Footy fanatics fill Syd Melb

first_imgThe hospitality industries of Melbourne and Sydney posted record occupancies across all properties over the football grand final weekend.The National Rugby League (NRL) grand final was played in Sydney, while Melbourne hosted the Australian Football League (AFL) grand final.Accor hotels in Melbourne attracted the largest number of interstate visitors to their 17 hotels, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.“With it being a long weekend back in Sydney we saw the Sydneysiders use the extra day to make it a long weekend in Melbourne, so our hotels boasted close-to-full occupancies on Friday and Sunday nights, as well as a sell-out on Saturday,” Accor Victorian regional manager Adrian Williams said.Accor’s nine hotels in western Sydney, including four at Sydney Olympic Park, posted 100 percent occupancies.“Western Sydney had its strongest weekend of the year, while the city also recorded near-full occupancy,” Accor NSW regional manager Scott Boyes said.“We didn’t have as many Melbourne Storm fans come to Sydney compared to Swans fans going to Melbourne, but Sydney had many activities on over the weekend.”The Mantra Group also reported strong occupancies in both Sydney and Melbourne.Visitors to both cities brought in revenue dollars across a range of industries during the finals weekend; airlines, restaurants and retailers all benefited. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

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Heat waves revive New Jersey tourism

first_imgNew Jersey is back on the map for tourists after completing months of recovery work post-Sandy and a recent set of heat waves.Parts of the beach destination’s coastline was battered when the hurricane struck the region in October last year.However, the sun has begun to bring positivity back to the region, according to an AccuWeather update, with parts of the East enduring its fourth heat wave this year, which is drawing in a number of tourists back into New Jersey to cool off.Despite the pick up, doubt is looming whether the region will be able to generate its 2012 tourism record of US$34.7 billion, which amounted to seven percent of the entire state economy.New Jersey division of travel and tourism Grace Hanlon said weather plays a major role in tourism to the area, and she remains “optimistic about the future”.”While the Jersey Shore saw a slow start with the weather Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend brought spectacular weather and crowds all along our 130 miles and the momentum is continuing,” she explained.“We are pleased that visitors are coming to visit the Jersey Shore to see for themselves the incredible recovery and rebuilding that has taken place over the past couple of months and to do their part in helping these shore town economies.”This week in the Jersey Shore, ocean temperatures reached 70°F.Source = ETB News: N.J. It’s getting hot in New Jersey.last_img read more

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Skydive the Beach and Beyond completes acquisition

first_imgSource = Skydive the Beach and Beyond Skydive the Beach and BeyondSkydive the Beach and Beyond completes acquisitionSkydive the Beach and Beyond (ASK: SKB), Australia’s leading adventure tourism company, has finalised its acquisition of Queensland-based Raging Thunder Adventures, a leading adventure ecotourism business.Raging Thunder Adventures is a leader in adventure and ecotourism. It operates extreme rafting adventures, canyoning, kayaking, hot air balloon rides and tours of the Great Barrier Reef, serving more than 150,000 passengers each year.In 1984, Raging Thunder Adventures became the first commercial white water rafting tour operator on the Tully River in Far North Queensland. Now, its rafting operations on the Tully and Barron Rivers sees more than 35,000 passengers per year.Its hot air ballooning base at Mareeba, just outside of Cairns, has operated tours for over 300 days during each of the last three years.  Raging Thunder Adventures also owns and operates one of two fast catamaran ferries that provide day trips to Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef. This year the company established a canyoning operation on the Crystal Cascades, outside of Cairns.Executive Director and CEO of Skydive the Beach, Anthony Boucaut said the finalisation of the acquisition meant they will be able to provide more unforgettable experiences and adrenaline-pumping stories across Australia.“Raging Thunder Adventures has an outstanding reputation of providing memorable and sustainable adventure experiences within the world’s most unique natural habitats. We are thrilled to be able to diversify our offering and bring these ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ adventures to more Australians and visitors.”Skydive the Beach operates 15 drop zones across Australia including: five in NSW, three in Victoria, three in WA and four in QLD. It has also recently acquired skydiving businesses NZone Skydive and Skydive Wanaka in New Zealand, marking the company’s entry into the international markets. Last year the company conducted over 130,000 tandem skydives.“Consumers today want to enjoy unique travel experiences that get their hearts pumping and test their limits. Aligning with companies that share our values for safety, high-quality and sustainable adventures will fast track our growth and ensure that more people can enjoy unforgettable experiences.”“We’re delighted that Raging Thunder Adventures is now officially part of our growing business suite of products that we’re offering to our customers both here in Australia and overseas,” added Mr. Boucaut. Raging Thunder Adventureslast_img read more

