Image Source: Herald Sun Virgin Australia has released a statement confirming it has bested Qantas in on-time performance for the Financial Year 2012, while its current alignment with Etihad is proving to be extremely successful. According to BITRE statistics published last week, Virgin Australia branded and group airlines tallied an on-time performance rate of 82.7 percent, exceeding Qantas brand airlines (81.2 percent) and Qantas group airlines (80.1 percent). Virgin Australia chief John Borghetti was pleased with these results and excited about Virgin’s current prosperity with partner airline, Etihad Airways. “We set ourselves a target of achieving certain goals within three years,” Mr Borghetti said. “We’ve just entered the third year and we’ve almost achieved all of them.” Virgin’s domestic business in Australia has doubled in recent years thanks to its partnership with airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Etihad and Air New Zealand, according to the Courier Mail.”In fact, it’s almost trebled, so it’s been a very beneficial relationship, as have the other relationships we have,” Mr Borghetti said on ABC-TV’s Inside Business. Etihad recently increased its stake in Virgin Australia by 5 percent, following approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board, now totalling a 10 percent share. In June of this year, Qantas Airways chief Alan Joyce expressed fears Etihad’s growing stake in Australia would undercut profitability on domestic routes and may force the airline to reduce a number of its services. Mr Borghetti has dismissed the concerns. “There’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of jumping at shadows in the market and I think people should take a cold shower,” he said. “There is no massive capacity share grab here.” Etihad Airways chief executive James Hogan labelled Qantas’ attack on the Abu-Dhabi based carrier as “disappointing” and “not representative of the market or the country or the people.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Source = SATIC The South Australian Tourism Industry Council (SATIC) has named the Adelaide Convention Centre’s (ACC) own Cellar Door Wine Festival as the winner of the 2012 South Australian Tourism Award (SATA) in the Festival and Events category. The Festival, only in its second year, attracted more than 6,500 visitors in 2012, providing an opportunity for visitors to sample free tastings from 150+ wineries across 12 iconic regions, and all under one roof in the heart of Adelaide. Managed by the ACC, the Festival is now the largest consumer wine event in the country, showcasing two of South Australia’s key tourism drawcards – premium wine and food. ACC Chief Executive Alec Gilbert said the award demonstrates the Centre’s capacity to create and stage high quality large scale consumer events. “We were incredibly excited the Festival was selected as a winner from amongst twelve outstanding finalists,” said Mr Gilbert. “The Cellar Door Wine Festival showcases the local wine industry to local, national and international consumers and wine buyers and demonstrates the ACC’s commitment to promoting South Australian food and wine. “Next year’s Festival is shaping up to be bigger and better and has already attracted 30 new wineries to participate and will feature thousands of wines from 13 iconic South Australian regions. “The food aspect of the Festival is also being expanded with additional features including a new SA Food Producers’ area, which will feature a collection of emerging foodies showcasing their wares.“For the wine trade we’ve introduced a free, trade-only “Industry Harvest” event where registered wine buyers can taste and network with participating winemakers and wineries prior to the public opening.” “This is a great opportunity for wine buyers to discover new wineries and new wines and build relationships with South Australian winemakers”, he said. Wine buyers will be able to take advantage of a new “Pick’ n Pack? service where 6 or 12 bottles of wine purchased at the Festival can be packed and shipped to any destination in Australia for only $7. Tickets are now on sale online and if purchased before December 31st 2012 visitors can enjoy a special early bird rate. The Festival opens to the public on Friday afternoon (February 22), at 5pm till 9pm. The Festival then runs on Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 6pm.
