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Did You Know?


Winter has 'sprung' in the NorthEast with rain and 50-degree temperatures while the rest of the country enjoys warmth and sunshine.... Even Aspen is 18 degrees warmer than New York and Boston today, while Houston, Nashville, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, etc bask in the warmth of what Spring SHOULD be!
 
DID YOU KNOW? A $2 billion fleet of new Amtrak Acela trains should begin running from Washington, D.C., to Boston 2 years from now. The new trains will slowly enter the existing Acela service with top speeds of 160mph, up from 150mph on the current fleet. The trains will be built to tilt up to 6.3 degrees, allowing trains to run faster in curves and save energy by avoiding braking for some turns. The first of the 28 new Acelas is scheduled to enter service in summer 2021, replacing the existing fleet of 20 trains by the end of 2022. The larger fleet will allow more frequent, half-hourly Acela service at peak periods and carry about 25% more passengers. Acelas carried more than 3.4 million passengers in fiscal 2018, earning about 60% of Amtrak's Northeast income. (WSJ)
 
DID YOU KNOW? Almost 30% of loans that Fannie Mae FNMA and Freddie Mac packaged into bonds in 2018 went to higher risk home buyers whose total debt payments amounted to more than 43% of their incomes, according to Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. The share has nearly doubled since 2015. High-debt borrowers have actually had lower default rates since 2011, according to the Urban Institute. (WSJ)
 
DID YOU KNOW? A 2017 survey of more than 100,000 renters by the National Multifamily Housing Council, showed 3% of those surveyed paid rent with credit cards. As many as 16% said they would put the rent on a credit card, if their landlords would accept it. StayTony - a new startup - provides renter loans that will appeal in particular to recent college graduates. It offers, through Uplift, loans up to $16,000 that carry no interest for the first 6 months and an annual interest rate of 15% - 17% on average after that. (WSJ)
 
DID YOU KNOW? A more business-friendly president and policies in France have resulted in Paris registering 5.3% growth in prime real estate prices in 2018, following 12% growth in 2017. Paris is forecasting prime price growth of 6% in 2019, putting Paris ahead of London, New York, and Hong Kong. Ultra high-end, renovated Parisian apartments can now sell for over $3,000/sf. (Mansion)



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