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Mövenpick Resort Spa Jimbaran Bali poised to open in Bali

first_imgMövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali.Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali poised to open in BaliInspired by the traditional five elements of Balinese design, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran, Bali will start welcoming guests on January 12, 2017 as the brand’s respected upscale hospitality offering arrives in the Island of the Gods.The newly built hotel is a short 100-metre stroll to Jimbaran Bay in southern Bali, renowned for the 4km stretch of pristine beach and located approximately 20 minutes from the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.Bali’s newest lifestyle destination, the Samasta Village shopping and cultural complex, is located next door to the resort and with its shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment performances, complete the Balinese experience for visitors.To celebrate the upcoming opening, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali has launched a Special Opening Offer until June 25, 2017 for bookings made on its website only for IDR1,880,000 per night for two persons in deluxe accommodation including daily breakfast and an IDR200,000 per room F&B credit for guests to begin their culinary journeys.The new hotel is an impressive milestone for the Swiss hospitality group, whose strategic expansion plan in Southeast Asia will bring its portfolio to 30 operating hotels by 2020.“We are delighted to be opening our first property in Indonesia, a country central to our expansion plans in Southeast Asia, and where better to start than Bali,” said Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Senior Vice President Asia, Andrew Langdon. “We are looking forward to our opening and to offering our unique blend of upscale Swiss-inspired hospitality to guests from around the world.”Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali features 297 comfortably appointed and tastefully furnished rooms and suites, each featuring private balconies, complimentary WiFi and a subtle Balinese sense of art, colour and style courtesy of the fabrics and materials utilised in the design.The highlight of the resort is its free-form swimming pool which features an artificial beach area and lap pool, offering a total of 2,900 sqm of pure water fun. A dedicated Meera (Ocean) Kid’s Club and a Teen Club with its own fun and activity pool caters specifically to families; the daily supervised entertainment will be a highlight for young world travellers.Guests who are keen to keep up their fitness routine will also have access to the 24-hour gym, whilst those wishing to indulge in a relaxing experience are welcome to visit the spa (opening March 2017), which highlights Balinese and Indonesian spa and beauty culture.An extensive range of dining options will cater to all tastes, including the signature Anarasa restaurant with interactive live cooking stations and internationally influenced a la carte menus and Above Eleven Bali (opening in February 2017), where breathtaking rooftop views are paired with a Peruvian-Japanese inspired menu.Katha Lobby Lounge & Library invites guests to unwind over an intimate beverage, while Mövenpick Café offers a world of delights including the group’s famed coffee, Swiss-style artisanal ice cream and chocolate. For casual bites, JeJaLa Pool Deck provides a vast selection of refreshments to the pool deck, 213 sun loungers, and eight private cabanas. Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran, Bali for more information, visit Source = Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran, Balilast_img read more

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TravelManagers and Hoot Holidays Embrace Spirit of Giving

first_imgAbout TravelManagersTravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.8 billion for 2018. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 550 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases. Source = TravelManagers TravelManagers’ Sandra Reucker (right) with Hoot Holidays’ Stephanie Jones, delivering donated cans of food to Craig Bates, Hospitality Manager for The Exodus FoundationTravelManagers and Hoot Holidays Embrace Spirit of Giving to Help Sydney Families in NeedMost Australians plan to enjoy Christmas Day surrounded by family, swapping presents and indulging in a feast fit for a king, but for Sydney’s homeless, poor and at-risk families, Christmas is not necessarily a time of joy.However, thanks to the initiative of TravelManagers Product Executive, Sandra Reucker, and the generous support of her colleagues at TravelManagers and Hoot Holidays, more than 300 cans of food have been donated to Sydney’s Exodus Foundation Christmas can drive and will be delivered to disadvantaged families around Sydney in time for Christmas.“This is the fifth consecutive year that we’ve collected food for the Can Drive,” reports Reucker, “and once again I’ve been blown away by how supportive everyone has been. The food collected, from basic groceries such as canned tomatoes and boxes of tea, to luxury items like mini Christmas cakes and boxes of chocolates, will help to ensure that Christmas Day is a little more enjoyable for numerous Sydney families.”The items collected, which also included Coles gift cards, added up to a total estimated value of more than $750, with donations received from personal travel managers and staff from both Hoot Holidays and TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office.TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says Reucker’s commitment to supporting the Exodus Foundation over the past five years mirrors the company’s business philosophy of always going the extra mile.“The opportunity for our people to do something that benefits those in need within our local community really sums up the culture of TravelManagers, and we are extremely proud of that.”Reucker says she was originally inspired to support the Exodus Foundation after watching a television documentary that featured its founder, Reverend Bill Crews, and the work carried out by the foundation in supporting needy families.“They do such wonderful work within our community and it’s such a privilege to know that our contribution will help to bring smiles to some of Sydney’s disadvantaged families, even if it’s just for one day,” she says.The Exodus Foundation supports those in need throughout Australia, not only at Christmas time but 365 days a year.To donate or to find out more about how you can help, please CLICK HERElast_img read more

