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  • Out of all 50 states, Washington has been listed as the best state to retire in, according to research by Global Residence Index. The research used seven key factors to rank each of the 50 states, and Washington ranked in the top 10 for five of the seven factors. Air quality, life expectancy, violent crime reports, environment quality, Medicaid spending, and 65+ population were considered the most important factors for those of retirement age, according to Global Residence Index. Another key factor in the research was that Washington held the second highest life expectancy in the United States at 79.2 years. Behind Washington in second place was Minnesota, which is the number one state in the country for social support, according to research. The top 10 states (in order) to retire in according to Global Residence Index: Washington, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Oregon, New York, California, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. Alabama is listed as the worst state to retire in with the fourth worst life expectancy at 73.2 and in the top 10 states with the worst air quality, according to Global Research Index.
  • Despite a holiday season filled with delayed and canceled flights, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) was one of the most punctual in the world in 2022. SEA ranked No. 8 in Cirium’s list of top-performing global airports of 2022. The online tracker’s on-time rankings were calculated by on-time departures — a flight that arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled gate arrival — and total flights. According to Cirium, 81.04% of SEA’s flights boasted on-time departures out of 383,250 total flights, good for fifth place among American airports. Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (90.33% on-time departures), India’s Kempegowda International Airport (84.08%), Salt Lake City International Airport (83.87%), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (82.62%), Philadelphia International Airport (82.54%), Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (81.95%) and India’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (81.84%) finished above SEA. Colombia’s El Dorado International Airport (80.72%) and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (80.68%) rounded out the top 10. Brazil-based Azul Airlines, with an on-time arrival rate of 88.93%, was named the top-performing airline globally. Delta (83.63%) and United (80.46%) ranked No. 5 and No. 8, respectively, worldwide. Following Delta and United among North American airlines were Alaska (80.36%), American (78.29%), Southwest (74.06%). Frontier (68.32%), JetBlue (66.35%), Allegiant (65.93%), WestJet (59.10%) and Air Canada (54.51%). Click here for the full report from Cirium.
  • Last year continued the trend of fewer and fewer Americans packing up and moving across state lines, according to the latest Migration Map by North American Moving Services. Interstate migration rates have been declining since 1985, according to Census data. What’s stayed consistent are the parts of the country people move to and from. For the ninth year in a row, Illinois ranked as the top outbound state in 2022 followed by California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Topping the list of highest inbound states was South Carolina followed by North Carolina, and Tennessee — which have been top inbound states since 2020 — Arizona and Florida. The report cites the quality of life as the top concern for movers last year. The report also pointed to an increasing cost of living as a consistent motivator for people to move. Another is the desire to be closer to nature and family.
  • Between traffic, the cost of maintenance and safety, driving in some states is much more pleasant than others in the United States. new WalletHub study of all 50 states found Washington state is the second-worst in the country for driving, only beating out Hawaii. According to the personal-finance website, Washington ranked 47th in cost of ownership/maintenance, 39th in traffic and infrastructure, 20th in safety and 16th in access to vehicles and maintenance. Iowa, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Idaho claimed the top six spots, respectively. Oregon ranked No. 24. Click here for the full report and to view a breakdown of the 31 metrics used for the study.
  • As recently as 2004, 90% of US households had a landline phone. By 2008 it was 80%, by late 2010 it was 70%, and by mid-2013 it was 60%. In mid-2015, landlines were in just 50% of households, and by late 2018 the percentage was down to 40%. By the end of 2021 it was 30%. At this rate, by 2030 there will be no landlines left as reported on
  • U.S. home sales tumbled to the slowest pace in nearly a decade as soaring mortgage rates and sky high prices in 2022 pushed homeownership out of reach for many Americans. The National Association of REALTORS® said that existing U.S. home sales totaled 5.03 million last year, a 17.8% decline from 2021. That is the weakest year for home sales since 2014 and the biggest annual decline since 2008, during the housing crisis of the late 2000s. The median national home price for all of last year jumped 10.2% to $386,300, the NAR said, and it’s up 42% from 2019, before ultra-low mortgage rates and pandemic-fueled demand sent the market into a frenzy. That translates to a median $114,000 increase in housing wealth in three years.
  • According to a report in, the BMW i Vision Dee is a color-changing chameleon of a car, with 240 e-ink powered body panels and hub caps that can display a range of shades and patterns made up of 32 different colors. Individually programmable and customizable, the car’s body is capable of taking on millions of potential color schemes. Adding a 32-color spectrum to the mix is as much a reflection of advancing technology as a wager on the value consumers will place on that customization. BMW’s concept is a long way from hitting dealerships or the streets, but these customizable ideas are beginning to take shape in some production vehicles. Audi, for example, has cars with programmable brake lights, allowing users to select from several display shapes. Recoloring the car on a whim, though, opens far more creative possibilities. As a concept, BMW’s i Vision Dee is a step change for the brand, which unveiled an e-ink concept car at the 2022 CES that could change its exterior color from white to gray to black. Both iterations suggest that the era of car customization is coming, but for now, this is a distant prospect. BMW’s engineers are still working out how these color-changing panels can withstand the rigors of driving in real-world conditions, with all the bumps and pebbles and bugs a car encounters on a typical drive.
  • New mortgage financing policies from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are poised to shake up the housing market for 2023, according to the Huntsville Business Journal.
  • Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) are determined by a number of factors, most prominently the borrower’s credit score and debt-to-income ratio (DTI), among others. The new policies concerning LLPAs will reduce the cost incurred for having a lower credit score. There will still be a discrepancy between lower credit and higher credit scores, just not quite so punishing of one. These changes will come into effect for loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, starting on May 1, 2023. While these changes will apply to the majority of loans within the United States, there are some, such as VA loans or “jumbo loans” from credit unions, that will be exempt from these changes. This announcement comes on the heels of a previous announcement, which outlined changes to Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system. These changes include changing criteria for would-be borrowers looking to establish credit, the utilization of bank statements to determine borrowers’ income and balance trends, and an automated option for lenders to document nontraditional credit sources. Together with such measures as a LLPA waivers for first-time home buyers with income less than or equal to 100% of the Area Median Income, these changes are intended to facilitate underserved would-be borrowers by making financing more obtainable. These policies coming into effect in late spring could possibly “jump-start” the currently-sluggish housing market.
  • Washington state lawmakers are working to address the state’s housing supply this year, adding that the 2023 legislative session will be heavily focused on housing. Lawmakers shared their ideas to increase housing at a recent press conference, including 12 bills to be introduced this session. The proposals include increasing the middle housing supply, increasing the supply and affordability of condos and townhouses, and speeding up the project permit application processing timeline among other proposals. “Right now, Washington needs 150,000 more housing units, but in the next 20 years we’re going to need more than 1 million new homes of all types, sizes, and shapes for our workers, our families, and mostly our aging seniors,” Rep. Mia Gregerson stated.

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