Trafalgar’s Nina Conacher and MD Paul McGrath Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L Trafalgar Tours is urging agents to shift their perceptions and not overlook the potential sales from winter holidays.At the launch of Trafalgar’s 2010/11 Europe and Britain Autumn, Winter & Spring brochure on Wednesday, Managing director Paul McGrath said agents had the opportunity pick up slow sales by selling the European winter in a different light and targeting the right people.He said there were “multiple things to whet the appetite” during autumn, winter and spring in Europe, with plenty of snow, fewer crowds, colourful festivals and Christmas markets.“It is important for consultants to remember that although summer tends to be the most popular time to visit Europe, the autumn, winter and spring seasons each offer a different kind of magic and will certainly not disappoint,”“Every person that walks through the door between June and November are potential clients,” said McGrath, adding that agents should not just target couples, but also young and multi-generational families, mothers and daughters and singles.It is also a good opportunity for agents to garner repeat clientele, as the coach operator has a 60 percent repeat factor, he said.McGrath noted that there was “no compromise on what clients see and do” despite prices being 30 percent less in the Autumn, Winter & Spring program than in summer.Agents will also have the potential to earn great commissions and rewards including a 10-day tour to Europe for two and €500 spending money.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J The low-cost carrier’s chief executive, Tony Fernandes said AirAsia continues to defy industry trends after recording a four percent growth in net operating profit during the first quarter this year compared to the same period last year.In the airline’s quarter profit update, Mr Fernandes described the carrier’s growth as “remarkable” compared to its peers’ performances and cited the growth to its “resilient business model” and “cyclical airline business”.During the record breaking quarter, AirAsia saw its revenue jump 11 percent to up to RM1.17 billion from RM1.05 billion during the same quarter last year and its passenger count increase 12 percent.Looking ahead, Mr Fernandes said business looked “positive” and expects the second quarter to continue producing high load factors.“We are monitoring fuel prices very closely and the moment we perceive an opportunity, we will not hesitate to add to our hedges based on our forward bookings,” he explained. “At the same time, we shall remain focus on containing or driving down controllable costs and maintaining our competitive edge.” Despite business growth, earlier this week AirAsia announced it would axe its seven times weekly services between Kuala Lumpur and Solo, Indonesia.
Behind every great business moment, there was business travel. For example, in 1953, C.R. Smith, president of American Airlines and R. Blair Smith, a senior sales representative for IBM, were introduced on a flight by a flight attendant. The two men were seated next to each other and spent the next several hours talking. During that flight they would agree on the framework of Sabre Corporation, which was co-founded by American Airlines and IBM in 1960.Over the last 100 years, business travel has powered countless innovative moments that have changed the world we live in. In celebration of the business travel moments that changed history and 100 years of American Express powering business through travel, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is sharing 100 business travel stories from global companies that resulted in the partnerships, discoveries, epiphanies and moments of inspiration that helped shape the modern world.A list of the first 50 moments is available for download on the GBT 100th Anniversary microsite. GBT will release up to three moments per week that reveal a more in-depth look at each story’s history, starting with 1915 and continuing through 2015. To help develop the list and ensure historical accuracy, GBT partnered with historians from research firm History Associates, which has curated exhibits for museums around the country, including the Smithsonian.“We are very proud of our brand heritage and it’s amazing to think that our company’s roots in travel date back to the time these remarkable journeys were taking place,” said Bill Glenn, President and CEO of American Express Global Business Travel. “It’s incredible to see that at every turn, or new rising need, travel responded and evolved to enable business growth and expansion.”“These companies were in constant pursuit of new partnerships, sources of inspiration and innovative ideas that pushed technological boundaries and introduced greater efficiencies that improved operations and ultimately, the traveller experience,” added Glenn. “We share the same philosophy at GBT and will continue to drive business travel forward to meet the evolving needs of tomorrow’s business pioneers. As a company that never stops moving, we can’t wait to power the next 100 years of business travel.” Visit the GBT 100th Anniversary microsite Source = American Express