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Kavitha Gnanamurthy

first_imgOTM Tech Theatre was a good initiative since a lot of the time B2B travel people are not aware about how the online travel industry is going and what other brands are doing so this was kind of educational for both the buyers and the sellers.last_img

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Switzerlands Rhätische Bahn organises a sitdown dinner for travel trade in Mumbai

first_imgSwiss transport company, Rhaetian Railways, recently hosted a close-knit dinner for leading travel trade agents from Mumbai at the Magazine Street Kitchen, which was attended by thirty-five travel trade partners, including the Consul General of Switzerland, Martin J Bienz.The guests were greeted with fine European wine, along with a wide range of home-made cheese and freshly baked bread, hand-picked by celebrity Chef Alex Sanchez, who also curated a special menu for the event. The venue was a walk-in kitchen where the guests interacted with the chefs and watched them wield their way through the pot and ladle; at the same time, the guests kept networking with each other. Later in the evening, Chef Alex addressed the guests, taking them through the menu and explaining each course.Special care was taken that every element at the evening had a Swiss connection, as Rhaetian Railway is a Swiss mountain railway network, which operates the well-known Glacier express and Bernina express in the Graubünden regions. As per the theme of the evening, the tables were divided into the Glacier and Bernina express and guests were handed train tickets to their seats.Speaking on the occasion Sonal Salian, Market Manager India, Rhätische Bahn said, “We are extremely grateful to our travel trade partners who have supported us all through the year; this event was a token of appreciation and also to give everyone an experience of Swiss opulence and precision which is synonymous with the brand.”last_img read more

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Bhutan Tourism eyes 20 growth from the Indian market in 2017

first_imgThe Tourism Council of Bhutan announced that 209,570 tourists including regional tourists (from India, Bangladesh and Maldives) visited the country and recorded the highest tourist arrivals last year. Out of 146,797 regional tourists who visited last year, 138,201 were from India, an increase of about 43% from 97000 travellers in 2015.Damcho Rinzin, Head- Marketing and Promotion Division, Tourism Council of Bhutan, said, “Overall, India has once again emerged as the topmost inbound source market for Bhutan. This year the destination is hopeful of achieving another 20% growth from the Indian market.”On the foreign tourist arrival front, Chinese tourists dominated at 17% of the total visitors, followed by the United States of America at 13% and Japan at 9% at the second and third position. Thailand and UK made it to the fourth and fifth inbound markets.Sharing information on the new online entry permit launched in January 2017, Rinzin said that they highly recommend the free online entry permit system as per which Indian nationals can avail permit in advance through a travel agent or their accommodation provider and he believes that this initiative will further boost travel demand from our regional markets.He further said, “Tourist arrivals shot up 35% last year, compared to the previous high of 16% in 2015, which was the highest growth percentage in the last five years, according to the recently released Bhutan Tourism Monitor 2016. This marked an increase in both regional and international arrivals. International arrivals recorded an increase of 35% and regional recorded 50% growth compared to arrivals in 2015. Regional visitors constituted 70% of all arrivals to Bhutan of which, 69% arrived over land.”last_img read more

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NTC Offers Support Resources to Congress

first_img Lawmakers came together with officers of “”Nationwide Title Clearing (NTC)””:http://www.nwtc.com/ to discuss multiple issues in today’s residential mortgage industry. [IMAGE]In a company statement, NTC said that it hoped to “”offer the company’s support as a resource”” as members of Congress strive to create industry-wide best practices. NTC, a privately-[COLUMN_BREAK]held document, research, and land records firm serving the mortgage industry, cited the company’s exhaustive resources and advancement of the mortgage verification process as its key qualifications for acting as a Capitol Hill liaison. As part of the company’s bid to assist legislators, NTC noted that it is “”in a good position to offer assistance due its extensive industry/land-records knowledge and clientele.””John Hillman, NTC’s CEO, added, “”We welcome the opportunity to work with members of Congress and their staff to identify and incorporate industry best practices into a new, national standard for residential mortgage servicing, as well as provide feedback to help avoid excessively onerous legislation for mortgage lenders and servicers.””Each lawmaker who participated in NTC’s recent meeting hailed from Florida, where NTC has its base in Palm Harbor. Members of Congress and the Senate in attendance included Rep. Bill Young (R-Florida), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Florida), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Rep. Bill Posey (R-Florida), Rep. Allen West (R-Florida), and Rep. Connie Mack (R-Florida). NTC Offers Support, Resources to Congress in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology May 18, 2012 508 Views center_img Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-05-18 Abby Gregorylast_img read more