The Australian carrier retimed its Christchurch to Sydney service to a morning departure and retimed flights between Auckland and Wellington to Australia to provide a more sequential alignment. Qantas flights between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to Australia have been retimed to increase the number of onward connections to Australia’s domestic network, Asia, the US, UK and Europe, and reduce overlap of Qantas and Emirates flights. The retimed services and additional changes to the number of flights flown follows the announcement of Qantas and Emirates new schedule on the trans-Tasman route in August this year. The dedicated Christchurch to Sydney service was changed to allow for more international connections from Sydney, removing the need for South Island residents to travel via Auckland to catch key international flights out of Sydney. Qantas has begun its new trans-Tasman schedule, retiming and adjusting the number of flights in order to simplify bookings. Source = ETB News: P.T.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been named CAPA Airline of the Year at the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence 2014 held in Antwerp, Belgium.The CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence, the world’s pre-eminent aviation strategy awards, are for strategic leadership in the aviation industry.The Airline of the Year award is given to the carrier which has had the greatest impact on the development of the global airline industry, as a strategic leader and by setting a benchmark for others to follow.CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison, said that the efficiency of the aviation industry comes down to a number of things and Etihad Airways represents the industry well.“Recognising that organic growth was not likely to generate the rapid global expansion it needed, Etihad Airways has relied on an extensive network of codeshares and most notably, established its own ‘equity alliance’, cemented by minority holdings in airlines around the world,” Mr Harbison said.“In a new world of aviation partnerships, Etihad Airways is at the strategic vanguard of equity relationships, as a growing number of airlines – notably in Asia – line up to emulate the success of this truly original model.”Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer, said that the airline is humbled by the award.“We are delighted to be named Airline of the Year at the 2014 CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence. It is not only a great honour but also a powerful endorsement of the Etihad Airways business model,” Mr Hogan said.“The four-pillars of our strategy – organic expansion, codeshare partnerships, minority investments in other airlines and deep commercial agreements – are more than a new rule book for global aviation they are the keys to a long and sustainable future for the airline and its partners.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Source = Destination Southern Highlands The Southern Pie-lands set to celebrate the great Aussie pieThe Southern Highlands in NSW is home to Australia’s best pies. And throughout the month of June, the region will celebrate the great Australian pie with the inaugural ‘Pie Time’ – a series of mouth-watering pie themed events and festivals.“We all know Australians just love a local pie. And the Southern Highlands has a large saturation of quality pie producers with everything from your top-notch gourmet pies, to family winter warmers and deliciously sweet dessert pies,” said Steve Rosa, Manager Tourism and Events, Destination Southern Highlands.“What better way to demonstrate some pie parochialism than with a pie festival, pie trail, pie competition and related pie events featuring over 30 local pie sites including bakeries, cafes, restaurants, hotels and associated businesses in the Southern Highlands.“In essence, we’ll become the Southern Pie-lands throughout June,” Steve continued.Steve explains that Pie Time has four main components. The Pie Time Festival – a festival featuring pie tasting, beer and pie matching, cooking demonstrations, pie eating, competitions, music and more to be held on the 24th and 25th June in Bowral’s Corbett Gardens; Southern Highlands’ Best Pie Competition – a pie competition for professional and apprentice bakers plus a local community entry category with people’s choice awards to be held 22nd and 23rd June, also in Bowral’s Corbett Gardens; the Pie Trail where visitors can tour and sample locally made pies from over 30 local pie outlets; and Dine with a Pie – where visitors can sample the region’s signature pies at hotels, cafes and restaurants available only for the month of June.“Pies can be enjoyed at all of the Southern Highlands’ key attractions and spectacular locations, for example the Illawarra Fly, Bradman Museum’s Stumps Café, Fitzroy Falls, galleries, pubs and restaurants. It really will be the destination to experience, enjoy and worship the great Australian past time of eating the great Australian pie,” Steve said.Steve also says he knows Pie Time will be an accessible, fun and a quirky way to look at the Southern Highlands.“Visitors can come for the pies, then stay on with a ‘Pie, Bed & Breakfast’ package and experience all that the Highlands has to offer along the way,” Steve concluded.For more information on Pie Time visit www.pietime.com.au To book your stay in the Southern Highlands for Pie Time 2017, visit www.southern-highlands.com.au or call 1300 657 559. #pietime #visitsouthernhighlands Southern Highland SpringsPure Australian Spring Water bottled at the source in the Southern Highlands
Source = W Brisbane The search is on for Australia’s first W InsiderThe search is on for Australia’s first W InsiderW Brisbane is on the hunt for Australia’s first W Insider, ahead of the highly anticipated hotel opening in early 2018. An integral role at all W Hotels, the W Insider connects guests to what’s new and next in their city, ensuring they have access to the freshest design, fashion and music experiences. To help uncover Australia’s top talent and the perfect person for the W Insider role, W Brisbane has joined forces with radio and TV personality Abby Coleman to launch the city’s first-of-a-kind casting call.W Hotels turns the conventional hotel experience upside down, boldly colouring outside the lines of luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands. Next year will see the return of W to Australia, as the brand brings its provocative design and super-charged energy to the Sunshine State. The first five-star hotel to open in Brisbane’s CBD in twenty years, W Brisbane will provide backstage access to the city’s emerging talent, with the W Insider paving the way to ensure guests have the most incredible and memorable stay every time.