Nearly All Metro Areas See Home Price Appreciation in Q2

first_imgSubscribe Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: home price appreciation Home Prices Housing Market NAR National Association of Realtors August 11, 2015 1,778 Views Xhevrije West is a talented writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University. Home / Daily Dose / Nearly All Metro Areas See Home Price Appreciation in Q2 Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home prices rose in almost all metro areas in the U.S. mostly due to the increase in home sales during Q2, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).Despite low inventory levels, the median existing single-family home price increased in 93 percent of measured markets, with 163 out of 176 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) showing gains based on closings in the second quarter compared with the second quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, only 13 areas recorded lower median prices from the previous year.”Steady rent increases, the slow rise in mortgage rates, and stronger local job markets fueled demand throughout most of the country this spring,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “While this led to a boost in sales paces not seen since before the downturn, overall supply failed to keep up and pushed prices higher in a majority of metro areas.”According to the NAR, price gains were recorded in 85 percent of metro areas in the first quarter. In addition, 34 metro areas experienced double-digit increases in the second quarter, a decline from the 51 metro areas in the first quarter.”With home prices and rents continuing to rise and wages showing only modest growth, declining affordability remains a hurdle for renters considering homeownership—especially in higher-priced markets,” Yun said.On a national level, the median existing single-family home price in the second quarter was $229,400, an increase of 8.2 percent from the second quarter of 2014 when the price was $212,000. Year-over-year, the median price rose 7.1 percent in the first quarter.San Jose, California metro area topped the list of the most expensive housing markets, with a median existing single-family price of $980,000, followed by San Francisco, California ($841,600); Anaheim-Santa Ana, California ($685,700); Honolulu, Hawaii ($698,600); and San Diego, California ($547,800).There were 2.30 million existing homes available for sale at the end of the second quarter, slightly above the 2.29 million homes for sale at the end of the second quarter in 2014. NAR says the average supply during the second quarter was 5.1 months—down from 5.5 months a year ago.NAR also reported that the total number of existing-home sales, including single family and condo, increased 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.30 million in the second quarter from 4.97 million in the first quarter.”The ongoing rise in home values in recent years has greatly benefited homeowners by increasing their household wealth,” Yun said. “In the meantime, inequality is growing in America because the downward trend in the homeownership rate means these equity gains are going to fewer households.”Chris Polychron, NAR president and executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas noted that the Realtors are reporting strong competition and limited days on market for available homes—especially at the entry-level price range.”Buyers should work with their Realtor to deploy a negotiation strategy that helps their offer stand out,” Polychron said. “If a bidding war occurs, it’s important for the buyer to stay patient and only counteroffer up to what he or she can comfortably afford. It’s better to walk away and wait for the right home instead of being in a situation where one has purchased a home above their means.”Click here to view the National Association of Realtors full report.  in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News About Author: Xhevrije Westcenter_img Nearly All Metro Areas See Home Price Appreciation in Q2 Previous: Circuit Court Revives FDIC’s Securities Suit Against Deutsche, Goldman, and RBS Next: DS News Webcast: Wednesday 8/11/2015 The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post Share Save home price appreciation Home Prices Housing Market NAR National Association of Realtors 2015-08-11 Brian Honea The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

