Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Corporate Travel Management (CTM) has unveiled a new piece to its company, launching its new Business Intelligent Suite in the Australian market.Unveiled today, the Suite is divided into two real-time reporting tools, u-control – a visual representation of the clients’ KPIs and data online as well as u-explore – a granular analysis of their travel program where air, car and hotel data can be searched across a range of variants including price, fair type and spend volumes.CTM managing director Jamie Pherous said the new Suite signified the company’s commitment to the market and is a result of feedback retrieved from clients.“Through its two real-time reporting tools, CTM clients will now have industry-leading levels of access to their data and the ability to interactively analyse the performance and capabilities of their travel programs like never before – that is exciting!” Mr Pherous said. Testing the new tool in the market months prior to today’s launch, pilot client from George Weston Foods Limited procurement manager Kathy Kaderavek said she found the Suite to be “invaluable” and a time saver.“The u-explore and u-control tools have not only allowed me to save time, they have allowed me to increase my line of sight to the performance of my travel program around the clock, and enabled me to plan and present change models, the ability to review what certain changes to my program now could do for my bottom line in the future, as well as measure KPIs put in place in consultation with CTM,” she said.
The Silky Oaks Lodge in Tropical North Queensland unveiled three million dollars worth of refurbishments this week, with the completion of four new Billabong Suites. Unveiled at a launch party at the Royal Motor Yacht Club in Sydney, the suites are part of a major renovating project for the accommodation property, located on the Mossman River, within the Daintree Rainforest.The Billabong Suites are in addition to the property’s other accommodation options including the deluxe treehouses and riverhouses.Owner, Paul van Min said he was excited about the opportunities the developments and suites would bring the 82-acre rainforest property.“Silky Oaks Lodge has been re-born as a luxury experience through the implementation of a five year plan,” he said. “We wanted to create a really different experience… and I think we’ve achieved that.” The new suites were designed by a Dutch interior-architect and feature unique, hand-crafted wooden furniture.“The Billabong suites carry a very strong natural timber and rainforest theme.”Other renovations included a new five star reception and greeting area and a more ecological approach to the entire property.Laurent Pedemay executive chef for the Lodge’s Treehouse Restaurant was also in Sydney for the launch, serving guests freshly prepared dishes, using ingredients he brought with him from the local area.“This is the same seafood, the same herbs and spices, the very same ingredients and techniques you’ll come to appreciate when dining at our Treehouse Restaurant,” Mr Pedemay said.“We use a variety of produce and always try to be mindful of our guests. We design menus that are balanced for every palate. The restaurant is open-air and the food is complimentary to the wonderful surroundings.”A further luxurious addition; the floor-to-ceiling windowed Healing Waters Spa, with seven treatment rooms, was voted Australia’s best luxury spa at the 2011 World Luxury Spa Awards.Silky Oaks Lodge is located just one hour north of Cairns and a short drive north of Port Douglas. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Kiwis will miss seeing the icy continent from the air Despite early Kiwi interest, a planned sightseeing flight from Auckland to Antarctica in February 2013 has been cancelled due to a lack of seats booked.Antarctica Sightseeing Flights made the call to cancel the flight, claiming it was not justifiable to operate the chartered Boeing 747-400 with less than 100 passengers booked.The company’s founder, Phil Asker, said he was disappointed strong interest in the Auckland flight had not translated into reservations.Passengers booked to travel on the Auckland service will receive a full refund and offered a $250 discount on any Antarctica sightseeing flight departing from Australia, Mr Asker said.“We regret having to cancel this service, and apologise to those who have been disappointed or inconvenienced by our decision,” he remarked. With the Perth service sold out and a second departure scheduled, the five flights from Australia continue to sell well. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W
The Tourism Industry Council NSW, in partnership with Destination NSW, has today announced an additional three Tourism Awards Workshops, as well as a teleconference option, which will be held to encourage tourism businesses to enter the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards.Workshops will be held in Sydney CBD, Castle Hill, Goulburn and via teleconference on the 17th, 23rd, 24th and 25th of July 2013, respectively.These highly sort after sessions will explain the changes in the criteria and rules since 2012, how to best structure submissions, what judges specifically look for and to explain what the mentoring program is and who it can be offered to.Andrew Jefferies, General Manager of the Tourism Industry Council NSW – organiser of the NSW Tourism Awards, welcomed this initiative.“These workshops are designed to foster and develop local businesses within our industry, with the aim to enhance and develop New South Wales as the premier state for tourism across Australia.“New South Wales secured a massive 16 wins (seven gold awards and nine silver awards) at the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Hobart earlier this year and we wish to grow this number even further,” said Mr Jefferies.Winners from this year’s New South Wales Tourism Awards go through to represent the state at the national awards level to be held in Sydney, next February.These workshops encourage tourism businesses to take a fresh look at their business operations whilst a thorough and effective judging program audits the product based upon the quality, strategies and acumen of the business.Source = Tourism Industry Council NSW
