Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner has set world records for both speed and distanceImage source: Boeing Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner Jet has set a new world record for both speed and distance for the airliners weight class.The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the first airplane manufactured using fewer hazardous materials and designed to consume less fuel has broken the record previously held by the Airbus A330 based on a 16,903 km flight in 2002.In a Boeing online statement, Scott Fancher, Vice President and General Manager of the 787 program said speed and distance capabilities are fundamental to the value the 787 brings to the market.”These records are a great way to demonstrate that this airplane is the game-changer we have promised.” Mr Fancher said.Boeing’s sixth 787, ZA006, departed from Boeing Field in Seattle at 11:02am on the 06 December and set the distance record for its class (440,000-550,000 lbs with a 19,835km flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh, with credit for 19,144 km.Following an approximate two-hour stop for refueling in Dhaka, the aircraft returned to Seattle on a 18,027 km flight. The aircraft landed at 5:29am on 08 December setting a new record for speed around the world eastbound with a total trip time of 42 hours and 27 minutes. The Boeing 787 carried 13 people in total, including six pilots, an observer for the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), and operations and other Boeing employees.After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the airplane entered European air space at Santiago, Spain, and proceeded down the Mediterranean, across Egypt to Luxor, across the Middle East and over India to Bangladesh. On the second segment, the Dreamliner flew over Singapore, the Philippines and Guam before entering U.S. airspace over Honolulu and returning to Seattle.Boeing holds world records for longest distance flights in five weight classes with records set by the KC-135, 767-200ER (extended range), 777-200 and 777-200LR (longer range). The 777-200 also holds the speed record for its weight class. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
Switzerland’s national tourist organisation, Switzerland Tourism is planning to open a regional office in Singapore from 01 June this year.Switzerland Tourism Executive Vice President for MICE Mr Urs Eberhard said the decision to set up an office in Singapore was to tap into the South East Asia tourist market.The role of the new Director, which has not been appointed, will be to build strong relationships and drive marketing and sales initiatives in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.The new regional office will also obtain support from the Swiss embassies in all four countries mentioned.Mr Eberhard who recently lead a delegation of representatives from Swiss tour agencies to Singapore said that the new office will also act as an educational facility to educate travel agents.He added that it will also carry out joint promotions, work with mainstream and social media platforms and apply e-marketing.Mr Eberhard said that on the whole Switzerland Tourism predicted the tourism arrival figures from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to grow to 415,000 overnight visitors by 2015. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
The 21-year-old student gets a pat on the back after the successful landing Image: Ten A student with only 120 hours flying time made a dramatic landing at Mangalore Airport, north of Melbourne, on Monday, after losing one of the aircrafts three wheels mid flight.The 21-year-old man contacted his instructor after noticing a problem with his wheels and was told to fly over the airport for a visual inspection, where it was revealed that one of the wheels was missing, The Daily Mail reported.The student was then forced to circle the airport for five hours to burn off fuel, so as to decrease the chance of the aircraft catching fire in the event of a crash.When the man finally touched down, his plane turned 180 degrees before successfully stopping.Fire fighters sprayed the aircraft with foam, whilst the student was still inside, to ensure a fire did not erupt.The student was then finally escorted from the plane by emergency services, with a Senior Sergeant commenting on his “excellent landing.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.N
Brisbane and Abu Dhabi have re-announced their sister city relationship, during a Brisbane business delegation to the Emirati capital.Lord Mayor of Brisbane Graham Quirk said that the re-confirmed partnership will help benefit both cities through increased business and investment opportunities.“The Abu Dhabi-Brisbane relationship has generated more than $450 million worth of economic benefits for Brisbane companies since 2009,” Mayor Quirk said.“This relationship has also seen the transfer of valuable knowledge and skills between the city’s local government agencies, as well as secondary education exchanges and the delivery of a multi-million dollar upgrade of local laws and regulations.“Over the next five years, business and cultural exchanges will be pursued in areas such as international education, infrastructure, investment and knowledge sharing.”The Brisbane Lord Mayor is currently in Abu Dhabi with 30 business delegates to meet with local business leaders and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The delegation will also visit a range of industry and business precincts and receive briefings on local market conditions for trade and investment.Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
