Is This SIP Roof In Trouble?

first_imgA site visit is a good first stepGBA senior editor Martin Holladay makes five observations: installers used an interior tape with adhesion problems; there is evidence of air leakage at the seams between SIPs; it appears that melting snow on the roof caused by air leaks led to ice dams; the roof pitch is very shallow; and the peel-and-stick membrane was installed in a way that isn’t waterproof.“It’s not a good sign that your roof has ice dams — especially if the house is only three years old,” Holladay writes. “It’s worrisome that you have seen water on the underside of your roof assembly. I’m not going to give advice on the moral or ethical issue of what you should tell the new owners of the building. I’ll leave that issue to your conscience or your lawyer.“Lots of problems,” Holladay continues. “It would take a site visit to determine whether there is any way to seal the air leakage at the SIP seams from the interior. That would be Step One.”Melton says his goal is to address the problems and pass along a well-functioning home to its new owners.“I’m definitely not looking for legal advice on GBA,” he says. “I’m simply trying to get an idea of the severity, timeline and (possible) solution to the problem. I AM assuming liability based on the fact that I built the house (as a homeowner, not GC) and that I want it to be fixed because its the right thing to do.” Why choose SIPs in the first placeMelton’s post prompts Malcolm Taylor to wonder why homeowners are building with SIPs at all.“It must be apparent to regular readers here that SIP assemblies represent more than their fair share of the problems needing remediation — and that they are generally serious problems,” he writes. “In the face of that I still see posters proposing to use them on their new builds. There seems to be a real disconnect. What are the features that draw people to use SIPs over equally efficient but much more resilient methods of building? I’m genuinely stumped.”Well, Melton replies, speed of construction and thermal performance are two reasons for using a SIP roof assembly.“As for my decision to use SIPs, I like the idea of a R-55 roof installed very quickly,” Melton says. “We set five 63-foot beams and a 32×64 roof in two days. Which may or may not be fast, but it seemed pretty good. Sure, in hindsight, SIPs may not have been the best choice, but it seemed good at the time and I didn’t see/do enough research to convince me otherwise.”Taylor likens the risk of using SIPs to sport.“There are a number of extreme sports, like rock climbing, that are very safe when performed by experienced, well-trained participants,” Taylor says. “That doesn’t negate the reality that they are inherently more risky that other activities. To me, SIPs are like that. Installed by experienced, diligent, conscientious workers they perform as expected (your house is a perfect example). But the chances of success are so much lower than assemblies that are inherently more robust.“The frequency of questions posted on GBA are no statistical indication of how often these problems occur in the wider building world, but it is clear that there are assemblies like, say, cathedral roofs that cause more concern than others,” he continues. “I can’t imagine a case being made that SIPs weren’t a risky way to build compared to most others.” An air channel is important in a cold climateHolladay admits that his advice to incorporate a ventilation channel in this type of insulated roof assembly is a conservative approach. He writes that he would sleep better at night knowing that the ventilation channel was there.He advises including an air space beneath any type of roofing over a SIPs structure in a cold climate (Climate Zones 5 through 8).Peter L says that he’s discussed the well-publicized failure of SIP roofs in Juneau, Alaska, with one manufacturer, who said the reports were overblown. Juneau, he said, represented a “worst case scenario type of climate,” and that there are thousands of SIP roofs without ventilation channels that have not had a problem.Further, the website for the Structural Insulated Panel Association suggests there’s nothing wrong with applying standing-seam or asphalt roofing directly on a SIP with no air channel.“The SIP manufacturers are correct about the climate in Juneau,” Holladay replies. “It’s damp, and there are few sunny days that allow for much drying. They are also correct that there are thousands of SIP roofs without any vent channels or rot. (Those are the SIP roofs that are perfectly airtight.)”And while SIPA may see nothing wrong with skipping an air channel beneath roofing, that doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do.“SIPA is an association with the mission of promoting SIPs,” Holladay says. “Historically, SIPA has downplayed the disadvantages of SIPs and highlighted the advantages of SIPs. SIPA is not the best source of information on potential SIP failures.”Andrew Bater adds than an afternoon of web browsing took him to a series of articles about problems with SIP roofs. (Those articles are available here and here.) Our expert’s opinionHere’s how GBA technical director Peter Yost sees it:It’s unfortunate if this problem is characterized as a SIP failure; the roof represents a failure in design and detailing. Sure, SIP roofs demand rigor, but so do many high-performance systems.Detailing for air leakage: Any high-performance assembly and building needs performance testing, particularly the first time around. The only way to know that you have superior airtightness — in this case, something that SIPs demand — is to test.All SIP panel joints should be backed up, topside and bottom-side, by high performance PSA tapes; in my opinion that would be an acrylic tape such as SIGA, Pro Clima, 3M, or Zip. (For more on tapes, see Two Wingnuts Describe Their Backyard Tape Tests, or my BuildingGreen blog series: Sticky Business.) This means that the airtightness of the panel joints is assured by (a) the original (and often custom) panel joint detail as well as (b) flexible membranes that can withstand panel contraction and expansion at all the panel joints.Roof pitch: I must admit that when I first read that a standing-seam metal roof system was used on a roof of this slight a pitch, I thought it was flat-out wrong. But I checked with local roofing expert, Brian Knowles of Jancewicz & Son, and here is what he had to say:“Most roofers will say that this can’t be done (standing-seam metal roof on 1/2-inch-in-12 roof), but we are one of a few companies that have the technique and craftsmanship to tackle this. The keys are:“1. Don’t attempt this on any roof with a ridge.