It has been open for just under two years, but already the Sea Temple Surfers Paradise (now known as Soul Surfers Paradise) has been named the best hotel in Australia.The achievement, revealed in Expedia’s 2013 Insiders’ Select rankings, was the result of more than a million guest reviews worldwide. The five-star Sea Temple took out the title from 650 hotels selected from more than150,000 hotels and resorts available on Expedia around the world.The 77-level tower Sea Temple Surfers Paradise beat other luxury hotels on the Select List, including The Langham in Sydney and the Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort in North Queensland.Sea Temple Surfers Paradise General Manager Ash Turner said he was overjoyed at the hotel’s incredible success, as voted by guests.“It’s an incredible achievement in such a short amount of time and recognises the outstanding service that we provide,” he said. “We think Sea Temple Surfers Paradise, a recent addition to the Accor Hotels portfolio, sets a new benchmark for luxury accommodation not only for Surfers Paradise but for the Gold Coast as a destination, as we are blessed with stunning accommodation, facilities and an unrivalled beach-front location.“This accolade is really recognition of the attention to detail and luxury experience my dedicated team strive to deliver every day. Sea Temple’s great team of customer-focussed evidently make a huge impact with guests, as evidenced by so many heading online to review us.”Louise Crompton, Marketing Director Expedia ANZ said, “What stands the Expedia Insiders’ Select apart from other hotel rankings is that it’s completely generated from verified reviews created by our customers. It’s also exciting to see local multi-award winning boutique hotels like Sea Temple and Pullman Port Douglas alongside incredible world-class resorts.”Now in its seventh year, the Expedia Insiders’ Select recognises top-ranked hotels available in the Expedia global marketplace.Featured hotels have been recognised by customers as consistently delivering competitive pricing, pristine amenities and superior customer service.Sea Temple has two and three-bedroom apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on to Surfers Paradise and the Pacific Ocean. Each apartment has uninterrupted ocean views, and separate living and dining areas with contemporary decor. The hotel recently added two new penthouse apartments to its offering with broad views of the Gold Coast in all directions from the 64th floor.The hotel placed 228th in the world, with five-star One&Only Palmilla Resort, in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, winning internationally. Source = Accor Hotels
The lifestyle hotel revolution highlights the most important aspects of a hotel for guests that want to continue their lifestyle away from home. Brought about by demand from connected travellers, it has brought to the forefront the need for focus on relaxation, stimulation and escape, self-development and social interaction, all of which are synonymous features with the lifestyle hotel category.TFE (Toga Far East) Hotels’ own lifestyle offering, Vibe Hotels, pioneered the lifestyle category in Australia, and incorporates these features into the Vibe guest experience in a way that is inspired by this new era of travel.Furthermore, Vibe’s next-generation of hotels are attracting stylish and modern travellers in new locations across Australia, including Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport, the first hotel in the Vibe next-generation offering and following from the opening of Vibe Hotel Marysville earlier in the year, which was positioned as a ‘taste’ of the new Vibe brand and connected aspects.Next-generation Vibe Hotels’ fresh approach to lifestyle accommodation connects guests with their surrounds through local experiences, food, design and service.With a predominant focus on inspiration, escape and self development, everything in the next-generation Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport is designed to enhance the guest’s experience of the locale, a key aspect of true lifestyle hotels.From the design, layout, locally inspired artworks and a mini bar filled with local produce through to the sensory and focus on social and collective space available in bars, restaurants, and facilities.Another hallmark of a lifestyle hotel is the superior design and decor of the hotel and rooms, as well as resources and work spaces that see guests continuing their day-to-day life in an uninterrupted way.Incorporating this philosophy, Vibe Hotels’ new light blue colour pallet throughout each next-generation hotel provides a rejuvenating take on the previous lime green and purple.With 191 stylish rooms, Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport is also one of the largest hotels in the nation’s capital. Its First Class rooms and apartments are a haven from the outside world, offering a soothing escape with modern natural finishes.Each room reflects the local environment, with circular design features, art and soft furnishings, making Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport an outstanding hotel choice.Fit Food menu options, a fully equipped gym, local running track maps and an in-room yoga channel ensure guests feel fit, healthy and revitalised, their way.Vibe provides guests with free WiFi through bedrooms and communal hotel areas, as lifestyle hotels also understand how important it is to be connected all times, to either friends, family or for work purposes.In-person socialising is possible at Helix Bar & Dining in Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport which acts as a bustling restaurant, impromptu workspace and gathering point by day and bar by night, with locally-roasted coffee, cocktails infused with local ingredients and modern European cuisine.Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport officially opens in November. Vibe HotelsSource = TFE Hotels
Visitors tuck in as NSW food and wine provides huge boost to economyNSW has shown it is a food-lover’s paradise as the results from the NSW Government’s latest campaigns featuring the State’s food and wine experiences have delivered an additional domestic and international visitor spend of over $20 million in the last 12 months.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said over 20 campaigns were run globally by the State’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW with partners including airlines, travel agents and wholesalers along with Tourism Australia.The campaigns highlighted the taste experiences of the Hunter Valley, Orange and Mudgee, the Legendary Pacific Coast, the Blue Mountains, the South Coast and Sydney.“NSW is enjoying somewhat of a food and wine tourism revolution with more visitors coming to our State to enjoy our award-winning beers, ciders and stunning wineries to our fresh produce from local producers and providores, outdoor dining in magnificent settings and our world-class restaurants,” Mr Ayres said.“With the development and regeneration of urban areas, as well as a focus on local product, Sydney and NSW is experiencing a restaurant renaissance.“New dining hotspots and exciting chefs are continuing to put NSW firmly on the foodie map – and our food tourism visitors are tucking in to these with gusto!”Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the promotion of food and wine experiences, including leveraging Tourism Australia’s Restaurant Australia, has become an integral part of Destination NSW’s marketing campaigns, with NSW boasting world-class dining experiences for visitors.“More than 36,000 agents globally took part in NSW food and wine training and over 70 new food and wine packages were delivered to our priority international markets including Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, USA, India and the UK,” Ms Chipchase said. Destination NSW Source = Destination NSW
