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ECONOMIST: UPTICK IN HOUSING DEMAND
updated 09/27/13 11:54 AM
Speaker at Upcoming Economic Forum
Catalyst Corporate FCU's 36th annual Economic Forum on Oct. 22-23 will bring together seven economists and financial industry experts to share valuable insights to help credit unions prepare for the future.

James Smith, chief economist for Parsec Financial Management and one of the featured speakers, will discuss "Credit Union Implications of a Rebounding Real Estate Market".

"Credit union leaders may be surprised to see how strong the demand for housing and home mortgages is over the next few years," said Smith. "The U.S. has not built enough new houses for several years, so pent-up demand is huge."

According to Smith, demand for new households is about 1.25 million units a year. Couple this with the 250,000 to 300,000 units that are demolished each year, and demand increases further. That means to keep up with demand there should be about 1.5 million single-family housing starts—a level that hasn't been seen since 2006.

U.S. homebuilder confidence is currently at its highest level since 2005, and credit unions are jumping on the bandwagon. In 2005, credit unions issued more than $59 billion in first-lien mortgages. In 2012 that number swelled to $123 billion, and is on pace to reach $130 billion in 2013.

"Obviously, credit unions striving to provide the best service possible to their members will want to take whatever steps are necessary to help them find the right mortgage products," Smith added. "As these differ widely depending upon the characteristics of the membership, credit unions must make informed choices to ensure that products are a good fit for both the members and the credit union as a whole."

Learn more about housing marketing and get valuable intel from Smith at the Economic Forum.Click here to register!

 
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'BIG DATA' SPOTLIGHT: RISK OR REWARD updated 10/22/14 12:06 PM
Three Panelists Share Opinions
With Alessandro Acquisti as moderator, Wednesday’s audience was treated to a lively discussion—and a bit of back-and-forth debate—on the use of “big data” at credit unions and its ramifications.

SPEAKER DELVES INTO DATA PRIVACY updated 10/22/14 11:57 AM
The Credit Union Connection
As the Big Data Panel during REACH 2014 kicked off on Wednesday, it was apparent “big data” is everywhere and infiltrates all facets of our lives. But how much do consumers value their privacy, and what does it mean for credit unions?

SOCIAL CHARM: INGREDIENT FOR SUCCESS updated 10/22/14 07:59 AM
Chen Lizra at REACH
“Engagement” is one of the top buzz words circulating around REACH 2014—and TED speaker, business consultant, and author Chen Lizra shared some unique insights during the general session on Tuesday. Her buzz word: “social charm.”

INNOVATION PANEL SPURS TAKE-AWAYS updated 10/22/14 05:21 PM
Three CU Industry Perspectives
Attendees at REACH 2014 received a plethora of ideas from Tuesday’s innovation panel to take back to their credit unions—not the least of which included more interaction between employees and leaders, and free-flow of ideas from the bottom up.