dmgi news

Property industry calls on Government to announce Flood Insurance proposals

7 years ago

Industry associations, policy advisers and flood specialists met to discuss immediate priorities in advance of the Statement of Principles expiry.

On 30 June 2013, the ‘Statement of Principles’ between the Association of British Insurers and the Government, which commits insurers to continue to provide flood insurance under certain scenarios, is expiring

Based on insurance policies being renewed annually, this is an issue that needs addressing before the end of June 2012 – just seven months away

Know Your Flood Risk campaign hosted an industry round table to discuss next steps and agree a centralised strategy to help tackle the issue in advance of deadline

During an industry round table strategy session hosted by MP Tony Cunningham in Westminster as part of Know Your Flood Risk Week, key stakeholders from the property industry collectively called for Government to announce its solution to the forthcoming expiry of the Statement of Principles, which could impact at least 200,000 homes that are considered to be significantly ‘at risk’ of flooding.

With just seven months until the annual renewal date for many homeowners’ insurance policies, the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign co-hosted the round table to debate the urgent steps that are required in advance of the agreement’s expiry, to put measures in place so homeowners who are ‘at risk’ of flood can continue to obtain affordable insurance. The round table was also an opportunity to understand whose responsibility it is to alert both existing homeowners and prospective purchasers to their level of risk and what it means from a property valuation, mortgage, insurability and legal perspective.

Key stakeholders from the property industry attended the round table strategy session, including representatives from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), the Law Society (LS), Know Your Flood Risk Campaign alongside practitioners such as lawyers, surveyors, insurers and environmental specialists.

James Dalton, Assistant Director and Head of Property at the Association of British Insurers said, “Everyone wants to ensure that flood insurance remains widely available and is priced as competitively as possible post 2013. The ABI has been transparent with the Government in identifying that from 1 July 2012, insurers will be selling insurance policies that will overlap the expiry of the Statement of Principles.
Therefore, the Government needs to come up with a solution on what is to happen after the Statement of Principles expires. The insurance industry will help implement whatever solution they develop but overall it is the Government’s decision on what happens next.”

While it is down to Government to develop a solution that will be put into place once the Statement of Principles expires, all round table participants agreed that it is down to the entire industry to educate consumers of the issue and ensure they are aware of ways in which to understand their own personal levels of risk and research into the measures they can take to protect their future exposure to flood.

James Sherwood-Rogers, Chair of the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign, confirmed: “The round table strategy session pooled together the views and experiences of highly experienced and senior members of the property and environment industries. While it is down to Government to announce what will happen post June 2013, the wider industry has its part to play in raising flood awareness to both homeowners and future purchasers – from insurers and lenders, through to surveyors and solicitors. All agreed that flood is now fully on their agenda and we all agreed to meet again in six months’ time to discuss what progress has been made.”

Mary Dhonau, Chief Executive of the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign, added: “What really struck me was that many of the organisations involved in the round table haven’t yet fully taken on board the potential impact that the expiry of the Statement of Principles may have for homeowners, prospective purchasers and the property industry as a whole. Everyone agreed to take the key discussion points back to their organisations and to meet up again to assess what has taken place, and what action is still needed before July 2012.”

The Know Your Flood Risk Campaign has launched a ‘Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Resilience’, which offers practical advice on how homeowners can prevent and protect their home from flooding. There are many steps that homeowners can take to ensure they are prepared and will reduce the impact of flooding.

To download a ‘Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Resilience’, for more information on the Know Your Flood Risk campaign, or to become a member, visit www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk

Hobsons and St. Bonaventure University Launch Engaging Web Tool that Puts Admission-related Content Front and Center

7 years ago

CINCINNATI, OH November 23, 2011–Hobsons, the leader in recruitment, communication, and student success solutions for colleges and universities, joined forces with St. Bonaventure University (SBU) to deploy a website designed specifically for the prospective student audience segment.