Canterbury’s reputation as an incentive destination is on the rise with a new initiative, announced by Christchurch Airport at CINZ MEETINGS 2016, set to boost interest in the region.Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau manager Caroline Blanchfield says the Bureau is delighted to be working with Christchurch Airport to build Canterbury’s name as an incentive travel haven.“Christchurch Airport’s bold invitation to destination management companies to pitch them an idea is a chance to remind everyone why Christchurch and the Canterbury region is a great incentive travel destination,” Ms Blanchfield said.“This is a fantastic starting point to ramp up our incentive business into the city and region and put us firmly back on the map for incentive travel.“Canterbury has the perfect recipe for incentives. We offer a huge variety of locations for groups of all sizes, and a vast range of activities, attractions, unique venues and new hotel stock – all within easy reach of Christchurch Airport.“Our incentive buyers are excited to learn more about Christchurch as the international gateway to the alpine and marine playgrounds of the South Island. We stretch from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, and our region is one of the most diverse in New Zealand.“Canterbury gems like the alpine thermal resort of Hanmer Springs, Akaroa’s boutique French village set on beautiful bays, and the Mackenzie’s Aoraki Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo all offer something unique.“Star-gazing, high country farm experiences, whale watching, foraging tours, jetboating, 4WD adventures, heli-picnicing in the Alps, golf at an alpine resort, or natural spa relaxation are amongst a myriad of options.“Co-ordinated experiential group activities from some of the world’s top operators make the most of this superb destination. And our talented event managers create bespoke experiences, including offsite dining and entertainment with full kitchens and marquees set up in the most spectacular locations,” she said. Learn more here Source = Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau
Celebrate the re opening of BoracayCelebrate the re opening of Boracay with Cebu Pacific’s Seat SaleBe the first to experience the newly reopened Boracay with the Philippines’ leading airline, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), with an all-in seat sale to the island, via Manila.Cebu Pacific will resume flights to and from Caticlan—the main gateway to Boracay, from October 26, 2018 onwards. CEB will be the first airline to land in Caticlan, allowing passengers to be amongst the limited few to set foot on the rejuvenated island and its famed beaches, following a six-month closure for its rehabilitation, restoration and recovery.To celebrate the island’s reopening, Cebu Pacific is holding a seat sale from today until 26 October. Travellers from Singapore can fly to Boracay via Manila for as low as SGD142 from 1 January to 31 March 2019.Boracay was ranked as the second island in the world by readers of the esteemed Conde Nast Traveller in 2018 for its breath-taking sunsets, pristine white beaches and vibrant nightlife.And with low fares that can’t be beat, flying with Cebu Pacific is a great way to make the most of your vacation budget to experience adventure that runs from sunrise to sunset.Guests flying to Boracay should note that they can only book rooms from accredited hotels. Only guests with confirmed reservations at any of the accommodation establishments that are compliant with the requirements of the Department of Tourism, Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will be allowed to enter Boracay Island.Cebu Pacific flies between Singapore and Manila daily, with one flight per day. From October 28 onwards, Cebu Pacific and subsidiary Cebgo will fly up to seven times daily between Manila and Caticlan; twice a day between Cebu and Caticlan; and once a day between Clark and Caticlan. As an alternative, Boracay Island can also be reached by the Cebu Pacific hub in Kalibo. The carrier will fly once daily between Manila and Kalibo; and 7x weekly between Incheon and Kalibo.For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit www.cebupacificair.com or call the reservation hotline +65-315-80808. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages.Source = Cebu Pacific
The Seychelles Tourism Industry recently conducted a Tourism Promotional Road Show in Chennai and Bengaluru. The aim of the shows was to increase visibility of the tropical islands of Seychelles as a holiday option for Indian holiday makers.Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, in her address explained that she along with the India office was set to continue to work with the travel trade of India in order for Seychelles to claim its fair share of their outbound tourism market. “We are in India, and more precisely in Bangalore today to invite you all to be our partners on the ground here and to work with us to offer your clients and the Indian holiday makers a new holiday destination.”Working with the Seychelles Tourism Board on this Chennai and Bangalore promotional trip were Air Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Eden Island Development Company, Constance Ephelia Resort, Sainte Anne Resort & Spa, Banyan Tree Seychelles, AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, Le Relax Hotels -Seychelles, Enchanted Island Resort and Savoy Resort & Spa Seychelles. Two Indian Travel Companies Holidays Box and Akquasun Group also joined in for this Tourism Promotional Road Show.Alain St Ange, Minister for Tourism and Culture in Seychelles, stressed on the importance of India as source tourism market for Seychelles tourism industry. Ange said, “We have a pristine environment and are blessed with a small and friendly population living as one immaterial of the colour of the skin, immaterial of religious beliefs and political affiliation in our One Seychelles. We are positioned but next door to India and connected by direct non-stop flight from Mumbai by AirSeychelles with seamless connections from Bangalore with Jet Airways, a partner airline of our AirSeychelles. We are also well connected with Ethiopian Airlines, SriLanka Airlines, Kenya Airways, Etihad and Emirates. Indian Nationals like any citizen from the world do not need visas to travel to Seychelles which means that holiday planning can still be made at short notice and yes, very important we have a range of accommodation establishments to suit every budget.”
