first_img Share in Daily Dose, Headlines, Market Studies, News FHFA House Price Index Shows 1.4 Percent Increase U.S. home prices rose for the 14th consecutive quarter by 1.4 percent, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index released Thursday. The price increase was seen in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index in the fourth quarter of 2014.Home prices rose 4.9 percent from the fourth quarter in 2013 and the adjusted monthly index for December was up 0.8 percent from November.”Contrary to prior indications of a possible slowdown, home price appreciation in the fourth quarter was relatively strong,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis.  “The key drivers of appreciation over the last few years—low inventories of homes available for sa​le and improvement in labor markets—likely played a role in driving up prices during the quarter.”The HPI is calculated by using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.FHFA’s expanded HPI is up 1.3 percent prior to last quarter. That index is up 6 percent from last year. The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose 4.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014.The seasonally adjusted, purchase HPI rose in 48 states and Washington D.C. The top five areas in annual appreciation were: Washington D.C., 12.5 percent; Nevada, 9 percent; North Dakota, 8.4 percent; Colorado 7.9 percent; Michigan, 7.8 percent.Fourth quarter increases for the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S. was greatest in San Francisco-Redwood City in  the South San Francisco, California area, where prices increased by 6.0 percent. Prices were weakest in El Paso, Texas falling 6.6 percent.Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest growth with a 1.8 percent quarterly increase and a 5.5 percent increase since last year.  House price appreciation was weakest in the New England division, where prices fell .03 percent.The monthly seasonally adjusted, purchase-only index for the U.S. has increased for 23 of the last 24 months. November was the month which showed a decrease in 2013.last_img read more

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first_imgBut the even bigger jump is on network performance, which could be more than 200% in some areas, or in places where MU-MIMO routers are installed. Yes, not only is your smartphone going to be obsolete, but unless you have one of the few MU-MIMO routers, you’ll have to replace it as well to get access to this performance. That is a massive bump for things like streaming movies, games, or even your desktop, but just realize both ends have to be updated to see the performance increase. Thus, the 30% is a given; the 200% will depend on where you live and what is installed at work and in your home.Sound: I don’t care if we are talking smartphones or tablets, chances are your speakers suck. Even the best, which have two front-facing speakers, tend to have anemic sound because the speaker size just can’t handle both high volume and high range. Also, the speakers are so close together that we also get crappy separation.Well, that changes in 2016 too. With an option to compress the dynamic range, these new phones can pound out the volume and come close to the performance of a desktop speaker able to fill a room (granted, a small room) with music. And using technology similar to what is used to create surround sound, your ears will be fooled into thinking the speakers are much farther apart.Visual media: I don’t see much point in carrying a camera unless you really need the flexibility of a DSLR. Whether you take still pictures or videos, that camera you’ve had to carry is about to have even less reason to be taken off the shelf. Using the extra power noted above, both movies and still shots will come out better due to corrective post-processing in the camera. Ghosting, color accuracy and picture clarity, light correction, and picture resolution should improve to where most of us won’t be able to tell if the picture was taken by a real camera or a smartphone. The smartphone will also do things that the camera can’t, like auto-index the pictures before shipping them to the cloud for safekeeping. Here we are at the beginning of another new year and already we are hearing rumblings that the smartphones we have are about to become obsolete. Given this happens every year, we are likely taking this in stride. We really shouldn’t, though, because this year phones are likely to make huge moves due to the massive amount of change in cellular technology.At the heart of this change is the new Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm, the 820, that promises to pretty much make the phone you have, regardless of who made it or what’s inside, look ancient by comparison. We call this kind of change a revolution because it is so massive. Let’s go through some of the coming improvements.(Related: Nokia opts out of smartphones for the forseeable future)Performance: Typically we are lucky to see a 5% performance increase year over year, and the minimum performance improvement people notice is 10%, so when you get a new phone every other year, it seems a tad snappier. With this processor, the hype promises a better than 30% jump in processing performance. After this jump we’ll go back to 5% per year.last_img read more

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