“2. Be sure that panel layout places any roof penetrations in the middle of a panel and not at a standing seam.“3. Use a double-fold standing seam [as shown in Image #2, below] with a continuous bead of Geocel 2300 sealant in the top of the first fold.”So what do I recommend? Definitely take the roof apart and identify the leaks, investigating both air leaks and bulk water leaks, given the patterns of wetting and the apparent lack of adequate sealing for both air and bulk water.Here’s my take on the possible benefits of venting a roof with this low of a pitch: to get real air flow and the drying it brings, you need two holes and a driving force. It’s tough to get much driving force — in terms of force and frequency — at that low a pitch. Matt Melton lives in central Washington state in a 3-year-old house with a roof made of structural insulated panels (SIPs) that are 12 1/4 inches thick. The pitch of the roof is very low, only 1/2 inch-in-12, and the metal roofing has been applied directly over the SIPs with no air channel beneath the roofing for ventilation.When the house was built, Melton sealed the seams between roof panels with tape, applied on the bottom of the panels. The top of the roof was completely covered in a peel-and-stick membrane. In both cases, Melton now says, the seams of the tape and the roofing membrane didn’t seem to stick very well.This year, there’s trouble. For the first time, Melton has noticed an ice dam on the roof. Worse, he reports water leaking through a seam between SIPs, although the leak appeared on a roof overhang and not in the interior of the house.“Now, I’m wondering should I pull all the roofing off once it warms up and let the thing dry out and also to see if there is any mold,” he writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor. “Then maybe replace with a better underlayment and a TPO roof?”There’s one more complication: Melton has sold the house and is now renting it back from its new owners. They apparently plan to take possession in May. Structural Insulated Panels Q&A: I’m Currently Struggling to Explain Why I Want SIPs for My RoofA SIP Roof Repair in WisconsinFrom Fine Homebuilding: Air-Sealing SIP SeamsHow to Protect Structural Insulated Panels from DecayMartin’s Ten Rules of Roof DesignBeing a Carpenter Isn’t Simple Anymorecenter_img Doing SIPs the right wayPeter L makes these suggestions for a trouble-free SIP roof:(1) Tape all exterior panel seams with a good-quality, vapor-permeable product that allows trapped moisture to escape (he recommends SIGA Wigluv tape).(2) Install a vapor-permeable roof membrance (he suggests SIGA Majcoat, which has a vapor permeance of 34 perms) to allow drying if the roof becomes wet.(3) Create an air space between the roof membrane and the finished roofing. As little as 1 inch of space will allow for drying.(4) Seal and tape all interior panel joints with spray foam and a good-quality tape.“If the above is done, a SIP roof can be as long-lasting as a truss roof design with an attic,” Peter says. “SIPS have their place, but just need the extra TLC and steps to keep them properly sealed and dry. If SIP roofs are done incorrectly, then yes, they can be a problem. Like anything in building science, there is usually a solution; just apply it properly.”John Stephany writes that the Madison College Construction Program has been using SIPs for years.“There are some key things: being hyper-vigilant when installing to make sure the gaskets are in the right place and in full contact,” Stephany says. “We threw out the hardware store gasket material the supplier sent out and went with a much more robust seam tape that expanded two times its original size over time.”On the interior, Stephany applies 3M tape with a J-roller. RELATED ARTICLES How should Melton deal with this developing problem? That’s the question for this Q&A Spotlight. The roof pitch is a concernMelton recognizes the roof pitch is low, a detail that several posts suggests is contributing to the problem.Holladay, for example, says that a roof with a slope of 1/2 inch in 12 inches “is always going to be at great risk of leaks than a roof with a steeper roof.”Installing metal roofing on slopes of less than 2-in-12 is inherently much riskier than using it on steeper roofs, Taylor says.“Apart from small penetrations for vents and roof stacks, all the other trim and detailing for conventional metal roofs rely on lapping material and more importantly gravity,” he says. “Chimneys, ridge caps, valleys, gable, sidewall and eve flashing all need slopes to work. Further, unlike other common materials like asphalt, metal wicks water through capillary action, so on metal roofs water often travels uphill.”Although there are ways to mitigate the risk, he continues, “these things are to mitigate risk that doesn’t exist in other, more robust assemblies.”Stephany adds that most standing-seam metal roofs should not be installed on roofs with a pitch of less than 2-in-12.“There are a few that are allowed on as low as 1/2-inch pitch, and they have robust gasket material inside the standing seam to stop leakage and are clear in their literature about the usage,” he writes. “At this point, you do need to remove the roof, and I would recommend a second layer of sheathing spaced off the first with 1x4s to create a vent space, on top of Grace Ice and Water shield, lapped 6 inches or more. And air-seal everything on the interior as best you can.”last_img read more

How To Drop Your Data Plan And Keep Using Your Smartphone

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts tim mccormick Tags:#Carriers The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Guest author Tim McCormick is a product developer & writer in Palo Alto, CA interested in publishing, learning technology, and urban innovation.Over the last six months, I’ve made an experiment of giving up my $90/month cellular + data plan, and exploring alternative ways to use my smartphone (iPhone) costing as little as $5/mo. The key point is that you don’t need a contract or a subscription to use a smartphone, contrary to just about everything you ever hear.I’ve come to think that it is not only often possible to largely cut out phone costs via these methods, but they actually provide a helpful path to other goals such as better prioritizing your time and attention, lowering stress and disruption, improving online reading patterns, and making you more connected to place and local community.RFR IPhone Next, concept by Fabio Merzari / RFR DesignersThis isn’t about dropping smartphones or nostalgically longing for a pre-cellphone era or an uncontaminated, unplugged, “In Real Life.” It’s about using smartphones in smarter ways, exploring their amazing potential while limiting their cost, intrusiveness, addictiveness, and other problems. It’s about making our tools serve our goals, rather than accepting, as Marshall McLuhan said, that “First we build the tools, then they build us.”I admit there is some hacking and rough spots in this, as I am piecing together various tools and workarounds. Also, it is more useful to those not locked in to a phone contract, and it’s oriented to the U.S. environment, which has some particular issues such as unusually high costs, pervasive carrier-locked phones and contracts, whereas the service landscape is different in other places. However, I believe much of this applies broadly, the potential benefits are powerful, and this is really a proof-of-concept: in future providers will put these pieces together into seamless, user-friendly, marketable services.So here are the steps. Actually, almost all can be done independently and each has its own benefits, but done together they can add up to nearly cost-free smartphone service:1) Set up or find wi-fi (wireless internet) networksat home, work, or any place you spend time. Suffice it to say that if you have Internet at home, or go to libraries, Starbucks, McDonalds, Whole Foods, most coffeeshops, etc., then you can get wi-fi access fairly easily for free.2) Turn off your phone’s data service.(On an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data -> off). Now, instead of using your cellphone’s data plan, your phone will start using free wi-fi (when available) to browse the Web, check email, etc. Check how and where it works.3) Set up VOIP calling software on your phonesuch as Skype or Talkatone or Google Chat. These are free apps that let you make and receive phone calls via an Internet connection such as the wi-fi you’re now using.  Typically you can call free to other users of the program anywhere, or call to any number for a relatively low fee.  For example, I use Skype and pay $2.99/mo for unlimited calling to any # in U.S./Canada, with cheap rates to call other countries.(c) 2011 Sigfrid Lundberg, CC-BY-SA-2.04) Set up a virtual number, and voicemail transcription, e.g. with Google Voice.Various services, including the free Google Voice, let you set up a number that can redirect to whatever other phone or phones you want. This is helpful for various reasons, such as letting you switch easily between phones and locations without having to update the people who might call you. For present purposes, it can help you transition from your current cellphone plan to a plan-free, low-cost alternative.First, sign up for Google Voice and pick a number. Then set it to redirect to your current number, and test it. Then, set it to handle voice mail for that number, and you have an extremely useful new feature that will store any voicemails in your Gmail, transcribe them, and email + text you the transcript. Admittedly, the transcription is often quite faulty, but I find that 90% of the time it is sufficient to get the gist of the message e.g. tell you whether you need to call back, pick up milk on the way home, or sometimes actually listen to the message to get the details right. If you use Google Voice for texting, you also get all texts sent/received nicely archived in your Gmail, and you can text from a Web browser, a very convenient alternative to your phone if you happen to be sitting at a computer.5) Unlock your phone, and switch out the SIM card for a pre-pay card“Unlocking” means changing settings on a phone so it is not limited to working on a specific carrier’s network, and can for example be used while traveling abroad. Some carriers now offer phones unlocked by default, or will let and help you unlock them if they are off-contract. You can also buy phones that are unlocked and no-contract (usually at a higher price than the subsidized, with-contract price). I expect that unlocked, inexpensive, Android-based smartphones will become increasingly pervasive here before long, though, as they already are outside the U.S.Once your phone is unlocked, you can replace the “SIM card,” a small plastic chip stored in a retractable tray or under the phone battery. Putting in a different SIM card will associate the phone with a different number and (possibly) carrier.Find out what prepaid SIM cards are available for your phone (note, it may depends on which carrier you got the phone through), and order a card with, say, $25 credit to test it out. Pop out the old SIM card, put in the new one, and add the new card’s phone number to your Google Voice setup so that GV will send texts to it and (optionally) route calls to it.If this all works to your satisfaction, you are now ready to completely bypass your old cellphone carrier. You can now cancel your mobile subscription (typically for a fee, if you are still within contract, of course).(c) 2011 Sigfrid Lundberg, CC-BY-SA-2.07) Consider getting a mobile hotspot, especially via Clearwire or Freedompop.Mobile hotspots are small devices that pick up cellular networks (3G and/or 4G) and use them to create portable wi-fi networks. Clearwire, an upstart telecom infrastructure provider, offers 4G hotspots for $35 or $50/mo that have bandwidth caps but (unlike incumbent carriers plans) neither data limits nor contracts.Clearwire also provides much of the infrastructure for hotspots offered by other companies such as Sprint and Freedompop. Freedompop is an intriguing new entrant, a LA-based startup backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstom that offers mobile hotspots for no monthly fee at low data volumes (up to 500MB/month), $49 for a USB stick hotspot, $89 for MiFi-style multi-device hotpot, $10 for 1GB, and other options up to $60 for 10GB/mo.Particularly with an unlimited-data hotspot such as Clearwire’s, a great option is to use the hotspot for all of your Internet access, at home and away from home. This might help you fully cable-cut, i.e. entirely get rid of your cable/DSL provider such as Comcast, Time Warner, or AT&T. Also, incumbent telcos’ home internet service is frequently suspected of deliberately degrading 3rd-party, VOIP phone services; in my tests, I’ve often had difficulty with VOIP on incumbents’ lines, and hardly any problems with Clearwire or commercial wi-fi such as at Starbucks.Commentators typically say that the Achilles Heel to mobile hotspots is requiring users to carry another device with them, to get phone access on the go. I actually have found this to be a very minor issue — I just habitually put the hotpot + charger in my bag when I go out, because I use it for phone, laptop, and tablet (Nexus 7), and I almost always have my bag with me when out. The hotspot is only the size of a matchbox, so if I want to put it in my pocket, it’s quite easy.So that’s how you set this up. Overall it’s a bit “under the hood,” probably more than a typical phone user would want to try currently, but it points out future possibilities.Lead image: (c) 2009 Vox Efx, “Me and Me – Day 89″, CC-BY-2.0 What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Sharma meets civil society groups in Anantnag

first_imgDineshwar Sharma, Special Representative appointed by the Union government, met civil society groups in Anantnag in south Kashmir on Tuesday, with talk veering around “continuation and expansion of dialogue to separatists”.At least 27 delegations met Mr. Sharma during a day-long interaction with civil society groups, including a number of youth organisations. Representatives of a youth organisation, “Be The Change”, asked Mr. Sharma to institutionalise the dialogue process for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.Sources said that besides the dialogue process, the delegates pitched for hydroelectric projects and an end to “repression of youth”.last_img

The Bollywood-award Epidemic

first_imgBreaking News! Between January-June 2011, there will be a torrential flood of close to (believe it or not?) 175 Awards Functions, according to media reports. Exploring different categories, showcasing stars of every size, shape, color and status, these full-on, glitz, glam and gloss-driven shows will translate into mega bucks for the organizers, stars and TV channels beaming these dhamakedaar spectacles. They will invariably be followed by the ritually staged bonding-shows, jhappis, bonhomie, camaraderie, khana-peena…. Somewhere along the way, something critical is always missing: seriousness credibility, purpose, transparency and focus, leading sane watchers to ask one simple question — who’s doing what for whom … and why? Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan are frequent participants, forever picking up awards at every show they grace. A quick look at Bollywood’s Baap, Hollywood, presents a totally different picture. In their seminal paper on “What’s an Oscar Worth?” in Economic Inquiry, Randy Nelson and Michael Donihue of Colby College and Donald Waldman of the University of Colorado at Boulder, estimate the average benefit for a Best Picture winner at a cool $17 million in ticket sales. Slumdog Millionaire — for people who are interested — zoomed into the dizzy $47 million slot, okay? Most Oscar-nominated actors climb up the pay-check and esteem ladder too and even smaller movies profit. Sure, there are veiled whispers of rigging, favoritism, etc., but hey, it’s practically impossible to “fix” a 6,000 member jury. And multi-million dollar, hi-decibel campaigns, heavy-duty lobbying — as Mr. Perfectionist Shah Rukh Khan will tell you — can only do that much. Also in terms of scale, it is a freak out. Consider the 2011 Oscars. $270,000 worth of goody bags were presented to all the losing nominees. 3,332 privileged guests witnessed this amazing spectacle at Kodak Theater. It was followed by 50 officially sanctioned parties. Some 248 films were eligible for this year’s Best Picture Award and 1,700 man hours went into counting and verifying the ballots. Everything considered, the results are mostly fair, the prize hugely coveted and for sheer glamor, grandeur and glory, the Oscars remain the planet’s premier show, spectacle and award! Aamir Khan avoids the awards show circuit. In comparison, our award-mela — which wraps up by mid-year — is often reduced to mockery. The same, long, boring hi-voltage hamming by chosen anchors, energetic dance numbers by leading stars, gossip, bitching … and yet the shows — all 175 — rock!The award phenomenon was formally launched 57 years ago in 1954 with the first Filmfare Award. Today, five decades (and a zillion Award functions later) the award show phenomenon has been reduced to a populist, glamor-driven farce catering to the lowest common denominator. Diluted and devalued beyond imagination and solely engaged in the business of attracting TV ratings and grabbing eyeballs, most of these award shows seem to have totally lost the plot. But does anyone care or complain?Moans Mimi Chaudhary, a Bollywood-watcher tracking the award function circus: “In recent times, these shows have turned into huge commercial, ego-massaging exercises. Star presence defines the show’s success and remains the centerpiece. Aamir Khan never attends, but the other two — Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan — are frequent participants, forever picking up awards at every show they grace! The limit was seen in hard close-up recently when both these mega-stars got the Best Actor award — Salman, for Best Actor, SRK for Best Actor, popular choice!”  Ali Larter and Salman Khan in MarigoldAdds Chaudhary: “New categories are routinely added to add glamor, variety and spice, but most importantly accommodate as many stars as possible because they are the show; the show is them, So, the bottom line is if you want a star to participate, make sure he carries home an award, apart from that fat fee for shakin’ a leg, on stage.” Young collegian Anita Chopra, a die-hard award-show-watcher, vehemently disagrees: “C’mon yaar, let’s not be cynical and do the kill-joy jig, guys! Bollywood is about stars, glamor, sex-appeal and entertainment, so why shouldn’t the Award shows reflect it? Seeing SRK, Salman, Akki (Akshay Kumar), Hrithik (Roshan), Kat (Katrina Kaif), Priyanka (Chopra), Bipasha (Basu) and Kareena (Kapoor) sizzle on state is an impossible high. To most of us Bollywood fans, the value or fairness of the awards — naturally we want our favorites to win — is less important than the action on the stage. Watching Ranbir (Kapoor) perform is like … wow!”Aside from Aamir Khan, at least one big star has had the guts to categorically reject the whole concept of today’s Awards. Ajay Devgan — the quiet, intense and hugely underrated talent who’s had an amazing 2010 and seldom been awarded — is on record stating: “Awards seem to have become a business, dhanda ho gaya. The organizers sell TV rights for big money and have to justify it by bringing in as many stars as possible. The poor guys call everybody and when some stars say that they will come or perform only if they are assured of awards, these people are forced to buckle down. They create categories to fit in as many stars possible.” Devgun ranks the National Awards highly, but complains that there too “sometimes politics makes an appearance.” A local wit says that the only way to counter this award-mania is to publicize and celebrate the desi version of Hollywood’s Golden Raspberry Awards recognizing the worst movies — Golden Kelas and Ghanta Awards. Point is, unlike Hollywood, will any of our self-absorbed and ego-tripping narcissistic stars have the guts or sporting spirit to participate and pick Ajay Devgan: “Awards seem to have become a business, dhanda ho gaya.”up their prize for the “worst of the worst” performance/films? Full marks to Abhishek Bachchan who had the “cool” to pick up his Golden Kela award for Delhi 6 last year. Bravo! Others should learn from the Chhota B.So what gives? Why can’t an industry — forever yelling its head off about being global, corporate, professional, respectable and generally at par with the best of the best and romancing a loyal fan-base of a gigantic 3.6 billion fans across the globe — put together one single, credible, believable, coveted, respect-worthy award function? Why doesn’t any award make any impact on anyone — trade, fraternity, media, fans or the box office? Surely, the true-blue Bollywood junkie deserves an honest answer. The truth, I guess, lies in playing safe, maintaining the status quo, pandering to vested interest … and god knows, there’s lots of that! And so on to the next award (y-a-w-n) function.  Related Itemslast_img read more

BMW looking for larger slice of SUV market

first_imgAs India’s love for sport utility vehicles (SUV) revs into top gear, German luxury carmaker BMW on Thursday launched its new SUV, X1, in India priced between Rs 22 lakh to Rs 29.9 lakh (ex- showroom Delhi). The car will be available in both petrol and diesel variants.While the petrol version will be available at Rs 22 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India), the diesel variant will have two options, priced at Rs 23.9 lakh and Rs 29.9 lakh (ex-showroom, all-India), respectively.The diesel variant of X1 has an engine with power of 177 brake horse power (BHP) and torque of 350 Nm ranging from 1750 to 3000 rpm. The petrol engine gives a power of 150 BHP with a torque of 200 Nm at 3600 rpm.BMW claims that the diesel variant takes 8.3 seconds to attain a speed of 100 kmph, whereas the petrol variant takes 10.4 seconds. All X1 variants have six speed automatic gearboxes.BMW already has two SUV models in India ‘X3’ and ‘ X5’. This SUV will be positioned below them.Last year, the Indian auto market saw as many as half a dozen new SUV launches, including many high- end luxury SUVs.These include Audi Q7, Hyundai Santa Fe, Tata Aria, whereas Audi had earlier launched Q5.French auto major, Renault, too, is planning to launch SUV Koleos in the Indian market in mid- 2011.The price will be a major advantage for the firm. This compact SUV will not only divert some traffic from its German counterparts but will also be pitched against Toyota Fortuner priced at ` 19.64 lakh, Nissan X- Trail ( Rs 21.7-26 lakh), Hyundai Santa Fe ( Rs 21-23 lakh) and the Mitsubishi Outlander (Rs 20.25 lakh).advertisementThis is the cheapest car from the BMW stable in India so far. The firm said it will assemble X1 from its Chennai plant and has invested about ` 180crore to boost the production. BMW has taken over the top position from its arch- rival Mercedes- Benz. According to the latest Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers figures, BMW sold 5,345 units against 5,109 units sold by Mercedes- Benz during January- November this year.The company is quite bullish about the response of its new SUV in the India market.”We already have 1,000 orders for the BMW X1 and we are sold out for the first quarter of the next year. We expect the X1 to be the biggest volume model for BMW in India,” Andreas Schaaf, president, BMW India said.”India is still a growing market, it is not yet matured and we are creating a market with the launch of new vehicles. If the market continues to grow at 25 per cent, in ten years time India will be among the top 10 markets of BMW globally,” Schaaf said.last_img

Forget me not

first_imgWhat is common between the diary you use each day to scribble notes in office and your feet? Too weird a comparison? Well, think again. Chances are that you will discover you care for your feet as little as you do for that diary caked with dust and on the,What is common between the diary you use each day to scribble notes in office and your feet? Too weird a comparison? Well, think again. Chances are that you will discover you care for your feet as little as you do for that diary caked with dust and on the verge of tearing apart. But unlike the diary, you cannot replace the body parts you tend to ignore most often. This new year, make a new start. Use this checklist to make sure you give each part of yourself its due.HandsThe delicate skin, fewer oil glands, constant exposure to sun and direct contact with drying elements such as harsh detergents and hot water contribute to making hands age years before the rest of you.Take special care to use a gentle scrub on your hands to remove dead skin.Moisturise hands during the day as well as before going to bed to keep them soft while maintaining their suppleness.Use SPF-containing sunscreens and lotions to protect hands from the sun.Use gloves while doing household work such as washing utensils or clothes.Elbows and kneesThe thick skin around the elbows and knees tends to be drier and darker than the rest of the body. However, it is mostly left uncared for since these parts can be easily covered with clothes.Remove dark skin from knees and elbows by exfoliating the skin regularly. Avoid use of alcohol-based products.Massage them with olive and almond oil.Lemon is extremely beneficial for your elbows and knees. Use a paste made by mixing lemon juice with salt to lighten the stubborn dark skin on these parts.Nutritional supplements of antioxidants, flaxseed oil, co-enzyme and Vitamin C will help make a difference.Feet and heelsClean, soft heels never fail to attract praise. However, cold weather and the dirt are bound to put them to severe test.Wash feet in lukewarm soapy water and exfoliate using a foot scrub to keep them clean and free from itch cracks.Apply a lanolin-rich cream or mixture of glycerin and rose water to help soften the heels.Massage the foot with either petroleum jelly which contains urea and lactic acid or a salicylic acid preparation (if the cracks are very deep) at bedtime.Use low heel, comfortable shoes that cover your feet.Always put on a loose pair of socks before going to bed.While waxing your legs, ask your therapist to wax the foot as well, to remove the dryness from the upper foot.UnderarmsDark underarms can be unsightly and embarrassing. Caused due to hyper-pigmentation, they are mostly genetic.Shaving can lead to dark underarms as the skin is sensitive and thin. As waxing removes hair from the root, it is a far better alternative to shaving.Since deodorants can lead to discoloration of the armpits, try to use perfumes or sprays when going out.Avoid bleaching this part of the body as the thin, sensitive skin turns unusually dark later on.Apply a mixture of half lemon juice and half water to your underarms. Allow the mixture to stay for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this on alternate days.HipsHard and dark skin on the hips is very common among women. However, since not everyone goes around sporting bikinis, the problem remains largely ignored.Daily exfoliation with a loofah during your bath will help reduce discoloration of the hip region.Use mild scrubs for this area to avoid goose pimples.BackIt’s common knowledge that most women are plagued by acne and unusually dark skin on their backs.Use anti-bacterial soap or a salicylic acid-based cleanser to dry up the acne on your back.Moisturise your back with a hydroxyl acid that can be bought at any drug or beauty store. This will prevent the skin from drying up in any weather.Protect the skin from sunlight and cleanse it with gentle cleansing milk every night before going to bed.Neck skinThe skin on the neck is much more delicate, and thus requires more care as compared to the rest of your body.Regularly peel the dead skin on your neck with face cosmetics once a week, since they are gentler.To prevent ageing and moisture loss, eat food containing vitamin F, such as corn, sunflower oil, linseed oil, and nuts.With inputs from: Dr Jamuna Pai, Cosmetic Physician, Blush Clinics; Anuradha CH, Director, Anoo’s Salon; Anjali Negi, Marketing Manager, JAFRA Cosmetics; and Vivek Sahni, MD, Kama Ayurveda.advertisementlast_img read more

Ajay Maken promises mental trainers for shooters

first_imgA constant theme in the string of felicitation functions for India’s Olympic medallists has been the hope expressed for future Games.On Saturday, at a function to honour the two shooters, who did the country proud at the London Olympics, Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar as well as sports minister Ajay Maken and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) revealed their plans for India’s preparations for the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.Maken said each of the 11-member Indian shooting contingent deserved a medal, and promised that the government will intensify its efforts to raise funds for the athletes.In response to Mail Today’s query about mental trainers, of whom there was a severe dearth among the Indian contingent in London, Maken said: “In the case of shooters and archers specifically, we understand that highly specialised mental support is required. We will do all we can to secure the services of international level specialists in that regard, in order to allow our athletes to do even better at that level.”In addition, we believe that setting up a sports science institute will help develop world-class mental trainers indigenously, and we need that to sustain ourselves in the long run.”Speaking on the occasion, which was jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the NRAI, Narang said: “It (the medal and the subsequent receptions) has been a life-changing experience for me. The plan now is to change the colour of the medal in Rio. To this effect, I am planning to open a second ‘Gun For Glory’ academy in Germany (after Pune), which will allow Indian shooters to have a European base for training as well. I also urge the NRAI to donate Rs 10 lakh towards an NRAI-Gun For Glory scholarship for budding shooters.”advertisementThe NRAI, for its part, vowed to increase the shooters’ participation from 11 this time around to 15-20 in Rio. The body also said its target was to bag at least five medals at the next Olympics.Narang was handed a cheque for Rs 15 lakh by the NRAI while Vijay received Rs 20 lakh. FICCI felicitated both by unveiling limited edition T-shirts, and promising all possible help for Olympic sports in the future.Vijay, usually a man of few words, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has supported us and stood behind us, which has helped us succeed. I am a shooter, and I will keep training and focusing on doing well in international competitions.”last_img read more

Mallya was present in House on one day during Budget session

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 13 (PTI) Amid a raging controversy over UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya leaving the country, the Rajya Sabha attendance data today showed that the liquor baron was present on only one day during the current Budget session.He reportedly last attended the Rajya Sabha on March 1.The attendance data showed that during his second term as a Rajya Sabha MP, Mallya attended the House for only 121 days out the total 424 sittings.Mallya entered the Rajya Sabha as an independent member on July 1, 2010 and his term ends on June 30 this year. This is the last regular session of his six-year term.His first term as a MP was from April 10, 2002 to April 2008.His attendance was highest in 2010, but saw a sharp decline in last two years.In the 220th session (from July 7 to August 31, 2010), the independent MP from Karnataka attended 20 sittings of the 26 while in 224th session (From November 11, 2011 to December 29, 2011), he attended 14 sessions of 24.During the special session (from June 9 to 11, 2014) Mallya did not attended Parliament even once.According to the attendance data, in 2014, Mallya attended Parliament only 13 times in comparison to the 64 sitting the Rajya Sabha.Mallya has also not tabled any private member bill in this term. PTI PR PVI RT PVIlast_img read more

CBSE NEET counselling to begin in two days, while Uttarakhand HC gives 2 weeks to CBSE, police to file paper leak report

first_imgThe schedule for online counselling for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) UG was released on August 17 along with declaration of results.(Check: CBSE NEET Results 2016)NEET counselling information:As per schedule, the main counselling registration choice filling and indicative seat will begin from August 22 till August 25As per leading media daily, the counselling session would be done in two roundsThe seats will be allotted to aspirants through the central quota in the first phase, while in the second phase, through state quotaThe two-phased counselling will be held in Uttar Pradesh (UP) because the Akhilesh Yadav government adopted NEET in state medical colleges unlike many states.Meanwhile, in-depth investigation is still on in the NEET Phase II paper leak case.(Read: NEET Phase 2 paper leak row: Vyapam scam officials to help Uttarakhand police in investigation ) New developments in the case:The Uttarakhand High Court has given two weeks of time to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Nainital police to come up with a status reportAs per DNA report, the court will be hearing the matter on September 5, 2016(Read: NEET Phase II 2016: Errors found in question paper)Earlier, a NEET aspirant from Rajasthan, Anshul Sharma, filed a plea in the Uttarakhand High Court stating that the matter be investigated fully and that the CBSE NEET 2 examination be cancelled.However, the CBSE stated that the attempted leak was based on false assurances to candidates of getting them passed in the exam by certain untrustworthy elements.Few important dates for NEET aspirants:advertisementMain counselling registration choice filling and indicative seat: August 22 to August 25Exercising of choices and locking: August 26 (up to 5 pm)Process of seat allotment (Round 1): August 27Declaration of result (Round 1): August 28Reporting at the allotted medical/dental college against Round 1: August 29 to September 3Exercising of choices and locking (Round 2): September 9 to September 10Process of seat allotment (Round 2): September 11Declaration of results (Round 2): September 12Commencement of MBBS/BDS first year session: September 13.Check: CBSE NEET Results 2016: Declared at aipmt.nic.in Check: CBSE NEET Results 2016: Top three rank holders For more updates on education, follow India Today Education or you can write to us at education.intoday@gmail.comlast_img read more

Suspended for doping, Prithvi Shaw gets support from Manoj Tiwary

first_imgSuspended for doping, Prithvi Shaw gets support from Manoj TiwaryIndian Test opener Prithvi Shaw has been suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) till November 15, 2019, for a doping violation.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 31, 2019UPDATED: July 31, 2019 11:50 IST Prithvi Shaw was handed a back-dated eight-month suspension for a doping violation by the BCCI. (@BCCI Photo)HIGHLIGHTSPrithvi Shaw was handed a back-dated eight-month suspension for a doping violation by the Board of Control for Cricket in IndiaPrithvi Shaw though said he inadvertently consumed the drug when he had used an over-the-counter-cough syrupManoj Tiwary expressed confidence that Prithvi Shaw would be able to comeback stronger from the doping suspensionIndia batsman Manoj Tiwary has sympathised with young opener Prithvi Shaw after the India cricketer was handed a back-dated eight-month suspension for a doping violation by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.Prithvi Shaw’s urine sample, the BCCI said, was found to contain Terbutaline which a substance that is on the WADA Prohibited List of Substances. The sample was collected during BCCI’s anti-doping testing program at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match on February 22.Prithvi Shaw though said he inadvertently consumed the drug when he had used an over-the-counter-cough syrup. Shaw released a statement later on Tuesday saying he accepted the punishment and hoped this example would deter other athletes from neglecting protocol when it came to taking medicines.Manoj Tiwary expressed confidence that Prithvi Shaw would be able to comeback stronger from the doping suspension.Manoj Tiwary came out in support of the former U-19 World Cup-winning skipper. Tiwary said that such mistakes are bound to happen when it comes to sports-related substances. Tiwary also applauded Shaw for coming out in the open and accepting his mistake.”Gud that u hav come up wit dis. Mistakes does happen and specially wen it’s sports related substances. I’m sure u will come back more focused and stronger. Best wishes always (sic),” Manoj Tiwary said.Gud that u hav come up wit dis. Mistakes does happen and specially wen it’s sports related substances. I’m sure u will come back more focused and stronger. Best wishes alwaysadvertisement MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) July 30, 2019Shaw last played for India in a test match against West Indies in October last year and has not been picked in the squad for their tour of the Caribbean next month.However, Shaw will be allowed to resume training with his state team after midnight on Sept. 15.Also Read | I accept my fate with all sincerity: Prithvi Shaw responds to BCCI doping suspensionAlso Read | Prithvi Shaw suspended by BCCI until November 15 for doping violationAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow Prithvi ShahFollow Manoj Tiwarylast_img read more

Cows on the Beach in Palolem, India

first_imgAs the sun slinks off to the other side of the globe we fully intend to chase it. This year, The Manual suggests a well-deserved respite from the winter gloom in sunny Goa. The Southerly, lesser-known town of Palolem offers delicious, health-conscious food in abundance and a laid-back beer-swigging vibe all around.PLAYPalolem beach is a hub of entertaining activity. Frequented by local fishermen, cows, dogs and friendly hawkers, people watchers will never be short of action. As the sun sets, make your way to Monkey Island, on the far right of the beach. Seeing the charcoal rocks, visiting jellyfish and ocean view in the evening light is an experience you won’t forget.SHOPThe days in Palolem are dreamily slow so be ready to take it down a few gears. The Manual recommends browsing the many shops and stalls that line the Palolem main road for artisanal gifts and wares. Look out for handcrafted leather footwear and the awesome Tibetan blanket scarves that most of the stores stock – and don’t be afraid to put your bartering hat on.EAT & DRINKThe walk from the resort to the main town is around twenty minutes but it’s a pleasant one. Beeline for a hearty, healthy breakfast at Café Inn. The staff are super friendly and the food is a little slice of the café culture we’ve all become accustomed to. You’ll be dreaming about the poached eggs in exploded tomatoes until lunchtime.For dinner, The Manual recommends the tasty wood fired pizza at Magic Italy. The menu is endless and the beer is shockingly cheap – roughly a dollar a pint when we visited. End the night at the Silent Noise Disco at Neptune Point. The rocky area to the South of the beach provides a suitably awesome backdrop to the end of a truly memorable day.SLEEPThough compact, the summer season sees the opening of infinite accommodation options. The Manual suggests investing in a little me time and booking into your very own cabana at the Bhakti Kutir resort. Gauge yourself on the town’s most prolific organic fare at the in-house restaurant and shower amongst the palms in your bamboo-enclosed En Suite. Keep Your Pants On With the Best Belts for Men Editors’ Recommendations 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts 11 Best Gins for a Refreshing Gin and Tonic All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked Why Your Desk Chair Matters and the 9 Best Ones to Boost Your Productivitylast_img read more

Port of Singapore Marks 8th Month of Container Volume Dips

first_imgzoom The Port of Singapore, the world’s second busiest port just behind China’s Port of Shanghai, has marked a 15.8% decline in container volumes in October 2015 compared to the same month a year earlier, according to the preliminary data published by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).The port handled 2.497 million TEUs in October 2015, compared to 2.971 million TEUs handled in October 2014.This is the eighth consecutive month of lower container volumes for the port, with the only improvements recorded in the first two months of the year.In the first ten months of 2015, the port handled 26 million TEUs of containerized cargo, a 7.47% decrease compared to 28.1 million TEUs that passed through the port in the same period a year earlier.World maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Castor Maritime Charters Out Panamax to Oldendorff Carriers

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: PxHere under CC0 Creative Commons license Cyprus-based dry bulk shipping company Castor Maritime has entered into a time charter contract with Germany’s Oldendorff Carriers for Magic P, a Panamax vessel. The charter commenced on March 12, 2019.The gross charter rate is USD 11,250 per day, for a period of a minimum of five up to a maximum of about eight months. For the first 30 days, the daily gross rate is USD 9,000, according to the company.Castor Maritime said the employment is anticipated to generate approximately USD 1.6 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charter and could reach USD 2.6 million should employment be extended to its maximum period.Built in Japan in 2004, Magic P has a deadweight of 76,453 tons. Previously known as  Silver Freedom, Magic P has a market value of USD 9.4 million, VesselsValue’s data shows.Castor Maritime provides shipping transportation services through its ownership of the dry bulk vessel. The company’s vessel is employed primarily on medium-term charters and transports a range of dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes.last_img read more

Joseph Howes Legacy is Brought to Life

first_imgJoseph Howe, a powerful democrat, dedicated journalist, andstrong voice for Nova Scotia, is being remembered with a newexhibit that shares his greatest accomplishments with all NovaScotians and visitors from around the world. The exhibit, entitled For the Public Good, was unveiled today,March 1, at Province House. Today also marks the eve of the 170th anniversary of Mr. Howe’strial, which led to freedom of the press. “For the Public Good is a celebration of Joseph Howe’s majorachievements and I believe it’s important for the youngergeneration especially to be attentive to this vital part of NovaScotian history,” said Speaker of the House of Assembly MurrayScott. “We are pleased to keep Joseph Howe’s memory alive forNova Scotia and the world.” Preparations for the bilingual exhibit began following thecelebration of Mr. Howe’s 200th birthday in 2004. Discussionstook place with the Joseph Howe Initiative — a society formed tomark the anniversary of Mr. Howe’s birth and honour his legacy –and the theme for the exhibit was developed. Images, memorable quotes, and a sculpture of Joseph Howe are featured in the exhibit, which pays tribute to his mostsignificant accomplishments — the trial resulting in freedom ofthe press, his involvement in shaping responsible government andhis part in Confederation. A unique timeline of his life is also on display, accompanied bya global timeline that shows his impact on Nova Scotia inperspective with world events. Mr. Scott said the exhibit serves as a lasting legacy to JosephHowe and will reside at Province House on a permanent basis forall to enjoy. Following a tour of the exhibit, visitors are welcome to visitthe rest of Province House to see the areas where many of Mr.Howe’s greatest accomplishments took place. Sheila Stevenson and Stephen Archibald are the volunteerinterpreters for the exhibit. Graphic designer Grant Murray isresponsible for its design.last_img read more

Country Rising Concert To Support Hurricane Relief

first_imgCountry Music’s biggest stars have rallied to announce plans for COUNTRY RISING, a benefit concert to support those in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and additional Caribbean islands who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes.The star-studded lineup at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 12 will include performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait and Carrie Underwood. Tickets and VIP packages for the event go on Ticketmaster.com.In light of the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas this week, and out of respect for victims, event organisers have postponed the on-sale date originally scheduled for this Friday.Additional artists and more details will be announced over the coming weeks at CountryRising.org.The Nashville music community has also stepped on board to offer services to support, with AEG and Live Nation teaming up as the official show promoters alongside VIP experience experts CID Entertainment, Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators. Country Rising will benefit The Country Rising Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which was established to support charitable initiatives to help victims of the September 2017 hurricanes — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. In the course of rebuilding lives disrupted by these devastating storms, there are immediate needs and there also will be long-term needs. This fund will strategically support both as they emerge.last_img read more

FN Education Council AFNOttawa deal carries assimilating and paternalistic nature