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Group Files Suit Against CFPB Over Cordrays Recess Appointment

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Politics Processing Service Providers 2012-06-13 Tory Barringer in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Group Files Suit Against CFPB Over Cordray’s Recess Appointment June 13, 2012 432 Views center_img Public interest group “”Judicial Watch””:http://www.judicialwatch.org/ announced Tuesday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) to obtain records detailing President Obama’s “”recess appointment”” of CFPB director Richard Cordray.[IMAGE]Judicial Watch, a group dedicated to investigating and fighting possible government corruption, says it submitted a FOIA request on January 12 to CFPB seeking access to records of communications between the bureau, the White House, the Executive Office of the President, the Treasury, and Congress concerning Cordray’s appointment to his post. That request also requested records of communications between CFPB and the White House regarding Obama’s visit to CFPB after the appointment, a move Politico referred to as a “”victory lap.””Furthermore, Judicial Watch says a separate FOIA request was submitted to CFPB on January 25. The request was for communications regarding Cordray’s appointment, as well as reimbursements, reservations, vouchers, and any other documentation regarding travel and lodging for Cordray, his family, guests, and the Ohio judge who accepted Cordray’s oath of office.[COLUMN_BREAK]According to Judicial Watch, CFPB failed to fully respond to FOIA requests within the statutory allotted time-frame, leading to the lawsuit.President Obama called his appointment of Cordray as head of CFPB a recess appointment. Appointments for federal officers must normally be approved by the Senate before taking office.However, recess appointments do not need approval until the end of the next calendar year-2013 in Cordray’s case. Republicans in the Senate had previously filibustered Cordray’s nomination.Judicial Watch’s basis for issuing FOIA requests is its argument that Congress was actually not in recess at the time of Cordray’s appointment. The United States Constitution dictates that neither house of Congress is permitted to adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other house. Judicial Watch argues that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in order to prevent a recess appointment, had refused to consent to Senate adjournment.Judicial Watch says it previously obtained documents from CFPB showing that Cordray acknowledged questions about the constitutionality of his appointment.””Given the Obama administration’s penchant for secrecy, I am not at all surprised we have to file a lawsuit to obtain these records on this scandalous appointment,”” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “”The Cordray appointment is an abuse of office that disregards the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Senate’s role in vetting presidential appointments. I’m sure the president would rather all details regarding his unlawful decision be kept under lock and key, but we intend to hold the Obama administration accountable to the rule of law.”” In response to the Judicial Watch lawsuit, the agency produced a dozen pages of responsive documents (described by the agency as final with respect to this matter) via emails sent Friday, June 8. Sharelast_img read more

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MBA FHFA Securitization Platform Needs Stakeholder Input

first_img July 11, 2013 432 Views Share MBA: FHFA Securitization Platform Needs Stakeholder Input Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage-Backed Securities Service Providers 2013-07-11 Krista Franks Brockcenter_img The “”Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm has expressed support mixed with concern for the common securitization platform the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ is developing as part of its “”strategic plan””:https://themreport.com/articles/fhfa-head-details-objectives-for-2013-2013-03-05 for this year.[IMAGE]While MBA condones the potential taxpayer savings and market efficiencies, the industry group continues to argue for more transparency and industry “”input””:https://themreport.com/articles/mba-regulators-need-industry-input-to-create-viable-secondary-market-2013-05-06 in the platform development. The MBA released a paper Wednesday explaining its vision for a successful common securitization platform and reiterating its concern for transparency in the process. “”Although a central Platform is a shared goal among most stakeholders, the timeline and scope of FHFA’s Platform have expanded considerably since the project was first announced,”” the MBA stated in its paper, “”_The Central Securitization Platform: Direction, Scope, and Governance._””:http://www.mortgagebankers.org/files/Advocacy/2013SecuritizationPlatform-Transition5.pdf This paper is the fifth in a series on market reform. “”This growth has led to increased concern that the Platform will fail to meet the needs of the market when completed,”” the MBA paper continued. The MBA insists the platform should eventually be turned over to industry ownership as a cooperative. [COLUMN_BREAK]The industry group points to similar cooperatives in other financial services markets. “”Equity markets, fixed income trading markets, and derivatives markets have been highly successful in building efficient central utilities that are either owned by their respective industries or are guided by meaningful industry input,”” the paper states. However, if the secondary mortgage market is to ultimately adopt this strategy, the MBA believes it is imperative the industry participate in the formation of the securitization platform. To start, the MBA suggests FHFA create an advisory board of industry representatives to help develop the platform.””FHFA should create an advisory board made up of industry representatives with the authority to direct the scope and immediate priorities of the platform’s development,”” said Debra W. Still, MBA chairman. “”We believe that this panel should be created before any other further development is undertaken,”” she said. Among the goals the platform should address, according to MBA, are incorporating various industry rules and standards, ensuring taxpayer savings by consolidating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac personnel and procedures, and allowing private issuers access but not immediately. The platform should incorporate standards such as the uniform mortgage data program, according to the MBA. Originally, the FHFA said it intended to consolidate personnel and systems at the GSEs in order to save money for taxpayers, but MBA worries this goal has gone by the wayside. “”Instead it appears that the current direction of the Platform could add to costs for the system as a whole, at least for the near term,”” the MBA states in its paper. The MBA believes the original goal of cost savings should maintain a top priority. Also, allowing private issuers to access the platform is a “”commendable”” goal, according to the MBA, but one that should be pursued only after “”the core agency functionality is completed.”” in Secondary Marketlast_img read more

