Commercial Real Estate – What is the Present Status?

U.S. Real estate markets are not so-healthy as they were for decades. First the residential property sector was plagued by the foreclosure crisis and is yet to recover from the devastation. Arising out of the foreclosure crisis, there were many cyclic reactions in the financial market. The cash-crunch spread fast to other areas of financial activities – like auto loans; credit card purchases; hotel room occupancy; business revenues in shopping malls; renting office complexes and so on. Commercial new construction projects were either put off or abandoned totally, aggravating unemployment problem etc.The commercial real estate market is inevitably inter-related with all the above businesses. As such the depletion in business revenues is reflected in foreclosure of commercial properties also. How? For example, if a big hotel losses heavily on revenue by the non-occupancy of its rooms, ultimately financial commitments, including the mortgage repayments get hard-hit. The situation of default in mortgage repayment, consecutively for months, eventually leads to foreclosure and distress sale of the commercial property concerned. Needless to mention a distress sale will bring the market value of the property deep down.Which branch of commercial properties is most affected? We have come across news reports about the commercial foreclosures – particularly in the hotel sector – the affected hotels of luxury located in the tourist industry hot-spots of Las Vegas in Nevada, Florida, and California etc.What is strikingly different in residential foreclosures and commercial foreclosures is – when a residential property is foreclosed, the amount in loss of money is about few thousands of dollars, whereas in a commercial foreclosure, the amount involved runs into millions of dollars.It is for this reason, the lending institutions extending financial supports for commercial property projects are dragging their feet in coming forward to extend new loans. In the situations of default and foreclosure also, they are not rushing into the decision of foreclosure of the property immediately, but consider all possible alternative outlets and compromises with the borrowers.Obviously, rather than individuals, mostly institutions and LLCs are involved in commercial foreclosures and in dire situations of foreclosures, they tend to select the insolvency route, to escape foreclosures.In this context, it is pertinent to take into consideration what the experts in the Industry say about the present status of commercial property sector and foreclosures. While the predictions about the future of commercial real estate vary from person to person, there is unanimity among them about the density of the problem of commercial foreclosures, presently.According to James Lockhart, vice chair of WL Ross & Co. New York, there are a lot of distressed commercial properties facing foreclosures with small commercial banks as of date. The problem institutions holding commercial properties in their business have increased to 775, whereas there were only 50 of them, just a few years back.The impact of commercial foreclosures has led to closing of financial institutions in huge numbers. Of a total of 8,000 U.S. banks dealing in commercial property finances, already 250 have been closed; 1300 banks have been advised by the regulators, to reduce concentration of Commercial Real Estate property loans; and many of them are expecting closure or taken by stronger competitors.However, in the Real Estate industry circles, it is reported that in a “Sentiment Survey” conducted among 100 senior real estate personnel by the Real Estate Round Table, during the second quarter of this year, 82% of the participants expressed satisfaction that the commercial real estate market is better than last year.
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Why Risk Poor Precision Metal Stamping Quality? Automotive Industry Averts Risk With APQP

Precision metal stampings are a critical component of so many products. Automotive components, medical devices, electronic parts – all contain metal stampings. For the part or the device to function properly, the stamping needs to be free of defects and of perfect quality.We continue our metal stamping quality article series with a discussion on APQP.Automotive industry refuses to take chances with precision metal stamping quality.Poor quality is not an option with the automotive industry. That’s why the ‘Big Three’ (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) created Advanced Product Quality Planning, better known as APQP.So what is APQP? Technically, “it’s a guide in the development process and also a standard way to share results between suppliers and automotive companies.” More simply put, it’s a way of making sure the automotive companies are involved in every step of the development and launch process with their suppliers – to ensure nothing goes wrong. Why? Ultimately, to ensure the ‘Big Three’s’ customers are satisfied with their automobiles.APQP is typically deployed in 5 concurrent and collaborative phases:Plan and Define Program
Product Design and Development
Process Design and Development
Product and Process Validation
Launch, Feedback, Assessment, and Corrective ActionSome of the questions that can be addressed through the APQP process are:Can the product/process be error proofed?
Can the product/process achieve a higher level of capability through tolerance design and/or process variation reduction?
What controls must be developed to ensure that defects cannot reach a customer?The APQP process actually monitors 23 topics before production is even started. Topics like design robustness, design testing, quality inspection standards, product packaging, and more.Metal stamping companies need to be prepared.There are a lot of suppliers wanting automotive business. Automotive manufacturers and the companies that represent them can demand that their suppliers abide by APQP processes.And that requirement certainly applies to metal stamping companies as well. Automotive suppliers need to ensure the metal stamping companies they do business with are committed to APQP and should insist they:Establish and continually monitor company-wide APQP processes
Utilize APQP tools such as Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) to ensure quality
Utilize advanced technology to verify stamping quality, thicknesses, and dimensions (sensors and gauges)
Implement sophisticated quality control plans and tools to ensure consistency and zero defect parts (i.e. Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Adhere to the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)With these controls in place, metal stamping companies can do their part to ensure the automotive manufacturers achieve their ultimate goal of customer satisfaction.Want to know more about APQP?For comprehensive details on the APQP process, refer to the AIAG APQP Manual available through AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group).

Stock Market Tips – Guidelines For Successful Investing

When many people prepare to make their first couple of purchases in the stock market, they are usually filled with excitement and very optimistic that they’ve chosen companies that will provide them with an opportunity for making a profit, or at least earning significant dividends over the long term. The only problem is that few new investors take the time to become truly educated about the complicated terminology and processes involved with the stock market before they plunk their money down. If you’re going to be successful as an investor, here are some important stock market tips to keep in the back of your mind.

One of the most important stock market tips to take to heart is advice from one of the world’s most successful investors, Warren Buffet. Mr. Buffet has been quotes many times as saying that you should only invest in what you know. This means that if you’ve worked in the banking industry, you should stick to currency and bank financing. If you’re passionate about the fashion industry, it’s probably a good idea for you to invest in clothing companies or something similar. This is good advice because you’ll be able to build on your existing knowledge about how the industry works, and won’t have to start your research from scratch.

Another one of the most important stock market tips is that there is no amount of research or strategizing that can substitute for your own common sense and patience. It’s important that investors never get so comfortable or confident in their own trading ability that they forget that there is always risk involved with the market. Although there are strategies for predicting market movement, they are never guaranteed, and it’s always possible that you can misinterpret market signals and lose money if you’re not careful.

Lastly, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking your stock market tips from someone that is worthy of your time and respect. Whether you enroll in an investing class, sign up for membership in an online community of experienced investors, or work with an online brokerage tool that provides resources for analyzing charts and trends, it’s important that you have a support system for questions and uncertainties as they arise. These resources can help you to notice market signals that you might have otherwise missed, or alert you to a promising stock that you hadn’t been tracking. There’s no reason to make common mistakes when others have already made them before you.