” said Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac. “The national MiMi improved for the fourth consecutive month. Nearly 80 percent of the state and metro housing markets MiMi tracks are improving or in their stable range of activity. We’ve even seen the MiMi purchase application indicator increase 0.07 percent on a year-over-year basis. Low mortgage rates and moderating house price growth are helping to keep payment-to-income ratios favorable for the typical family in most of the country. In fact, Los Angeles is the only metro market with an elevated MiMi payment-to-income indicator whereas most other markets remain quite affordable. And of course, labor markets are generally improving.”According to Freddie Mac, 16 states plus the District of Columbia and 11 out of 50 metro areas have MiMi values in the stable range for December. District of Columbia was tops with 97.6, followed closely by North Dakota (97.2) and Montana (91.1). Of Metro areas, Los Angeles had the highest MiMi value for the month at 86.4, followed by Austin (86.3) and San Jose (83.9).While 38 states and 40 out of 50 metro areas showed an improving three-month trend in MiMi value for December, those numbers are down from December 2013. For that month, 47 states plus the District of Columbia and 47 of 50 metro areas showed an improving three-month trend.Three out of the four indicators in the December MiMi increased month-over-month and year-over-year: the purchase applications indicator  reported a MiMi value in December of 63.4, an increase of 0.41 from November and 0.07 percent from December 2013); the current on mortgage indicator reported a December MiMi value of 67.2, which is an increase of 0.48 percent month-over-month and 7.97 percent year-over-year; and the employment indicator’s December MiMi value of 99.1 was a jump of 2.01 percent from November and 13.52 percent from December 2013. The only indicator out of the four that declined was payment-to-income, which in December fell by 1.97 percent month-over-month and 5.59 percent year-over-year to its reported value of 70.0.”As we mentioned last month, we’re keeping an eye on markets with deep ties to energy,” Kiefer said. “We’ve seen some deterioration on a month-over-month basis in some of these energy markets. For example, Louisiana has seen its state employment situation deteriorate over the last several months. A declining employment indicator has caused its MiMi score to move from 86.7 in April down to 80.2.” Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agolast_img read more

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Helping disabled farmers

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaFarmers with physical disabilities are often a little too self-reliant to ask for help or don’t know where to find it. But help is out there, and a new program can link them to it.AgrAbility in Georgia is a program designed to aid farmers who have physical injuries, disabilities or illnesses that hinder their work day. It gets them back farming or makes it a little more comfortable, says Glen Rains, the program director and an engineer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The program is a partnership between the CAES and the Institute on Human Development and Disability in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.”We’d like for farming to stay a vocation for people as much as possible,” Rains said. “This program is one way of keeping farmers farming who don’t want to be rehabilitated into another job. We want to help them do it.”The program is a service that links someone in Georgia to a chain of Cooperative Extension educators, disability experts, rural living professionals and volunteers across the state and the country, Rains said.Anyone who works or wants to work in agriculture and has a physical, cognitive or illness-related disability is eligible. This includes many things like amputations, arthritis, cancer, heart problems, diabetes or mental illness.With loads of bureaucracy and red tape, finding help “can be a really drawn-out process for some,” Rains said.AgrAbility is geared to cut through the hassle, he said.Working through UGA Extension county offices, experts with AgrAbility identify clients or are contacted by them. The expert then visits the client and assesses the needs.The process includes “explaining to the client all the resources that are available and will work for their needs,” Rains said.AgrAbility is not set up to give direct payments to help farmers. But it can “hook them up with the right people who can,” he said.The Georgia program is in its second year of four funded by a $150,000 annual grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.”We know that some farmers are reluctant to ask for help, and getting them open to the idea of receiving it is a challenge,” Rains said. “But this is paid for by their taxes. Everyone is pitching in.”The program has handled many referrals in Georgia, he said. It’s directly helping six farmers, mostly in north Georgia.But the program is expanding, he said.A workshop called “Duct Tape, Velcro and Beyond: Quick Solutions for Farm Families” was recently held in four locations across southern Georgia. It drew those with special needs and those who wanted to be trained in ways to turn simple materials into assistive technology, he said.Similar AgrAbility programs are funded in 30 other states.To find out more about the program, call (877) 524-6264, or go to www.agrabilityinga.com or www.agrability.com.last_img read more