“Brisbanites are in for a real treat when W Brisbane opens next year and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with W Hotels to uncover Brisbane and Australia’s first W Insider,” said Abby Coleman. “A secret life bubbles away just below the surface in Brisbane and we’re on the lookout for someone who knows what’s going on behind the scenes – the unexpected finds and quirky spots that global jetsetters and local tastemakers can only dream of.”To be in the running, interested candidates need to prove they’ve got their finger on the pulse and know Brissy better than anyone else. Candidates are encouraged to think outside of the box and create their application in a form that best captures their personality, style and presence – think video, prose, art or social media. The submissions will be judged by Abby Coleman and the hotel team who will select the most witty and bold applications, in line with the W Brand’s core values.From here the shortlisted candidates will be paired up with a professional camera crew for a day and sent out into the city and surrounds to film their Insider Guide to Brisbane – a video capturing their take on what’s new/next in Brisbane through the lens of W Hotels’ key passion points of design, fashion, music and fuel (the brand’s take on wellness).The newly appointed W Insider will be announced at W Brisbane’s Talent Casting Day – the hotel’s unconventional take on a traditional recruitment day – on Monday, 11 December 2017, where their Insider Guide to Brisbane will be premiered in front of guests.“W Brisbane is going to be a game-changer for the Australian hotel scene when it opens, and the W Insider will play an integral role to the success of the hotel,” said Haldon Philp. “We need someone who embodies the passions, style and essence of the W brand and vibrancy of this city, and can channel their energy into creating extraordinary experiences our guests will never forget.”Abby Coleman will be one of four judges at W Brisbane’s Talent Casting Day, including W Brisbane’s General Manager Haldon Philp, who will be selecting the best talent for various divisions across the hotel, including Wheels (Concierge), Whatever/Whenever, Welcome (Front Office), Style (Housekeeping), AWAY® Spa, Engineering, Beverage & Food (Beverage & Food instead of Food & Beverage) and Sales.For more information on how to apply for the W Insider role or supporting positions please click here.W Brisbane is set to ignite Queensland’s capital, bringing bold design and playful luxury to the western end of the Central Business District (CBD). Located at 300 George Street, W Brisbane will light up the Brisbane River foreshore, with 312 stylish rooms, including 29 suites, two Wow Suite® and the Extreme Wow Suite® (the brand’s modern interpretation of a Presidential Suite) all with stellar river views.W Brisbane offers three supreme venues for guests and locals to eat, mix and mingle, including a signature restaurant featuring the best locally sourced produce and interactive live cooking; The Living Room (W’s take on the traditional hotel lobby) which evolves from a serene spot to chill-out or meet during the day to a lively hub in the evening; and famed WET® Deck where guests can re-charge with a swim or Aussie barbeque.Get your glow on at AWAY® Spa offering a tranquil space for guests to relax and re-charge with sublime massage treatments and quick fixes, vitality pools, salt inhalation chambers and experience showers. For those who can’t miss a workout, the FIT® gym is open 24-hours and features the latest equipment by TechnoGym.Soon to be a coveted venue for weddings and other special occasions, W Brisbane covers approximately 1,100 square metres of event space and meeting rooms, which will be fully equipped with world class audio-visual facilities to set the stage for electric world class events.Craving more of what’s to come?Stay connected via www.whotels.com/brisbane, www.facebook.com/WBrisbaneAUS/ and follow W Brisbane on Instagram.
Source = TRYP by Wyndham Brisbane’s TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel rated one of the city’s bestBrisbane’s TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel rated one of the city’s bestGuests have rated TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel, Brisbane among the city’s best in the recently announced 2017 Booking.com Guest Review Awards.Featuring striking original murals and artworks by acclaimed artists Beastman, Rone, Numskull and Fintan Magee, the 65-room boutique hotel notched an average review score of 9.3 out of 10 based on customer feedback in six categories, including cleanliness, comfort, location, facilities, staff and value for money.As well as this impressive accolade, 100 percent of TRYP Fortitude Valley guests said their expectations of the hotel were met or exceeded.“There is nothing more inspiring than hearing positive feedback from our guests, which is what makes this award from Booking.com all the more special,” said Hotel Manager Kim Knowles.“The Guest Review Awards are based entirely on what our guests think of us and receiving such a high score reinforces our commitment to creating personalised and memorable experiences for all of our guests.”To be recognised with a Booking.com Guest Review Award, properties must receive an average score of 8.0 or higher based on at least five reviews.Feedback on the online platform complimented TRYP Fortitude Valley’s fun and friendly staff, vibrant decor and excellent location on Constance Street.Nestled amid the city’s vibrant cultural precinct, close to iconic bars, restaurants, galleries and other attractions, the hotel’s stylish and well-appointed rooms are adorned with street art and boast coffee pod machines, interactive Lifestyle panel televisions and complimentary Wi-Fi.The hotel also offers excellent service and impressive facilities including an onsite gym, meeting room, UP on Constance rooftop bar and ground floor burger restaurant, Chur.TRYP Fortitude Valley has received numerous accolades, including nods to its architecture and interior design from the Australian Institute of Architects, as well as TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and Travellers’ Choice Award in 2017.More information on TRYP Fortitude Valley is available at www.trypbrisbane.com
WestJet announced that it flew 74,247 guests across its network on January 3, 2016, setting a new single-day record. The airline’s previous single-day record was 72,240 guests, set on July 31, 2015, the civic holiday long weekend.“As the busy holiday travel season winds down, we thank our guests for their loyalty and support,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “We also thank our more than 11,000 WestJetters for their hard work, dedication and caring service as we all work together to get our guests home safely.”WestJet also marked another milestone during the holiday season, flying its 20 millionth guest in a single year on December 27, 2015.