A Responsible Tourism approach towards Coastal and Community DevelopmentBy A. Lajwanti NaiduIndian spiritual belief system comprises of Panchabhutaor five elements. They are Earth –prithvi, Water –jal, Air –Vayu, Fire –Agni, Ether -Akasham. Water – one of the 5 elements of Panchatatva is a life giving element. Civilizations have developed on the banks of the rivers. From Indus valley to Mespotomian civilization, water facilitated the growth of humanity perpetually.Aligned with the Cape Town declaration of Responsible Tourism to ‘create better places for people to live and tourists to visit’, the Chennai Municipality is taking keen interest and initiatives to keep the life of the city clean. The present government has clearly understood that Responsible Tourism is not a product but it an approach which can be used by travellers, tour operators, and planning authorities of national and regional level. Moreover this approach involvesseveral stakeholders to sustain it at the grass root level.My recent visit to Chennai has brought a paradigm shift in the good governance practices adoptedby thecity municipality.The Indian Coast line is 7516 km with a vast potential to promote beach tourism. The nearest European country which matches this figure is Italy- 7600 km. Apart from this India is one of the major fish suppliers in the world. Presently fisheries and aqua culture contributes 1.07% to the GDP. Fisheries are an important sector in India providing employment to millions of people and contributing to the food security of the country. With an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 2 million sq km and fresh water resources it enhances not only the economic development but also provides livelihood to several fishing communities.There are more than 14 million people rely on fishing. In Tamil Nadu alone, 2.23 lakh people depend on fishing. In Chennai, there are 96 wholesale and retail fish markets. My visit to Nochikuppam, a fishing hamlet near Marina beach, gave me insight into the life of more than 15,000 people from the fishermen community who were living for over decades. Since 1985, Tamil Nadu government has been trying to relocate them to different locations as they want to develop this as tourist place. The new locations were not convenient for the fishermen, as they are far away from the sea and also from the city. Sivinpadaivithikuppam is another fishing village in north Chennai. Past 100 years, 5000 people were living here. Here, 99% of the fishermen do net fishing.Considering the Coast line and the fishermen communityI found that the initiatives taken by the municipality has beckoned the others to follow. Following are the 5 Cs to transform into Charismatic Chennai.Coastal Development: The infrastructural Development on the coastal areas enhanced the beauty of the city. Measures are taken to clean the beaches by various volunteer groups. The beach cleaning was organised as part of the Joy of Giving to the nature led by a Non Governmental Organisation, Bhumi. Over a thousand people from every walk of life, from the employees of the Barclays Bank, to students of Chennai’s Corporation schools, to volunteers from the Chennai Trekking Club and other civic organisations in the city participate in cleaning up which happens at the Light House, Santhome, Broken Bridge near Elliot’s Beach and Foreshore Estate. The volunteers manage to collect a total of 4.65 tons of waste approximately in every cleaning session and later on it is used in a more productive and responsible way.Carrying Capacity: Chennai is proud about the natural coastline. The Marina Beach, The VGP Golden Beach- all of them havecertain standards which they adhere to along with the crowd management. The sports activities are generally scheduled in the morning or evening and tourists and families on weekend and holidays. The citizens are also highly sensitised about the conservation of aquatic bodies through various responsible initiatives.Community Development: The children of the fishermen community were educated at several colleges in Chennai under the University of Madras. In all the application forms for the admissionsthere are special provisions for ‘First Generation Learners’ where the child is the first individual to embark on the journey towards reading, writing and learning.Special emphasis is given to education in sports and extra-curricular activities which boost the confidence and self-esteem of the child.Corporation Initiatives: Women are employed at various parts to collect the plastic waste and keep the beach clean. A monetary benefit for working apart from selling fish has motivated them to take part in these initiatives. For women,sea is their mother goddess.A part of the waste that was collected was also segregated into plastic and biodegradable waste. The plastic waste that littered the beaches was then sent to make some tough roads in the village of Medambakkam in the Kacheepuram district. The village head requested for the plastic. So after segregation it was sent to the village for use to lay the roads which was a noble initiative of the corporation.Competitive Destination: Compared to another beach destination like Kanyakumari, Vishakhapatnam, Rameswarm, Cochin etc Chennai predominately stands out for the impact of the British Colonial rule. The impact of English as a medium of communication, the simple Dravidian way of living combined with spirituality has definitely gives Chennai an added advantage.
