Two women reportedly deciding they would meet the captain. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Two middle-aged women are reportedly facing a life-ban from British Airways after their drunken behavior forced the carrier to make an emergency landing this week. According to reports, the 50 and 43 year-old women were swearing in front of children, refusing to take their seats, threatened cabin crew and even forced their way into the cockpit on the BA flight from Gatwick to Tunisia, The Daily reported. A passenger on board the flight said the two women also hid in the 737-400’s toilet and lit up a cigarette before deciding they would “march towards the cockpit” and meet the captain. The pilot was then forced to divert the place to Lyon, where French police arrested the disruptive passengers and put them on a return flight the following day.“Our customers and flying crew deserve a safe and enjoyable flight experience,” a BA spokesperson said. “We do not tolerate any disruptive behaviour on board our flights.”
Choice Hotels Australasia has won three major awards at the Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) Vic Awards.The hotel company was recognised in categories including Regional Accommodation of the Year, Hotel Industry Rising Star and Best Environmental and Energy Efficiency Practice.Balgownie Resort Estate, an Ascend Hotel Collection member, based in the Yarra Valley, won Regional Accommodation of the Year.Recognising young emerging talent in the accommodation industry, Brandon Brown from Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong was awarded Hotel Industry Rising Star award, praised for his outstanding achievements both work and community related.Choice Hotels Australasia CEO Trent Fraser, praised all of the Victorian award-winners.“We are proud that so many of our Choice Hotels properties were honoured at the 2015 TAA Vic Accommodation Awards for Excellence,” Mr Fraser said. “We congratulate the teams at Balgownie Resort Estate, Quality Hotel Downtowner on Lygon and Brandon Brown from Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong on their awards, setting the standards for the entire industry.”Specifically targeting the accommodation sector, TAA (Vic) Accommodation Awards for Excellence are highly respected awards for the hotel industry.The Awards reinforce TAA (Vic) as Victoria’s pre-eminent hospitality industry association and service provider, providing a platform for assessing and promoting industry excellence within hotels.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Newly renovated MV Radiance of the Seas in port at Sydney’s Circular Quay International terminalPersonal Travel Managers’ Exclusive Master ClassTo celebrate Royal Caribbean’s newly renovated MV Radiance of the Seas, TravelManagers’ personal travel managers were recently invited to experience a day aboard the ship, as it docked at Circular Quay International terminal.The 40 Sydney based personal travel managers and four national partnership representatives were able to appreciate the extensive upgrades first hand. The additions include a 220 square foot outdoor poolside movie screen, a baby and toddler nursery, seven new food and drink experiences and VIP guest lounges.The personal travel managers were certainly impressed by the new look MV Radiance of the Seas, with Debra Mavin representative for Kurmond, being wowed by the incredible views from the nine-story central glass enclosed atrium.“There must be acres of glass on this ship! The central atrium is surrounded by glass, the glass elevators all face out to sea and there are floor to ceiling windows throughout the public areas of the ship. No matter in which of the public areas you are, you are treated to incredible ocean views. It really adds to the cruise experience.”The personal travel managers indulged in a three-course lunch before partaking in an exclusive Master class training session. Hosted by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line representatives Mark Rheinbay, Key Account Manager and Amy Ryan, District Sales Manager New South Wales, the personal travel managers experienced an interactive training session.Personal travel manager Lee-Anne Talbot hard at work during cruise inspection!“The ability to experience an intensive training session that covered all of the Royal Caribbean fleet, in a fun and interactive way was simply fantastic. I learnt so much from the Master class and have a better understanding on the intricacies and differences between the cruise ships. I can now talk about the facilities and on-board amenities and what they offer clients now with absolute confidence,” says Maria Furnari representative for Panania.TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager Michael Gazal recognizes the significant contribution home-based consultants make to the cruise sector and the need for ongoing education.“We encourage any opportunity for personal travel managers to experience products for themselves and wholeheartedly support participation in training to help build and develop industry contacts and relationships. We know the benefits of increased sales and product knowledge is key which is why TravelManagers in conjunction with partner suppliers continues to take very positive steps to promote the value of cruising and the development of strategies and techniques that will assist our personal travel managers to convert cruise enquiries.”TravelManagers is a company who utilizes technology to its fullest extent, with personal travel managers having full access to the integrated booking and accounts systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Personal travel manager Lee-Anne Talbot, representative for Lake Munmorah can testify just how important this unrestricted access is.“Our network communication is excellent. Being able to access our booking and other related systems at any time made it possible to facilitate an urgent booking for my client whilst I was in the middle of the ship inspection. That’s the level of service a client can expect from a TravelManagers’ personal travel manager. We are there for our clients at any time, no matter what.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases. Royal Caribbean Cruisesdiscover more about cruising here TravelManagers Australiato become a Personal Travel Manager click here Source = TravelManagers Australia
Fan Bingbing officially names Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas in ChinaFan Bingbing officially names Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas in ChinaThe highly anticipated arrival of Royal Caribbean International’s new world-class and most technologically advanced ship, Ovation of the Seas at the port city of Tianjin in northeast China, took place today to huge fanfare. The historic milestone was celebrated with the first ever naming ceremony in China. The first Chinese Godmother, world famous actress Fan Bingbing, presided over the celebrations which culminated with the maritime tradition of the breaking of a champagne bottle on the hull of the ship to wish good fortune to the ship and all who sail on her.Designed and built to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience for guests of all ages, Ovation of the Seasis the first world-class ship to make China its homeport immediately after its delivery. As one of the largest cruise ships ever built, accommodating 4,180 guests at double occupancy and 1,500 international crew members,Ovation of the Seas boasts an array of stunning features and experiences many of which have never before been seen at sea.Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, said “We are excited to bring our newest and most technologically advanced ship to China. The unprecedented first-at-sea experiences will provide an incredible vacation adventure to our guests in the region. Chinese consumers have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and this ship meets that standard like no other – this is a cruise from the future.”Royal Caribbean’s unmatched innovations in onboard attractions include the North Star, a glass capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean for incomparable panoramic views. For guests seeking an adrenaline-fueled experience there is the thrilling RipCord by iFly skydiving experience, and the FlowRider surfing simulators where guests have the opportunity to surf on the high seas. TWO70, a daily social space with incredible 270 degree views of the ocean at the aft of the ship transforms into a multifunctional entertainment place at night. The young at heart will be kept busy at SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, that features basketball, roller skating, bumper cars and more.There are 18 restaurants onboard Ovation with a variety of international cuisines to choose from. Well-appointed accommodations include the unique Loft Suites which offer the most luxurious accommodations at sea, and Virtual Balcony staterooms, interior accommodations with large digital screens displaying real-time views of the destinations the ship visits.With the debut of Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International has once again set a new standard for vacations and adventures. Unprecedented innovations in ship design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology, multidimensional entertainment, and robust dining opportunities, come together to create the ultimate, contemporary cruising experience – only found on Royal Caribbean. “With the arrival of Ovation of the Seas in Tianjin, Royal Caribbean now has the largest fleet in the region. Now, Chinese guests can enjoy a wider variety of world-class cruise experiences and destinations right from their home market. We believe that this ship will continue to take cruisers to new heights with our extraordinary activities, creative entertainment and diversified dining options.” said Dr. Zinan Liu, President, Royal Caribbean International – China and North Asia Pacific, “We can provide the unforgettable and unexpected cruise experience that the Chinese market deserves.”As further testament of its commitment to China, Royal Caribbean continues to invest in people though its strategic collaboration with the Tianjin Marine Talent Institute. Royal Caribbean has built a training facility site for onboard crew training and development in hotel operations and over 100,000 jobs have been created in the past four years for major ports cities in China. Royal Caribbean is committed to cultivate talent for the cruising industry in China.China is the cruise industry’s fastest-growing market in the world and the demand has increased by double digits since 2013. China alone accounted for 1 million cruise passengers last year, up from about 700,000 in 2014, and the Chinese Ministry of Tourism has forecasted 4.5 million passengers by 2020. Royal Caribbean AsiaSource = Royal Caribbean
Praising the Solomon Islands tourism industry for its efforts in 2017, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, the Hon, Rick Hounipwela MP has told delegates attending a key tourism forum in Honiara that 2018 will be the year to push new boundaries and to challenge the status quo.Speaking at the ‘Tourism in Focus – Disruptive Positive Change’ forum taking place at the Solomon Kitano Mendana Hotel, the Prime Minister said the 2017 Q3 result, which saw visitor arrivals increase by 13.8 per cent to more than 18,500, as going “well beyond expectations.”“Having seen the increase in 2017, I have no doubts that 2018 will be the year to push new boundaries and to challenge the status quo so that visitor arrivals can grow in leaps and bounds to drive new investments to our humble destination,” the Prime Minister said.“The visitor arrival target is set at 9 per cent growth for 2018. To achieve the target, the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau will need the cooperation and support of the tourism industry to realize its goals and objectives, to build the momentum with strategic and clinical approaches to its activities.“It needs to disrupt and challenge the status quo to realize its true potential – hence, this tourism in focus forum.”The Prime Minister also drew reference to a long standing government vision that tourism will one day replace logging as a more sustainable driver needed to pick this emerging economy from the “swamps of sluggishness. “However, he said, it will have to expand 5.4 times to parallel logging receipts let alone to replace it.“Amongst the things deemed fundamental to translate this dream to reality is to adopt a disruptive approach to speed up the transition,” he said.“To replace logging receipts Solomon Islands will need to generate 125,000 additional international visitors and the spin off from this extra arrivals is huge and can positively affect Solomon Airlines equipment acquisition, agriculture and fisheries sectors to increase production to feed our guests.“To do this in the shortest period of time will require active participation from all key stakeholders including total government support, willing resource owners and keen and capable investors to commit to the destination.“Absence of good and quality accommodation in the Capital and the Provinces is identified as one of the main obstacle to growth. The disruptive approach is to saturate Honiara and selected Provinces with quality accommodation so inducing market forces to dictate play, effectively making Solomon Islands a more affordable destination compared to its Pacific neighbours.Recognising the important contribution the tourism industry being to the Solomon islands’ economy, the Prime Minister pledged his government would continue to develop the tourism sector through the development and introduction of national tourism legislation.This, he said, would include plans to implement a range of activities under the Tourism Division Capacity Development program to ensure consistency in tourism standards and quality management as well as enabling increased visitor satisfaction levels and improving industry competitiveness.Thanking the delegates attending the forum, and particularly those who travelled long distances to be there, SIVB CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto echoed the Prime Minister’s comment regarding the need to change the status quo.“We cannot go on the way we are if we want to grow our tourism sector,” he said.“We have done pretty well considering the challenges we face but we really need to develop the leisure market and hopefully by the end of this year, if we can achieve that, we will have finally cracked the 25,000 international visitation mark.”Pictured from left to right: Ministry of Culture & Tourism Permanent Secretary, Andrew Nihopara; Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, the Hon, Rick Hounipwela MP; Minister for Culture & Tourism, the Hon. Barnaby Parapolo, and Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau chairman, Wilson Ne’e.Source = Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau
The year 2016 has been a successful year for Taiwan Tourism Bureau in India. The recent participation of Taiwan Tourism Bureau in India’s first full-fledged travel mart, Business and Luxury Travel Mart (BLTM), focused on specialised sellers and buyers from Business, MICE and Luxury Travel segment from all over the world.BLTM was a platform for Taiwan Tourism to meet corporate MNC buyers from around Delhi and National Capital Region. Taiwan was awarded the best MICE destination award at the exhibition.To capitalise on their presence in BLTM, the tourism bureau also held an educational workshop for the travel fraternity and the media at Taj Mahal Hotel.Arthur Hsieh, Director, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Singapore Office said, “2016 was a productive year for TTB. Our participation in various marketing activities and other initiatives to increase the number of Indian tourists in Taiwan has given us fruitful results. The main focus of Taiwan tourism was to diversify into varied consumer and B2B activities to increase the positive image of Taiwan in the Indian consumer mindset and more healthy growth figures in terms of Indians travelling to Taiwan.”“As Indians aspire for out of the box wedding destinations, Taiwan is home so some breathtaking destinations which have the potential to host Indian wedding ceremonies. Therefore, we are also promoting Taiwan as a leading wedding destination in India. A wedding Planners FAM to Taiwan was organised and prominent wedding planners from Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kochi attended the FAM,” Hsieh added.The tourism board plans to focus on consumer and trade activities in 2017 after easing out visa policies for Indian travellers. Indian nationals are now entitled to free Taiwan visa which can be applied online.