Cancún is a Mexican city on the Yucatán Peninsula which borders the Caribbean Sea. The city is known for its beaches, numerous resorts and energetic nightlife. Source: Expedia
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, recently launched new packages for the Belait District at Oil and Gas Discovery Centre, Seria. Belait is the largest as well as the westernmost coastal district in Brunei and is the heart of the oil and gas industry.The eight Belait Destination Packages comprises Oil and Gas Town Heritage Drive, Weekend Cultural Experience, Scenic Belait River (Day Cruise), Sunset Dinner Experience (Evening Cruise), Labi Nature Tour, Chasing Teraja Waterfalls, Teraja Labi Belait Birdwatching and Tech Dive Belait.
Add “”U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation””:http://www.usbank.com/cgi_w/cfm/commercial_business/products_and_services/financing/tax_credit.cfm?redirect=cdc to the list of financial institutions choosing to enhance technology solutions within its mortgage division.[IMAGE]””Applied Business Software (ABS)””:http://www.themortgageoffice.com/ recently announced that U.S. Bancorp CDC is utilizing its servicing management platform, The Mortgage Office.ABS noted in a company statement that U.S. Bancorp CDC intends to use The Mortgage Office to facilitate the servicing of its load of new market tax credit related loans. [COLUMN_BREAK]Commenting on the new technology initiative, U.S. Bancorp CDC’s director of investment fund management and loan servicing, Charity Braden, said, “”We needed a more robust and flexible loan servicing platform… to replace the multitude of individual spreadsheets used to track loan activity and subsequent cash distributions. Another goal was to be able to track upper-tier leverage loans within the NMTC structure and to streamline the internal accounting processes related to all of these loans on one system, thereby eliminating duplicative work. USBCDD found this flexibility with The Mortgage Office software, along with the added bonus of affordability.””Responding to the addition of U.S. Bancorp CDC to ABS’ client roster, the company’s president, Jerry Delgado, said, “”We are pleased to add them to our growing family of customers, and I have no doubt The Mortgage Office will help them service their portfolio of loans and manage their investment base more efficiently and with greater profitability.””U.S. Bancorp CDC specialized in the financing of communities and affordable housing via its new markets tax credits, while ABS is an established developer and provider of software systems for the mortgage industry. The relationship between U.S. Bancorp CDC and ABS is a positive move for both entities, as each facilitates collective needs for the companies in today’s marketplace. in Data, Origination, Servicing, Technology Company News Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-08-02 Abby Gregory Share ABS Signs U.S. Bancorp CDC August 2, 2011 455 Views
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Labor Statistics Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2013-02-21 Mark Lieberman First-time claims for unemployment insurance jumped 20,000 to 362,000 for the week ending February 16, the “”Labor Department””:http://www.ows.doleta.gov/press/2013/022113.asp reported Thursday. Economists expected 359,000 initial unemployment claims. [IMAGE]The spike in filings–the largest in three weeks–marked a reversal of what had been a downward trend in layoffs. The report on claims for the week ending February 9 was revised to 342,000 from the originally reported 341,000.The four-week moving average of first time claims increased 8,000 to 360,750, the second highest level of the year. Continuing claims–reported on a one-week lag–rose 11,000 to 3,148,000. The prior week’s report of continuing claims was revised upward to 3,137,000 from the original report of 3,114,000. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell 6,750 to 3,186,250, the lowest level since July 2008. The continuing claims data series tracks the number of longer-term unemployed Americans who qualify for regular state jobless benefits and often shows large movements, depending on first-time claims 26 weeks earlier and legislative changes to state unemployment programs.The larger-than-expected increase in first-time claims was affected in part by the seasonal adjustment factors the Labor Department applies to account for exogenous events that historically affect claim filings. Those factors, as published by the Labor Department, will be unfavorable for the next six weeks.This week’s report on initial claims covered the same week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the monthly employment situation report, which will be released March 8. From mid-February to mid-March, first-time claims for unemployment insurance increased 27,000, and the four-week average of initial claims rose by 750. Those increases will be a drag on the employment and jobs numbers, adding another hurdle for new hiring to overcome. Claims reports in the first two months of any year are highly volatile, with seasonal adjustments moving in a wide range to attempt to normalize for layoffs that typically occur in industries that staff up at year-end. In addition, reports are affected by holidays, which delay processing of claims filed electronically.Initial claims fell in three of the first seven weeks of 2012, dropping an average of 15,000. In the four weeks in which claims rose, the average increase was a little over 8,000. This year, claims have fallen in four of the first seven weeks with an average drop of 18,500 but the average increase in the other three weeks was 23,000 suggesting employers may have done even more short term hiring for the holiday season.The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending February 