U.S. New Home Sales Rise in March

National Association of Home Builders | April 24, 2019

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, sales of newly built, single-family homes in the U.S. rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 units in March 2019. This is the highest sales pace since November 2017.  "These numbers indicate that builders who can produce housing at affordable price points will experience sales growth," said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. "However, builders are still dealing with a shortage of construction workers and buildable lots, which limits housing affordability."

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY,MORTGAGE AND LENDING

Amrock Unveils Technology to Close Mortgages on Mobile Devices, Giving Consumers the Power to Complete a Home Loan from Anywhere

Amrock | September 14, 2022

Amrock, the nation's largest title insurance, property valuations and settlement services provider – and a part of Rocket Companies – today announced the introduction of proprietary technology to electronically close (eClose) mortgage transactions entirely from a mobile device. This new product represents the final step in Rocket Companies' creation of a seamless, end-to-end real estate experience clients can use to go from application to closing on the iPhone or Android phone they use every day. Rocket Companies, through its Rocket Mortgage brand, offers a completely digital home loan experience for consumers, including the ability to apply, receive approval and lock their rate for a mortgage – all from their smart phone. Now, through Amrock's first-of-its-kind technology, clients can close on a mortgage by connecting with the closing agent or notary from a mobile device no matter where they may be in the world – a revolutionary and convenient new feature. This transformational innovation helps consumers complete the historically cumbersome final step in a home loan process from anywhere at any time. "Our company has always been focused on meeting our clients wherever they may be, but we were limited by the industry's standards for closing mortgages. That was the driving force behind Amrock creating this technology, providing the ability to close mortgages for a spouse traveling for work, a military member serving away from home or countless other real-world scenarios, Rocket Mortgage pioneered getting a mortgage online from a smart phone – now, Amrock is providing the final piece of the puzzle for a complete mobile mortgage experience." -Nicole Beattie, CEO of Amrock Henry Winfield, an Amrock client based in Virginia, used the mobile technology earlier this year to close on a refinance while in North Carolina for work. The new feature enabled both he and his wife to video chat with the notary and digitally sign all necessary documents quickly and safely. When my wife and I found out closing virtually from our smartphones was a possibility, we were delighted – it was perfect for our circumstance and we didn't have to delay the closing, The experience was quick, intuitive and secure – and we had access to knowledgeable experts who helped us every step of the way,said Winfield. Amrock's mobile closing capability is part of the Rocket Platform through which clients can search for a home with Rocket Homes, get a home loan from Rocket Mortgage, eClose on their mortgage through Amrock via Remote Online Notarization (RON), In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) or a Hybrid eClosing, and now, can close on their mortgage completely from a smart phone. Clients that prefer to keep some elements of their home loan journey non-electronic can still choose to do so. Our mission at Rocket Companies is to simplify life's most complex moments so our clients can live their dream, and we've delivered yet again on our vision to create a seamless real estate experience by being the first-ever to revolutionize the closing process, In addition to new mobile capabilities, clients can now move from mortgage processing with Rocket Mortgage to closing with Amrock through a single sign-on feature – a seemingly small, yet significant example of how the Rocket Platform removes friction every step of the way for consumers,said Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Companies. Based on the volume of registered notes on the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), Amrock is currently responsible for the majority of eClosings throughout the country. Its clients can complete a mobile RON when refinancing a mortgage in nearly 60% of the U.S. – each state where RON eClosings are allowed by law. Amrock plans to roll out mobile RON capabilities for all mortgage transactions, including home purchases, by the end of 2022. About Amrock Amrock is the leading national provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services. The company delivers FinTech solutions to streamline the real estate and mortgage experience for lenders, consumers and real estate professionals. Amrock is a preferred provider to top retail mortgage lenders, with a wide range of clients throughout the residential and commercial real estate finance industries. Driven by thousands of professional partners and team members nationwide, Amrock is headquartered in the heart of downtown Detroit, Michigan with regional service centers in California, Pennsylvania and Texas and additional locations in several other states. For more information, please visit Amrock.com. About Rocket Companies Founded in 1985, Rocket Companies is a Detroit-based FinTech platform company consisting of personal finance and consumer technology brands including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes, Amrock, Rocket Auto, Rocket Loans, Rocket Money (formerly known as Truebill), Rocket Solar, Rocket Mortgage Canada (formerly known as Edison Financial), Lendesk, Core Digital Media, Rocket Central and Rock Connections. Rocket Companies' mission is to be the best at creating certainty in life's most complex moments so that its clients can live their dreams. The Company helps clients achieve the dream of home ownership and financial freedom through industry-leading client experiences powered by its simple, fast and trusted digital solutions. Rocket Companies ranked #7 on Fortune's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2022 and has placed in the top third of the list for 19 consecutive years.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