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Consumer Sentiment Continues Growth Streak

first_img Consumer Confidence Consumer spending GDP Jobs 2014-12-01 Tory Barringer December 1, 2014 435 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Sharecenter_img Consumer Sentiment Continues Growth Streak Consumer sentiment hit yet another post-recession high in November, reflecting increased confidence in personal finances and the labor market heading into the holiday spending season.The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index saw its fourth straight monthly gain last month, climbing to a reading of 88.8. The final index fell in between October’s final value of 86.4 and a mid-month reading of 89.4 and was once again the highest level since July 2007.The entire gain was concentrated in the survey’s Current Conditions Index, which rose more than four points to 102.7. The Expectations Index was also up, but only modestly at 79.9.According to the group conducting the survey, last month’s gain was due to improved personal finances as well as a more favorable employment outlook stemming from a stronger pace of economic growth.On the topic of recent economic developments, survey respondents cited job gains over all other news items and anticipated further declines during the next year. They also said they expect household incomes to increase 1.1 percent annually, the biggest prediction in six years.The survey’s director, Richard Curtin, said lawmakers will need to work together following November’s midterm results if they want consumer confidence to keep rising.”In the past few years, renewed consumer optimism has been repeatedly thwarted by partisan bickering,” Curtin said, pointing to showdowns over the debt ceiling, the so-called fiscal cliff, and last year’s government shutdown. “The renewed confidence consumers have expressed must be nurtured, not again held hostage to partisan differences.”Based on recent data, Curtin expects consumer spending will make 2015 the best year for the economy since 2005.The index’s increase compares to the latest reading from the Conference Board, which reported a slight decline in sentiment to an index level of 88.7 due to less certainty in the job market and increased pessimism over income growth.In a response to that report, Wells Fargo economists Mark Vitner and Michael Brown noted that consumer spending and economic growth both look fairly strong—”hardly the data you would expect if consumers were growing more concerned.”last_img read more

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Predicting the Path of SingleFamily Home Prices

first_img Share November 18, 2016 497 Views Predicting the Path of Single-Family Home Prices Home Prices Mortgage Rates Trump Administration 2016-11-18 Seth Welborncenter_img In the first full week after the election, mortgage rates skyrocketed by nearly 40 basis points up near 4 percent, their largest weekly increase in more than three years, according to Freddie Mac.“The recent rise in mortgage rates is largely attributed to Wall Street optimism regarding Trump’s proposals for increased infrastructure spending and tax cuts,” Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson said. “In short, Wall Street is now anticipating higher economic growth and inflation in 2017.”Will higher economic growth and inflation mean greater home price appreciation? Now that mortgage rates have spiked following the presidential election, will single-family home prices follow suit? The latest home price data from CoreLogic, released a week before the election, indicated that home prices increased by 6.3 percent in September and are expected to rise by another 5.2 percent by September 2017. What will happen to home prices now?National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz said that NAHB’s forecast calls for home price gains to continue and that prices will moderate somewhat as mortgage interest rate rise.“Our analysis indicates that prices will continue to rise as inventories of new and existing homes remain tight,” Dietz said. “And while single-family construction will continue to expand in 2017, the rate at which the industry can grow is limited by the amount of workers and access to building lots for builders to meet rising housing demand.”Dietz continued, “As long as single-family production remains below historical norms, as it will for the next few years, home prices will continue to rise.”Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke conducted an analysis of the previous five presidential elections and discovered that none of the elections resulted in a significant change to home prices or sales except in the immediate Capitol Hill area, according to the Washington Post.“Roughly six to nine months following the election, there were abnormally stronger sales (around Capitol Hill) relative to the prior year,” Smoke said. “If Trump is true to his claim to bring in outsiders and build a government with more people who haven’t been inside the Beltway, then you could believe that there are going to be more transactions than normal as those people seek to move in.”Potentially, the Trump Administration’s economic plans could have long-term effects on the housing market as a whole, according to Richardson.“We are awaiting specific details on a gamut of housing related policy issues from GSE reform to immigration policy,” she said. “To the extent that the cumulative effect of Trump’s economic plans is to increase affordable housing supply and expand mortgage credit, this would be a boon to the housing market in general and to first-time buyers in particular.”Mortgage rates are not the only factor that buyers consider when buying a home, however.“We expect rates will be higher in 2017 than the rock bottom rates of 2016,” Richardson said. “However, we don’t expect that the rise in rates will be high enough to significantly affect consumers’ plans to buy or sell. There are a host of reasons why a family chooses to purchase a home. Rates are just one of them. In that sense, it’s the economic basics of everyday life—job relocation, family changes, lifestyle preferences, desire for more highly ranked schools and shorter commutes—that continue to be the key drivers of a family’s decision to buy or sell, regardless of who resides in the White House.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