Agents & Brokers Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Processing Service Providers 2011-12-09 Ryan Schuette December 9, 2011 444 Views Independent Mortgage Bankers Double Q3 Profit: MBA Brokers and loan officers with independent mortgage banks and subsidiaries saw profit margins for their loans more than double on average over the last quarter, according to the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).[IMAGE]The trade group released its findings in the Third Quarter 2011 Mortgage Bankers Performance Report, which it drummed up with production data reports from fewer than 300 companies.The MBA reported that loan originations averaged $1,263 over the third quarter, more than a few dollars up from $575 recorded for every loan originated by bankers during the second quarter.””Higher volume helped profitability as production costs were spread over a greater number of loans,”” “”Marina Walsh””:http://www.mbaa.org/marinawalshbio.htm, MBA’s AVP of industry analysis, said in a statement. “”Third quarter production expenses dropped on a per-loan basis as volume rose, although expenses remained high by historical standards when compared to other quarters with similar volume,”” she said.[COLUMN_BREAK]By basis points, average production profit hovered at around 66.37 basis points over the third quarter, significantly up from 32.86 basis points recorded over the second quarter ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a rise that the MBA called the best quarterly result since originations entered a refinancing surge over the same time last year.Average production volume spiraled upward from $174 million at 866 loans per company over the last quarter to crest at $237 million at 1,114 loans per company over the third quarter.””At the same time, secondary marketing income rose from $4,006 per loan in the second quarter of 2011 to $4,563 per loan in the third quarter of 2011,”” Walsh added. “”Secondary marketing gains improved as primary-secondary spreads widened in the third quarter.””In line with higher profitability, the refinance share of originations leapt from 36 percent over the second quarter this year to 45 percent over the third quarter.In better news for loan originators, operating expenses ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including commissions, compensation, and equipment ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô deflated with a fall from $5,644 per loan over the second quarter this year to $5,315 per loan over the third quarter.Personnel expense meanwhile declined from $3,561 per loan over the second quarter to $3,317 per loan over the third quarter.The MBA said that the net cost for originations declined from $3,513 per loan over the second quarter to $3,360 over the third quarter.FICO scores for borrowers also rose on average to 734 over the third quarter this year, up from 729 over the second quarter. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share
Fed,Beige Book Finds Economy Expanding ‘Gradually’ Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Beige Book Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2012-08-29 Mark Lieberman The nation’s economy expanded “”gradually”” from early July through mid-August, the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ reported yesterday in its periodic Beige Book. [IMAGE]The description of the economy, drawn from reports from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts differed from the usual tone of Beige Books which have recently described economic growth as “”modest”” or “”moderate.””Six Districts, according to the Beige Books, “”indicated the local economy continued to expand at a modest pace and another three cited moderate growth,”” including Chicago which said growth had slowed from the last Beige Book report which was released July 18. Two other districts – Philadelphia and Richmond – reported “”slow growth in most sectors and declines in manufacturing”” and the report from Boston was “”mixed”” with “”some slowdown since the previous report.””The Beige Book is issued two weeks ahead of each scheduled meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. Though closely watched, it is rarely cited at FOMC meetings or referenced in meeting minutes. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.Real estate markets were generally reported as “”improving,”” according to the latest Beige Book. “”All 12 Districts cited increases in home sales, home prices, or housing construction,”” the report said.Housing markets across most districts, the Beige Book said, showed “”signs of improvement, with sales and construction continuing to increase.””Descriptions of housing sector activity ranged from “”significant levels of buyer traffic”” and, “”strong pending sales”” in Dallas and Richmond respectively to “”slow and modest”” in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Reports from Philadelphia and Kansas City cautioned “”the possibility of shadow inventory entering the market remains a concern”” while inventory declines were reported in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco, putting upward pressure on prices.””In general,”” the report said, “”outlooks were positive, with continued increases in activity expected, although the projected gains were more modest in Boston, Cleveland, and Kansas City.””Credit conditions, the Beige Book said, “”have improved over the reporting period according to District reports.”” [COLUMN_BREAK]The Beige Book said “”credit spreads were lower and competition for high-quality borrowers among lending institutions has increased.””Bankers in the Cleveland District mentioned a moderate loosening of lending guidelines, the Beige Book said while the New York, St. Louis, and Kansas City Districts reported “”unchanged credit standards.””Reports on loan demand were mixed. Richmond and Atlanta, for example, reported generally low demand for loans, but some pockets of growth.Chicago said growth in business loan demand was generated mostly from small and mid-size firms and for the purpose of refinancing rather than financing capital expenditures. Cleveland, St. Louis, and San Francisco cited only small positive or negative changes in business credit demand but relatively strong demand for consumer credit. Kansas City reported stable demand for commercial and industrial loans and commercial real estate loans, while Dallas noted softer demand for loans overall. Both districts though saw increases in demand for residential real estate loans and New York and Philadelphia reported growth in most lending categories. Commercial real estate market conditions held steady or improved in nearly all Districts, the Beige Book said. New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Kansas City all reported commercial leasing increased and vacancy rates fell. New York and Kansas City reported increases in office rents as well while Kansas City also cited a rise in commercial construction. Retail activity, including auto sales, increased since the last Beige Book report in most districts, although Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Francisco noted the retail improvements were small and Atlanta said retail growth had slowed. Philadelphia though indicated growth in retail sales was “”somewhat faster than in the previous report.””Most Districts, the report said, reported employment was “”holding steady or growing only slightly,”” adding “”several Districts including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond noted a softening in employment relative to expectations.””The Beige Book said “”upcoming layoffs were reported by a defense contractor in the Boston District and by firms in sectors such as air transportation, appliances, and business support services in the St Louis District.””At the same time, according to the Beige Book, “”almost all Districts indicated that manufacturers were continuing to hire, albeit modestly”” with demand strongest for skilled manufacturing and engineering positions, as well as for IT services. Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Dallas all reported some difficulty meeting demand for truck drivers.The Beige Book is often cloaked in secrecy. The district reports are sent to one of the banks to prepare the national summary. The identity of District bank which prepares the summary is closely guarded. This report was prepared by the Boston Federal Reserve Bank which last wrote the summary in January 2011 when the economy was beginning a swoon after some signs of improvement. In that report, the Beige Book said “”economic activity continued to expand moderately from November through December .”” August 29, 2012 408 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market
Share May 14, 2014 422 Views in Data, Headlines, News Collateral Analytics Joins Data Protection Group Collateral Analytics Company News 2014-05-14 Tory Barringer Collateral Analytics, one of the real estate industry’s leading providers of comprehensive automated valuation solutions and analytic products, has joined up with the Real Estate Data Protection Legal Association Nonprofit (REDPLAN), the company announced.According to a release, REDPLAN dedicates itself to protecting the real estate industry’s copyrighted materials and intellectual property rights. As a member, Collateral Analytics is part of a larger group of companies coming together to promote the common interests of real estate information providers.“By joining REDPLAN, Collateral Analytics has proven they will be good stewards of the use of real estate data and respect the intellectual property rights of the content owners,” said REDPLAN administrator Darity Wesley. “We are pleased to welcome them as charter members of REDPLAN.”“The core of our company thrives on data and collaboration,” added Michael Sklarz, president and CEO of Hawaii-based Collateral Analytics. “We support REDPLAN and its mission to protect the real estate information industry.”
Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Five Star Institute Regulations 2014-09-23 Seth Welborn Share CFPB Official Discusses New Servicing Rules September 23, 2014 574 Views in Featured, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing A recurring theme during many of the six labs at the Five Star Conference last week was compliance and how it has changed the mortgage and real estate industries in the last few years.The laws are constantly changing, however, making compliance an even further complicated issue.Laurie Maggiano, a program manager for servicing and secondary markets at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), was on hand to discuss the ever-changing world of mortgage servicing statutes for the “CFPB’s National Servicing Standards – Update Session” section of the FSC Compliance Lab on September 15.”Mortgage servicing in 2014 isn’t NASCAR where you direct your staff around a predicable track repeating the same steps over and over,” Maggiano said. “To a great extent it is the Wild West with state and federal regulators changing the rules of engagement on a regular basis, state banking regulators and attorneys general citing servicers for infractions that were industry practice, albeit poor ones, 10 years ago; bank and non-bank servicers competing for product in an uneven ring and investors so risk averse that it is surprising there are any new loans coming out of the chute. It is a demanding but also an exciting and creative time to be in this business.”Maggiano presented four new rules that have either recently passed or are pending and taking comments.The first was the Interpretive Rule on Successors in Interest and ATR (ability to repay) Rule, which was published on July 8. The ATR rule is intended to stop consumers from assuming debt they cannot repay and applies to new originations and mortgage assumptions. The Interpretive Rule was added to give an exemption from the ATR rule to successors in interest who inherit a property’s title but are not listed on the mortgage, such as divorced or surviving spouses.The second rule Maggiano discussed was the Publication of Consumer Complaint Narratives, which was proposed on July 17 and is taking comments until September 22. This rule involves publishing a database featuring consumers’ full complaints against financial institutions. While the CFPB says such a rule will benefit consumers by providing them with necessary information and will result in more transparency among financial institutions, some analysts have criticized this rule; since there is no way to verify the allegations made in the complaints, the CFPB may in some cases be publishing unfounded grumblings of disgruntled individuals.The third rule brought up was the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Proposed Rule, which was issued on July 28 and is taking comments until October 22. This is a proposed amendment to the HMDA, which was amended as a result of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act in 2010. The new rule would standardize reporting between large and small banks, and while existing data fields would be used for reporting to simplify the process, CFPB would also be expanding the reporting by adding some data fields.The Servicing Transfer Bulletin, which was published on August 19, was the fourth rule Maggiano discussed. While it is not the purpose of CFPB to inhibit transfers, she said, the purpose of this rule is to ensure that borrowers, especially those in the process of loss mitigation, are not harmed in any way by a mortgage loan transfer over which they have no control.Indeed, the summer of 2014 was a busy one for updating CFPB laws and proposing new ones, which is bound to keep servicers on their toes as far as compliance goes.”As you can see by the pace of change in just the past two, quiet, lazy months of summer, when you rightfully should expect that Washington shuts down and goes home, servicing policy is dynamic and fast paced,” Maggiano said.