Burning Man’s Israeli offshoot, Midburn is a special 5-day festival held in the Negev Desert around May – June every year. It is the second largest regional Burning Man after Africa Burns where, for six days, a temporary city is set up creating a platform for communal lifestyle, creativity, art and self-expression. Unlike a typical music festival with big acts, one can camp in the desert that host parties and in the centre of the playa are incredible art displays and a huge temple that is burned on the final night. This year, Midburn will be held between June 4 and 9.This summer, Israel will also host some of the biggest names of Rock genre like Bon Jovi, Slash and Air Supply. Air Supply, the soft-rock duo of the 80s, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock are set to tour Israel to play at the Caesarea Amphitheatre on May 16. The show will be a rock extravaganza featuring popular hits like ‘Making Love Out of Nothing At All’ and ‘I’m All Out of Love’.The iconic guitarist Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame will be live in Israel at the Tel Aviv Fair Grounds on July 9. Slash along with Myles Kennedy, lead vocalist of Alter Bridge and The Conspirators will perform as part of the promotional tour for their latest album, ‘Living the Dream’.Legendary rock singer Bon Jovi is also set to make an appearance in Tel Aviv on July 25 as part of the band’s European tour ‘This House is Not For Sale’ starting spring 2019. Jon Bon Jovi, aged 56 announced the concert in a video encouraging his fans to join him at the HaYarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bailouts Defaults Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan Modification Mark Lieberman RMBS Service Providers 2013-06-14 Mark Lieberman In a newly published “”paper””:http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/ci19-5.pdf posted on the New York Federal Reserve website, Robert Hockett, a Cornell University professor of financial and monetary law, proposes using government’s eminent domain authority as a solution to underwater mortgage debt.[IMAGE]Hockett suggested governments could buy and restructure underwater mortgages and reduce the principal lowering the amount owed by borrowers, reducing the default risk. The new mortgages would be packaged and sold into the secondary market.In reviewing Hockett’s suggestion, the “”_Wall Street Journal_””:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323495604578539163955378002.html concentrated not on the idea itself, but noted Hockett’s proposal was quite similar to one offered by Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP), a San Francisco-based investment firm which, the Journal said, “”could be a big winner in such a scheme as the repackager of the seized mortgages into new securities in return for a fee.””Hockett, according to the _Journal_, “”turns out to have been on the payroll of none other than Mortgage Resolution Partners.”” Being “”on the payroll,”” to use the _Journal’s_ own phrasing, “”turns out”” to have been a “”one-time honorarium,”” the _Journal_ said quoting MRP Chairman Steven Gluckstern. Nonetheless, the _Journal_ uses Hockett’s past affiliation with MRP to discredit the suggestion without undertaking anything close to an objective, critical review.[The New York Fed didn’t distinguish itself in this dust-up by failing, initially, to disclose Hockett’s MRP affiliation when it first published the paper. Hockett’s brief bio at the end of the paper was modified after the _Journal_ inquired, noting, “”In 2012, he received a fee from the firm Mortgage Resolution Partners to provide legal analysis of questions raised by his eminent domain proposal in the state of California. All of his current work on the foreclosure crisis and eminent domain plan, for public and private entities alike, is done gratis.”” The name of the company does not otherwise appear in the paper.]Hockett’s paper describes in detail how his plan would work, though it is fairly straightforward. Federal plans to address and resolve underwater mortgages, he wrote, have not worked. [COLUMN_BREAK] State and local governments, he then suggests are “”the collective agents best able to address the structural problems that arise with the pooling and servicing agreements,”” which are seen as impediments to working out troubled loans.State and local governments, he said in his paper, “”face the brunt of mass foreclosure and its consequences more directly than the federal government”” and “”have constitutional authority to address”” them through eminent domain. The eminent domain powers, he argued, exist precisely to deal with urgent circumstances which have otherwise defied traditional solution. Generally we think of eminent domain as the power of a government to take and pay for privately owned property for a public purpose. “”Preventing more foreclosures, blighted properties, revenue base losses, and city service cutbacks is recognized by courts as the most compelling of public purposes justifying use of the eminent domain authority,”” Hockett wrote. Investors in the mortgages secured by those properties would be paid fair value–that is, what the properties are worth.And, as he proposes it, taxpayer dollars would not be involved. The seized properties would go back to current owners with mortgages reflecting their current value. Local governments, he suggested, could “”finance the purchases with monies lent by federal agencies in the manner of the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief and Public-Private Investment Programs, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s MBS stabilization programs, all of which ultimately have turned profits.”” [Note to the Journal, Hockett was described in the paper’s end note as a “”former visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.””]Alternatively, he said the money could be raised from private investors through any number of transactions. Those investors could include the original bondholders.Hockett provided a legal argument for his plan and said it is not uncommon to use eminent domain “”for more than compulsory land purchases for roads and bridges.””Governmental authorities, he wrote, “”compulsorily purchase,”” translation: eminent domain, “”property at fair value for public use all the time├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ªand they do so with all manner of property-tangible and intangible, contractual and realty-related alike.”” Governments, he said have used eminent domain to purchase, among other things, “”insurance policies, corporate equities, other contract rights, businesses as going concerns, and even sports franchises.””In any transaction, there are winners and losers. There may be a lot of good reasons to discard Hockett’s suggestion, but his past relationships are not among them. His idea deserves a fair hearing, not a digression._Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S. (Sirius-XM 124) Friday at 6:20 a.m. Eastern._*_Want to write an opinion piece for publication on our site? Send your submission to_* “”MReportEditor@TheMReport.com.””:mailto:MReportEditor@TheMReport.com Commentary: Eminent Digression June 14, 2013 546 Views in Government, Secondary Market, Servicing Share