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Equifax Introduces New Indicator to Reduce Friction in Lending

first_img To reduce friction in lending, credit scores provider, and global solutions company, Equifax has introduced The Work Number Indicator, an instant alert of whether an employment and income record exists on The Work Number database. The database is the nation’s largest centralized repository of payroll data managed by the Atlanta-headquartered company. According to Equifax, the alert has been introduced to support initiatives that make the mortgage industry more consumer-oriented and to help lenders and borrowers gain operational efficiencies through quicker, paperless processes similar to the digital experiences already being offered by many retailers.The Work Number Indicator, delivered along with the credit report, proactively signals to lenders whether a borrower’s income and employment information is already available within Equifax’s U.S. database, which can help eliminate a tedious documentation process for borrowers, and significantly expedite the mortgage origination process for lenders.“As the industry continues to move toward a more streamlined, technology-enabled origination process, ready access to verifications data like income and employment are key to ensuring that the process isn’t hindered,” said Craig Crabtree, SVP and General Manager of Equifax Mortgage and Housing Services. “When lenders use The Work Number Indicator, they are able to more efficiently manage their workflows, ultimately resulting in an improved experience for borrowers and lenders’ staff alike.”Giving an example of AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation, Equifax said that the mortgage lender realized a 15 percent improvement in mortgage origination efficiency through the use of The Work Number report for verification of employment and income. “For AmeriSave’s borrowers, this accelerated the path to closing by an average of five days, valuable time that helps enable borrowers to move into homes quicker,” Equifax said in a statement.Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 10,400 employees worldwide. June 8, 2018 555 Views in Headlines, News, Origination Sharecenter_img AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation Borrowers Closing Time Data Equifax HOUSING Lenders mortgage 2018-06-08 Radhika Ojha Equifax Introduces New Indicator to Reduce Friction in Lendinglast_img read more

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An Optimistic Outlook for New Home Sales

first_img Share Continuing a trend that was set last month, new home sales increased year over year in July, according to a joint report released by The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD and Census Bureau New Sales Report for July 2018 reports that new single-family homes were sold at a rate of 627,000, which is 12.8 percent higher than the July 2017 estimated rate of 556,000.While year-over-year sales saw an increase, the July 2018 rate indicated a 1.7 percent drop compared to June 2018. Additionally, the median sales price of new houses sold in July 2018 was $328,700, while the average price was $394,300. This is a slight increase year over year, from July 2017’s median sales price of $322,900 and average sales price of $372,400. Sales prices increased month over month as well, from a median of $310,000 in June 2017 and an average of $369,500.The increases could mean some alleviation for the ongoing inventory crisis, according to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com.”Today’s new home sales report won’t entirely put to bed concerns about a housing slow down, but it does give a reason for optimism,” said Hale. “While monthly home sales slipped, yearly growth pushed the three-month average to 8.1 percent, back above what is forecast for 2018 (seven percent). This year’s building and growth in new home sales have helped alleviate shrinking inventories for both new and existing homes which have been a major obstacle to home sales.  Now home shoppers are starting to see more choices, but not necessarily in the price range they’re looking.”The Census Bureau and HUD’s seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of homes for sale at the end of July to be around 309,000. At the current sales rate, this number represents a 5.9 month supply.Find the full report here.See how new home sales performed in June:New Home Sales Paint a Favorable Picture August 23, 2018 653 Views in Daily Dose, News, Originationcenter_img Census Bureau HOUSING HUD New Homes Prices Realtor.com sales 2018-08-23 Seth Welborn An Optimistic Outlook for New Home Saleslast_img read more