Soil Mixes

first_imgYou wouldn’t bake a new cake without a recipe, and you shouldn’t start a garden without one either.Soil tests, provided by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, supply gardeners with recipes for successful gardens. Gardening in Georgia without one is like guessing how much flour, baking soda and sugar goes into a cake.Gardeners should contact their local UGA Extension office for instructions on how to get a test. After the soil test results are in, gardeners should follow the recommendations. If amendments need to be added,  you can choose from river sand, mushroom compost, horse manure, coffee grounds, chicken litter and wood ash. However, choosing which one to use can make a gardener dizzy. Here is a list of some of the most common amendments, their properties and best uses.Mushroom compost (average pH of 5.5-6): This material, like all compost, has low nutrients by volume, less than 1 percent, but it is a good material to incorporate into native soil. Prior to establishing landscape beds, spread three inches across the entire area and then till to a depth of 8-12 inches. Prior to establishing new lawns, one-half inch lightly tilled prior to seed or sod will improve rooting and water penetration. You can also use it in potting mixes at one-third volume. Coffee grounds (average pH of 6.1): This material is less acidic than 80 percent of all soil tests I see. This is a decent soil amendment at 21 percent carbon, almost 2 percent nitrogen by weight in slow release form and low in all other nutrients. Use in the compost pile or incorporate into soil before planting. Do not use as mulch because the fine particles can bind together and inhibit air and water movement to the soil.Peat moss (average pH of 3.5-4.5): This is a very acidic product, which means it can be used to lower the pH of the soil. It is low in nutrients, hydrophobic when dry and excellent when added to seed-starting mixes at one-third volume. It can be used to amend soil for blueberries, camellias and other acid-loving plants, prior to planting.River sand or Allatoona dredge soil (average pH of 5.5-5.8): These amendments have little to no nutrients and low water-holding and nutrient-holding capacity. They can improve the drainage of the soil, but must be 50 percent of the volume. (For example, 4 inches of sand tilled to a depth of 8-10 inches in soil.) Dredge soil also comes with a lot of weed seeds and debris, so it’s best used for filling ruts and holes.Aged horse manure (average pH of 6.4): It is generally low in nutrients compared to other manure sources, less than 1 percent by weight. It makes a decent soil conditioner, adding organic matter and lightening clay soils. When using horse manure, make sure you know the source. If the horse feeds on pastures treated with broadleaf herbicides, they can still be active in the manure. Weed seeds can also be introduced if the manure was not managed and properly composted. The manure may also have elevated salt levels, which can damage plants.Native soil (average pH of 5-5.9): In north Georgia, this is structurally “heavy” soil, as clay particles are microscopic and stick together. It generally has poor drainage, but good water- and nutrient-holding capacity. When planting native trees and shrubs, native clay soil typically does not require amending. If establishing vegetable or ornamental beds, amend with 25 percent compost or soil conditioner or 3 inches of material tilled to a depth of 10-12 inches.Wood ashes (highly variable pH of 9-13.5): It can be an alternative to limestone but is unreliable because it is so variable. Calcium is the most abundant element in wood ashes but also a good source of phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and micronutrients. Use it sparingly unless it has been tested as a lime equivalent. Do not apply near wells, near bodies of water or areas prone to erosion.Soil conditioner or aged pine bark (average pH of 4-5): These products increase porosity in soils, which can improve drainage and reduce compaction. Use in a manner similar to compost with 4-15 pounds of dolomitic limestone per yard of material to buffer the pH. Can also be used in potting mixes for perennials, shrubs and trees.For information on soil testing, contact your local UGA Extension office, visit aesl.ces.uga.edu, or call the UGA Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratory at 706-542-7690.last_img read more

Giants, with surplus of lefty relievers, could move Drew Pomeranz: report

first_imgFor four and half months, Giants pitcher Drew Pomeranz knew how he would be used (as a starter) and when he would be used (anywhere from every four days to every 12 days, more or less).That’s where a major leaguer wants to be, an established regular combatant. But after 17 starts, Pomeranz (2-9, 6.10 ERA) was removed from the rotation. Now, something’s got to give.Not Pomeranz necessarily. He has been called on in relief three times in the past week: A 1-2 record, 0.00 ERA, six strikeouts in …last_img