Cathay Pacific www.cathaypacific.comCathay Pacific unveils new aircraft liveryCathay Pacific Airways today marked another important milestone for the airline as it unveiled a new livery that will be progressively introduced onto all the aircraft in its fleet. The livery was showcased on one of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at a special event held at Hong Kong International Airport.Addressing guests at the event, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “Today represents the beginning of a new era for Cathay Pacific. We are very happy and proud to unveil our new aircraft livery which represents our journey into the future and also celebrates the many great things we have achieved over the past seven decades as the home carrier of Hong Kong.”Mr Chu said that the new livery is a continuation of the work that began last year to refresh Cathay Pacific’s brand identity. “The livery is a vital part of our brand image – a symbol of the company’s values displayed on our most important physical asset. The livery represents Cathay Pacific in and out of Hong Kong and every time our aircraft take off or touch down in our network of destinations around the world,” he said.“Creating a new livery is much more than a cosmetic exercise. This new look is the latest – and most significant – development in our ongoing efforts to improve the overall customer experience at Cathay Pacific. It is also a highly visible representation of the huge investments we are making in new aircraft and products as part of our ongoing commitment to build Hong Kong’s position as an international aviation hub.”Guest of Honour at the event was Professor Anthony Cheung, Secretary for Transport and Housing, who officiated at the livery unveiling ceremony together with Ivan Chu. More than 300 guests were in attendance at the event, held in the hangars of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO), including aviation and trade officials, members of the Marco Polo Club loyalty programme, guests from the Hong Kong public, and Cathay Pacific staff. In addition to seeing the new livery unveiled, all guests enjoyed a unique behind-the-scenes experience where they could explore the aircraft inside and out and chat with the airline’s operations teams.In recent years, Cathay Pacific has made huge investments in new aircraft and new products to provide a rewarding experience for its customers. The airline has also worked hard to build Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s great aviation hubs, growing its network and building connectivity to oil the wheels of commerce, tourism and trade.Cathay Pacific sees the livery as a symbol of its commitment to its home city as well as a visible representation of its promise to offer a Life Well Travelled to customers. As part of its ongoing efforts to provide a richer travel experience, the airline promises a number of important upcoming developments including the introduction of the new Airbus A350 fleet, further enhancements to its products and services, and the continued expansion of its network.The update to the livery is part of a series of ongoing improvements to Cathay Pacific’s customer experience. These include not only the new livery, but also the website and mobile app, as well as major enhancements to the airline’s airport lounges in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok and beyond. CX New Liveryview more here Cathay Pacificbook and fly here Source = Cathay Pacific
Investigation finds some hotel bed sheets aren’t changed between guestsInvestigation finds some hotel bed sheets aren’t changed between guestsThe thought of sleeping in a hotel bed with dirty sheets is completely gross, but that’s exactly the dirty secret INSIDE EDITION exposes when we checked in at certain hotels. In an investigation airing on Tuesday, INSIDE EDITION puts hotels to the test – the program came up with a unique way to find out whether you may be sleeping on dirty sheets – and the results might make you think twice before getting under the covers.The program booked rooms at nine different hotels and each time sprayed a harmless and washable fluorescent paint onto the bed sheet, using a stencil that reads, “I Slept Here.” The paint is invisible to the naked eye – you can only see what’s on the sheets by turning on a ultra-violet light.At The Candlewood Inn & Suites in Manhattan, INSIDE EDITION checked out leaving the dirty sheets with the invisible message. But were the sheets changed? The next day, INSIDE EDITION booked the exact same room – but under a different name. When we examined the sheets under the UV light, shockingly, the same message – ‘I Slept Here’ – appeared. The sheets hadn’t been changed between guests.When INSIDE EDITION asked the manager why the sheets weren’t changed, she replied, “I expect them to be changed every day, and that is a policy of our property.”Was this just a simple mistake or a common occurrence – a dirty secret widespread in the hotel industry?At a La Quinta Inn & Suites not far from Central Park, INSIDE EDITION again sprayed ‘I Slept Here’ on the bed sheets. When they returned the next day under a new reservation, INSIDE EDITION again found that the sheets were not changed.When INSIDE EDITION asked to speak with the manager, he arrived to the room with a maid. She claimed she cleaned the sheets, but when the program showed them the ‘I Slept Here’ message from the previous day, they both apologized.The manager said, “I mean, there’re no words for me to say. We expect the housekeepers to change the sheets.”At a Residence Inn by Marriott, a hotel rated one diamond by the AAA, INSIDE EDITION spray painted the word, ‘Yuck,’ on the top of the sheet and ‘I Slept Here’ on the bottom sheet. Sure enough, when they checked in to the same room under a different name the following day, the UV lights revealed the words ‘Yuck’ and ‘I Slept Here’ still there – the sheets had not been changed.The manager didn’t want to speak with INSIDE EDITION at first, but then stated, “We make it a custom to change every check out room sheet. However, I do not know what happened in this situation.” The Marriott Corporation apologized for what happened.All of the hotels where INSIDE EDITION found dirty sheets stated that they take this issue seriously and took immediate action to ensure this does not recur, all saying they take great pride in the high standards of cleanliness throughout their hotels.All in all, INSIDE EDITION checked into nine different hotel rooms, and three did not change the sheets. INSIDE EDITION for more information, visitSource = Inside Edition