From April 23-26, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will hold the PATA Annual Summit 2015 in Leshan, Sichuan, China.PATA expects more than 300 international and local delegates are expected to be in attendance, including representatives from the national tourism bureaus of Malaysia, Palau, Guam, Solomon Islands and others.During the Summit, in addition to the conference, Executive Board, Board and Committee Meetings, and Annual General Meeting (AGM), many Leshan related events and activities will be held.The PATA Annual Summit represents one of the Association’s three signature events during the year, with 64 AGMs having been held in more than 40 countries.During the PATA Annual Summit 2015, Leshan will arrange various tours for delegates to experience Emei Mountain, Leshan Giant Buddha, Xianzhizhujian, and the Qianweijiayang train tour.The highlight of the event will be the conference held on Friday, April 24, under the theme, New Dimensions of Heritage and Culture Tourism, the conference will explore the challenge between increasing tourism growth and the appropriate management of heritage and cultural sites.Key industry thought leaders from around the world will share their insights and knowledge with conference delegates.Local delegates will have the chance to learn how the double world heritages of Emei Mountain and Leshan Giant Buddha can contribute to the Complete Visitor Economy in Leshan.According to the Leshan City Tourism and Sports Committee, preparations for the event are underway and the city hopes that co-hosting the PATA Annual Summit 2015, it can further push the local tourism industry.Source = Pacific Asia Travel Association
Be part of Australia’s voice for Global Exhibitions DayThe Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) is calling on government and industry to show its support for the Power of Exhibitions ahead of Global Exhibitions Day 2017 (#GED17) on 7 June.#GED17 is an initiative of UFI, the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry, and Australia will be the first country to kick off the campaign around the world.The EEAA has targeted 75 local, state and federal politicians, business leaders and industry stakeholders around the country to put a spotlight on the value of exhibitions and events to broad sectors of Australia’s economy and business life.Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, said Global Exhibitions Day was an important day for the industry and she encouraged individuals, teams and companies to be part of the united global industry voice celebrating and promoting the power of exhibitions and events.“Advocacy for our sector is a collective responsibility and there is more impact if we all join in the global effort,” Ms DiMascio said.“Anyone in the exhibition and event industry can be involved. Together, we can amplify Australia’s voice on the global stage and give power to this campaign globally.“I commend UFI for this initiative and I encourage the Australasian industry to participate.”For the second year, the EEAA will align two of its major member events with #GED – the EEAA 2017 Annual General Meeting and EEAA 2017 Leaders Forum on 7 and 8 June. This year, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Honourable Keith Pitt MP will join the industry at this important event.Other EEAA activities to support #GED17 include:7 June – Global Exhibitions Day Reception, with Mr Jonathan O’Dea, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Premier and Treasurer.8 June – Mumbrella360 masterclass session, where exhibition industry leaders Reed Exhibitions and Eventbrite will present alongside EEAA to pitch the merits of exhibitions and events to senior-level marketers at Australia’s leading media and marketing conference. #GED17 Get involved hereSource = The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia
France remains near the top of world Tourism for very good reasons; culture, architecture and baguettes. Maybe not the baguettes; although nothing beats lining up at the boulongerie at 5pm for warm freshly baked breadFrom the warm and sunny South, to the wide streets of Pars, there is something for everyone. Don’t buy into the myth that the French are rude; they are just very and are fighting a difficult battle in retaining the purity and distinctiveness of their language, which is undoubtedly the sweetest sounding on EarthParis: You cant go past the Louvre, Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe and Eiffel tower. Sure its a bit of a cliché, but most definitely a must see. Take a riverboat down the Seine for a romantic evening.roomsXML has 1111 Properties in ParisNice: Originally founded by the greeks, Nice found itself being the destination of the French Elite. Located on the French Riviera, Nice is a haven for artists, with galleries galore, up the winding roads and paths. Works of Henry Mattise can be found at Musée MatisseroomsXML has 122 properties in Nice.Bordeaux: Don’t drive. Bordeaux is the wine growing region in S-W France. Mansions, wine, and gardens are some of the highlights. Don’t miss the Bordeaux Catherderal, the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux and Place de la Bourse.roomsXML has 78 Properties in Bordeaux Vive La France – roomsXML in the land of Baguettes and Boules roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide . If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. Thanks for Wikitravel for the tips. roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsxml.com
Source = Residence Inn by Marriott Residence Inn Hotel to open at Sea-Tac AirportResidence Inn Hotel to open at Sea-Tac AirportStylish and functional hotel design lets extended-stay guests thrive on the roadThe 170-suite Residence Inn by Marriott in Seattle, Washington is scheduled to open today. Located at 19608 International Boulevard, the all-suite Residence Inn Seattle Sea-Tac Airport will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by Western International and managed by Texas Western International Partners LP of Dallas, Texas. The hotel is located two miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Seattle, and its well know attractions like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and CenturyLink Field. The Residence Inn Seattle Sea-Tac Airport offers its guests convenient access to Angle Lake Park, Westfield Southcenter Mall and is within walking distance to the Angle Lake Station on the Link Light Rail, offering stops to downtown and the University of Washington. Rates vary depending on length of stay and season. “We are pleased with the continued growth of Residence Inn hotels in the Seattle area,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn. “When on the road for an extended period, our guests need space to spread out, maintain their life’s pace and restore their energy to help them maintain a healthy balance and routine while traveling. This new hotel offers them a seamless blend of modern style and functionality that allows them to settle in and thrive.” The Residence Inn Seattle Sea-Tac Airport is an all-suite hotel that offers studios, some featuring balconies overlooking Angle Lake. Guests looking for a revitalizing sleep experience will enjoy the hotel’s plush mattresses and crisp linens, while guests focused on being productive will value their suite’s large, well-lit work desk, ergonomic chair, and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Designed for stays of five nights or more, each suite also has a fully-equipped kitchen with a coffeemaker, microwave oven and residential-sized appliances. The Residence Inn Seattle Sea-Tac Airport rotates a wide selection of healthy choices at our free hot breakfast every day. Start with favorites like bacon and eggs, Greek yogurt, cut fruit or waffles and make it yours with our extensive toppings, ranging from fresh spinach and cheese to sliced almonds and strawberries. Enjoy all the options you need to start your morning with endless possibilities. Extending the feeling of comfortable living on the road, the property offers guests inviting and functional public spaces to relax or collaborate. Road warriors and families alike enjoy the hotel’s grocery delivery service, complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour onsite food and beverage market, dry cleaning services, and onsite guest laundry room. The hotel’s weeknight evening gatherings – the RI MixÔ offer a casual, relaxing environment where guests can be as social as they want, while enjoying premium beers and connection to local flavors. The hotel also maintains a business library where guests can fax, copy and print materials, and provides guests with a meeting room, an onsite bar, a rooftop deck for lake views, a fitness center and access to Angle Lake. About Residence Inn by MarriottResidence Inn by Marriott is the global leader in the extended-stay lodging segment, with more than 700 properties located in 10 countries and territories. Designed for long stays, the brand offers spacious suites with separate living, working, and sleeping zones. Fully functional kitchens; grocery delivery service; 24-hour markets and complimentary breakfasts help guests maximize their time and thrive while they travel. The RI MixÔ evening events afford guests the opportunity to socialize and connect with the local community. Each Residence Inn offers free Wi-Fi in both public and guests spaces to ensure continuous connectivity while on the road. As a member of the Marriott International portfolio, Residence Inn is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information or reservations, visit residenceinn.marriott.com. For travel tips, the latest on the brand or to connect with other travelers, “like” Residence Inn on Facebook and follow @ResidenceInn on Twitter and Instagram.