Prospective students expect, and often prefer, online communication. Rather than drive prospective students to the SBU website, which is aimed at a range of psychographic groups, the university sought an attention-grabbing web portal to serve as a one-stop destination for this audience. The site incorporates a number of SBU-specific interactive components that put the admission-focused content front and center so that page visitors can easily access the most salient information.

Based on its expertise reaching this demographic, Hobsons advised SBU to use a multi-channel campaign to promote the site. In addition to a traditional postcard, SBU highlights the URL of the progressive site in its social media and other e-campaigns. Site visitors can opt to log in with their Facebook account, but it does not require them to “friend” or “like” the site.

Dr. Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president for university relations added, “While the University’s Web site remains the most important source of information for prospective students and families, we wanted to create something that would feel friendlier to prospective students and entice them to interact and explore. Becomingextraordinary.net has a personality to it—and it incorporates the user’s personality through the Facebook integration feature. Hobson’s knocked it out of the park with this one. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

About Hobsons

Hobsons is a premier provider of innovative technology and integrated marketing solutions that empower education professionals to manage the entire student lifecycle including recruitment, enrollment, and retention. With end-to-end, enterprise-class products built from over thirty years of education experience and market knowledge, Hobsons helps more than 6,500 global secondary schools, colleges, and universities achieve their goals. A Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) subsidiary, Hobsons is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH with offices in Arlington, VA; Oakland, CA; London, England; and Melbourne, Australia.

For more information about Hobsons and its complete line of technology solutions, please visit www.hobsons.com/general.php.

CMBS Delinquency Rate Increases for Second Straight Month

7 years ago

October Registers the Second Highest Reading in the History of the CMBS Market

(NEW YORK – November 3, 2011) – Trepp, LLC, the leading provider of CMBS and commercial mortgage information, analytics, and technology to the global securities and investment management industry, released its October 2011 U.S. CMBS Delinquency Report today (available at http://www.trepp.com).

The delinquency rate for U.S. commercial real estate loans in CMBS moved up 21 basis points in October to 9.77%. The CMBS delinquency rate is now at its second highest level ever. Only the 9.88% reading in July 2011 was higher. After experiencing a big dip in the delinquency rate in August, the rate has now increased for two straight months. The value of delinquent loans is now $60.2 billion.

“After taking a beating over the prior three months, the CMBS market finally saw some spread tightening in October,” said Manus Clancy, managing director of Trepp. “This improvement may ultimately lure lenders back into the market, but it may be a while before it shows up in new CMBS issuance or reduced CMBS delinquencies.”

This negative sentiment continued for the better part of October. Word of layoffs at origination and trading shops on Wall Street jolted the market further. Spreads continued to race upward–ultimately hitting their highest levels since mid-2010. With a bevy of 2007-originated five-year loans coming due in 2012, the hope that new CMBS issuance would provide a safety valve of sorts for commercial real estate borrowers seemed more and more remote.

The multifamily delinquency rate dropped 23 basis points in October but remains the worst major property type at 16.73%. The hotel delinquency rate jumped up 82 basis points to 14.12% and the office delinquency rate moved up 66 basis points to 8.95%. The industrial delinquency rate increased 21 basis points to 11.59%, while the retail delinquency rate was virtually unchanged for October–down one basis point to 7.61 percent–and is still the best performing major property type.

For additional details, request the U.S. CMBS Delinquency Report at http://www.trepp.com. For daily CMBS and bank trading ideas, credit events and commentary, register for TreppWire or follow us on Twitter.

Trepp Unveils New Product for Bank Surveillance and Risk Assessment

7 years ago

More than 230 U.S. banks still at high risk of failure

(NEW YORK – November 1, 2011) – Trepp, LLC, a leading provider of information, analytics and technology to the CMBS, commercial real estate and financial markets, has unveiled the Bank Navigator™, a web-based product for financial institution surveillance and risk assessment.

“Banks are under a great deal of stress today given the uncertain economic conditions and increased regulatory scrutiny,” said Matt Anderson, Managing Director, Trepp. “We developed the Bank Navigator to help institutional investors and banks manage through these challenging times and give the capital markets greater transparency into the financial health of allU.S.banks. With 230U.S.banks currently at high risk of failure, and 400 or more in trouble should we see a double-dip recession, we believe it’s a perfect time for a product like this.”