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Old or new? Gold Coast beach house offers best of both worlds

first_img4 Bolton Street, KirraWith four bedrooms upstairs and multiple living areas on the ground floor, Mr McLennan said it was an ideal family home.Standout features include a home theatre, sunken and enclosed sunroom, an entertainment deck with servery window from the kitchen as well as a pool with water feature and separate heated spa.But it was the home’s position that attracted the O’Briens to the property.It is within walking distance of the beach, cafes and restaurants, and Southern Cross University while major shopping centres and the Gold Coast airport are within a five-minute drive.“They liked the position and everything there,” Mr McLennan said. 4 Bolton Street, Kirra 4 Bolton Street, Kirra“They bought the property and lived in the little house at the front then built the big house at the back,” Mr McLennan said.The original residence has a combined living, kitchen and dining area that opens onto a deck as well as two bedrooms and a study.It has been well maintained over the years but the O’Briens have renovated it to give it a modern style. “They just use that for family and guests now,” Mr McLennan said.The double storey house behind it is much larger. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa18 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago4 Bolton Street, Kirracenter_img 4 Bolton Street, KirraA FRESH lick of paint and some tender love and care has transformed this Kirra home into a coastal paradise.Claudia and Gary O’Brien bought the property at 4 Bolton St in 2004.Back then, only the street-front half of the property existed.RBR Property Consultants principal Lenny McLennan said the couple, who now lived overseas, built the other half about 10 years ago. 4 Bolton Street, Kirralast_img read more

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USC ranks 37th in licensing revenue

first_imgThough many universities nationwide are trimming their budgets and tightening their purse strings, few are cutting costs when it comes to patents and licensing, and USC is no exception.Patents and licenses can be expensive undertakings, but the reward is typically worth it. A recent survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education showed that USC brought in $7,270,538 in licensing in 2008, ranking 37th in the country. In the same year, USC applied for 135 patents and was issued 41. Additionally, the school formed five start-up companies.At the university level, patents can be very useful for the wide range of discoveries that occur on campus with the extensive amount of research constantly being done.The USC Stevens Institute for Innovation helps innovators at the school apply for patents and licenses.“One of the missions [of USC Stevens] is to get ideas out into society and sometimes you need intellectual property protection,” said Richard Hull, senior director for innovation advancement at USC Stevens.Hull said patents can cost up to $1,000 per country.Though patents are costly, inventions that are successful bring money back to the inventor.Hull gave the hypothetical example that if someone created a drug with cancer-curing abilities at the Keck School of Medicine the Stevens Institute would help him file for patent protection for his product.If it received this patent, it would enter a license agreement with a company, which would in turn take the drug through the necessary chemical trials. If the drug were to be successful, USC and the inventor would receive a certain percentage of the revenue.Hull said that most of the money received through this process goes back to the schools that made the discoveries.“The money comes into USC Stevens and then we distribute it out, either to the schools, the proper office or the inventors themselves,” Hull said.Although the income from the 2008 fiscal year topped $7 million, Hull stated that this number varies year to year.“We try to forecast how much licensing we’re going to get, but it is subject to significant fluctuations,” Hull said.Hull said he was pleased with USC’s national ranking, though he hopes to see the university’s licensing income increase over the next few years.Hull said USC patents potential drugs, medical devices, electromechanical devices and methanol fuel technologies, among other innovations.Behrokh Khoshnevis, director of the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies, is working on one such innovation. He has spent the last few years working on an automated construction project called Contour Crafting, with funding  from USC Stevens.Contour Crafting technology is an innovation that will automate the construction of structures and sub-components.“Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with possibly a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run, embedded in each house all the conduits for electrical, plumbing and air conditioning,” according to Khoshnevis’ website.He has received a number of patents for this project, the most recent coming last January for the robotic aspects of the project.USC Stevens has helped Khoshnevis by paying for the different patents for his work. However, he has not yet received any licenses for this project.“We’ve received a lot of interest and inquiries but no license yet,” said Khoshnevis, who is also a professor in the department of industrial and systems engineering.He plans to further this project through “experimentation and improvement.”The licensing process, however, has been affected by the economic downturn, according to Hull. Though this has not yet affected licensing revenue, Hull suspects it will in the future.“We will see some of the effects in the years to come,” he said.Hull did not yet have figures on how the licensing income changed in the 2009 fiscal year.last_img read more

