Third cruise quarter is here. 


The third quarter of the year has a similar projection for the number of cruise passengers as for the same period last year, going into what is traditionally a slow cruise period during hurricane season. 


According to the Port Authority's cruise schedule, there is a potential of 311,276 passengers for the period of June, July and August, if ships are full. 


This compares to the projection of 315,033 for the same period last year, which is just 3,757 shy of that figure, or just one per cent less. 


Last year, the third quarter was much slower than the previous year of 2006, following a considerable drop in cruise arrivals. 


The actual number of passengers coming here fell 26 per cent, or nearly 100,000 passengers in that quarter, from 377,931 in 2006 to 278,751 in 2007. 


The difference between the projections (if ships were full) on the schedule and the number of passengers that actually came here in 2006 was 1.23 per cent less than projected. In 2007 there was a bigger gap; 11.52 per cent less than projected. 


The busiest month of the third quarter this year is set to be September, according to the Port Authority's schedule, with an 111,340 passenger potential, if ships are full. 


Interestingly, September of 2007 was the slowest month of the third quarter. 


Read the full article over at

U.S. News & World Report has published an article about purchasing retirement property overseas. Titled "7 Keys to Buying Overseas Retirement Property", the article looks at some practical considerations. 

"While some retirees head straight for America's sun districts-Florida, South Carolina, California, to name a few-others travel clear across the border to launch their post-career lives. And since many overseas retirement hubs combine a reduced cost of living with a delightful tropical climate, it's no wonder they're so appealing. 

Overseas retirement is "more popular all the time," says Ruth Halcomb, who runs the international living website, "The baby boomers are retiring, and they are the people who went to the Peace Corps and studied abroad." Although buying retirement property overseas can be enchanting, it can also be challenging. Anyone thinking about spending a chunk of change on foreign real estate should be aware of some practical considerations. 

Here are seven tips for retirees considering buying property overseas: 

1. Beware the market trends: While American real estate is experiencing a protracted swoon, some world property markets are moving in the opposite direction. Likewise, the dollar is in the midst of a multiyear slide against foreign currencies. Combined, these trends suggest that selling your U.S. home to buy property overseas today would be unwise, says Michael Englund, the chief economist for Action Economics. "Making that switch now would appear to be classic herd-mentality behavior jumping out of and getting into markets that have already moved sharply in one direction theirs being up, ours being down," Englund says. Financially, it would make more sense to wait perhaps a couple of years for real estate and currency cycles to reverse course. However, Englund cautions, "it's no easier predicting currency markets than it is predicting real estate markets." 


The full article can be found here at U.S. News & World Report. 

If you choose to believe headlines screaming at us from the business section of every daily newspaper in the country, that would be your conclusion. Listen to the talking heads on the financial news shows on cable TV and you'd be further convinced.  

Safe air travel isn't news, but the occassional disaster is. Suppose you knew that prices were actually UP in 1 out of 3 metro markets in the US? According to their latest quarterly survey, that's exactly what the National Association of REALTORS found out (NAR).  

Here are some more facts you won't read about in Financial Times: 

Less than 10% of all homeowners have so-called 'sub prime' loans on their residences. 

Sellers who sold their home in the 1st quarter who purchased a home 6 years ago saw a sizable increase despite the recent woes in the market. The median increase in value in that time period was 23.8% or $37,700.  

Want more objective news about the real estate market? Read the complete survey: 

See full article here