One of the ABC islands in the Dutch Caribbean (alongside Aruba and Bonaire), Curacao – a sliver of land favourably sited off the Sea’s hurricane belt—is chiefly admired for its glistening waters, white sand beaches, and extraordinary reefs.According to Curacao Tourist Board (CTB) data, Curacao is benefitting from an early season bookings surge. The southern Caribbean destination hosted 39,676 overnight visitors in March 2015, and 11% increase over the 35,690 recorded during the same period in 2014.Curacao has also recorded a 13.7% increase in arrivals in January and February of 2015, according to Caribbean Tourism Organisation statistics, with 82,398 visitors in 2015 versus the same period in 2014.Air Canada is expanding its service to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao in time for the summer season. The carrier announced that it would be expanding its seasonal service to year-round flights, with a nonstop Toronto-Curacao flight every Friday.A Courtyard by Marriott is also coming to the island of Curacao which will have 177 rooms and suites, and is scheduled to open in 2017.
Algeria recorded 2.7 million arrivals last year. With its ancient Roman ruins and golden beaches set against lush hills, the country has adequate potential to lure Intercontinental Group and Holiday Inn in the current year. In fact, Tipaza could be a star of the Mediterranean tourist industry.This would however require more investment. Even as the government cut spending this year by nine percent, it pledged not to axe infrastructure that will support a more diversified economy, including the construction of ports and airports. Nearly 1,000 tourist projects worth at least $3.9 billion have been approved, said Tourism Minister Amar Ghoul.A new mechanism will be put in place to encourage operators in the sector including travel agencies to invest in the implementation of tourist structures, he added. This will aim towards encouraging public and private tourism agencies to improve the quality of services and to invest in the implementation of hotel facilities and tourist villages. A national meeting involving the tourism and travel agencies will be held soon to address the concerns of operators in the sector and present the program of the Ministry of Town Planning, Tourism and Craft Industry based on three main areas: local tourism, tourism towards the Algerian community abroad and tourism towards foreign tourists.
Brand USA has had an immensely successful innings with its fifth annual India Mission organised for the travel trade from September 18–23, 2016. The mission, travelling across three Indian metro cities of Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi witnessed an excellent response from the Indian travel industry professionals.The mission provided an opportunity for U.S. suppliers to engage with key decision makers through free flow one-on-one appointments with the goal of increasing destination and product knowledge, business cooperation and travel bookings. Additionally, a dedicated media day was organised in New Delhi with leading travel trade and consumer media to interact with the U.S. partners participating in the mission.Christopher L Thompson, President & CEO, Brand USA, said, “In 2015, more than 1.1 million Indians visited the United States, a 17% increase over 2014. India will surely be a key contributor toward our goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the United States by 2021.”Cathleen Domanico, Vice President- Global Trade, Brand USA, informed that the top source markets from India remain Mumbai and Delhi. In order to tap the Tier 2 cities of India, Brand USA conducted 10 Educational Seminars last year which was a great success and attended by top travel agents.Domanico also updated on the ‘USA Discovery Program’, an interactive online training programme that provides travel agents with the knowledge and skills needed to sell trips to the USA more effectively. Currently, over 3,300 travel agents from across India have completed the USA Discovery Program, she added.Sheema Vohra, Managing Director, Brand USA in India, added, “We are thrilled by a great response from the Indian travel trade in all three cities are confident that this trend will continue over the next decade providing an excellent opportunity for our Indian travel partners to cultivate lucrative business opportunities with the USA.”The U.S. delegation included representatives from 37 U.S. companies including destinations, attractions, hotels and receptive operators.The California delegation was a cross-section of the Golden state’s iconic destinations and attractions, including the California Academy of Sciences, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Red and White Fleet, San Francisco Travel Association, San Francisco International Airport, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, TravDek- DMC