2 was 5,610,327, a decrease of 307,848 from the previous week. There were 7,486,681 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012.According to the BLS, 12,332,000 persons were officially considered unemployed in January, which means that of those individuals counted as unemployed, 6.72 million were not receiving any form of government unemployment insurance, up from 6.41 million one week earlier.The Labor Department said states reported 1,849,056 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending February 2, a decrease of 232,319 from the prior week. There were 2,903,219 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012.States continue to borrow from the federal government to cover shortfalls in those funds which will eventually have to be repaid–unless Congress intervenes–with higher assessments on employers. Since those assessments are a percentage of payrolls, they discourage employers from adding new workers. As of February 15, 23 states had borrowed a total of $28.3 billion. One week earlier, 23 states had an aggregate $28.1 billion in outstanding loans to cover shortfalls. Five states–California, Indiana, New York, North Carolina and Ohio–owe more than $1 billion, which may require higher unemployment premiums or special assessments on employers in those states.According to the Labor Department detail, also reported on a one-week lag, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 9 were in Kansas (+2,344), Puerto Rico (+492), Virginia (+465), Indiana (+205), and Rhode Island (+176), while the largest decreases were in California (-4,830), New York (-4,401), Oregon (-2,211), Pennsylvania (-2,020), and Wisconsin (-1,670)._Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:40 a.m. and again at 9:40 a.m. EST._ in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market Unemployment,Initial Time Jobless Claims Up, Adding to Labor Concerns Share February 21, 2013 425 Views
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The pace at which home prices are rising should moderate later this year, with home prices forecast to rise by 8 percent this year then increase by another 4 percent in 2014, according to an analysis from “”Capital Economics””:https://www.capitaleconomics.com/. [IMAGE] Although the research firm agrees with analysts who have warned recent home price gains are not sustainable, housing bubble concerns were described as “”premature.”” In the firm’s housing report for Q2, economists Ed Stansfield and Paul Diggle wrote, “”[t]he bottom line is that valuation and affordability metrics suggest that house prices can rise considerably further before we need to begin worrying about another housing bubble forming.””[COLUMN_BREAK]According to the firm, housing is actually undervalued by about 16 percent. Capital Economics also waved off concerns regarding rapid price increases in Miami and Phoenix, noting metros where prices fell the furthest are seeing the biggest gains, and overall, prices “”almost everywhere”” still have a ways to go before reaching “”bubble-era highs.””Unlike other projections, the firm also doesn’t expect to see a swift increase in mortgage rates over the next year. “”In fact, our central view assumes that another flare-up in the euro-zone crisis prompts renewed safe-haven demand, resulting in a decline in Treasury yields and mortgage rates later this year,”” the report stated. As for the rental sector, the firm projects rental returns will peak in 2013 and forecasts yields will average 8 to 10 percent over the next few years. However, the firm expects the owner occupant market to strengthen and for demand in rents to weaken, with increases in rents ranging between 2.5 and 4 percent. Capital Economics also offered predictions for existing-home sales, forecasting sales will reach 5.1 million this year and then rise to 5.3 million in 2014. June 10, 2013 509 Views Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Home Prices Home Sales Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2013-06-10 Esther Cho Analysts Forecast Price Gains, Wave Off Bubble Fears
Recent housing indicators reveal signs of health in the housing market in July 2015, according to Realtor.com’s Advance Read of July Trends, which draws on residential inventory and demand trends over the first three weeks of the month.In addition, the San Francisco, California metro hosts the best inventory and demand numbers for consumers, ranking number one in June and July 2015, according to the Realtor.com Hotness Index.“We are now entering the time of the year when both inventory and demand typically reach their peak,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of Realtor.com. “The dog days of summer slow down the pace of activity, just as the school year creeps closer.Smoke added,”This year we’re seeing inventory continue to grow in July, albeit at a slower pace than this spring. And while demand overall is strong, the trend in median days on market is suggesting that the market is finding more of a balance, which bodes well for more moderate price appreciation in the months ahead.”According to the trends, home prices continue to rise upwardly with the national median list price increasing to $234,000, up 7 percent year-over-year and 1 percent over June.On the other hand, the median number of days on the market, or the inventory, increased to 69 days, down 7 percent year-over-year, but up 5 percent month-over-month. The supply in housing usually spikes in July or August as families are anxious to close on a home before school is back in session.