The Bank Navigator provides risk ratings and financial forecasts for all 6,900U.S.banks by combining fifteen (15) years of bank financial information, regulatory data and loan history with proprietary analytics and macroeconomic models.

In keeping with Trepp’s reputation for exceptional models and data collection rigor, the forecasting accuracy of the product has been strenuously back-tested and validated by the academic community. Since September 2007, Trepp’s model has successfully identified 96% of the commercial banks that have failed, often one or two years in advance of regulatory action.

In addition to institutional investors and banks, the Bank Navigator will appeal to firms trying to identify distressed loan portfolios such as hedge funds, private equity firms and loan sale advisors. Bank advisory firms and consultants will find the Bank Navigator valuable for market intelligence and business lead generation and regulators will have a much easier time reviewing bank merger risk profiles.

Manus Clancy, Managing Director, Trepp added, “Trepp has been focused on the commercial real estate finance space for more than thirty years. With commercial mortgages being at the heart of the banking crisis, it was a natural extension of our business to develop a product that could help firms better understand the impact these assets were having on the health of banks.”

Hobsons’ College Confidential Mobile App Exceeds 51,000 Downloads

7 years ago

Mobile application success strengthens College Confidential’s position as the Web’s most popular college discussion community, offering insider answers to where, how and why to apply.

CINCINNATI, October 20, 2011—This month, College Confidential’s mobile application exceeded 51,000 downloads since its launch eight months ago. Now at the height of the college admissions season, high school students are searching for real, unsolicited advice on navigating the admissions process. College Confidential and its mobile app provide information that goes far beyond course offerings and enrollment statistics to help students find a school that best meets their needs, increase their chances of getting in, and achieve success beyond admission.

Established to meet the need for free, accessible college search and college admission information on the Web, College Confidential brings together the experiences of students, families and counselors from across the country and around the world to help high school students and their families explore a broad range of admissions topics including financial aid, scholarships, college rankings, test preparation and study abroad. Using the College Confidential mobile app, students can access forums, campus visit reports and insights from blogs like Ask the Dean, Admit This! and School Spotlight from one location. In combination with the Web site’s 1.2 billion page views from 58 million annual visits, the mobile app’s success further strengthens College Conf­idential’s position as the Web’s most popular college discussion community.

Students often find College Confidential through its forums and discussions, and they return to the site once they discover its additional resources including blogs, the SuperMatch® search engine, and the CampusVibe section with videos, photos, and campus visit reports. To download the app from iTunes or the Droid Market, visit www.collegeconfidential.com/mobile.

About Hobsons

Hobsons is a premier provider of innovative technology and integrated marketing solutions that empower education professionals to manage the entire student lifecycle including recruitment, enrollment, and retention. With end-to-end, enterprise-class products built from over thirty years of education experience and market knowledge, Hobsons helps more than 6,500 global secondary schools, colleges, and universities achieve their goals. A Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) subsidiary, Hobsons is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH with offices in Arlington, VA; Oakland, CA; London, England; and Melbourne, Australia.

For more information about Hobsons and its complete line of technology solutions, please visit www.hobsons.com/general.php.

Genscape Expands New York PowerIQ Services

7 years ago

Louisville, KY, October 19, 2011 – Genscape, a leading global provider of energy fundamentals information for commodity and financial markets, announced a major expansion of New York PowerIQ™, the New York market’s leading power market intelligence service.

Since 2004, leading market participants have relied on Genscape to provide the industry’s most comprehensive and insightful forecasts of day-ahead prices, demand and risks for the NYISO’s most liquid hubs – Zones A and G. Now the New York PowerIQ service also includes daily forecasts for Zones J (NYC) and K (Long Island), daily forecasted real-time prices and DA-RT spreads.

The underlying model underwent a major upgrade to support this expansion. The seventh generation model incorporates over 1,700 lines and transformers, over 2,300 updated bid blocks, over 750 generators, and 12 demand zones, resulting in greater accuracy and granularity.