and Universal Studios Hollywood.Alex Vigil, Manager, Europe & India Marketing, Visit California, informed that more than 258 million visitors travelled to California in 2015 from every corner of the world; 291,000 of them from India. “Indian travellers stayed an average 18.5 days on their trip, spending $ 1785 each, making them a valuable target for California tourism businesses,” he said.Sandeep Talwar, President & CEO, TravDek, informed that they will launch a mobile application by January 2017 offering vacation packages and customised itineraries to destinations throughout USA.Ann Tok, International Communications Manager, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, updated the travel trade and media on new hotel and attraction openings and shared all Philadelphia has to offer within its compact, walkable, safe and clean downtown. “India continues to be a key market for Philadelphia, which welcomed more than 25,000 travellers from India in 2015, making it one of the city’s top ten markets for overseas visitors according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Travel and Tourism Office,” she added.New York City welcomed an estimated 283,000 visitors from India in 2015, reflecting a growth of nine percent since the previous year.Las Vegas is known as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’, a destination that has something for everyone. “India is an important market for Las Vegas and we are delighted to be a part of the Brand USA India Mission once again this year. It gives us the opportunity to share the latest updates from the world’s most exciting destination with our travel industry partners in India,” said Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Marketing, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Oman’s tourism department has introduced a new eVisa service to attract outbound travellers to the country. The first stage comprises non-sponsored tourist visas for people from 67 countries as well as GCC residents employed in 116 professions.“The Sultanate’s announcement of the eVisa system will ensure the continuous growth of Oman’s tourism sector in the coming years as this provides not only tourists but also investors, businessmen, researchers and students easier access to visa processing. Last year, the number of tourist arrivals reached three million and it is expected to increase to more than four million by 2020,” said Salim Adi Al Mamari, Director General- Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism Oman.Through the eVisa system, visitors can get their visa applications processed in accordance with the laws and regulations of Oman. Tourists will only need to fill up the form online and attach the necessary documents as well as pay the application by credit card through a Global Payment Gateway that is officially certified by Oman. All applicants will receive notifications through the emails provided.The eVisa system will also allow Oman to receive more tourists from key markets such as China, Russia and the U.S. and drive the demand for experiential travel to the Sultanate, he added. Tourists can apply for online visa at evisa.rop.gov.om.
in Government, Secondary Market, Servicing *_Correction: Figures valuing 55 percent of HCJMs as 50,000 mortgages worth over $30 billion, reflecting 2010 figures from FHFA’s Mortgage Market Note, have been removed; $650,500 has also been changed to $625,500._*[IMAGE]The “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) released research on Monday indicating a greater-than-expected drive to high conforming jumbo mortgages (HCJMs) by “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/ and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/, raising questions about the long-term impact their buying spree may have on private markets.According to the research, the government-sponsored enterprises walked away this year with approximately 55 percent of HCJMs in 10 of the nation’s high-cost counties. [COLUMN_BREAK]On average, HCJM loan balances fall between $625,500 and $729,500, traditionally making these properties hot commodities for private investors.Of the 10 counties under review, according to “”_National Mortgage News_””:http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/, FHFA researchers Ian Keith and Paul Manchester said that “”HCJMs accounted for 3%-8% of [all] mortgages originated in 2009 and 5%-13% of the total dollar volume of mortgages originated, with the highest shares in Fairfield County, Conn.””The researchers attributed the buy-up to Congress, which artificially raised the ceiling for GSE-purchased loans to $729,750 in localized areas with above-average median home values. Reports from Washington signaled that private investors will again have the edge on the market when the Obama administration allows the loan limit to expire in September, returning