“It’s typical to see a slackening in the pace of market activity during this time of year, due to back to school and the dog days of summer,” Smoke said. “Increasing median days-on-market suggests the market is finding more of a balance, but demand is still strong. This bodes well for more moderate price appreciation in the months ahead.”Realtor.com reported that traffic and searches on realtor.com continued to set new highs in July, showing that there is still strong demand for homes. On average, these ‘hot’ markets receive 1.5 to three times the number of views per listing compared with that of the rest of the nation, and inventory is moving 24 to 41 days more quickly. They have also seen days on market drop by a combined average of 14 percent year-over-year.“These hottest markets are the best in the country from both a supply and demand perspective,” Smoke said. “Sellers are seeing listings move much more quickly than the rest of the country and at an accelerating pace from just last month. Meanwhile, these markets are clearly attractive to buyers as the listings in these markets are viewed as much as three times more often than the national average.” Advance Read of July Trends Demand Housing Market Health Inventory Realtor.com 2015-08-04 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share August 4, 2015 497 Views Inventory Growth Guides Housing Market to Health
Wells Fargo, BofA, & Citigroup Predatory Mortgage Lending Lawsuits Revived Bank of America Citigroup Lawsuit Predatory Mortgage Lending Wells Fargo & Company 2015-09-03 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently revived three lawsuits the were brought about by the City of Miami, accusing Wells Fargo & Co, Bank of America Corp., and Citigroup of discriminatory and predatory mortgage lending practices to minority borrowers.The lawsuit, originally introduced to a lower court by the City of Miami on December 13, 2011, alleged that each bank in question had participated in a decade-long pattern of discriminatory lending by targeting blacks and Hispanics for predatory loans.The court documents revealed that the city alleged that the banks “refused to extend credit to minority borrowers when compared to white borrowers,” then “when the bank did extend credit, it did so on predatory terms.”The case was dismissed in July 2014 by U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the grounds that: “the city lacked statutory standing under the FHA because its alleged injuries fell outside the statute’s “zone of interests”; the city had not adequately pled that Wells Fargo’s conduct proximately caused the harm sustained by the city; and, the city had run afoul of the statute of limitations and could not employ the continuing violation doctrine.”Now, in a 3-0 vote, the Circuit Court said that the lower court made an error by dismissing the city’s claims under the Fair Housing Act, according to court documents. In addition, the court found that the city does have constitutional standing to pursue its FHA claims.”It is clear that the harm the city claims to have suffered has a sufficiently close connection to the conduct the statute prohibits,” Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus wrote.The City of Miami’s lawsuit against the three banks alleged that their engagement in discriminatory lending in the residential housing market caused the city economic harm.The city also alleged, “the bank targeted black and Latino customers in Miami for predatory loans that carried more risk, steeper fees, and higher costs than those offered to identically situated white customers, and created internal incentive structures that encouraged employees to provide these types of loans,” Judge Marcus noted.The predatory loans, as identified by the city, include: high-cost loans, subprime loans, interest-only loans, balloon payment loans, loans with prepayment penalties, negative amortization loans, no documentation loans, and adjustable rate mortgages with teaser rates.The city’s complaint accused all three banks of “redlining” and “reverse redlining.” Redlining is the practice of refusing to extend mortgage credit to minority borrowers on equal terms as to non-minority borrowers, while reverse redlining is the practice of extending mortgage credit on exploitative terms to minority borrowers.The 11th Circuit Court did not rule on the merits.Click here to view City of Miami v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al.Click here to view City of Miami v. Bank of America Corporation, et al.Click here to view City of Miami v. CitiGroup Inc., et al. September 3, 2015 530 Views Share
Affordability HOUSING 2016-08-23 Seth Welborn Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Is Housing Becoming Less Affordable? By all accounts, recent good economic news combined with solid demand and low mortgage rates have all resulted in single-family home sales reaching levels not seen since before the crisis. Homes are selling at a higher rate—but are they more affordable?An analysis of 27 metro areas conducted by HSH.com on the salary one would need to afford the principal, interest, and taxes on a median-priced home in their market revealed that only three of those 27 metros were more affordable in the second quarter compared to the first (all were in Florida: Tampa, Orlando, and Miami).Though mortgage rates fell from Q1 to Q2 in all 27 metro areas in the analysis—but several of the metros saw notable price gains. In Cleveland, the median home price spiked by 24 percent over-the-quarter, in Chicago the increase was 18 percent, and Pittsburgh and Cincinnati each saw the median home price rise by 17 percent. The median price of a home in San Francisco is now $885,600 after experiencing a 15 percent increase from Q1 to Q2.