ASCOTT ACQUIRES OAKWOOD WORLDWIDE TO FAST-TRACK GROWTH TO OVER 150,000 UNITS GLOBALLY

The Ascott Limited | July 05, 2022

CapitaLand Investment Limited's (CLI) wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) announced it is acquiring Oakwood Worldwide (Oakwood), a premier global serviced apartment provider, from Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd. The acquisition increases Ascott's global portfolio by 81 properties and about 15,000 units. Oakwood's approximately 8,500 operational units are expected to immediately contribute to Ascott's recurring fee income streams upon completion of the transaction slated in 3Q 2022. Ascott's acquisition of Oakwood will leapfrog Ascott's global presence to more than 150,000 units in about 900 properties across over 200 cities in 39 countries. It will add new markets which include Cheongju in South Korea; Zhangjiakou and Qingdao in China; Dhaka in Bangladesh as well as Washington D.C. in the United States of America (USA). Recently named the 'Best Serviced Residence Brand' in DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2022, Oakwood's award-winning portfolio includes flagship properties Oakwood Premier Tokyo and Oakwood Premier Coex Center Seoul which were ranked top 10 properties in their respective countries in the DestinAsian awards. New properties such as Oakwood Premier Melbourne and Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto, will also add to the group's destination highlights. "This acquisition of Oakwood is part of Ascott's roadmap to playing a bigger role in the lodging market. There are significant synergies between Ascott and Oakwood, given our complementary footprint and product offerings. We intend to build on the strong reputation and heritage of the Oakwood brand, especially in markets across Southeast Asia, North Asia and North America. Oakwood will continue to grow alongside Ascott's current portfolio of global brands as we continue to build growth momentum for our lodging business. We will be able to leverage Ascott's extensive expertise as a global lodging player to deliver greater value to our expanded network of loyal customers and property owners. Besides strategic alignment, this acquisition is also notable to Ascott commercially. Ascott's acquisition of Oakwood brings about an immediate boost to our units under management and franchise contracts. The Oakwood portfolio will accelerate the growth of our asset-light business, with added recurring fee income streams, expanded lodging offerings and increased customer base. The strategic moves we have made in the last few years, such as our investments in Quest, Synergy and TAUZIA have charted an unprecedented growth path for Ascott." -Mr Kevin Goh, CLI's Chief Executive Officer for Lodging. Ascott's strategic investments in the past years include its acquisition of Quest Apartment Hotels (Quest), one of the largest serviced apartment operators in Australasia, in 2017 to grow its business franchise arm. In the same year, Ascott invested in Synergy Global Housing (Synergy), a leading corporate housing provider in the USA. In 2018, Ascott acquired TAUZIA Hotel Management (TAUZIA), one of the top hotel operators in Indonesia, to enter the fast-growing mid-scale business hotel segment. With Oakwood coming onboard, Ascott is confident of achieving its target of 160,000 units globally well ahead of 2023. About The Ascott Limited- The Ascott Limited (Ascott) is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott's portfolio spans over 200 cities across over 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the USA. Ascott has more than 81,000 operating units and over 54,000 units under development, making a total of more than 135,000 units in over 800 properties. The company's serviced apartment, coliving and hotel brands include Ascott The Residence, The Crest Collection, Somerset, Quest, Citadines, lyf, Préférence, Vertu, Harris, Citadines Connect, Fox, Yello, Fox Lite and POP!. Ascott's loyalty programme, Ascott Star Rewards, offers exclusive benefits to its members when they book directly with Ascott for their stays at its participating properties. Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Investment Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific's first international-class serviced apartment with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide. About CapitaLand Investment Limited- Headquartered and listed in Singapore, CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI) is a leading global real estate investment manager (REIM) with a strong Asia foothold. As at 31 March 2022, CLI had about S$124 billion of real estate assets under management, and about S$86 billion of real estate funds under management (FUM) held via six listed real estate investment trusts and business trusts, and 29 private funds across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA. Its diversified real estate asset classes cover integrated developments, retail, office, lodging, business parks, industrial, logistics and data centres. CLI aims to scale its FUM and fee-related earnings through its full stack of investment management and operating capabilities. As the listed investment management business arm of the CapitaLand Group, CLI has access to the development capabilities of and pipeline investment opportunities from CapitaLand's development arm. Being a part of the well-established CapitaLand ecosystem differentiates CLI from other REIMs. As part of the CapitaLand Group, CLI places sustainability at the core of what it does. As a responsible real estate company, CLI contributes to the environmental and social well-being of the communities where it operates, as it delivers long-term economic value to its stakeholders.

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MARKET OUTLOOK

IDEAL AGENT® RANKED #1 REAL ESTATE COMPANY ON INC. 5000 LIST

IDEAL AGENT | August 22, 2022

Inc. Magazine revealed its annual list of the nation's fastest growing private companies, and IDEAL AGENT®, the premier full-service real estate technology company, is the number 1 Real Estate company, ranking number 2 in Tampa and in the real estate category, number 11 in Florida, and number 73 nationwide across all categories on the list due to its 5,514%, 3-year growth. This year's list is proven to be winning in a time of change and achieving spectacular growth. Among the 5,000 companies, the average median three-year growth rate soared 230%, added 1,178,302 jobs and generated $317.2 billion in total revenue. "We're thrilled to make this prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies, This award is a testament to the hard work and resilience of everyone at IDEAL AGENT®. We recognize the housing market is shifting and poised to help fight rising interest rates with lower commissions, saving clients' money and time with their real estate transaction due to our proprietary technology platform." -Steve Johnston, Founder & CEO of IDEAL AGENT® IDEAL AGENT® makes the home buying and selling process easy and profitable by providing a seamless online experience matching clients with the top 1% local and national agents from top brokerages with variable commissions as low as 2%. IDEAL AGENT® streamlines the real estate transaction connecting all the services including title, mortgage, insurance, warranty, moving, and home services set up, providing clients a seamless experience getting them 5-star results, ranking #1 in real estate on Trust Pilot. About IDEAL AGENT® Tampa-based IDEAL AGENT®, established in 2016, is the nation's fastest-growing, premier, full-service real estate company. Recognized as a leader in modernizing real estate transactions, IDEAL AGENT® makes the home buying and selling process easy and profitable by providing a seamless online experience, ranking number one in real estate on Trustpilot. IDEAL AGENT®'s free service matches clients with the top 1% local and national agents from top brokerages, including Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Sotheby's, Berkshire Hathaway, and more with variable commissions as low as 2%. IDEAL AGENT® streamlines the real estate transaction connecting all the services including title, mortgage, insurance, warranty, moving, and home services set up providing clients a seamless experience getting them 5-star results. IDEAL AGENT® has earned several accolades for excellence in real estate, sustained revenue growth, and is distinguished as the #1 fastest growing real estate company by Inc5000 and Tampa Bay Business Journal, "The Next 1000" by Forbes, 21 Startups to Watch, USF Fast 56 and Tampa Bay Times Best Places to Work.

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