Photo credit : Thai AirwaysTHAI Announces Third Quarter Results 2017Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) and its subsidiaries announced its the third quarter results 2017 that had an operating profit of THB 739 million, an improvement from last year that had a reported loss of THB 836 million resulting from the continuing of transformation plan. Consequently, total revenue increased by 6.3% and non-fuel expenses were efficiently controlled; however, the jet fuel prices rose by 11.3%. After deducting one-time expenses which mainly comprised of impairment loss of assets and aircraft and loss on foreign currency exchange, THAI and its subsidiaries reported a net loss of THB 1,814 million.Mrs. Usanee Sangsingkeo, Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Sustainable Development, and Acting President of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, said that in the third quarter, THAI continued the third phase of its transformation plan with “Sustainable Growth” from the previous quarter by taking delivery of new operating lease aircraft. When compared to the end of 2016, THAI added four new aircraft to its fleet, which grew to a total of 99 aircraft. Aircraft utilization increased by 4.3% from 11.6 hours to 12.1 hours when compared to the same period last year. Production traffic (ASK) increased by 7.9% but passenger traffic (RPK) increased by 14.9% from the same quarter of last year. The cabin factor averaged 78.2%, which was higher than 73.5 % last year and 5.99 million passengers were carried, and representing a 8.9% increase from last year.THAI and its subsidiaries’ operating profit was THB 739 million, while there was a loss of THB 836 million last year. Total revenue was THB 46,928 million, an increase from the same quarter of last year by 6.3% due to an increase of passenger and excess baggage revenue by THB 2,470 million (6.9%) from the increase in passenger traffic by 14.9%, despite a drop in average passenger yield by 7.5% due to intense price competition. Freight and mail revenue increased by THB 577 million (12.7%) from the recovery in the export sector. While total expenses amounted to THB 46,189 million, an increase of THB 1,227 million (2.7%) due to an increase in fuel expenses by THB 1,032 million (9.5%) resulting from an increase of 11.3% in average jet fuel price. Non-fuel operating expense was close that of last year. Net finance cost decreased from last year by THB 112 million or 8.7% resulting from cash management and financial restructure.This quarter, THAI and its subsidiaries had one-time expenses at the amount of THB 537 million and impairment loss of assets and aircraft at the amount of THB 1,502 million. In addition, the loss on foreign currency exchange was THB 829 million. Consequently, THAI and its subsidiaries reported a net loss of THB 1,814 million. Loss attributable to owners of the parent amounted to THB 1,825 million. Loss per share was THB 0.84 per share, THB 0.11 or a loss that was 15.1% higher than last year.As of September 30, 2017, THAI’s consolidated total assets were THB 287,889 million, an increase of THB 4,765 million (1.7%) from December 31, 2016. Total liabilities were THB 257,961 million, which was an increase of THB 8,425 million (3.4%) from December 31, 2016. Shareholders’ equity totaled THB 29,928 million, a decrease of THB 3,660 million (10.9%) from December 31, 2016, due to loss from operations for the first nine months of 2017. THAI Airways Internationalbook flights hereSource = THAI
TravelManagers remember PTM Denise DeanTravelManagers remember PTM Denise DeanThe TravelManagers family will long remember Friday 24 November as Black Friday, the day they suddenly lost one of their own. Personal travel manager (PTM) Denise Dean, representative for Hendra in Brisbane suffered a brain aneurism on Tuesday and died a few days later at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.The sudden loss of 59-year-old Denise has shocked and saddened the close-knit TravelManagers family.“Denise had just celebrated her three-year anniversary with the company and in that short time she had touched us all with her positivity, enthusiasm and complete love of life. Denise was a highly successful PTM and was simply a beautiful person inside and out. Denise’s sudden departure from this world has come as a complete shock and she will be greatly missed by us all,” says TravelManagers Executive General Manager Michael Gazal.It is a real testament to Denise’s popularity that PTMs in mass, have taken to social media to share their grief with hundreds of messages being received from PTMs around Australia.“It is this sharing of memories and mutual support that is helping to provide comfort as PTMs come to terms with the sudden and tragic loss of our friend and colleague,” says Gazal.Brisbane based PTM Simon Tinkler shares his tribute to his “beautiful Denise”.“Denise, I wish I could have told you more powerfully what I think about you: beautiful, welcoming, radiant, glamorous, classy, fun, caring, accepting and courageous. Every time you saw me, your face would light up and you would glide across the room like Judy Garland and we would do that gorgeous little kiss on the cheek and talk. Standing with you it all felt all so First Class with champagne. You put style and elegance back into our lives and helped me glimpse the golden age of travel. I loved your hair, your make up, your shoes, and your shining eyes. It breaks my heart to bid you farewell.”PTM Suzanne Markham’s comments typify the sentiments being shared by the PTMs.“Elegance, grace and beauty both inside and out! Cannot believe we will never see you again my friend. No words can convey my crushed heart.”Denise, had been in the travel industry for 26 years, yet it was joining TravelManagers in 2014 that she felt really at home. Earlier this year she celebrated her personal best month of commission sales where she highlighted her passion for her clients and her love of being a PTM.