“Steadily improving local job markets and mortgage rates teetering close to all-time lows brought buyers out in force in many large and middle-tier cities,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “However, with homebuilding activity still failing to keep up with demand and not enough current homeowners putting their home up for sale, prices continued their strong ascent—and in many markets at a rate well above income growth.”The home price gains seen in the second quarter were even more surprising given the fact that in the first quarter, home prices increased by more than one percent in only six metros. Nonetheless, it’s too soon to tell if the price increases experienced in Q2 are a trend or an an0maly, the analysis stated.Even with the substantial Q2 price increases, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati still ranked first through third, respectively, out of the 27 metros in terms of annual salary needed to afford a median-priced home. In Pittsburgh, the salary needed was $32,390; Cleveland, $34,433; and Cincinnati, $37,179.The three least affordable metros were all located in California: San Francisco was first, where a salary of $161,947 was needed to afford a median-priced home, followed by San Diego ($109.440) and Los Angeles ($92,901).Click here to view the analysis of all 27 metro areas. August 23, 2016 670 Views
Construction Starts 2017-08-21 Joey Pizzolato Build Up, Build Out August 21, 2017 586 Views New construction starts are looking up, according to a recent report by Dodge Data & Analytics. New construction value, on a seasonally adjusted rate, has grown 6 percent compared to June, and now sits at $728.1 billion.Dodge’s index is showing promise after an 11 percent decline in the second quarter.“July’s increase means the third quarter began on a healthy note, which should help to maintain the up-and-down pattern on a quarterly basis that’s been present for construction starts over the past year,” stated Robert A. Murray, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “Within that up-and-down pattern there remains a modest upward trend, as it appears that construction starts are still in the process of reaching a peak, as opposed to having already reached a peak…It’s true that residential building is now seeing generally decreased activity for multifamily housing, but the monthly declines continue to be mixed in with monthly gains, such as what took place in July.”Residential building in particular rose by 8 percent, although single-family housing remained unchanged when compared with June. In the first quarter, residential building was up 6 percent, however in the entirety of the second quarter it only rose 4 percent.By region, single-family construction starts were up in every region but one when compared with June’s starts. In the Northeast, starts were up 3 percent comparatively; in the South Central they were up 2 percent, and in the South Atlantic they were up a meager 1 percent. The only negative change was in the Midwest, which was down 3 percent. The West region remained unchanged from the previous month.The report is confident that the third quarter of 2017 will continue to show promise and construction starts will continue to increase, although there are numerous other factors that are taken into account when determining the figure, including multifamily housing starts, nonbuilding construction, and public works projects. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News
23 days ago 208 Views 2019 Housing Market Affordable Housing 2019-07-10 Mike Albanese in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share Connecting Education to Affordable Housing Although home values have risen in recent years, Zillow reports that the average home in 36 of the nation’s 50 largest metros are affordable to households that an average income associated with only a high school diploma. The report also reveals that median-price homes in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, may not require income associated to a high school diploma to be affordable. Nine additional metros, including some of the priciest markets in the nation, have income levels that are close to an associate’s degree, and puts people in homeownership levels in Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Miami, Florida; New York, New York; Portland, Oregon; Riverside, California; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Washington, D.C. With mortgage rates falling to multi-year lows, monthly payments are lower for those who can afford a down payment. Down payments, though, remains a challenge as home prices have grown faster than incomes over the past several years. A recent report by Zillow found that buyers need 1.5 year longer to save for a 20% down payment on the average-priced home than 30 years prior. First-time buyers are especially challenged in this area, as Zillow data shows that 46% of a typical down payment comes from the savings for first-time buyers, compared to 35% for repeat buyers. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported in May that the price of a home remains the biggest hurdle to homeownership, as 46% of potential home buyers are having trouble finding an affordable home. According to the report, the share of buyers who consider high prices the biggest hurdle fell 5 points when compared to 2018. The amount of people who couldn’t find a home in the proper neighborhood fell 2 points and there was no change for people who couldn’t find home with features they want.”The influx of highly educated workers into already-expensive metros with stagnant or slow-growing inventory has made it difficult for those with less education and earning potential to enter those markets,” said Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow. “There can also be considerable variation within metros. While a bachelor’s degree may be enough to afford a mortgage on the typical home in the San Diego (California) metro at large, it’s likely to be insufficient in pricey areas like La Jolla (California). And that’s only after scraping together a sizable down payment, which is a huge hurdle for most buyers.”
