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Homebuyers and Rising Interest Rates

first_img An analysis by Zillow reveals that U.S. homebuyers’ cost-of-living has gone up across the country since the beginning of the calendar year. Moreover, Zillow found that two-thirds of this increase coincided with hikes in the federal interest rate, which in turn have driven up monthly mortgage payments.Mortgage payments for the average home have risen 15.4 percent in comparison to August 2017. The median home value has also risen—but only by 6.5 percent in the same period. If someone is planning to buy a median-priced home today, they can expect their monthly mortgage payments will be $118 higher than a year ago, or $1,416 per annum. This increase in the average mortgage payment is indicative not only of increased home values but also of higher interest rates for those in the market to buy.Beginning in 2018, mortgage rates have risen steadily from the historic lows they fell to after the Great Recession. The average mortgage rate at the beginning of 2018 was close to 4 percent, and since that time has climbed almost a single percentage point (about $1,200 per annum), having reached 4.9 percent in the early weeks of October 2018. With the U.S. economy exceeding expectations, economic data indicates mortgage rates will continue to trend upward alongside the Federal Reserve’s interest rates. The Fed has raised the interest rate three times this calendar year, and current projections have them doing so five more times before the start of 2020.Home value appreciation, however, has lagged behind mortgage rates after hitting a high in March 2018 of 8.2 percent. These reduced hikes in price may seem advantageous to buyers, but the increase in mortgage rates—more than double the rate of home value increases—offsets benefits homebuyers may have accrued if interest rates weren’t rising. “For most of the current economic expansion, mortgage rates have remained just off historic lows even as the American economy has accelerated,” said Aaron Terrazas, a Chief Economist with Zillow. “We’re finally starting to see typical patterns asserting themselves in the housing market, and conditions are returning to more of what we would expect in a normal economy. Home buyers and sellers have become accustomed to low rates, and there will be a bit of an adjustment period as the market adapts. Looking ahead, the impact of higher rates may slow the pace of home value growth, particularly in the nation’s priciest markets. Buyers will face higher financing costs, but also could benefit from somewhat less frenetic competition.” Homebuyers and Rising Interest Rates in Daily Dose, Market Studies, News Federal Reserve Home Value Housing Market Interest rates mortgage Property Values Zillow 2018-10-16 Staff Writercenter_img Share October 16, 2018 620 Views last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Cunards flagship ocea

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterCunard’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 has undergone a significant refit costing in the region of $132 million. The luxury liner has been lovingly remastered with new contemporary interior designs and guest experiences, many of which take their design inspiration from the original Queen Mary, which debuted in New York 80 years ago. Queen Mary 2 holds a unique place in the cruise landscape, continuing the legacy of the great ocean liners and transatlantic travel.A number of VIPs were in attendance at the US Remastering launch which included a day of celebration and fanfare. Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, commented on the occasion, “More than any other ship in our Carnival Corporation fleet of more than one hundred ships, Queen Mary 2 is the most famous, the most recognisable and certainly the most unique. It was the dream of our Chairman Micky Arison to build the Queen Mary 2 almost 15 years ago. He aspired to recreate that luxurious ocean liner experience from the past and Queen Mary 2 is the glorious result.”The refit was conducted in the Blohm + Voss Shipyard, in Hamburg, one of the only shipyards in the world large enough to hold Queen Mary 2. It was a 24-hour a day operation, with over one million man hours put into the refurbishment, during a 25-day period.The Remastering Features:Redesign and refurbishment of the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites and restaurants, as well as Britannia staterooms, the latter to be fully completed by the end of the year.The addition of 30 further Britannia Club staterooms, 15 Britannia single staterooms and five Britannia inside staterooms.Redesign of key public spaces and restaurants, including the transformation of the former Winter Garden into the Carinthia Lounge, the introduction of The Verandah as the ship’s new specialty restaurant, and the complete refresh and restructuring of the Kings Court, the ship’s popular buffet area.12 additional kennels and other enhancements.And as befitting the flagship of the Cunard fleet, a complete repaint of the ship exterior and significant technical enhancements and structural changes.Expanded Kennels:As the only passenger vessel to carry dogs and cats, Queen Mary 2 has expanded its kennel service during this multi-million dollar renovation. Pet travel has soared in the United States over recent years and due to increased demand, Cunard has added 12 new kennels for a total of 24. In addition, the ship extended the kennel area, adding an owner’s lounge, new pet playground, and a larger outdoor area with an historic English lamppost and American fire hydrant so canines from both sides of the pond will feel at home. The artwork in the lounge was specifically created by Karen Katon-Oprey, daughter of Captain Kevin Oprey, Master of Queen Mary 2. A full-time Kennel Master takes care of daily pet responsibilities including feeding, walking and cuddling the pets onboard.Cunard’s pet-friendly policy dates back 176 years to the maiden voyage of the Britannia in 1840 when the ship sailed with a cow to provide fresh milk for passengers. Famous canines such as Rin-Tin-Tin, Elizabeth Taylor’s pampered pups and the Duke of Windsor’s dogs travelled on Cunard and to continue that tradition, NYC’s top Instagram dogs, @ChloeTheMiniFrenchie, @WallytheWelshCori, and @EllaBeanTheDog, joined Cunard on board the ship to cut the ribbon on the new kennels.“The remastering of Queen Mary 2 continues the transatlantic tradition by the thoughtful contemporising of the product for today’s discerning traveller, while maintaining the refined design aesthetics and service standards that are deeply based in British style and refinement. The Remastering is a testament to Cunard’s attention to detail, incorporating inspiration from our past that continues to propel the powerful Cunard story, which we think will strongly resonate with today’s travellers,” said David Noyes, CEO, Cunard.The essence of Queen Mary 2 lies in allowing guests to lose themselves in a world of glamour, timeless sophistication and luxury. The legendary liner experience is revered for its exceptional crew – in its 176-year history Cunard has seen seven of its Commodores knighted, an honour no other shipping company can claim. On board Queen Mary 2 today the level of expertise and tradition is not forgotten, with highly trained and attentive staff, all graduates from the ship’s White Star Service Academy. From skilled personal butlers and concierge teams of the Cunard Grills to the teams of sommeliers and waiting staff across the breadth of dining venues – all are ready to cater for the needs of every guest.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more