March 22, 2016 528 Views Braced for Impact in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Print Features The industry was primed and ready for the Fed’s rate hike, but how has it fared since the increase went into effect?By The Hon. Joseph MurinIn December, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate, the federal funds rate, from a range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. It was the first announcement of a rate hike since 2006. For some of the younger professionals in the mortgage industry, it’s likely the first time they’ve ever seen such an occurrence. In the past few years, an interest rate hike has been the boogeyman of the mortgage market. After enjoying artificially low rates for the better part of 10 years and two historical refinance spikes as a result, some investors simply couldn’t fathom the possibility of higher rates. However, most of us can agree that, inevitably, the action had to be taken based on current economic conditions and the demands of the market. We can also probably assume that any talk of a market panic in the wake of the increase was premature, and the short-term consequences have come and gone. This will be the first year in quite some time that we may experience some kind of increase to average mortgage interest rates.The Anticipated Increase Occurred, Now What?First and foremost, the mortgage and real estate industry, including its associated secondary market, is a different place than it was in 2006, even if we set aside the impact of ubiquitous regulatory changes. So too is the 10-year Treasury note, long a reliable indicator of mortgage rates. While there was a time when a Fed hike almost automatically resulted in a subsequent rise in the 10-year T-note that has since changed. One important reason for this is a dramatic increase in the activity of global market participants. An increasing international appetite for U.S. debt has brought into play a host of complex and interrelated factors having some effect on the 10-year T-note, making it much more difficult to predict exactly how mortgage rates will be affected by the interest rate increase. The correlation between these indicators is no longer a linear one.The first quarter of 2016 has done little to clarify an otherwise murky outlook. Plummeting oil prices and talk of a China-led economic slowdown and its possible widespread effect on global markets played havoc with markets foreign and domestic in January. While some bemoaned a series of market sell-offs and suggested another global recession is imminent, others pointed to underlying fundamentals such as increasing employment rates in the United States or the positive impact of cheap oil on industry and consumer spending to assert that, at the very least, the U.S. economy will continue to improve. Through it all, the U.S. 10-year T-note yielded less while its price went up.Gaining PerspectiveWhat does all of this mean for our own industry in 2016 and beyond? For starters, it means life has become a little more complex for those with a stake in predicting mortgage rates. Traditionally, we could make several assumptions and predictions based upon the health of the 10-year T-note. But with its status increasingly affected by everything from $30 oil to geopolitical tension in the Middle East, the tea leaves are much harder to read. There is little doubt that the average rate on a 30-year fixed purchase mortgage will go up. But the real question is . . . how much? And what will that mean for mortgage lending?More than anything else, a quick dose of history . . . and reality . . . is needed. Peter Warden of LendingTree put our current interest rate into perspective by providing some indicators from the past in his article, “Mortgage Rates: What to Expect in 2016.” Our industry hasn’t seen a monthly average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages over 5 percent since 2010. In fact, that rate has stayed closer to 3 percent than 5 percent for years. Yet, the average annual rate for the same mortgage tended to be over 6 percent before the financial crisis of 2008, even in years witnessing historically high origination volume. In 2000, at the dawn of a game-changing refinance boom, it was over 8 percent. Industry veterans still remember 1981, around the time of the savings and loan crisis, when rates closer to 16 percent were the norm. When we take our history into account, a 4 or even 5 percent average 30-year fixed rate doesn’t seem so bad, and certainly won’t destroy our industry.Facing Our Fears While leading economists have predicted a gradual rate increase settling anywhere between 4 and 5 percent by the end of the year, all acknowledge that the numbers will depend on the myriad factors discussed above. Will we see the beginning of a global recession? Will there be new concerns or developments having a similar impact?I believe, as a good number of forecasters do, that we will see the Federal Reserve move cautiously in its efforts to increase interest rates. The American economy appears finally to have, for the most part, recovered from the Great Recession. The last thing the Fed wants to do is test that or, even worse, stall the recovery. While some predict as many as four rate increases in the coming year, I believe two more small increases are coming, each at 0.25 points. It appears to me that the powers-that-be are seeking the Fed rate to reach 100 basis points. That said, I believe they will move slowly and deliberately toward this objective. We may not see this result until 2017. And, of course, the global economy will have its say in determining how delicately the Fed will move.So what does this mean for our industry? I believe it means the purchase mortgage market will remain relatively strong and perhaps even improve slightly. I believe we will see more Americans begin to leverage their primary assets, their homes, through vehicles such as the HELOC. Should the American economy remain relatively strong, as many predict, the result will be a demand for homes. Should the enigmatic but highly sought-after millennial finally choose to enter the market as a first-time homebuyer, we could even see a mild spike in origination volume.If anything, the biggest threat to the mortgage and real estate market is artificial. Although it is not born of the dynamic factors shaping the marketplace, it most certainly has an impact. The atmosphere of regulatory scrutiny and imposition of significant barriers, costs, and restrictions to mortgage market participants will be the biggest factor to monitor in 2016. Talk of consolidation and contraction is only growing louder as some make their exit. Some firms will decide that originating a mortgage has simply become too expensive. Perhaps more important, the future is still a bit unpredictable. As a result, some larger participants will sharply reduce or eliminate their mortgage lines of business. Smaller firms or firms that only provide mortgage lending could well choose to cash out.The past 15 years have been highly unusual when compared to the industry’s larger history. Historically low interest rates, unbelievable refinance volume, and catastrophic foreclosure rates have, perhaps, skewed our perception. We’ve seen one historic occurrence after another, which may be shaping our expectations. In the grand scheme of things, a mild interest rate hike will not move the needle in the long run. Instead, it’s simply a good example of the ebb and flow to mortgage lending and the greater economy.Editor’s note: This select print feature appears in the March 2016 edition of MReport magazine, available now. Compliance Federal Reserve Mortgage Interest Rates 2016-03-22 Staff Writer Share