As with all PowerIQ services, the NY service provides clients with full transparency into model inputs, assumptions and performance. Interacting with clients throughout the day, Genscape’s experienced NY analyst team provides a daily recap, demand forecasts, thunderstorm alert probabilities, congestion and losses assessment, virtual bidding assumptions, and more to give clients valuable market insight.

“With this expansion, the NY PowerIQ service should be attractive not only to OTC traders, but also to physical market participants and virtual traders,” said Mark Doolin, senior NY analyst. “We’ve invested considerable resources to understand and accurately model the complex dispatch rules which apply to Zones J and K.”

For more information on Genscape’s Power RT services, please contact sales@genscape.com or (877) 251-5303.

Trepp’s Matt Anderson to Discuss Real Estate & Capital Markets at Appraisal Institute’s Annual Fall Conference on October 14

7 years ago

(NEW YORK – October 13, 2011) – Matthew Anderson, managing director of Trepp, LLC, will be a panelist discussing real estate and capital markets at the Appraisal Institute’s Annual Fall Conference to be held at the San Francisco Marriott on Friday, October 14.

Please contactEric Gerardat Great Ink Communications (212-741-2977) if you would like to schedule time to speak with Matt Anderson at the event, or via phone, regarding the following topics:

Commercial real estate: Safe haven in uncertain times?
Distressed sales: Will high debt maturities keep it coming?
Are lenders beginning to loosen the reins?
Era of uncertainty: How investors are reevaluating risk
Rebound of REITs; CMBS still climbing back
Why apartments have outperformed other sectors
Who’s buying and financing lower tier properties?
Cap rate trends: Still compressing?

CONFERENCE INFORMATION

Where:San Francisco Marriott, 55 Fourth Street (at Mission), San Francisco, CA

When: October 14, 2011 at 3 to 5 p.m. PT

Website: http://www.norcal-ai.org/event.html

About Matt Anderson

Matt Anderson is managing director of Trepp, LLC, providing real estate research focusing on forecasting market conditions, as well as bank lending and credit trends. With a consulting career spanning 20 years, Mr. Anderson has consulted for major commercial banks, global investors, insurance companies, investment banks and hedge funds. He has been quoted in major media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune and American Banker.

U.S. CMBS Delinquency Rate Edges Higher in September

7 years ago

Despite a Strongly Negative Market Tone, Signs of Life Appear

(NEW YORK – October 3, 2011) – Trepp, LLC, the leading provider of CMBS and commercial mortgage information, analytics, and technology to the global securities and investment management industry, released its September 2011 U.S. CMBS Delinquency Report today (available at http://www.trepp.com).

The delinquency rate forU.S.commercial real estate loans in CMBS inched up four basis points to 9.56% in September. After two very sharp moves over the last two months—a huge jump in July and a big dip in August—the CMBS delinquency rate stabilized in September and reverted to its pattern from earlier in the year when modest bumps in the rate were the norm. The value of delinquent loans is now $59.6 billion.

“There is no denying that the tone in the CMBS market has been acutely negative for the past three months,” said Manus Clancy, managing director of Trepp. “The market has taken a series of body blows over that time period: spreads have risen sharply, lenders have pulled in the reigns on new loans, the economy has weakened, and many have speculated that the pricing of trophy properties has come too far too fast.”

Not all of the data was negative, however. First, a number of trophy property sales were announced in September, indicating that this part of the market was not ready to retreat and that lenders were still willing to do deals for the right assets. Second, CMBS spreads settled down considerably in the latter part of the month, largely staying within a narrow trading range whileU.S.equities bounced all over the map.

Delinquency rates for all major property types were up slightly, except for lodging. The Multifamily sector remained the worst performing property type while retail remained the best performer. The hotel rate was down 46 basis points, driven mostly by the resolution of the Red Roof Inn (RRI) loans at 50% losses, which resulted in the removal of two distressed hotel loans.