November 3, 2014 436 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Share Despite a decline in its mortgage portfolio, Fannie Mae’s total book of business grew in September for the first time in 10 months, the company revealed Friday.According to Fannie’s monthly volume summary, the mortgage giant’s book totaled $3.12 trillion as of September 30, representing an annualized growth rate of 1.5 percent compared to August’s decline of 4.0 percent.Year-to-date, the book’s growth rate remains in the red at a compound rate of -1.8 percent.September’s bump in business came despite a 12.7 percent annualized contraction in Fannie’s gross mortgage portfolio, which was valued at approximately $438.1 billion at the end of the month, down nearly $5 billion from August. The portfolio has been on a steady decline since the start of 2013.Meanwhile, new business acquisitions improved, rising 21 percent from August to $45.6 billion, an 11-month high.Delinquency was also healthier in September. According to Fannie, the conventional single-family serious delinquency rate in its portfolio was 1.96 percent, down 3 basis points from August. The multifamily delinquency rate held steady at 0.09 percent for the second month.Fannie Mae completed 8,684 loan modifications in September. As of the end of the month, year-to-date modifications totaled 96,915 at the GSE. Fannie Mae’s Book Expands for First Time This Year Delinquency Fannie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities 2014-11-03 Tory Barringer
in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News December 10, 2014 450 Views Mortgage applications saw another increase heading into the year’s final month, bouncing back after a Thanksgiving-adjusted decline.Total mortgage application volumes increased 7.3 percent for the week ending December 5, according to survey data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The jump, which includes seasonal adjustments, followed a drop of the same amount the week prior.Refinance applications surged 13 percent over the week, according to MBA, countering a 13 percent decrease recorded at the end of November. The refinance share of mortgage activity climbed back up to 64 percent after dropping to 60 percent.The only measure to see any real progress in the past two weeks was the gauge of home purchase applications, which was up another 1 percent after the previous week’s 3 percent increase. Removing seasonal factors, MBA estimates purchase application volumes are down 4 percent compared to this time last year—one of the smallest annual declines reported this year.Government activity was mixed for the week. The share of total applications for Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages fell to 9.0 percent from 9.3 percent in the previous survey, MBA reported. Meanwhile, the share of mortgage applications for loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs ticked up to 9.6 percent.The average interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.11 percent last week, up from 4.08 percent, MBA reported. Mortgage Applications Pull Up from Latest Decline Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Purchase Loans Refinances 2014-12-10 Tory Barringer Share
in Headlines, News, Secondary Market, Servicing Lodgement Gap Risk Property Exchange Australia Limited Stewart Title Limited 2015-11-04 Staff Writer Share Stewart Title Limited, underwriter for UK, European, and Australian property transactions for Stewart Information Services Corp., recently announced that it has partnered with Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA).As part of the partnership, Stewart Title Limited allows PEXA to cover the ‘lodgement gap’ in relation to transactions conducted on the PEXA platform by underwriting the risk.“As a title insurer that works alongside conveyancers to mitigate the risk inherent in property transactions, we are proud that our partnership with PEXA enables us to deliver on our commitment to continually strive for ways to further streamline and provide assurance to the settlement process,” said Ciaran Westland, general manager, Stewart Title Limited.The PEXA platform is transforming the Australian property industry by delivering a national electronic conveyancing platform that is integrated with State and Territory land title registries. This integration enables conveyancing practitioners (registered subscribers) to prepare and lodge registry instruments and financially settle their customers’ land transactions using PEXA’s online workspace. This contrasts with a manual method that lodges paper documents at the land title registry following a face-to-face settlement and exchange of documents and bank cheques.As part of PEXA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety and integrity of its platform, PEXA will take on responsibility for the ’safe’ lodgement of certain land title dealings by its registered subscribers. This means that with the backing of Stewart Title Limited, PEXA will assume responsibility for any ‘intervening’ instruments or notices lodged by a third-party during the “lodgement period” which have the effect of either preventing the registration of the customer’s land title dealing or taking priority over the customer’s land title dealing once registered. November 4, 2015 498 Views Stewart Title Partners With PEXA to Cover ‘Lodgement Gap’ Risk
Donald Trump Housing Finance Policy The Collingwood Group 2017-01-10 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, News, Print Features January 10, 2017 751 Views (Editor’s note: This select print feature originally appeared in the January issue of MReport magazine)With a trailblazing real estate mogul entering the Oval Office on January 20, a sharper focus on the U.S. housing delivery system is possible, if not likely. Understandably, housing finance issues received far less attention, if any, than other issues on the tops of minds of voters. However, housing remains a key driver of domestic economic vitality and a focus on housing as a national priority remains crucial.According to the Federal Reserve Second Quarter 2016 Flow of Funds report, the total value of the U.S housing market is $23.5 trillion, comprised of $10.1 trillion in mortgage debt and $13.40 trillion in household equity. Although the numbers are massive, the fact is that the housing finance system has remained in near “crisis mode” for far too long.The broader economy is in modest recovery and the housing market is on firmer footing compared to the period surrounding the presidential transition of 2008, however many significant challenges still face the mortgage market and the delivery of housing (product).The desire to become a homeowner has not waned, but policies enacted over the past few years have made that dream unreachable for many. In spite of historically low mortgage rates, ranging from approximately 5 percent in January of 2009 to less than 4 percent today, and the spectrum of government programs the Administration established in response to the housing crisis, including the highly-publicized Making Home Affordable and Neighborhood Stabilization programs, the homeownership rate fell to 63.5 percent in the third quarter of FY 2016, maintaining a dismal five-decade low.The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), designed to rein in financial institutions after the housing collapse has touched every part of the mortgage lending industry, and resulted in a long-term contraction in credit availability. Close to 50 regulatory reforms emanating from Dodd-Frank have focused on the mortgage industry alone. The proposed rules and subsequent regulations cover a wide array of the mortgage lending processes including: the ability to repay, risk retention, escrows, disclosures, homeownership counseling, servicing, appraisals, and loan originator compensation. Additionally, specified capital and liquidity requirements and stress testing has driven corporations like General Electric to sell off its GE Capital real estate financing arm.Excessive enforcement actions, coupled with state and federal regulatory reforms, have discouraged mortgage lenders from making any loans that fall outside of the strict boundaries set by CFPB regulations. In the end, prospective homebuyers, including many who are first-time buyers with perhaps a blemish or two on their credit score, are largely shut out of the mortgage market from this stifling of housing credit.Lenders have also been exposed to increased scrutiny under an obscure 150-year-old law, the False Claims Act (FCA). Between January 2009 and the end of FY 2015, financial institutions paid an unprecedented $5 billion into the federal coffers in connection with settlements relating to federally backed mortgages. Adding the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement of 2012, the $100 billion lender buyback of “defective” mortgages from the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) in 2010, and the 2011 commencement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), mortgage lending got a lot more risky, and a lot less attractive. Compliance costs, such as staff, training, and compliance systems updates associated with the increased regulatory burden imposed by Dodd-Frank have nearly doubled the cost to originate a loan over the last 10 years. These higher costs have disproportionately impacted smaller mortgage lenders.Understandably, the industry remains hyper-focused on originating low risk loans with a difficult to achieve goal of zero underwriting defects. Despite the proliferation of regulations and measures intended to improve the mortgage market with consumer safeguards, the housing market recovery remains sluggish, and too many American workers continue to lose access to the wealth-accumulating tool of homeownership.While I admire the efforts of the current Administration to prevent a complete housing collapse, in particular expansion of the HAMP program, the policies of the last eight years have resulted in historically low homeownership rates, plummeting middle-class wealth, higher rents, and limited access to mortgage credit. Collectively, these policies have left homeownership out of reach for too many Americans and have triggered increased pressure on rents and the rental housing supply.The press and Washington D.C. insiders often limit the concept of housing finance reform to GSE reform, but the needed for change extends far beyond that. A well-functioning housing sector is essential to a strong economy and the security of families and individuals including senior citizens and persons with disabilities.To restore housing to its traditional role as an engine of economic growth and opportunity, the incoming Trump Administration should pursue policies designed to make the path to homeownership possible again for fully-informed prospective buyers who have the ability to carry a mortgage. Furthermore, despite the addition of millions of previously-owned single family homes to the rental stock and an increase in multifamily development, the apartment supply is not even close to meeting the demand.Rental housing faces obstacles of rising rents layered on stagnant household incomes; construction debt not serviceable with “affordable” rents, and the 10 percent increase of affordable rental units being quickly overwhelmed by the 40 percent rise in the number of low-income renters competing for those units.Having served as Federal Housing Commissioner from 2005-2009 including six months into the Obama Administration as a hold-over appointee, I understand the difficulties entailed in shifting the sails to change a decades-old agency’s operational direction. I am encouraged that a real estate developer turned President-elect will take the opportunity to carefully examine and assess the housing finance system, and maybe also review the impact, or lack thereof, that the roughly $150+ billion in federal community development funding has had on inner cities and infrastructure.The contentious and dramatic election is over, it is time to settle down, and as President Franklin Roosevelt said on the eve of his re-election in 1936, “we will keep our sleeves rolled up.” I am hopeful the incoming Trump Administration and a new Congress will work together and take action to expand the path to sustainable homeownership, increase the supply of rental units for Americans with limited means, and continue the recent progress toward ending homelessness, especially for veterans. I have hope, and look forward to seeing a prominent developer, now President-elect, bring the U.S. residential real estate market out of its stupor, all part of making America’s housing great again, for everyone. Federal Reserve, Flow of Funds Q2 2016 and Urban Institute Housing Finance Policy Center Monthly Chartbook, October 2016. U.S. Census Bureau, Quarterly Residential Vacancies and Homeownership Third Quarter 2016, October 2016 U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, December 2015. Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015, June 2015. Now That a Real-Estate Developer is President-Elect . . . Share