FIFA Judgment for Blatter, Platini

first_imgGENEVA — Judgment day for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini dawns Dec. 21 when FIFA’s ethics court is expected to ban the scandal-scarred soccer body’s most powerful leaders.The FIFA President and his one-time intended successor face being kicked out of the world’s favorite sport for at least several years over a $2 million payment Blatter approved for Platini in 2011.Both deny wrongdoing yet a conflict of interest in managing FIFA money — by agreeing the payment without telling executive committee colleagues — is a likely basis for guilty verdicts in rulings due to be published at 0900 GMT.Bans of around 10 years are possible, judging by recent FIFA ethics committee sanctions in cases not involving financial misconduct.Blatter and Platini, through his lawyers, already promised appeals that would need to be processed urgently ahead of FIFA’s presidential election on Feb. 26. Both are expected to be defiant if found guilty.Blatter has called an 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) news conference Dec. 21 at the former FIFA offices in Zurich, near the current headquarters where he spent eight hours at an ethics hearing Dec. 18.Platini refused to attend his 10-hour hearing on Dec. 18, and gave his lawyers a statement to read to the four ethics judges.“I am already judged, I am already condemned,” Platini’s statement said, complaining at public comments from officials close to the ethics process since the allegation emerged three months ago.Blatter and Platini have strong motivation to fight a ban.Blatter, who turns 80 in March, wants a FIFA swansong by hosting the election congress in Zurich and being made honorary president by the 209 member federations.The 60-year-old Platini wants to clear his name, pass a FIFA integrity check and be declared an official candidate in the election he was previously favored to win.His campaign stalled since being quizzed on Sept. 25 in a Swiss federal investigation of suspected criminal mismanagement at FIFA.The case centers on Platini, as UEFA President and a FIFA Vice President in 2011, getting about $2 million as uncontracted salary for working as Blatter’s adviser in 1999-2002.The agreement was “a classic conflict of interest” between two executive committee members, FIFA audit panel chairman Domenico Scala said in October.In media interviews, Platini and Blatter said the former France captain asked for a salary of 1 million Swiss francs. He had a contract for 300,000 Swiss francs, in line with FIFA’s then-wage structure, plus a “gentleman’s agreement” to get the rest later. Swiss law obliged FIFA only to pay the deferred money within five years.Platini was paid in February 2011, just before Blatter began campaigning for re-election against Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. Platini’s UEFA urged its members weeks before the June 2011 poll to back Blatter, who was elected unopposed when Bin Hammam was implicated in bribery.Few FIFA officials knew of the Platini payment which emerged during a wider Swiss probe of the governing body’s business affairs, including suspected money laundering in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.Switzerland’s attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Blatter for the suspected “disloyal payment” of FIFA money to Platini and selling undervalued World Cup TV rights for the Caribbean.Platini’s status in the criminal case is “between a witness and an accused person,” attorney general Michael Lauber said in October.On Dec. 21, Blatter could get a longer ban than Platini if his case involves falsifying FIFA accounts. The debt to Platini was not booked in financial reports from 2002-10.In recent ethics cases where financial misconduct was not proven, judges imposed a six-year ban on FIFA Honorary Vice President Chung Mong-joon of South Korea and seven years for Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile, who led FIFA’s technical inspections of the 2018-2022 bids.Any sanctions imposed can be challenged at the FIFA appeals committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. FIFA rules state a list of candidates must be finalized one month before the election in Zurich.Blatter has suggested he could pursue a lengthier appeal to Switzerland’s highest court, the Federal Tribunal, which can intervene if legal process was abused.(GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Retail workers feel disruption from shifting shopper habits