“Three years ago, I became a personal travel manager and I haven’t looked back. My clients inspire me and they are the reason I get out of bed every day. My family is number one, so being home and available is the greatest benefit for me of being home based and the opportunity to combine personal interests with travel has been a dream come true.”PTM Leisa Burdette, representative for Hamilton worked closely with Denise and remembers the early days.With a heavy heart Burdette publicly shares her tribute to Denise “I admired you for so many reasons – your style, your kindness of spirit, your professionalism, your strength as a mother. An example of the best a person can be. I’m so grateful to have been your friend, even if only for the shortest of time. I’m going to miss you beyond measure.”Karen Dowling, Denise’s QLD BPM worked intimately with Denise during the past 3 years says, “Denise was the epitome of a Personal Travel Manager; her integrity and passion for the industry, her clients and fellow PTM’s was infinite. Denise was an instrumental campaigner for the TravelManagers brand and was profusely generous with her time, guidance and support to her fellow colleagues and suppliers. Denise was awarded the 2017 Advocate Award at this year’s annual TravelManagers Conference in Darwin.”“On a personal note,” says Karen, “Above all, Denise was my friend. She was compassionate, thoughtful, elegant and inspiring. All those who knew her will wholeheartedly agree, Denise is simply irreplaceable.Karen has been with Denise’s family over the last few days providing support and comfort,” says GazalDenise leaves her husband Robert and children Elliott, Claudia and Simona.“Denise’s family are understandably completely devastated and slowly coming to terms with the sudden loss of their wife and mother.Dean’s funeral service will be held at 10am on Thursday 30 November at St. Agatha’s Parish Church at 52 Oriel Road, ClayfieldThe family has asked in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Queensland Brain Institute https://www.uq.edu.au/giving/donations/Source = TravelManagers
2018 NTIA Nominees announcedThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is pleased to reveal the 2018 National Travel Industry Award (NTIA) Nominees.As in previous years, more than 1,000 nominees were received across all 38 award categories.The full list of nominees is available on the AFTA website – CLICK HEREVoting will commence tomorrow, Tuesday 13 March at 9:00am (AEDT).AFTA congratulates all those nominated and wishes everyone the best of luck through the voting and judging processes.2018 NTIA Key Dates;Voting Period – Tuesday 13 March – Thursday 29 MarchFinalists Announced (Voted & Submission Categories) – Thursday 3 MayTicket Sales – Friday 4 MayJudging Commences – Monday 28 May 2018 (Judged categories only)Gala Dinner – Saturday 21 July 2018The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is the peak body in Australia representing the retail travel industry. Founded in 1957, AFTA represents the majority of travel agents in Australia and includes all of the major travel agency groups.AFTA’s role is to uphold the interests of members in matters relating to the operation of all travel agencies in Australia. In broad terms these issues are ones that are not addressed by agent chain or corporate entities on behalf of their members, and are ones that involve the industry as a whole.ATAS -TRAVEL ACCREDITED: The AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) is an industry accreditation scheme that sets the benchmark of quality for the travel industry.ACS – AFTA Chargeback Scheme: Is a separate entity limited by guarantee as a Mutual Beneficiary Fund established for the benefit of ATAS Accredited AFTA members. ACS protects travel agents from debit and credit card chargebacks as a result of end supplier failure.AFTA is committed, through ATAS, to elevating travel industry standards in Australia by driving increased and continued participation by travel intermediaries in ATAS and raising consumer awareness of the benefits of booking travel through an ATAS accredited agent.The accreditation Scheme is open to all travel intermediaries (those that buy and sell travel).ACS participation is open to any ATAS accredited travel agent.The AFTA National Travel Industry Awards (AFTA NTIA) acknowledge the best of the best in the Australian travel industry – with categories covering travel agencies and individual consultants, as well as the various suppliers which support them and their businesses.These awards are essential in providing encouragement and recognition to the businesses and personnel who demonstrate outstanding service, marketing excellence and business acumen within the travel industry.The 2018 AFTA NTIA Gala Dinner will be held on Saturday 21 July at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.Source = Australian Federation of Travel Agents
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board recently held its first meeting since its establishment under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for expansion of facilities at tourist spots and to draw investments into the sector.“It was the first meeting since the establishment of the board and was majorly about approving statutory powers under the board,” said Principal Secretary Tourism, Hariranjan Rao. He stated that the meeting successfully elected the Chairperson, delegated powers to Managing Director, authorised the MD for seal along with the signing of contracts on behalf of the board and also approved official address of the board.The board has initiated a work plan for all the tourism-related archaeological sites, wildlife places, caves with natural beauty, amusement and other parks, water reservoirs and also takes measures for their supervision.The Chief Minister became the Chairman of the board at its first meeting while the Tourism Minister, Surendra Patwa became the Deputy Chairman. Eight members, including Chief Secretary and Principal Secretaries of Finance, Forests, Urban Development and Environment and Culture Departments were made Directors and Members of the board. Hariranjan Rao was given the charge of the board’s Ex-Officio Member Secretary and Managing Director.
“”Sun National Bank””:www.sunnbnj.com/ is updating is commercial lending team, with the addition of two new executives. Targeting support and growth for its middle market and commercial real estate business, Sun National has hired Anthony W. LaMarca and Joseph C. Tkac.[IMAGE]LaMarca is joining Sun National as the company’s senior vice president and wholesale regional manager for its south New Jersey and Philadelphia markets. LaMarca possesses more than 25 years of experience in commercial banking, as well as more than 20 years of service in middle market businesses, and in his [COLUMN_BREAK]new role for Sun National, LaMarca will be responsible for leading the company’s middle market professionals.Sun National welcomes Tkac as its senior vice president and manager for the company’s commercial real estate division. Previously, Tkac has acted in senior positions for “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ and “”Wachovia Bank””:https://www.wachovia.com/, and Sun National is tapping his expertise to facilitate the growth of its commercial real estate loan portfolio in New Jersey and the Northeast region. Thomas X. Geisel, Sun National’s president and CEO, said of LaMarca and Tkac, “”We welcome Tony and Joe to Sun National Bank and are pleased to add such accomplished people to our team. Our ability to attract and retain the industry’s top professionals further strengthens our company and reinforces our leadership position as the second largest commercial bank in New Jersey.”” In a company statement, Sun National elaborated on its personnel choices, stating that it chooses new hires who “”combine the best of big-bank experience and talent with a personal approach that honors relationships.”” Sun National went on to note that each of its leadership teams is responsible for providing clients with local decision-based and customized solutions to meet the customers’ specific business needs and goals. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology December 21, 2011 420 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-12-21 Abby Gregory Two New Executives Added at Sun National Share
As home prices continue climbing, “”CoreLogic””:http://www.corelogic.com/ assures us housing is still affordable and any concerns that rising prices will make it not so are unfounded. [IMAGE]””Nationally, housing affordability couldn’t be better,”” CoreLogic stated in its latest “”_MarketPulse_””:http://www.corelogic.com/downloadable-docs/MarketPulse_2013-July.pdf?WT.mc_id=prnw_130716_ORRdu released Tuesday. CoreLogic measures affordability by comparing median household incomes to the income needed to acquire a 30- [COLUMN_BREAK]year, fixed-rate mortgage with 20 percent down and a debt-to-income ratio of 25 percent. “”Because mortgage rates are, by historic standards, still low, housing remains highly affordable, even with the recent impressive increase in prices,”” the analysts said. After reaching a low in June 2006, housing affordability has been on the rise. Falling prices and falling interest rates contributed to the increase. Since the recession, household incomes have also begun to grow, according to CoreLogic. In fact, CoreLogic points out housing is so affordable compared to historic levels that prices would need to rise 47 percent higher or interest rates would need to climb to 6.75 percent for affordability to reach levels seen between 2000 and 2004. Thus, “”there is still a long way to go before housing again becomes unaffordable,”” CoreLogic stated. There are two exceptions to the widespread affordability across the nation: The District of Columbia and Hawaii are currently considered “”unaffordable.”” July 17, 2013 429 Views Report: Widespread Affordability Not Likely to Reverse Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies CoreLogic Home Prices Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Service Providers 2013-07-17 Krista Franks Brock in Data Share
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-11-04 Tory Barringer Share New,ReverseVision Announces New EVP of Sales Rob Katz has joined “”ReverseVision’s””:http://reversevision.com/Content/ team as EVP of sales, the company announced.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Katz brings to ReverseVision his experience and contacts from more than 15 years of service in the mortgage industry. Throughout his career, he has served as chief information officer for a publicly traded mortgage banker and as EVP of sales and eventually president of DataTrac, an industry leading forward mortgage loan origination system.””I worked with Rob at Del Mar DataTrac, and am confident his knowledge of the lending industry combined with his unyielding integrity will bring valuable ideas to help our clients get the most from their investment with our platform,”” said ReverseVision president John Button.For Katz, the new position represents a jumping point into a growing space in the mortgage industry.””Reverse mortgages provide an excellent way for retirees to tap into the equity of their homes to provide for either day-to-day necessities or to serve as a financial safety net,”” he said. “”I’m excited to be a part of a company that plays such an important role in supporting this industry.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing November 4, 2013 418 Views
Agents & Brokers Asking Prices Attorneys & Title Companies Demand Home Prices Investors Lenders & Servicers Redfin Service Providers 2013-11-08 Tory Barringer in Data November 8, 2013 421 Views One in Four Sellers Forced to Scale Back Listing Prices With reports showing home prices reaching five-year highs coming out on a near-monthly basis, home sellers this year have been aggressive in pricing their listings on the market. However, “”new data””:http://blog.redfin.com/blog/2013/11/one-in-four-home-sellers-forced-to-lower-their-asking-price-in-september.html#.Un0EsvmkofQ from technology-powered broker “”Redfin””:http://www.redfin.com/ shows more and more sellers have had to dial back their expectations.[IMAGE]Only about one in seven sellers had to resort to reducing their listing price in order to move their property, Redfin reported. However, that number has steadily risen to one in four as of September.””While people assume that price drops exhibit a seasonal pattern where sellers lower prices on the older inventory heading into the fall, Redfin did not see that pattern in 2011 and 2012,”” wrote analyst Tommy Unger. “”Price drops are usually a sign sellers didn’t get the offers they hoped for when they originally listed or they simply didn’t assess the current market conditions adequately.