Preparing for the Next Phase of Growth in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicing HOUSING mortgage technology 2018-02-07 Radhika Ojha February 7, 2018 600 Views Laura MacIntyre recently joined DIMONT, a leading provider of insurance claims adjusting and collateral loss mitigation services to the residential mortgage and auto lending industries, as Chief Revenue Officer. In her new role, she will be responsible for the Dallas-headquartered company’s key growth areas, including sales and marketing. As a leader, MacIntyre has led the financial growth and expansion of multiple companies during her career spanning more than 25 years. Most recently, she served as Director of Sales and Operations at DocMagic, where she grew the revenue and market share of the company while successfully deploying their digital strategy to the marketplace. MacIntyre also led significant growth revenue at Fidelity National Financial and Lender Processing Services where she served as COO for both companies.Where do you see the industry heading in terms of technology? I’ve been in this industry for 20 plus years, and I believe that as the pressure on our industry to cut costs and be more efficient increases, the industry will have to start thinking in terms of path-breaking technology. Today, there’s a lot of technology out there, but the implementation and operationalizing of that technology is sometimes very hard to consume because manual processes have been embedded in organizations for so long. Making those paradigm shifts to adopting new technology can prove to be a challenge for many companies in our industry. We are trying to help these organizations with loss drafts processes and some of our other unique technology offerings. I think these products augment and help all our customers achieve optimization, digitization, efficiency, and increased output at a lower cost. Is the industry still feeling the impact of the recent hurricanes, and what other trends do you see impacting mortgage professionals this year? It has been a long time since we’ve seen national disasters on the scale we saw in 2017. With all the disasters that have happened in the recent months, the industry will feel the effects harder than they have in the past since it was caught off guard and is now catching up to address claims of homeowners affected by these calamities. It will be interesting to see how we get through the pipeline in the coming months, but I think it was a good reminder for all of us in the industry to make sure we have the proper contingencies in place to manage such events, because, to be sure, there will be more in future. However, I do believe that the pipeline is open again and people are getting back to normalcy, which is also good for the industry because we need consistency and to move ahead after this disruptive period of time.Can you tell us more about your role as Chief Revenue Officer?DIMONT has prepared for significant growth in 2018, and my experience in the mortgage industry brings a lot of relationships, innovation, and technology to the table. My role is to assist and lead the team and organization to achieve its goals, as it moves into making additional product service offerings available to our customers to help grow the business. We believe we are the leaders in this space and my role is to recognize or materialize DIMONT’s vision and goals. What are the most challenging and exciting aspects of this job for you? From a personal perspective, the challenging aspect is making very good decisions around helping our customers. For example, some of the new products and services that DIMONT has to offer are new to the industry from a technology perspective. Many customers have been doing some of these items manually. So, the challenge will be to demonstrate and showcase the offerings to ensure our customers can take advantage of these new products and services and make sure that we can market in a way that develops and brings value to our customers. Share
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Deep Diving Into New Home Sales Census Bureau Genworth Home Prices Home Sales Homebuilders Homebuyers homes HOUSING HUD LendingTree Realtor.com 2018-06-25 Radhika Ojha New home sales for single-family homes rose 6.7 percent in May to 689,000 units according to data released by The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday. Year over year, sales of new homes rose 14.1 percent from May 2017’s estimate of 646,000 homes.While the growth in new home sales is an encouraging sign, experts believe that to sustain it, a lot will depend on builders who are currently bogged down by higher tariffs as well as high costs of material and labor.“Margin pressures could erode the benefits that builders saw after the tax cuts,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree. “We had previously expected the tax cuts to improve builder margins by 10-15 percent, which we anticipated may have led builders to consider increasing activity at the lower-end of the market where inventory challenges are particularly acute. The tariffs may negate this benefit.”According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, “Demand is strongest for affordable homes, but land, labor, and materials costs are significant challenges. Builders who can successfully build lower-priced homes will find success.”The Census Bureau data indicated that while the median sales price of homes in May was $313,000, the inventory for single-family homes for sale at the end of the month was 299,000 representing a supply of 5.2 months at the current sales rate.The change in price points indicated that the prices for new home sales were 3.3 percent below last year and according to Hale, the average prices also showed a dip. “A strong increase in new home sales in the South coupled with a slip in new home sales in the West could explain some of the price change,” Hale said.According to LendingTree’s Kapfidze, An increase of 17.9 percent month over month in the South “accounted for all the gains,” while “other regions were lower or flat.” He also believed that high rates might be pressuring the prices of new homes. “The median sales price of $313,000 was the lowest since April 2017,” Kapfidze said. “The share of sales over $500,000 was 15 percent, the lowest since February 2015. The decline in the median sales prices and share of higher priced homes come despite reported increases in the cost of inputs like lumber and washing machines due to tariffs.”Another region that saw a healthy growth of new home sales was the West, according to Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “The region leads the country in terms of job growth, which translates into faster housing demand and home price growth,” he said. “Homebuilders are shifting resources into the West region and we expect the region to continue to outperform the rest of the country.” June 25, 2018 605 Views Share
The proliferation of technology in the real estate space has been slower than in other industries, but in recent years the traditionally analog industry has started to embrace digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive data modeling. With more millennials joining the industry than ever (and also becoming a demographic with the most purchasing power) it’s a necessary advancement. But what does this shift toward tech mean for real estate professionals and those who would use their services? If you’re a millennial, you might be asking, “What exactly will an agent do that I can’t do myself online?According to a recent survey from Clever, millennials are 93% less likely than other generations to use a real estate agent, and are twice as likely to believe that agents are “unimportant” or “not important at all to the home selling process.” Approximately half of the sellers responding to the survey said they would be willing to use an AI platform to find potential buyers, while 37% think that AI could outperform a human agent, and 15% would try to sell their homes on their own without the help of an agent.The millennial habit of choosing digital tools over people is a common trend in many industries. Why hail a cab, when you can order an Uber? Or walk three blocks to your local pizzeria when you can just order said pizza off GrubHub? Many believe that using apps and digital services is quicker and cheaper than handling things through a human. In many cases, they are probably right. But in some industries, you can’t replace the human touch. Millennials looking to buy or sell real estate might be inclined to try to save the fees and commissions associated by taking the DIY route. Sure, finding properties online might be easy, but that’s just one piece of the real estate puzzle next to contracts, negotiations, closing deals, etc. In many cases, those fees are nominal in comparison to the extra profit or savings that the help of an experienced agent can deliver.The most successful real estate deals happen when human professionals work in sync with technology, using it to create more efficiency, better accuracy, and overall improved experience for the client. Machine learning and AI can enhance and enrich themselves over time at a much faster rate than any human mind can achieve. This constantly updating and improving systems is invaluable to real estate pros whose job it is to keep a finger on the pulse of the market. However, another huge part of the job description is the art of negotiation, which is something that can’t be taught to a machine. The machine can churn out all the insights an agent needs to come armed to the table, but it can’t learn intent and nuance. At the end of the day, the deal gets done by humans.We tend to think about things in extremes, but AI isn’t really sci-fi, it’s simply data processing at a level that humans can’t approach. This next wave in real estate won’t see agents being replaced by AI entities accessible via an app, but rather top performing agents harnessing tools and data to build their deals. Many digital tools use AI and machine learning to provide real-time notifications and targeted geolocation so that agents can focus their marketing and networking efforts, gain experience and insight, and improve their services.Sure, there are agents out there who could probably be replaced by Zillow, but that’s not because the role of agents is obsolete; it’s because the lowest performing agents aren’t taking advantage of tools that could help them provide better service and close more deals. If you’re an agent simply performing a property search that could be done by anyone online, then you’re not adding value and there would be no reason for a seller to pay your fees. As more millennial buyers enter the market (and eventually Gen Zers too), they will naturally gravitate toward digital solutions. A real estate professional who knows how to align with those tools and use them to enhance their offerings will be the most in demand. Agents of all experience levels should prioritize learning about emerging technologies and finding ways to implement them. The competitive edge cannot be underestimated. AI Digital Mortgage Home Sellers Homebuyers homes HOUSING machine learning property real estate Real Estate Agents SetSchedule technology 2019-04-29 Radhika Ojha in Commentary, Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News April 29, 2019 1,712 Views The Real Estate Agent’s Role in the Digital Age Share
You might also be interested in Cherry trees have bloomed across multiple regions in Canada, with full blossom occurring on April 24 in South Okanagan, May 1 in North Okanagan, and May 5 in Creston Valley, leading to Global Fruit Brokers Ltd.’s forecast that 700,000 of their 800,000 20-pound cases (each being equivalent to 9 kilograms) will fall in August.The company says growing conditions have been favorable, which should be beneficial to this season’s harvest.”Weather for pollination and cell division has been wonderful and the coming week looks terrific as well. Tentative pick dates are predicted to begin June 23rd and finish September 1st.”The company plans to continue shipping until mid-September and says they are excited about the late start to their season and are looking forward to Labor Day Canadian Cherry promotions.Last year, the country’s cherry season ended at the end of August, earlier than what was originally predicted, following a summer heat wave that compressed its window. ‘New NAFTA’ fails local growers, says Florida Farm … Canada’s cherry industry suffers 50% drop in seaso … May 09 , 2019 Mexico becomes first nation to ratify trade deal w … The global blueberry industry gathering in British … Still, even with a shorter time frame, Canada saw an incredibly successful season in 2018. With the tensions and resulting trade war between the U.S. and China escalating, Canada had a greater opportunity to export to the Asian market.According to Statistics Canada, Canada boosted its exports to China in by 82% in 2018, reaching a total of 2,914 metric tons (MT).Beyond the increase in export volumes to the Eastern nation, the FOB values for its China shipments rose by double that rate, increasing 152% to US$25.8 million.Time will tell if Canada can match last year’s lucrative season with this year’s crops.