to $625,500 for affected areas.As for the overall impact, Keith and Manchester held that a return by “”Fannie””:http://www.fanniemae.com/kb/index?page=home and “”Freddie””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ to past borrowing limits would yield only a “”modest”” change for the GSEs, with only a “”small”” number of borrowers in approximately 250 counties with HCJMs facing higher financing costs as a result.If the Obama administration allows the expiration, then jumbo loan investors will reap the most benefits in Los Angeles County, where a reduction in the GSEs’ loan limits would require that the investors increase their dollar volume by approximately 50 percent. June 21, 2011 442 Views Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers 2011-06-21 Ryan Schuette FHFA: GSEs Cut Into Jumbo Mortgage Market Share
September 27, 2011 455 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Disclosures Processing Service Providers 2011-09-27 Abby Gregory Lending Discrimination Against Minorities Declining in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Share New data from the “”Home Mortgage Disclosure Act’s””:http://www.ffiec.gov/hmda/ annual survey indicates positive moves for minorities. The recently released statistics from its 2010 study examining lenders handling of minority borrowers throughout the mortgage landscape shows a 5 percent decrease year-over-year in lending discrepancies targeting individuals in the sector.[IMAGE]””TruPoint Partners””:http://www.trupointpartners.com/ evaluated the HMDA reports, and the company observed a continued pattern of elevated denial rates for minority borrowers, but the gap between the data’s subject groups – non-Hispanic white males versus minority applicants – appears to be closing steadily. Currently, the comparative rates of denial for mortgages initiated by the segments stand at[COLUMN_BREAK]19.66 percent for minorities and 14.40 percent for non-Hispanic white males.To conduct its look at fair lending, TruPoint examined cases related to price discrimination, which is defined as higher rates and fees levied on minority borrowers, and denials, which are categorized as a failure to provide credit. TruPoint’s method includes a free fair lending comparison report for HMDA entities to help lenders filing with the HDMA avoid disparity.The HMDA numbers also revealed expected trends including a 13 percent drop in application volume and 12 percent decline in originations year-over-year, according to TruPoint. Trey Sullivan, CEO of TruPoint, commented on the findings, saying, “”Lenders acknowledge that fair lending is an ethical imperative as well as a regulatory mandate. Passing fair lending examinations are not optional. ├âÔÇÜ├é┬áNegative outcomes can compromise reputation and impact growth. ├âÔÇÜ├é┬áWith the release of 2010 HMDA data, compliance officers are empowered to run comparisons on a national and local level. Application, origination, denial, and pricing analysis can be performed for each financial institution and compared to others within their peer group.””TruPoint is a provider of independent consulting and analytics for diverse financial institutions. The company services more than 500 community based lenders, helping clients focus on cost reduction, risk management, and growth.
September 10, 2014 525 Views Mortgage Applications Plunge in Latest Index in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination Share Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance 2014-09-10 Tory Barringer Applications for mortgage loans took a hard drop in September’s first week, ending at their lowest level in nearly 14 years, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed loan applications fell 7.2 percent for the week ending September 5, declining to the lowest level since December 2000. The week’s results include seasonal adjustments and an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.On an unadjusted basis, MBA’s Market Composite Index dropped 17 percent week-over-week.Refinances led the backslide, with applications falling 11 percent to end the week at their lowest level since November 2008, MBA reported. With the decline, the refinance share of total application activity slipped 2 percentage points to 55 percent.The fall-off in refinancing accompanied a slight bump in interest rates. According to MBA, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming loan was 4.27 percent for the week, up from 4.25 percent previously. It was the first increase in a month.The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index also fell, though not as dramatically: According to the group, applications dipped 3 percent from August’s final week, hitting their lowest point since February.Removing adjustments, the Purchase Index declined 14 percent week-on-week, coming up 12 percent short of where they were last year.