[COLUMN_BREAK]””It’s no surprise that our number one home selling tip is pricing your home right the first time,”” he added.Price reductions were highest in Atlanta, where 42 percent of homes listed saw their prices cut in September. The rest of the top markets for reductions were in the West: Sacramento (where 35 percent of listings were slashed), Phoenix (32 percent), Seattle (32 percent), and San Diego (31 percent).Reductions were less common in Texas, where San Antonio and Houston each saw 22 percent of their listings drop in price. Philadelphia also reported a relatively low number of price drops (22 percent), along with Raleigh (20 percent) and Long Island (16 percent).While those areas showed lower rates of price reductions, every one of the metros tracked by Redfin experienced more than they did in September 2012. Hope isn’t lost for sellers looking to get as much as they can out of their home, though–Redfin’s data for October shows slightly fewer homes taking a price cut, ending a seven-month streak.””As home prices are now increasing at a less dramatic rate, sellers and agents are better able to price homes accurately without having to make adjustments later,”” Unger said. “”We also expect price drops to be less common heading into the fall and winter months as home sellers tend to be in less of a rush at this time of year.”” Share
Consumer Confidence Continues to Improve Share The “”Conference Board’s””:http://www.conference-board.org/ Consumer Confidence Index increased again in January, continuing December’s rebound from months of declines.[IMAGE]According to the group, the index rose 3.2 points to a reading of 80.7 in January. December’s original reading was revised down from the originally reported 78.1 to 77.5. January’s increase puts the index just above the 80.2 reading reported before the government shutdown in October.””All in all, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead,”” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board.The index measuring consumer feelings about present economic conditions increased nearly four points to 79.1, with sentiments about business conditions and the job market improving.The number of consumers claiming business conditions are “”good”” increased to 21.5 percent from 20.2 percent in December, while those saying conditions are “”bad”” fell to 22.8 percent. Meanwhile, 12.7 percent said jobs are “”plentiful”” (up from 11.9 percent), while 32.6 percent said labor is “”hard to get”” (down slightly from 32.9 percent).The index gauging consumer expectations also climbed, rising to 81.8 from 79.0 previously, with the number of respondents anticipating worse business conditions ahead falling slightly and the number expecting improvements remaining flat. The outlook for labor was mixed, however: 15.4 percent of those surveyed expect more jobs in the next six months, down from 17.1 percent. At the same time, the share of those anticipating fewer jobs also fell, dropping more than a point to 18.3 percent. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Conference Board Confidence Consumer spending Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2014-01-28 Tory Barringer in Data January 28, 2014 429 Views
February 23, 2014 475 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Per new regulations finalized last week, the GSEs will be required to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) directly with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) rather than through their own regulator.Developed in coordination with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), FinCEN’s final rule is intended to provide law enforcement and regulators with a more complete picture of mortgage fraud than that offered by less detailed reports currently provided to FHFA.Though reports are to be filed with FinCEN, the agency notes FHFA will have responsibility for examining the GSEs for compliance.In addition to filing SARs with FinCEN, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks will also be required to develop programs to aid in preventing money laundering.According to FinCEN, the newly announced final rule adopts (“without significant change”) all of the provisions contained in the agencies November 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.The rule goes into effect 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Fannie Mae FHFA FinCEN Freddie Mac Mortgage Fraud 2014-02-23 Tory Barringer Feds Finalize New Mortgage Fraud Requirements for GSEs Share
$1.1B in Servicing Rights Up for Bid MountainView Servicing Group announced it is advising the sale of another two mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portfolios, these ones possessing a combined unpaid principal balance of $1.1 billion.The first portfolio, which goes up for bid April 3, is $923 million of Freddie Mac servicing. According to MountainView, the offering features 100 percent fixed-rate and first lien product with a weighted average original FICO score of 768, a weighted average original loan-to-value ratio of 72 percent, and no delinquencies. The weighted average interest rate for the portfolio is 3.66 percent.“Over the last six months, we have marketed approximately 40 MSR portfolios consisting mainly of low-rate, conventional servicing,” said Matt Maurer, managing director at MountainView Servicing Group and the lead advisor on the sale. “But this may be the lowest-rate portfolio of them all, with its weighted average 30-year fixed interest rate of 3.66 percent.”The greatest concentration of loans in the portfolio are in California (35.1 percent), followed by Virginia (7.0 percent), Washington (5.4 percent), and Arizona (5.2 percent).The second offering unveiled this week is a $205 million Fannie Mae portfolio bidding on April 4.Quality features include 96 percent fixed-rate and 99.8 percent first lien product weight a weighted average original loan-to-value ratio of 71 percent and a weighted average interest rate of 5.12 percent.Geographically, the portfolio is mostly concentrated in New York (81.4 percent), California (6.3 percent), New Jersey (4.7 percent), and Florida (2.5 percent). Share April 2, 2014 446 Views Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Mortgage Servicing Rights MountainView 2014-04-02 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicing
in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing Share GSEs 2016 Focus: Liquidity, Credit Access, and Common Securitization December 17, 2015 562 Views The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)’s 7-year-old conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue for at least another year despite the fact that it was meant to be temporary.The good news, however, is that the GSEs “substantially advanced” their conservatorship goals during 2015, according to the FHFA’s 2016 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Common Securitization Solutions (CSS) released Thursday.The 2016 Scorecard further expands on the three goals of the GSEs outlined in the FHFA’s Strategic Plan for the Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which was published in May 2014. Those three goals are:maintaining (through a safe and sound manner) credit availability and foreclosure prevention activities for new and refinanced mortgages and fostering liquidity, competition, resilience, and effectiveness for housing markets;reducing risk to taxpayers while increasing the role of private capital in the market;and building a new single-family securitization structure for use by the GSEs and other secondary market participants.“The progress Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made in 2015 substantially advanced the goals set forth in our Conservatorship Strategic Plan and we expect to build on this progress in 2016,” FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt said. “The new Scorecard will guide Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Common Securitization Solutions as they continue working to foster liquidity and access to credit for creditworthy borrowers in the national housing finance markets in a safe and sound manner.”On the first of the three goals—maintaining, in a safe and sound manner, credit availability and foreclosure prevention activities—the Enterprises are to continue to assess impediments to credit access and develop recommendations to address those barriers, including considering the use of automated underwriting systems and the possibility of the GSEs financing energy or water efficiency investments in both single- and multi-family properties. They will also be assessing the effectiveness of early delinquency counseling and homeownership education during 2015 and implementing those initiatives as appropriate, according to FHFA.The Enterprises will also prepare for the expiration of both the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) which is set to occur at the end of 2016. While the GSEs plan to continue to heavily promote HARP, they also plan to develop a high loan-to-value ratio refinance program that is scheduled to be implemented in January 2017 immediately after HARP and HAMP expire.Another of the GSEs initiatives in line with the first goal is to continue to reduce the number of REO properties and deeply delinquent and non-performing loans (NPLs) in their single-family mortgage portfolios. Their goal is to submit a plan for FHFA’s approval that includes a broad NPL sales strategy, expanding offerings to multi-servicer pools, continuing to offer smaller pools that encourage participation from non-profits, and consideration for borrower outcomes.On the goal of transferring credit risk, the GSEs plan to transfer credit risk on at least 90 percent of the unpaid principal balance (UPB) of newly acquired single-family mortgages in loan categories targeted for risk transfer. FHFA stated in the report: “Because the Enterprises’ single-family credit risk transfers have evolved into a core business practice, it is FHFA’s current expectation that single-family credit risk transfers will continue to be an ongoing conservatorship requirement. FHFA will adjust targets as necessary to reflect market conditions and economic considerations.”On the Common Securitization Platform (CSP) and Single Securities, FHFA expects the GSEs and CSS to implement the following initiatives:Release 1—Implement CSP for Freddie Mac’s existing single-class securities in 2016; andRelease 2—Implement the Single Security on the CSP for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2018.The GSEs’ goal is to continue to work together and with FHFA and CSS to meet both of these release timelines, working to build and test the CSP and implement the changes necessary to integrate the GSEs’ related systems and operations with the CSP.Click here to view the complete scorecard. Common Securitization Credit Access Fannie Mae Federal Housing Finance Agency Freddie Mac Liquidity 2015-12-17 Seth Welborn
From new jumbo loan products and apps for originators to new appointments and expansion of services, get the latest buzz on the industry in this weekly update.Coppell, Texas-headquartered Caliber Home Loans recently announced the launch of its latest Portfolio Loan product, Caliber Elite Access (Elite Access). The product was created in response to rising property prices and is offered with some of the industry’s most robust features. According to Caliber, Elite Access is truly unique and a strong addition to Caliber’s Portfolio Lending suite of loan solutions. Elite Access borrowers may qualify for up to $3 million in loan funds with as little as 5 percent down and a 700 FICO score. New homeowners may save even more after closing, as mortgage insurance is never required. Elite Access offers a variety of loan terms and options, including both fixed- and adjustable-rate terms. Additionally, both 5/1 and 7/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are available under this product line. “At Caliber Home Loans, we’re always working to increase opportunities for home ownership,” said Sanjiv Das, CEO, Caliber Home Loans.________________________________________________________________________________________Houston-based InterLinc Mortgage Services has announced that Gene F. Thompson III, who has served as President since 2010, will now serve as COO of the company. A 20-year veteran of the mortgage lending industry, Gene has been with InterLinc since 2007, where he has served as both Executive VP and President. “Gene’s decades of experience in the mortgage banking industry, combined with his dynamic approach to sales and operations, has brought InterLinc unprecedented growth opportunities,” said James H. VanSteenhouse, InterLinc CEO. “The long-lasting relationships that he’s built with builders and realtors have enabled InterLinc to become a powerhouse in the mortgage industry. As both President and COO, Gene will have even greater opportunities to apply both his exceptional strategic acumen and his operational skills to helping InterLinc meet our goals for growth and our ongoing commitment to unparalleled customer service.” For more than a decade, InterLinc Mortgage Services has delivered home loans with the motto of “On Time and As Agreed” to customers buying or refinancing. Loan originators and branch managers participate in a family-oriented culture, coupled with accountability metrics aimed to drive production.________________________________________________________________________________________San Francisco-based mortgage fintech provider, OpenClose, has announced the launch of DecisionAssist Mobile, which provides fingertip access to the company’s proprietary web-based product and pricing engine (PPE). According to a statement by OpenClose, by using DecisionAssist Mobile, originators can quickly and efficiently compare eligible products and pricing and deliver the results directly to their borrowers from anywhere at any time via any mobile device. Retail originators, wholesale brokers, and correspondent sellers can use this app to instantly quote multiple loan products for a specific loan scenario on-the-fly and immediately email the borrower comparative details. An email summary of the quoted prices is simultaneously returned to the originator to follow up with the borrower. The result is faster service, convenience, greater transparency, reduced cycle times, and increased pull-through rates. “As an industry leader in the digital mortgage space, one of the key things we focused on when developing DecisionAssist Mobile was speed and ease of use for the originator,” said Gordon Frigaard, Director of PPE Technologies at OpenClose.________________________________________________________________________________________Claims Recovery Financial Services (CRFS), a New York-based investor and insurer claims management solutions provider has announced the addition of new consulting and data analytics services, expanding its platform of defaulted-loan product offerings. The added services complement CRFS’s claims processing solutions platform, allowing clients to choose from a comprehensive, full-plate menu of consulting services based on their unique business needs. The additional bouquet of services offered by CRFS includes Investor / Insurer Mock HUD Audit Review; Investor / Insurer HUD Audit Support; Operational Enhancement Consulting; Accelerated Disposition Dashboard; and Surchargeable Damage (Property Preservation) Review. These services provide clients with a comprehensive product scope, across all facets of the claims, audit quality assurance, and property liquidation environments. CRFS said that it will customize a plan based on the needs of each individual client. in Daily Dose, Featured, News July 26, 2018 625 Views Share Eye on the Industry: Updates on Caliber, OpenClose, and More Borrowers Caliber Home Loans CRFS FinTech InterLinc Mortgage Services Lenders mortgage OpenClose Realtors Servicing technology 2018-07-26 Radhika Ojha
March 11 , 2019 Apples in Charts: With prices at four-year high, h … U.S. apple industry suffers hard blow with India’s … The apple category ‘perked up’ in the U.S. in January following a slower start to the season, with the month seeing organic sales momentum gaining strength, and core varieties staying strong.Citing IRI Freshlook data, Domex Superfresh Growers also said that its Autumn Glory apple was skyrocketing in growth.The Washington-based company said that core varieties such as Gala and Honeycrisp have been the ‘workhorses’ of the apple category, representing nearly half of all apple dollar sales in January. The top five apple varieties were rounded out by Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious.Gala apples are seeing double-digit dollar growth and topped Honeycrisp in volume with 56.8 million pounds, followed by Honeycrisp at 35.9 million pounds.Organic momentum continues in both apples and pears, with organic apples accelerating to 10% growth in January, Domex said. Gala dominates organics at number one with US$14.4 million, accounting for 33.6% of organic apple dollars, followed by Honeycrisp at US$9.5 million. The top five organics are rounded out by Fuji, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady, pushing Red Delicious to number six. Chinese market apple shortage leads to highest pri … U.S.: Autumn Glory apples gain ground in February … You might also be interested in Pears are experiencing strong growth conventionally, and “phenomenal” growth in the organic category, the company said. Conventionally, Bartlett is on top with double-digit growth in both volume and dollars. Anjou, Bosc, Red Pears (all varieties combined), and Asian pears round out the top five. In organics, Anjou dominates, accounting for 47.6% of the category in dollars. Superfresh Growers is the largest organic pear grower and anticipates continuing their year-long Northwest pear supply.“The 2018-2019 apple and pear season started out slowly, but we are happy to see this turn around in January. We hope retailers continue to promote pears and apples into the summer months,” says Mike Preacher, director of marketing.The signature apple from Superfresh Growers, Autumn Glory apple, experienced strong growth in the month of January. The apple was up 103% in volume and 83% in sales, which it said was higher than any other variety in the top 20. Autumn Glory also broke into the top 20 at number 17. “We have been receiving amazing feedback this year from chefs, consumers, and retailers. Rachael Ray Every Day told us how delicious they are. It is such an honor to represent an apple that makes people happy and feel inspired to create something delicious in the kitchen,” explains Catherine Gipe Stewart, communications manager.Superfresh Growers owns the Autumn Glory apple and holds the exclusive worldwide production and marketing rights. It describes the variety as having a “very sweet, firm flesh with hints of cinnamon and subtle notes of caramel”. The apple will be available this season from November through April, but as volumes increase the apple will be available year -round.
You might also be interested in U.S.: Washington’s apple crop to rise by 18% … July 17 , 2019 The Chilean kiwifruit industry is aiming to boost its presence in one of its fastest-growing markets – India.The Chilean Kiwifruit Committee and its members are working alongside the country’s embassy in India and trade promoter ProChile to support the rising amount of fruit being sent to the market.Following on from a campaign it launched in Delhi last year, the Chilean Kiwifruit Committee is launching its first strategic promotion in southern India to boost sales and raise awareness among consumers about the fruit. Positive trial results for disease-resistant basil … It says that by doing this it will capitalize on the opportunities in the market created by the rapid rise in India’s kiwifruit consumption.In 2018, Indian imports of Chilean kiwifruit nearly doubled year-on-year to 9,604 metric tons (MT), while imports from all origins grew by 38% to 41,375MT.The Chilean Kiwifruit Committee noted that the South American country has the advantage of 50% lower tariffs compared to its competitors. This benefit was gained in 2017 thanks to a bilateral agreement.At the launch of a new campaign in Chennai, Charif Christian Carvajal, director of marketing for Asia for the fruit exporters’ association Asoex, said: “This is the second time that the Chilean kiwifruit industry has launched a promotional campaign in India, and it is our first incursion into this important region of southern India.”The promotions are currently being held in retailers such as KPN Farm Fresh and Spar across the whole region. U.S. FDA investigates multistate cyclospora outbre … Australia: New project will boost capability to de …