airlinesEmirates 10 passengers aboard Emirates Flight EK203 from Dubai to New York were transported to hospital via ambulances from JFK Airport around 10am local time on Wednesday morning (midnight AEST), following the flight’s arrival at 9.18am local time.Initial reports said that around 100 of the 500+ passengers and crew onboard the Airbus A380 fell ‘seriously ill’, with a ‘mystery illness’, complaining of symptoms including fever, coughing and vomiting.The airline quickly confirmed details in a statement via Twitter:Emirates can confirm that about 10 passengers on #EK203 from Dubai to New York were taken ill. On arrival, as a precaution, they were attended to by local health authorities. All others will disembark shortly. The safety & care of our customers is our first priority.The aircraft has been quarantined and passengers were reportedly being checked by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
corporate travelFCTGFlight CentreFlight Centre Travel GroupIlluminate 2019upcoming events Flight Centre Travel Group’s annual event, dedicated to informing and providing insights into the global corporate travel industry, is on again, with registrations now open for Illuminate 2019 – The Future of Corporate Travel, to be held on 12 September 2019 at The Venue, Alexandria, Sydney.James Kavanagh, Executive General Manager, FCTG Corporate said: “This is the perfect opportunity for procurement professionals, travel bookers, travel decision makers and c-suite executives to hear the latest news and insights from thought leaders and corporate travel executives.“From the implementation of AI and technology innovation, to new distribution channels, emerging category trends and socially responsible policies, the future of travel presents new opportunities with exciting new innovations.“Our speakers will offer the latest insights into developments shaping the world of corporate travel and how guests can navigate the changing travel landscape.”Over 400 attendees will hear from some of Australia’s key business leaders and influencers including Paul Scurrah, CEO and Managing Director of the Virgin Australia Group, who will open the day’s event and share insights on Virgin Australia, the key trends within the aviation industry and how the airline keeps ahead of the curve, particularly with regard to corporate travel.Flight Centre Travel Group board member, Australian rugby legend and business leader, John Eales, will give his keynote address on the similarities between sport and corporate business in learning and leadership, and the driving factors for success.Confirmed key speakers for Illuminate 2019 include:· Paul Scurrah, CEO and Managing Director, Virgin Australia· John Eales, Business Leader and former Wallabies Captain· Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer, AccorHotels Pacific· Chris Riddell, Global Media Commentator and Digital Futurist· James Kavanagh, Executive General Manager, FCTG Corporate· John Morhous, Chief Experience Officer, Flight Centre Travel GroupA feature panel discussion will unpack the New Distribution Capability (NDC) and what it means for the future of air travel buying and flying and how its impact in Australia. Panellists will include Sonya Lowry, Australasian ACTE Global Board Member; Darrin Grafton, CEO & Executive Director, Serko; Jason Toothman, Executive General Manager, NDC, FCTG; and Neil Fyfe, Vice President Global Account Technology, Sabre.Register before 26 July 2019 for Illuminate to be in the draw to win a luxury travel package for two to attend the event. There is also an ‘Illuminate the Night’ After Party!Illuminate 2019 is sponsored by Platinum Partners Sabre and Air Canada and is supported by Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate businesses – FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller, cievents, Stage and Screen Travel Services and 4th Dimension Business Travel Consulting.
It’s no secret the draft can lay the foundation for asuccessful football team, provided it nets an organizationquality players year after year.That the Cardinals are struggling now should be nosurprise, as the team has not landed enough impact playersin recent years.According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic,mistakes in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009 really stand out.Miss on a quarterback (Matt Leinart, first round, 2006),and a team finds itself trying to solve the problem viafree agency (Derek Anderson) or trade (Kevin Kolb).Miss on an outside linebacker (Cody Brown, second round,2009), and a team has to gamble that an old free agent(Joey Porter) has something left.Miss on a left tackle (Levi Brown, first round, 2007), anda team might be continually reminded that it passed on astar running back (Adrian Peterson). To be fair, it would not be right to point the finger atKen Whisenhunt, as Somers notes. For all the praise hegets as a talent evaluator, Dennis Green really had onlyone excellent draft for the team, and that was his firstwhen he took Larry Fitzgearld, Karlos Dansby, DarnellDockett and Antonio Smith. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments Share Other Green drafts netted J.J. Arrington, Eric Green,Darryl Blackstock, Elton Brown, Leonard Pope, BrandonJohnson and the aforementioned Leinart, among others. However, things didn’t really get much better underWhisenhunt, who has just Brown to show for his firstdraft, Calais Campbell, Early Doucet and Brandon Keithfrom his second and, of his third, can only claim BeanieWells and LaRod Stephens-Howling as impact players. Intotal the Cardinals have drafted 35 players with Whiz atthe helm, of which only 21 are still with the team andjust nine are current starters.It’s too soon to properly judge the 2010 and 2011 drafts,but early returns do give reason for optimism. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling At 5-foot-10 and 197 pounds, Powers is not the biggest of corners, but has good speed and a familiarity with new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who impressed him last season in Indianapolis.Powers said he feels like he’s joining what is already a good defense that he said was much better than the team’s record would indicate.“I think this defense can be even better than it was last year, even though I know, in my opinion, I thought the defense was pretty darn good last year.”It was reported Wednesday that the team planned on meeting with Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason, and there’s no word on whether or not the addition of Powers will change that. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals have signed cornerback Jerraud Powers, and they did so in part because head coach Bruce Arians was not ready to let the player leave town to go and visit the San Diego Chargers.“He sat there and said ‘You’re not leaving this building without a red pen in your hand,’” Powers said at his introductory press conference Wednesday. “That’s just the type of guy B.A. is. “He’s going try to do whatever it takes to make this team better and make the right decisions.”Powers admitted to feeling a little bad about never making it to San Diego, but said the Cardinals’ offer was one he couldn’t turn down because Arizona is a good fit for him.And the Cardinals are certainly happy to have him.“Jerraud turned our season around last year with an interception to open the second half at Green Bay and that’s the kind of impact player he is,” said Cardinals coach Bruce Arians in a press release. “He’s a tough, physical defender who’s also one of the smartest players I’ve been around. Here’s how valuable he was to us: after we put him on IR at the end of last year (with a toe injury) we still brought him to every single game not only because of his leadership but especially the insight he brought watching from the coaches booth.”Powers had spent his entire four-year career with the Indianapolis Colts, where he has amassed 210 combined tackles and six interceptions.In 2012 he tallied 40 tackles — 33 of which were solo — along with one interception and eight passes defensed. Top Stories