in Daily Dose, Headlines, journal, News, REO Auction.com Company News Think Realty Think Realty Radio 2018-04-26 David Wharton April 26, 2018 598 Views Think Realty Radio, a national radio show airing daily on Wall Street Radio, has secured a partnership agreement with California-based Auction.com, an online real estate marketplace focused exclusively on the sale of residential bank-owned and foreclosure properties. Auction.com sponsors the Think Realty Radio show on Thursdays.Think Realty, a provider of real estate investor resources, education, and best practices, debuted Think Realty Radio show on January 1, 2018. The national show is hosted by real estate investor, educator, radio personality, Think Realty coach, and regular Forbes contributor Abhi Golhar. Think Realty Radio airs at 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Each hour-long show features interviews with two industry influencers and professionals and covers topics including investment and business strategies, current market analysis, identifying potential real estate investment deals, property acquisition, and lending. Recordings of the show are available on ThinkRealtyRadio.com.“Auction.com, a nationally recognized and trusted online real estate marketplace, is a perfect fit for Think Realty Radio,” said Eddie Wilson, CEO of Think Realty and its parent company, Affinity Worldwide. “The Think Realty audience is comprised of real estate investors who are serious about expanding their knowledge, and Auction.com is an excellent resource for them.”“We are excited to connect with Think Realty’s national audience of investors and help them find properties that fit their individual and personal investment criteria,” said Colleen Lambros, CMO from Auction.com. “We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Think Realty.” Auction.com Partners with Think Realty Radio Share
“Our customers can expect their orders in a more timely manner, and, importantly, with freshness assured.”As well as being about to collect its goods faster, IBM said Hupco also benefited from lower operating costs, stronger provenance and real-time visibility of documents which is both traceable and tamper-proof, and greater security by helping prevent document fraud, which comprises 40% of all maritime fraud.The live trial follows the e-BL Proof of Concept which was announced in October 2018. The live trial is an important milestone because it validates how the system works in real-time conditions, IBM said.Lisa Teo, executive director of PIL, said: “We are pleased with the steady progress of our blockchain collaboration with IBM. To-date, we have received very positive feedback from the industry and authorities, and we are enthused by the possibilities of how our blockchain developments can transform and inject a much-needed boost in efficiency and innovation into the industry.”Harriet Green, CEO and chairman of IBM Asia Pacific, said: “A blockchain-based trade network will be a game-changer, and we have a great opportunity here with our partner PIL to revolutionize the documentation processes in a way that benefits the entire industry.”Powered by blockchain, the e-BL developed by the IBM Research Singapore will be critical in helping to establish an extensible ecosystem for trade, thus expectedly enhancing trade efficiency and building trusted trade relationships among the industry players.” A shipment of mandarin oranges has been successfully shipped from Singapore to China using an electronic bill of lading (e-BL) built on the IBM blockchain platform for real-time tracking.The trial was carried out by Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL), which said the technology reduced the administrative process of transferring the title deed from several days to just one second. The bill of lading is one of the most crucial documents used in international trade, typically issued by a shipping carrier to document the title or ownership of goods. It also functions as a receipt of goods and a contract of the shipment.Combining e-BL with blockchain technology promises to help companies reduce their document processing times to almost zero, with an instantaneous digital transfer of the bill of lading for their cargo, IBM said.Hupco Pte, a major importer of mandarin oranges, took part in the e-BL trial as the consignee of 3,000 cartons of the fruit.Tay Khiam Back, chairman and CEO of Hupco, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the trial. By using the e-BL, we have seen how the entire shipment process can be simplified and made more transparent with considerable cost savings. February 01 , 2019 Fifth of top global grocers will use blockchain by … You might also be interested in
brochureEuropeInsight Vacations IMAGE: Village in Cinque Terre, Italy Insight Vacations has released its 2018 Europe Preview collection – giving travel agents the first look at new tours and offers.The 23-page preview brochure highlights Insight’s new Discovery tours, allowing travellers to experience the full diversity of this vast continent. The eight new tours have been re-imagined to include more immersive and engaging activities, including authentic farm-to-table restaurants and dining in local homes. “As travel trends evolve, it’s vital that we continue to innovate so that we really tap into what the customer of today is looking for,” said Alexandra O’Connor, Managing Director for Insight Vacations Australia. “… our customer research found that Australian travellers rate a gourmet walking tour of Parisian neighbourhoods as more appealing than even ascending the Eiffel Tour or visiting the Louvre. Our new Discovery tours are brimming with great local experiences which bring the destination to life and complement the classic highlights that we know and love.”The launch of the preview collection allows agents to secure their client’s ultimate holiday now, with the bonus of a price guarantee with 2018 tours at 2017 prices when booking now, an additional 10% Early Payment Discount and additional savings for previous Insight guests with an additional 5% off.
Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham has remained absent from training camp while he deals with the fallout from a DUI arrest that occurred in Georgia in June. The 36-year-old Abraham, who tallied 11.5 sacks last year and is the NFL’s active leader with 133.5 career sacks, released a statement Friday through the team: “First, I want to apologize to my family and friends, the Cardinals organization, my teammates and the fans for letting them down. I understand the significance of my actions and right now I am taking the necessary steps to handle my personal business. I am very thankful for the support from my family, friends and especially the Cardinals organization during this time in my life. I am looking forward to being back with my teammates in the near future.” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters Friday that he expects Abraham to return “soon,” such as in five or six days. – / 16 Comments Share Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling