first_img The housing market recovery is entering a new phase, according to the analysts at “”Capital Economics””: They say the rapid bounce in home prices seen over the last year, which was driven by investors and tight supply conditions, will soon start to moderate, and the next stage of the recovery will be characterized by strengthening activity among owner-occupants and mortgage-dependent buyers, as well as a much more moderate pace of house price inflation.[IMAGE]Overall economic growth, on the other hand, will accelerate in 2014, according to Capital Economics, from around 1.8 percent in 2013 to 2.5 percent this year. The firm notes in its outlook report that monthly employment gains have already climbed back to the 200,000 mark. As the economy’s fiscal drag fades, it should more than offset the impact of rising long-term interest rates, the company’s analysts contend. The “”Federal Reserve announced””: in mid-December that it will begin tapering its asset purchase program this month, but Capital Economics says any further increase in long-term interest rates that results will be “”modest.”” After all, the Fed is trimming its monthly buys of mortgage securities and Treasuries by just $10 billion. Officials strengthened the central bank’s forward guidance to emphasize rates are not likely to rise for at least another couple of years.””And even if mortgage interest rates edge a little higher, the recovery in housing market activity should also continue,”” Capital Economics said in its report. Higher mortgage interest rates have taken a toll on housing market activity already, but further rate increases will see the recovery slow rather than reverse, its analysts stressed. Sales activity initially dropped when rates spiked, but the latest data suggest this was a period of adjustment rather than the start of a weaker trend, which fits with the fact that housing remains very affordable, they explained. “”We envisage 30-year fixed mortgage rates ending 2014 at 5 percent and 2015 at 5.5 percent,”” they share in the report. There may ultimately be an upside to higher rates,[COLUMN_BREAK]according to Capital Economics’ analysts. This upside would come in the form of a quicker loosening in mortgage credit conditions now that lenders cannot rely on the refinancing boom to boost their profits, they suggested.The supply of homes for sale is now increasing, Capital Economics noted in its report. In addition, rising prices and a reduction in negative equity are bringing willing sellers back to the market. Alongside a reduction in the number of heavily-discounted distressed homes for sale, the firm says this will drive a seachange in the composition of supply and trigger a loosening in overall market conditions as buyer demand increases, according to Capital Economics. The rapid run up in house prices means that housing affordability has deteriorated over the past three months. But even though valuation and affordability metrics are becoming less favorable, the overall picture is still that housing is a good value and “”on the cheap side,”” the firm said in its report. The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) affordability index suggests that the typical U.S. household now has 166 percent of the income required to qualify for a mortgage on the typical home, down from 180 percent in Q3 2013. This deterioration in mortgage affordability means that average mortgage costs are once again above average rental costs, which may deter some households from leaving the rental market for homeownership, according to Capital Economics. Still, the firm notes that “”[o]ther than the past four years, at no point during the 40-year history of the NAR figures has housing been as affordable as it is now.””Similar conclusions hold in terms of housing valuations, Capital Economics explained, adding that the simplest valuation measure compares real house prices to their long-run trend level. On this basis, housing is 12 percent below fair value, according to the firm’s analysts. That figure is down from 21 percent below fair value two years ago, but the analysts say even now, prices still have room to increase before worries about overvaluation become pressing. A second method compares house prices to disposable incomes per capita, and it suggests that housing was 14 percent undervalued in Q3. A third valuation measure paints a slightly different picture–the house price-to-rent ratio. On this measure, housing is at the fair-value mark. As the firm’s analysts already noted, mortgage costs come in above average rental costs now. They say it looks like home prices will be up by 11 percent for 2013 as a whole. “”We expect this year to mark the peak for house price gains, and anticipate that price rises will slow to around 4 percent per annum in 2014 and thereafter,”” Capital Economics’ analysts predicted. Share Analysts: Market Shifts to Cause Scaleback in Recovery Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Federal Reserve Home Prices Investment Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Service Providers 2014-01-02 Carrie Baycenter_img January 2, 2014 437 Views in Datalast_img read more

first_imgCoral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering cruise line, is sailing back to Tasmania in 2018, with a new arrival to its shores: the recently refurbished Coral Discoverer.The third Tasmania season will begin on 1 January 2018 on the state-of-the-art flagship Coral Discoverer which underwent a comprehensive refurbishment in November 2016.The arrival of the Coral Discoverer brings an increased capacity of 72 guests to the company’s Tasmania sailings, a response to growing demand for the Apple Isle. In true expeditionary style, the voyage offers guests a flexible itinerary to enable the Captain to respond to their environment, ensuring that guests see the best parts of Tasmania in the best possible conditions. This allows an element of discovery, as guests will be advised the day prior where their next journey lies.The Coral Discoverer is an ideal vessel for an exploration of the diverse Tasmania wilderness as, despite its increased capacity, it retains the nimbleness to navigate through smaller channels and anchor in small bays. It also has the added benefit of a comprehensive and robust stabilising system so it can charter the coastlines and inlets of southern Tasmania.Guests will have the opportunity to watch fur seals sun-baking on the Isles de Phoques and witness schools of dolphins from private stateroom balconies. All other rooms have received an upgrade of soft furnishings and offer spacious living, en-suited bathrooms and a complimentary turn down service every evening.The new sun deck, Explorers Bar and outdoor furniture give guests the opportunity to enjoy their time on board and enjoy a beverage, after a morning of hiking at the Fluted Cape Trek, combining adventure and comfort as they journey to the furthest reaches of Tasmania’s coast.This outstanding itinerary will offer guests the opportunity to explore Tasmania’s UNESCO recognised World Heritage Wilderness, enjoying hikes on tracks such as ‘Three Capes Trek’ and ‘Mt Beattie Track’, and kayaking the ‘Narrows’ at Bathurst Harbour.At Port Davey, guests can amble through forests at the Button Grass Plain past the air strip built by Deny King, and explore the Orange Bellied Parrot conservatory. On the Eastern coast expeditions feature walks on the sands of Wineglass Bay, meeting local wombats and wallabies on Maria Island, and learning about the history of Port Arthur with a resident archaeologist on a ‘behind-the-scenes-tour’.The knowledgeable expedition team and local Tasmanian National Parks and wildlife ranger will offer expert interpretation and commentary during excursions in the Explorer tender bringing nature and history to life, complimented by the onboard guest lecturer.Epicurean experiences include Bruny Island oyster and wine tastings, cheese and vodka sampling at Grandvewe Cheeses as well as fresh local Tasmanian produce and Lark Single Malt Whiskey from the Barrel offered on board.This seven night itinerary departs Hobart weekly from 1 January 2018 to 12 March 2018. Prices from $4990 per person, however there is an early bird discount of 10% for all 2018 bookings made before 31 March 2017.last_img read more