For additional details, request the U.S. CMBS Delinquency Report at http://www.trepp.com. For daily CMBS and bank trading ideas, credit events and commentary, register for TreppWire or follow us on Twitter.

Lewtan Partners with Thetica Systems, Inc., to Provide Bond Valuation Platform for MBS/ABS Securities

7 years ago

Waltham, Massachusetts, September 27, 2011 — Lewtan, a leading data and analytics provider for the structured finance industry, partners with Thetica Systems to offer a pre-integrated bond valuation platform to MBS and ABS investors. Thetica Systems’ ABS Analytics Trader Tools™ provide a suite of software that incorporates Lewtan’s ABSNet®, ABSNet Loan and ABSNet Loan HomeVal® products with credit model assumptions to automate an efficient bond valuation platform with an easy-to-customize, front-end solution.

Lewtan’s ABSNet Loan product suite is unique in that it enables users to analyze non-agency mortgage-backed securities at the loan, pool and deal level as well as the current bond information related to those securities. Lewtan’s ABSNet Loan HomeVal product provides transparency into negative equity amounts and current loan-to-values at the loan level enabling the user to make insightful assumptions around whether an individual borrower is likely to default on his or her loan. ABSNet Loan HomeVal utilizes both automated valuation models and over 150,000 home price indices at the neighborhood level to arrive at the best estimation of each home’s value.

“We are extremely excited to be integrated with one of the industry’s leading technology providers,” said Ned Myers, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Lewtan. “The Lewtan/Thetica combined offering provides a fully-integrated and scalable solution that enables powerful bond analysis using the most accurate current combined LTVs available today.”

The platform developed by Thetica Systems, integrating Lewtan’s ABSNet and ABSNet Loan products, offers high-speed analytics capable of running thousands of bond scenarios simultaneously, including different pricing, economic and regional metrics. The tool allows for the most precise RMBS forecasting and valuation by integrating Lewtan’s data with credit and default predictions of the user’s choice.

“The partnership with Lewtan makes an exciting addition to Thetica’s suite of vendor products,” adds Jack Broad, President of Thetica Systems. “Not only for Lewtan’s loan-level data, but for its thorough capability to generate ongoing updated property valuations, giving a much closer look at realistic current LTVs in relation to securitized RMBS deals. In today’s real estate market, correctly assessing property values is key to understanding the risks involved for investors.”

Landmark Information Group – finalist for UK IT Industry Awards 2011

7 years ago

Landmark Information Group has been announced as a finalist in the BCS and Computing UK IT Industry Awards, for 2011. The team has reached the finals in the ‘Security Innovation of the Year’ category in the ‘Technology Excellence’ section, based on work Landmark’s Quest business has undertaken within the mortgage valuation audit and fraud detection sectors.

The entry focuses on a number of technology innovations that have been developed by Quest to support the mortgage valuation process. This includes providing surveyors and panel managers with the ability to offer a full electronic audit trail of completed valuations to third parties. By giving access to inspection evidence and detail on how the property value was calculated, it offers assurances to lender clients and professional indemnity insurers.

The BCS & Computing UK IT Industry Awards are a platform for the entire profession to celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence. The winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony on 10 November at Battersea Park Arena.

David Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, says: “Congratulations to the finalists; the competition to reach this stage of our prestigious Awards is tough. Our Awards are central to our mission to recognise the innovation and professionalism of those working in IT and I’m delighted that every year we have such a variety of high quality entries. They are an excellent reflection of the impact IT has on so many aspects of our information society and the potential IT has to transform business, society and our lives.”

James Sherwood-Rogers, Managing Director of Landmark UK Property, Landmark Information Group, said: “We are excited to have been announced as a finalist in the highly-acclaimed UK IT Industry Awards. We are currently going through the rigourous judging process and look forward to finding out who has won the coveted Security Innovation award at the event in November.”

Abigail Waraker, Editor of Computing comments: “I would like to congratulate the finalists. The UK IT Industry Awards are rigorously judged and to be announced as a finalist is a great achievement.”

For further information, visit www.landmark.co.uk and www.questuk.com.

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