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe proposed First Nation education bill partly unveiled this past Friday will still retain the “assimilating and paternalistic nature” of its previous incarnation, according to a Quebec First Nation education organization.The First Nations Education Council released an analysis Monday of the agreement between Ottawa and the Assembly of First Nations on education which was announced Friday. The deal would see the introduction of a proposed bill governing on-reserve education called the First Nation Control Over First Nation Education Act.The proposed bill, which is in its final draft, is expected to be tabled in the coming months.Ottawa is expected to negotiate with the AFN and First Nations leaders on the bill’s final content, according to the agreement.The council said available information is still limited about the proposed bill and it based its analysis what has already been released publicly. The council found that many of the elements of the previously named First Nations Education Act rejected by chiefs have not been scrubbed from its current incarnation.“The current agreement made between the AFN and the federal government has retained several disputed elements of the bill presented in October,” said the council. “The name of the draft bill was changed…to create an illusion of a major change, while the bill in its present form goes completely against the First Nation jurisdiction and control of First nation education.”The deal would see the 18 year-old two per cent a year funding cap on First Nation education lifted after the next federal election. Ottawa also promised to commit $1.252 billion over three years for core education funding along with a new yearly 4.5 per cent escalator. The agreement would also see the federal government invest $500 million for infrastructure over seven years beginning in 2015-2016.Yet the education council, which counts 22 Quebec First Nations as members, cast a skeptical eye on the promised cash, including concern over the wait reserve schools face before they see any changes and that the main chunk of many and funding changes would only take place after the 2015 election.“Is there an analysis that shows that this funding is based on needs? How is the funding calculated? Is it new money?” said the council. “Do we have the guarantee that the current programs will not be cut or recycled to meet the announced budget?”Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office refused to provide a breakdown of the funding, saying that the announcement would be included in Tuesday’s federal budget. A Valcourt spokesperson also emailed Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech from Friday to APTN National News.The council also raised concerns that the AFN-Ottawa agreement was silent on funding for post-secondary education.“(There is) no mention of the need to implement a funding formula that takes the current reality in schools into consideration,” said the council.The council also questioned how the proposed legislation could both enable First Nations to implement cultural and language programs while also requiring adherence to provincial standards.“There are no provincial programs or standards for teaching languages and culture,” said the council.The council said the new proposed bill would also “increase the power of the government to determine the operation of on-reserve schools by legislating a requirement First Nation schools teach curriculums that meet provincial standards.First Nations already agree to meet those standards through their funding agreements with Ottawa.The council also said the bill would “impose’ a provincial model on communities through First Nation education authorities.“These school authorities, thus named by the federal government, will become federal agencies,” said the council.The council said any control First Nations would get under the bill would be purely “administrative” in nature“An agreement was made giving the minister the go ahead to introduce a bill in the House for which we do not have all the details that an act going completely against First Nations aspirations will be adopted,” said the council. “All it took was a promise of future and uncertain funding to accept the unacceptable-increased government control over our institutions and the obligation to fall in line with provincial standards and policies.”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Residential school survivor in Labrador looking for recognition

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt’s a familiar story. Generations of children forced to leave home to get their education. Cut off from their family, language and culture.This practice has left a deep impact on the Inuit of Labrador.They were left out of the prime minister’s apology or any compensation from the federal government.As APTN’s Ossie Michelin tells us, one student is now talking about how her community was affected and what needs to happen next.last_img

TMX to launch cryptocurrency brokerage through Shorcan subsidiary

first_imgTORONTO – The TMX Group Ltd. says it’s launching a cryptocurrency brokerage service through the launch of its Shorcan Digital Currency Network subsidiary.The Toronto Stock Exchange owner says it’s partnering on the brokerage with Toronto-based Paycase Financial Corp., which specializes in decentralized financial services including a mobile-based remittance platform.TMX says the brokerage is designed to leverage Shorcan Brokers Ltd. background in providing brokerage services with Paycase’s cryptocurrency data aggregation platform and will focus on the Bitcoin and Ether cryptocurrencies.The partnership will also create cryptocurrency benchmarks based on consolidated data from the world’s leading crypto exchanges as well as over the counter brokered volume.TMX says the brokerage is a significant step in the execution of the company’s digital strategy as it looks to new ways to address client needs in both traditional and non-traditional markets.last_img read more

Economists Buyers face tougher housing market in 2019

first_imgAmericans’ path to homeownership is likely to get more expensive this year, even as a severe shortage of homes for sale shows signs of easing.Mortgage rates, which climbed through much of last year, will continue to rise in 2019, driving up homebuyers’ borrowing costs and shutting others out of the market entirely. The projected result: a cooling housing market and falling home sales nationally.“On the whole, it’s going to be more expensive for buyers next year, despite the fact that they’ll have more options,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.The U.S housing market stalled in 2018 after a long period during which price increases outpaced income growth. That had been offset by historically low mortgage rates, until rates began rising steadily a year ago.While still low by historical standards, the average rate on a 30-year home loan was 4.55 per cent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. That’s up from 3.99 per cent a year earlier.Realtor.com and Redfin forecast the rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage will rise to 5.5 per cent by the end of 2019. Zillow expects rates will reach 5.8 per cent. That would be rates’ highest level since the last recession.A mere extra half percentage point can boost monthly payments and add tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the typical 30-year loan.“Rising mortgage rates will take a bite out of affordability on top of an already supply- constrained and high-priced housing market,” Trulia senior economist Cheryl Young wrote in her forecast.As mortgage rates increase, so does the pressure on would-be buyers to lock in a rate and close a deal.Nate Vogel, a homebuyer in the Denver suburb of Lafayette, has felt some of that pressure after about a year looking for a home without success.Because of the limited number of homes for sale, especially under $500,000, the software engineering manager recently decided to look at homes at the top of his budget, $650,000. But that could be a problem if mortgage rates continue climbing.“If that interest rate goes up another per cent, that would make things much more uncomfortable,” said Vogel, 37. “At this point, no matter what house I buy, I’m sure the interest rate will probably be higher and the payment will be more.”Higher mortgage rates have already started dampening home sales. As of November, sales of previously occupied U.S. homes were down 7 per cent from a year earlier, the steepest decline since May 2011, when the housing market had yet to bounce back from the bust.Realtor.com predicts U.S. home sales will fall another 2 per cent in 2019.It’s not all bad news for would-be buyers, though. Economists project home prices will rise more slowly in 2019. Zillow’s forecast calls for prices to increase nationally by about 3.8 per cent. Realtor.com has them rising at just 2.2 per cent.Another plus for buyers: The number of homes on the market is expected to continue rising, albeit from historic low levels. The inventory of U.S. homes for sale was up 4.2 per cent as of November to 1.74 million units.Alex Veiga, The Associated Presslast_img read more

New restroom facility opens along Alaska Highway at Mile 202

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District has opened a new restroom facility at Mile 202 of the Alaska Highway.As part of the ‘Gotta Go’ pilot project, Electoral Area B Director Karen Goodings says this project is an important part of developing the Region’s transportation infrastructure, adding that this new restroom is a vital addition for those travelling through the area.“The ‘Gotta Go’ pilot project is an important part of developing our transportation infrastructure. Providing a rest area, increasing cell coverage, and providing information on our Alaska Highway will be a benefit to our important economic drivers, including tourism. Those of us who live and travel in our region know how vital the addition of this new rest area is and appreciate the cooperation of all involved to make it happen.” According to the District, more plans are underway to transform the area into a fully functioning rest stop, including picnic tables, a cellphone booster tower, and informational signage about the area and highway.The new facility was developed under the ‘Gotta Go’ pilot project in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, along with Northern B.C. Tourism and other various partners.last_img read more