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Showcase Realty Adds Six New Agents to Its Team

first_img Renee KingCharlotte, North Carolina-based real estate company Showcase Realty has made new additions to its roster of agents. This month, the company’s team has grown with the signing of six new real estate professionals—Renee King, Lucius Fulks, Rachael Ba, Nancy Sherwin, Rachel Norton, and Kelly Feeley.A graduate of Mingle Real Estate School and Central Piedmont College & Superior Real Estate School, Renee King previously worked as a Broker and Property Manager before signing with the company. As a Property Marketing Specialist at Showcase Realty, her job is to connect families, renters, corporate housing and businesses to their desired properties.King grew up in Wilmore community within the Historic South End of Charlotte. Having witnessed the growth of the city herself, she is excited to help people find their dream properties in the area. “I have witnessed the city grow and thrive, it’s been awesome to experience it firsthand. I never saw the growth coming so quickly. I love the new feel of my city,” said King.Lucius FulksFellow newcomer, Lucius Fulks, is just as pleased with the development of the city. Asked about his favorite thing about Charlotte, Fulks said, “I love that the real estate market in Charlotte is doing very well.”Fulks is currently completing BA in Communication at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte. He previously worked in the Loss Mitigation Departments of big companies like Wells Fargo, CitiGroup and Bank of America, with knowledge in bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed in lieu and short sale process.Rachel BaAlso joining Showcase Realty’s agent team is Rachael Ba, a licensed real estate agent operating in North Carolina and South Carolina. Ba completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Michigan. Prior to working as an agent, she worked at a healthcare consulting and informatics firm, where she assisted in running their member center and managed a book of member accounts. She also served as a health volunteer at the Peace Corps, Morocco after college.Ba’s favorite thing about Charlotte is the weather. “I enjoy the four seasons. I’ve found the majority of people who live here to be warm and welcoming,” she said. Nancy SherwinLikewise, newcomer Nancy Sherwin thinks that the weather is Charlotte’s best feature. “Charlotte is a beautiful city with many things to do. The weather is the best feature to me, since I came from the snowbelt,” she said.Sherwin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing. As a REALTOR®, she is committed to delivering outstanding customer service and assisting buyers and sellers in marketing and purchasing properties for the right price and under the best terms. She has 30 years of experience under her belt, with focus on designers, architects, and builders. She has been licensed in homeowners and life insurance for the past eight years.Rachel NortonMeanwhile, Rachel Norton, another new agent, completed B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She works as an outside sales agent who strives to help buyers and sellers in South Carolina.Norton obtained her real estate license in 2017. She previously worked at Keller Williams Greenville Central Brokerage, where she gained most of her knowledge in real estate and experienced working alongside many other real estate professionals. Norton also served as an intern for a real estate marketplace called Offrbox.com, where she worked closely with the company’s HR, Marketing and Sales Departments.Kelly FeeleyCompleting Showcase Realty’s new batch of agents is Kelly Feeley, a long-time resident of the University Area in North Carolina. She obtained her North Carolina real estate license in 2003 and currently has a full broker status. Asked why she decided to join Showcase Realty, Feeley said, “I chose Showcase Realty mainly for the great team environment and Nancy’s proven success. Technology is also very important and Showcase is utilizing systems that will help me be a successful agent.”Owned and run by Nancy Braun, Showcase Realty seeks to provide the highest quality, most innovative and exceptional real estate service in Charlotte. The company boasts of its team of over 50 agents, who are all committed to serving their clients based on honesty and integrity. One of their happy clients wrote in his review, “I recently purchased a home in Charlotte in Sedgefield area and Showcase Realty with Nancy Braun and her team were very knowledgeable about the area, but what really set them apart were their negotiation skills with the buyer. I was also impressed with the contractors that they recommended to me for some enhancements that I did with the place.”Shirley Brice, another happy client, also wrote, “Nancy Braun and Showcase Realty have done an amazing job with selling my house. They’re extremely reliable, personable, and honest. They also help you troubleshoot when problems arise. They take a different approach to real estate and it’s a much more effective model—exposing properties and buyers to numerous digital platforms. We have bought and sold a lot of real estate over the years and there’s no one better than Nancy Braun and Showcase Realty!” Showcase Realty Adds Six New Agents to Its Team in Headlines, journal, News, REO November 2, 2018 538 Views center_img Company News Nancy Braun Showcase Realty 2018-11-02 David Wharton Sharelast_img read more