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – With new options and conveniences, there’s never been a better time for shoppers. As for workers … well, not always.The retail industry is being radically reshaped by technology, and nobody feels that disruption more starkly than 16 million American shelf stockers, salespeople, cashiers and others. The shifts are driven, like much in retail, by the Amazon effect — the explosion of online shopping and the related changes in consumer behaviour and preferences.As mundane tasks like checkout and inventory are automated, employees are trying to deliver the kind of customer service the internet can’t match.So a Best Buy employee who used to sell electronics in the store is dispatched to customers’ homes to help them choose just the right products. A Walmart worker dashes in and out of the grocery aisles, hand-picks products for online shoppers and brings them to people’s cars.___Editor’s note: This story is part of Future of Work, an Associated Press series that explores how workplaces across the U.S. and the world are being transformed by technology and global pressures. As more employers move, shrink or revamp their work sites, many employees are struggling to adapt. At the same time, workers with in-demand skills or knowledge are benefiting. Advanced training, education or know-how is becoming a required ticket to the 21st-century workplace.___Yet even as responsibilities change — and in many cases, expand — the average growth in pay for retail workers isn’t keeping pace with the rest of the economy. Some companies say that in the long run the transformation could mean fewer retail workers, though they may be better paid. But while some workers feel more satisfied, others find their jobs are just a lot less fun.Bloomingdale’s saleswoman Brenda Moses remembers the pre-internet era, when the upscale store was regularly filled with customers ready to buy. These days, department stores are less crowded and the customers who do come in can make price comparisons on their phones at the same time as they pepper staff with questions.“You tell them everything, and then they look at you and say, ‘You know what? I think I will get it online,’” she said.Moses has seen her commission rate rise to 6 per cent from a half a per cent, but her hourly wage dropped from $19 as low as $10 before it came back up to $14. Depending more on commissions means her income fluctuates, and she’s competing with her colleagues for each sale.“Now,” Moses said, “you have to fight to make your money.”The same could be said for the retailing industry, overall. In 2017, 66,500 U.S. retail jobs disappeared (not taking into account jobs added in areas like distribution and call centres). In the past decade, about one out of every seven jobs have vanished in the hardest-hit sectors like clothing and consumer electronics, says Frank Badillo, director of research at MacroSavvy LLC. Though department stores have suffered the most, smaller businesses also have struggled to compete with online sellers.Many of the survivors are rushing to adapt. Of the retail jobs that remain, over the next decade as many as 60 per cent will either be new kinds of roles or will involve revised duties, says Craig Rowley, senior client partner at Korn Ferry Hay Group, a human resources advisory firm. He estimates the number is about 10 per cent now.How fast retail jobs will change and what they’ll look like depends on three factors, Rowley said: the pace at which online shopping advances; the speed at which robotics and other technology progress; and shifts in the minimum hourly pay.“Jobs for workers will get more interesting and be more impactful on the company’s business,” Rowley said. “But the negative side is that there will be fewer entry-level jobs and there will be more pressure to perform.”Some retail workers at the vanguard of the changes — like Laila Ummelaila, a personal grocery shopper at a Walmart in Old Bridge, New Jersey — speak glowingly of their new responsibilities.Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, has scrutinized every job in its stores as it looks to leverage its more than 4,000 U.S. locations against Amazon’s internet dominance.The company now has 18,000 personal shoppers who fill online orders from store shelves, and 17,000 check-out hosts whose responsibilities are more extensive than the greeters of old, including keeping the area clean and making sure registers move efficiently. The company has also shifted workers from back-room clerical jobs and eliminated some overnight stocker positions in favour of more daytime sales help. The customers like the changes, company officials say, pointing to more than three years of sales growth at its established U.S. stores — a contrast with other, suffering retailers.Ummelaila became a personal shopper after joining the company three years ago. To meet her store’s goals, she must pick one item per 30 seconds. If she can’t find something, she has to quickly get a substitute that’s as good or better.“You start to get to know the customers, you know what they like,” she said, “how they like their meat … and how long they keep milk in the fridge.”Best Buy, meanwhile, has begun a free service in key markets where salespeople will sit with customers in their own homes and make recommendations on setting up a home office to designing a home theatre system. Best Buy said shoppers spend more with a home visit than they do at the stores. The project follows Amazon, which reportedly has been testing a program that sends employees to shoppers’ houses for free “smart home” recommendations.At Steve Frederick’s townhouse in Chicago, Billy Schuler offered advice about speakers that can be adjusted from a smartphone. Schuler, who had previously worked at Best Buy for 14 years, returned to the company to take on the new role.“Customers are more relaxed when they are in their home,” he said. “We can do a walkthrough of the house and see their needs.” He likes to “break the ice” by calling the person and chatting a day or two before the visit.Frederick, who’s spending close to $20,000 on the equipment, describes himself as “old-school” and says he needed a lot of help. He thinks it was worthwhile.“When you are spending that kind of money, you want to have someone come in and explain it,” he said.Schuler declined to give specifics but says he is well compensated. Ummelaila says her pay went up to nearly $12 per hour from $10 when she became a personal shopper.Target credits its strategy of assigning dedicated sales staff in areas such as clothing, consumer electronics, and beauty for helping increase sales, and says having visual merchandisers create vignettes like shoppers would see in specialty stores inspires people to buy. “You are making an outfit and telling a story on each rack,” says Crystal Lawrence, who works at a Target store in Brooklyn, New York. She likes the variety in her new job, and Target says it plans to keep paying higher wages for those specialized roles.But a survey of nearly 300 retail workers — conducted by the Center for Frontline Retail and Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center — found that of those workers whose job responsibilities have changed, more than 40 per cent said they hadn’t received pay increases to reflect that.Wages for hourly retail workers have risen less than 9 per cent since 1990, compared with 18 per cent for overall workers in the private sector. There has been some progress recently; some of the biggest retailers, like Walmart and Target, have made moves to increase pay in the face of low unemployment and competition for workers.“For a long period, these retail jobs were just terrible on average,” said Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute. “Retail stores have been following one strategy: high turnover, low wages. That strategy is no longer viable.”Mandel sees hope in technology, which he says has historically created more and better-paying jobs than it has eliminated.The National Retail Federation trade group points to government data showing that even in large supermarket chains where self-checkout has become standard, the number of employees per store has held steady over the 15 years through 2014. And the demand for grocery cashiers increased in the past few years, says Burning Glass Technologies, a company that analyzes labour market data.McDonald’s says the self-serve kiosks it has been rolling out won’t result in mass layoffs, but will mean that some cashiers shift roles to accommodate changes like offering table service.But a report prepared by Cornerstone Capital Group for the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute predicts that more than 7.5 million retail jobs are at risk of being eliminated by automation over the next several years.Amazon is testing a grocery store in Seattle without cashiers, using cameras and shelf sensors to keep track of the items that shoppers grab and charge them. Eatsa, an automat-style restaurant in San Francisco, lacks cashiers as well — diners order at kiosks and workers prepare the food behind an opaque wall, with virtually no interaction between them.Labour groups are trying to address some of the new issues. Under a contract reached last May between Bloomingdale’s and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Moses and other members who work at the flagship store in Manhattan can also get commissions from some online sales.And a labour group representing 1.3 million grocery and food workers is trying to combat automation by highlighting that workers’ specialized skills — like the care they take in icing a rose on a wedding cake, or arranging flowers, or the ability of human workers to recognize spoiled food — provide a benefit to shoppers.“Separating progress for the consumer, for the worker, for the economy versus the stockholders … those are completely different things,” says Erikka Knuti, a spokeswoman for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.Others say automation and happy workers are not necessarily incompatible.Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon foresees fewer sales associates at his stores, but they’ll be better paid and better trained. Walmart has trained 225,000 supervisors and managers on topics like new apps and better customer service. It says managers who go through the academies have better retention rates than those who do not. Workers who report to those managers stay longer. And entry-level workers who complete a new training program are more likely to remain.It’s a shift retailers may have to speed up. Government figures show the rate of retail workers quitting their jobs in 2016 was at its highest since 2007.Alfredo Duran, who started as a sales associate at Gap and worked at six retailers over 15 years, left the industry two years ago. As a manager at clothing chain Mango, he was making $75,000 a year. But once the store closed, he had trouble finding another job in retail because no one wanted to pay him for his experience.“It’s gone down. One person is doing three jobs. And you can’t move up,” said Duran, 38, of Queens, New York.He’s now a concierge at a Manhattan hotel, making half of what he used to earn — but happy he left retail.___AP Video journalists Terry Chea in San Francisco and Teresa Crawford in Chicago contributed to this report.___Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzioThis story is part of Future of Work, an Associated Press series that explores how workplaces across the U.S. and the world are being transformed by technology and global pressures. As more employers move, shrink or revamp their work sites, many employees are struggling to adapt. At the same time, workers with in-demand skills or knowledge are benefiting. Advanced training, education or know-how is becoming a required ticket to the 21st-century workplace.last_img read more