Helloworld Travel Limited (HLO) announced yesterday that it has strengthened its business by agreeing to purchase Flight Systems Pty Ltd, a provider of web-based flight booking technologies and operator of the skiddoo.com.au website.The agreement, which is subject to certain pre-conditions, comes two weeks after HLO announced it had concluded the acquisition of Magellan Travel Group, and is in line with the company’s strategic aim of further developing its leisure and corporate technologies globally.HLO has agreed to acquire 100% of the business, which will be funded from existing cash reserves. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of March, 2018 and the business is expected to generate TTV of over $80 million in FY18.“The acquisition would also strengthen the businesses technology suite in its corporate and leisure wholesale operations,” said HLO CEO Andrew Burnes. “Flight Systems would provide the company with a low risk and low cost entry to some sophisticated distribution technologies to incorporate into the rapidly developing ResWorld agency platform, which is being rolled out during 2018.“Flight Systems is an established business with proven technologies and takes us significantly forward in the expansion of our system capabilities across the business.In addition to delivering an established revenue stream, the new technologies will deliver significant benefits to Helloworld Travel members by:• Providing an online tool which allows agents to provide their customers with 24/7 bookability via their own branded portals;• Providing greater flexibility to HLO customers who can book the relatively simple travel services they want online while still having access to the wide range of services that HLO agents offer;• Providing greater choice for customers, making it easier to book and interact with the HLO network; and• Delivering greater efficiencies for all the HLO networks.Merger & Acquisition StrategyHLO has completed a number of acquisitions since mid-FY17 in its three operating divisions of leisure travel, corporate travel and travel wholesaling. A summary of these acquisitions include:Cruise data manager ‘The Cruise Factory’ which provides up-to-date cruise data to distributors in Australia and around the worldCruise wholesaler and package business ‘Seven Oceans Cruising’, which packages global cruise products with pre and post touring options, flights and other servicesHome-based travel agency network ‘MTA’, Australia’s largest home based travel agency networkMagellan Travel Group, Australia’s premium agency network with 129 agencies located around AustraliaHelloworld Travel Limited will continue to evaluate M&A opportunities as they arise and will, where appropriate, look to acquire complementary business in Australia, New Zealand and around the world. Helloworld Travel Limited
D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ “Wherever he goes, you’re immediately going to get a tremendous locker room presence, a leader, one of the hardest working guys on the field and in the film room that you will ever find,” Jaworski explained. “He is a great teacher, as well as a great player.”Jaworski seems to echo those sentiments of former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, who said Monday that if Manning were to sign with Arizona, the club should expect a period of adjustment. But he also believes that whoever lands Manning will improvise to make their new quarterback comfortable in a different scheme.“I would assume that some of the concepts that Peyton is so familiar with will be part of the concepts that whatever team he goes to, they would integrate those into their game planning and their playbook,” Jaworski said. Comments Share Top Stories The Peyton Manning-Jim Irsay-Indianapolis Colts saga that’s been playing out over the last few weeks has ignited impassioned debates around the NFL and in the media about what’s the best resolution for all parties involved.ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski joined Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 620 Friday and explained what he feels will be the end game in this increasingly messy situation unfolding in Indy.“Time to move on,” Jaworski said. “In respect for Peyton Manning, Jim Irsay, and the Colts organization — it’s time for them to move forward.” Manning’s an unknown entity, at this point, health-wise. The severity of his neck injury and the nerve damage that he has suffered is no doubt worrisome for any team that may be in pursuit of his services.But one thing is for certain — Manning is a veteran quarterback and one of the premier talents in the game — so Jaworski believes it would be unfair for him to endure a rebuilding season with a Colts team who seem dead set on moving in a new direction.The speculation has been fierce and widespread but the notion that a quarterback of Manning’s caliber could be available on the free agent market is astounding.“If he’s healthy, he’s arguably the best in the business,” Jaworski said. “There will be teams just throwing money at him to come onboard.” The Cardinals have been rumored for weeks — and still figure to be — one of those teams.“The scary part is that for the team (that signs Manning), I don’t think they are going to know for a few months — maybe three, maybe four, maybe even going into August — if Peyton Manning is healthy.” While it would indeed be risky for any team to invest in an aging quarterback with an unprecedented injury, the reward if it panned out would be far greater.