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FanDuel NBA DFS: Pick advice, optimal lineup sleepers for Friday, Feb. 1

first_imgSTAR TO AVOID — SF Paul George, Thunder @ Heat ($11,400). This is a bad matchup for George, and one we can ultimately avoid in cash games. Miami has stockpiled athletic wings geared to slow small forwards like PG13, and the Heat rank 25th in the league in pace, meaning there will be fewer possessions to go around.TAKE A CHANCE ON ME — PG Kyrie Irving, Celtics @ Knicks ($10,500). The risk here is the Celtics winning by 35, which would limit Irving’s minutes. But Irving will be helped by his knack for playing up to a big stage, and Madison Square Garden will be quite the spectacle given the rumors he might join the Knicks this summer following the recent Porzingis trade. He’s gone over 55 FD points in five of his past six outings and will be well-rested, having not played since last Saturday.TAKE A CHANCE ON ME — PF John Collins, Hawks @ Jazz ($7,200). This is the cheapest Collins has been on FanDuel since Dec. 3. His matchup against Rudy Gobert will be a big-time challenge, but he’s capable of hitting 50 FD points and will probably fly under the radar in cash games. If you don’t feel good about Kenneth Faried or Jayson Tatum, Collins offers a strong pivot option. There is no drama like NBA drama, but a particularly crazy few days of basketball news has wreaked more havoc than usual on potential daily fantasy basketball lineup picks for Friday night’s FanDuel contests.It started, of course, with Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis demanding a trade on Monday, leading to several inspired performances from the short-handed Pelicans. The Knicks then dealt power forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks in a blockbuster exchange on Thursday, forcing Dallas to play mostly backups in the interim against the Pistons. And now, the talk of the league is whether or not Kyrie Irving wants to leave Boston for New York this summer. Who do the Celtics play Friday night? The Knicks.We’ll parse all of the trades and rumors — Irving included — to give you an edge in your DFS cash games Friday, with lineup sleepers and busts as well as best spend-up values.MORE: SN DFS | Player UpdatesThe most popular game to target will probably be Celtics-Knicks given its place on national television and the rumors surrounding Irving. But other contests appeal to us too, and you should consider rostering players from an up-and-down Rockets-Nuggets matchup and a likely high-scoring Jazz-Hawks tilt.As part of our multistep lineup approach, we used Fantasy Alarm’s premium features to analyze points allowed by position and projected point values. Below are the conclusions of that research, which you can use to optimize your DFS performance.FanDuel NBA DFS: Pick advice, optimal lineup sleepers for Friday, Feb. 1FAVORITE VALUE — PG Monte Morris, Nuggets vs. Rockets ($4,500). No negotiating here: You absolutely must play Morris in cash games with Jamal Murray injured. The former Iowa State star has been sensational off the bench this season, running the offense with confidence, shooting well from deep and using his speed to get out in transition. With Murray out, he should feast on a Rockets defense that’s allowed at least 110 points in 13 out of their past 14 games. Morris started Wednesday and amassed 44.9 FD points in 39 minutes. He could reach those heights again here. A Nuggets guard to consider pairing with Morris is Malik Beasley, who should also live up to his meager price tag.STUD TO STICK WITH — C Nikola Jokic, Nuggets vs. Rockets ($11,500). Again, with Murray out and a plus-matchup against Houston, Denver is a goldmine for DFS value. Jokic has been excellent lately, surpassing 60 FD points in three of his past four games, and he’ll likely rack up more assists than usual given Murray’s absence. There’s no Clint Capela to contest him around the rim either, and a triple-double wouldn’t be surprising from Jokic.last_img read more

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