Tata JLR drives locally made Range Rover Velar trim in India

first_imgNew Delhi: Jaguar Land Rover India Tuesday said it has initiated sales of locally manufactured Range Rover Velar in the country with prices starting from Rs 72.47 Lakh (ex-showroom). The locally manufactured model is offered in a single trim, R Dynamic-S variant, and is available with both petrol and diesel powertrains. The cost of the trim has come down in the range of about 15-20 per cent as compared with the completely built units (CBU) variants of the model. The start of Velar’s local manufacturing would enable the company gain a competitive edge within the Indian luxury SUV segment, JLR India said in a statement. “Since its launch in 2018, the Range Rover Velar has received an overwhelming response from customers across the country,” JLR India President and Managing Director Rohit Suri said. He further said, “Now, with the introduction of the locally manufactured Range Rover Velar, we are able to offer this iconic, award winning product at a very attractive and compelling price than before.”last_img read more

POLICE LOG for May 24 Injured Turkey Rescued Mailbox Vandalized Teen Missing

WILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Thursday, May 24, 2018:A Shawsheen Avenue resident called to report his mailbox was vandalized sometime overnight. (6:43am)Animal Control Officer responded to reports of an injured turkey on Boutwell Street. Officer transported turkey to Tufts in Grafton. (7:40am, 9:56am)A NAPA employee reported a deceased mother opossum with its babies still alive. Animal Control Officer responded. (3:14pm)An anonymous caller reported 2 quads on the roadway on Wabash Road. (3:59pm)A juvenile walked after from the Milestone Group Home on High Street and was entered into NCIC. (4:56pm)A white 2015 Honda Civic and a white 2016 Chevy Cruze were involved in a crash on Main Street. Both vehicles towed. One party complained of head, neck and back pain and was transported by the Fire Department. (5:14pm)A passerby reported a man sitting on the bench on Main Street, near the dog groomer, waiving what appeared to be a hand gun. Police responded. Dog walker in the area did not see anything. (5:18pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for July 26: 2 Missing Teens; OUI Arrest; Main St. Shut Down Due To Crash; Road Rage IncidentIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 2: Vehicle Damages Roadway; Police Called Over Suspicious BehaviorIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for July 25: Wilmington Man Arrested For OUI; Men Carrying Sledgehammers Down Street; Turkeys Causing TrafficIn “Police Log” read more