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Former Fannie Mae CEO to Lead Market and Corporate Support

first_img Silicon Valley tech company Blend has announced the appointment of Timothy Mayopoulos as President. The former CEO of Fannie Mae will lead Blend’s go to market and corporate support functions, as well as join the company’s board of directors, the company said.“Tim Mayopoulos is a terrific leader who will help us provide exceptional value to our growing customer base as we scale,” said Nima Ghamsari, CEO, Blend. “I’ve collaborated closely with Tim for over four years, and he believes strongly in technology’s potential to bring simplicity, transparency, and accessibility to the broader consumer finance ecosystem. His deep expertise and passion for transforming consumer lending make him a great fit for our team.”“I’m thrilled to join Blend at a critical point in its growth trajectory and look forward to helping the company continue to drive positive change in consumer finance in the years to come,” said Mayopoulos. “Nima and the Blend team are driving much-needed improvements to the speed, efficiency, and transparency of consumer lending. I am confident that the company’s growth will continue at a remarkable rate.”In addition to Mayopoulos, Blend has expanded its leadership team with the following recent executive hires: Olivia Teich has joined as head of product. In this role, Teich will focus on partnering with consumers and the industry to identify the areas where Blend’s product can make the biggest impact to improve lending. Prior to Blend, Teich held roles leading product at both Dropbox and Jive.Kallol Das has joined as head of engineering. He will focus on expanding Blend’s engineering team, driving quality and efficiency, and partnering with the product team to achieve development goals. Das has held similar executive roles at Path, Salesforce, Amazon, and Invoice2Go.Justin Schuster has joined as head of marketing. Schuster brings a strong background in SaaS, product, marketing communications, and digital marketing, having previously served as Corporate CMO at Acxiom and VP of marketing at LiveRamp.“We’ve added some amazing leaders to our team, positioning the company to scale at an even faster rate and better serve our customers, driving meaningful change in our industry,” Ghamsari said. “This group brings a wealth of experience and skill to Blend’s executive team, and their contributions will be pivotal to achieving our goal of a simpler, more transparent financial services ecosystem.”The appointments follow a record year of growth for Blend’s digital lending platform, which processed more than $230 billion in loan applications in 2018. Now 350 employees, up from just over 200 a year ago, Blend now works with 130+ customers that comprise more than a quarter of the U.S. mortgage market. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicing Former Fannie Mae CEO to Lead Market and Corporate Support blend Fannie Mae Former Fannie Mae CEO Nima Ghamsari silicon valley Timothy Mayopoulos 2019-01-22 Donna Josephcenter_img January 22, 2019 846 Views Sharelast_img read more

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BritainBritish AirwayseventtradeVisitBritain

first_imgBritainBritish AirwayseventtradeVisitBritain As the UK approaches its peak tourism summer season (and there’s a Royal Wedding this week to boot!), it was timely that British Airways and VisitBritain held a breakfast trade event at Hyatt Regency Sydney last Wednesday to spruik the very best of British to the Aussie industry. L-R: Alexander Kyling, Hyatt Regency Sydney; Cindy Lam, British Airways; Spencer Bladon, British Airways; Melissa Lau, British Airways; Baron Wills, Hyatt Regency Sydney; Mark Haynes, VisitBritain; Nicole Backo, British Airways; Eva Austin, British Airways; Soo Hong, Hyatt Regency Sydney; Natalie Brean, British Airways; and Neil Salmon, British Airways.last_img read more

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Channel Sevens Sunrise program MonFri 530am9a

first_imgChannel Seven’s Sunrise program (Mon-Fri 5.30am-9am AEDT) is touring Japan this week with Intrepid Travel, presenting the weather from various locations in the country.In tandem with the week’s program, Intrepid is also offering 10 per cent off all Japan trips for a limited time. The offer is valid on Intrepid small group trips in Japan, departing between 15 March and 30 November 2019. Exclusions apply. Discount applies to new bookings only, made and deposited from 15 March to 31 March 2019.Intrepid has seen a 44 per cent increase in Australians departing for Japan in 2019 compared to the same time last year. The latest from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also found Japan recorded a 17 per cent increase in visitation from Australians in 2017, meaning it’s now our seventeenth most popular international destination.“With so much to see and do, Japan is popular amongst every type of traveller including families, solo travellers, foodies and those looking for an active adventure. Our local tour leaders ensure that travellers have an immersive experience exploring a mix of popular and off-the-beaten track locations,” said Intrepid Travel Regional Director Asia Pacific, Brett Mitchell.IMAGE:Sunrise weather presenter Sam Mac in Tokyo with Intrepid guide Michi Hamaya Intrepid TravelJapanlast_img read more

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