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US home sales fall at fastest pace on record

  • Posted on July 3, 2018 at 1:30 am

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sales of previously owned homes in the US fell at the fastest rate ever recorded last December, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

According to the association, existing home sales fell 16.7% last month, to an annual rate of 5.45 million, the largest crash since 1968. The figure was less than the 5.90 million units, or an eleven percent drop, predicted by most analysts.

Sales of homes went up for the entire of 2009 to 5.156 million units, or 4.9% for the year, and prices dropped from 2008 by 12.4%.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun described the figures as being “probably the largest annual drop since the Great Depression”. He said that “the market is going through a period of swings driven by the tax credit. We’re likely to have another surge in the spring. Job creation is the key to a continued recovery in the second half of the year.”

Pierre Ellis, a senior economist for Decision Economics in New York, commented on the figures, saying: “The drop in home sales is the payback for the acceleration of sales that occurred with the original first-time home buyers tax credit. […] There is an issue as to whether the decline represents a fundamental weakening.”

“The housing market continues to face significant headwinds, including high unemployment, record delinquencies and foreclosures, the specter of rising mortgage rates as the Fed’s [mortgage-backed securities] purchase programs comes to a close in late March, and tight credit,” Omair Sharif, an economist for RBS Securities, noted.

“Still, the resale market showed resilience in the second half of 2009, and the expansion and extension of the tax credit to April 30 could boost purchases during the spring selling season,” he said.

“We’ll see a pickup in existing home sales in the next couple of months as people take advantage of the tax-credit extension”, economist Adam York of Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina claimed. He fore-casted a pace of 5.4 million. He said that there were unlikely to be buyers of homes, despite the fact that the U.S. was “past the bottom.”

All four regions of the country saw a decline in sales. In the Northeast, sales fell 19.5 percent, in the Midwest, they plunged 25.8 percent. The South, the country’s largest region, saw a 16.3% decline, while in the West, sales waned by 4.8%.

US stocks fell slightly after the announcement, but went back up later in the day.

US home sales fall at fastest pace on record
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Clinical study supports pollen tablets as hay fever treatment

  • Posted on July 3, 2018 at 1:04 am

Friday, September 1, 2006

A large clinical trial found that grass pollen tablets under the tongue (sublingual) are an effective treatment option for hay fever sufferers. The results have been published in this month’s edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Tablets with grass pollen that dissolve quickly under the tongue may provide doctors with a better tool to fight the illness. The patient could take the pills at his own home, and after a while the symptoms may disappear completely and treatment can be ceased. Contrary to the current standard treatment, this therapy targets the immune system in such a way that it treats the cause and not just the symptoms.

634 patients from 8 countries participated in the trial. Half received Grazax® tablets (a product of ALK-Abello, Hørsholm, Denmark), the other half placebo pills. The group receiving treatment showed fewer symptoms during hay fever season and consequently cut down on their medication use. Grazax® also caused few and tolerable side effects such as itching and swelling in the mouth.

Combined with several earlier papers, these results provide a basis for ALK-Abello to apply for European approval of their drug. It has already been approved in Sweden, and the company will follow a Mutual Recognition Procedure hoping to get their product in European pharmacies by the end of 2006. The company will continue to fund further inquiries into Grazax® and will keep collaborating with scientists from several European countries.

During hay fever season, patients develop a runny nose, swelling of the mucous membranes of the nose, sneezing and teary eyes, a condition doctors call allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. The condition seems to be increasingly frequent, with approximately 10% of the population suffering from grass pollen allergy. First-line treatment includes antihistaminics (like cetirizine or Zyrtec®/Zyrlex®) and steroid sprays, but results are often disappointing.

Long term results have been demonstrated for weekly shots with pollen extracts (a procedure called desensitization), but too many visits to the doctor make the process troublesome. Also, the patient has to wait some time before leaving the doctor’s office, due to the risk of developing a kind of shock state termed anaphylactic shock.

Clinical study supports pollen tablets as hay fever treatment
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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina

  • Posted on July 3, 2018 at 1:03 am

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tyler Currie is running as an Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario provincial election, in the riding of Trinity-Spadina. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina
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