October 4, 2016 792 Views Is An Affordability Crisis Brewing? Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Post-crisis housing market fundamentals have been on the side of what most analysts would consider strong for some time now, and housing prices are near or even past their pre-recession peaks in some markets.With home prices nationwide having appreciated by 6.2 percent over-the-year in August and showing little signs of slowing, affordability is becoming a bigger problem, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Insights report for August 2016 released Tuesday.The forecast calls for home prices to appreciate by another 0.4 percent from August to September and by 5.3 percent by August 2017, according to CoreLogic. The HPI Forecast is a projection of what home prices based on the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables.“Home prices are now just 6 percent below the nominal peak reached in April 2006,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “With prices forecasted to increase by 5 percent over the next year, prices will be back to their peak level in 2017.”How much of a problem is affordability becoming in the face of continued strong home price appreciation?“Housing values continue to rise briskly on stronger fundamental and investor-fueled demand, as well as lack of adequate supply,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “This continued price appreciation is contributing to a growing affordability crisis in many markets around the country.”According to Dr, Richard Green, Director for the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, “We are getting close to the 2006 peak for national house prices, and the most important positive resulting from this is more and more people have equity in their houses again. While it’s certainly positive that more people own homes worth more than their mortgage balances, the recovery in house prices has been uneven and prices remain well below their peaks in many parts of the United States. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, house prices are still nearly 20 percent lower than they were in 2006. It’s also important to note that, unlike the last time around, higher prices reflect higher rents and reflect an increasing affordability problem.”Some analysts believe, however, that price appreciation cannot be considered in isolation. According to First American Financial Services, when other factors are considered such as income levels and interest rates, houses in some markets are becoming more affordable. First American’s adjusted Real House Price Index, which takes into account household incomes and mortgage interest rates, declined by nearly 5 percent over-the-year in July despite continued increases in the unadjusted index.“[R]ising household incomes and low mortgage rates continue to foster meaningful growth in consumer house-buying power across of the majority of major metropolitan markets in July, which were sufficient to more than offset unadjusted price appreciation,” said First American chief economist Mark Fleming.Click here to view the entire CoreLogic HPI report for August.Click here to view the S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Home Price Index for July. Affordability CoreLogic Home Price Insights Home Price Appreciation 2016-10-04 Seth Welborn
Experian and Finicity Streamline Loan Approvals, Increase Credit Access in Headlines, Technology Share Credit Experian Finicity loan approval mortgage 2017-03-21 Krista Franks Brock March 21, 2017 609 Views Experian and Finicity, a cloud-based financial data aggregation provider, announced Monday a collaboration that will digitize the mortgage lending process and bring some of the “credit invisible” into view for lenders.The Digital Verification Solutions tool will digitize the mortgage process, eliminating the need for loan applicants to provide paper copies of their financial documents to verify income and assets.The new technology has the power to reduce the mortgage loan approval process from as many as 70 days to as few as 10 days.“Our goal is to make the loan process far easier for consumers and to provide better information for lenders through easy-to-use, fair and transparent digital and mobile experiences,” said Alex Lintner, President of Consumer Information Services at Experian.“By working with Finicity, we will deliver more timely detailed information through smooth, safe processes for credit grantors to improve their businesses and dramatically enhance lending experiences for consumers by using the power of data,” he said.The companies stated that this collaboration will make mortgage loans more accessible to the 25 percent of Americans who are “credit invisible,” such as millennials.The Digital Verification Solutions tool takes “alternative data,” such as a consumers history of rent and utility payments, into consideration. Ultimately, lenders are able to consider a more comprehensive view of the applicant’s financial state and payment history.“Together with Experian we’re reimagining the way the financial industry views credit decisioning, while also broadening credit inclusion for consumers, said Steve Smith, CEO of Finicity.“Digitizing the credit decisioning process will improve the experience for lenders and borrowers while enabling further innovation in the lending space,” Smith said.Finicity is currently participating in a pilot program with Fannie Mae to become an asset verification report supplier for the DU validation service in Fannie Mae’s Day 1 Certainty, which allows lenders to verify an applicant’s income, assets, and employment early in the loan process and avoid representations and warranties.
First Community Mortgage Welcomes SVP of Strategy & CMO Company News First Community Mortgage MCrowd 2017-03-28 Mirasha Brown Share March 28, 2017 636 Views Christy Long HoskinsFirst Community Mortgage (FCM), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Community Bank headquartered in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, announced that Christy Long Hoskins has been appointed as SVP of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer, where she will contribute to the development of FCM’s overall strategic vision and lead all marketing, brandings, and advertising activities, with a focus on the customer experience-based Human Mortgage brand. Hoskins currently the Middle Tennessee Director for the Tennessee Mortgage Bankers Association and former President of the Nashville Mortgage Bankers Association. She was also named the Greater Nashville Realtors’ Inaugural Affiliate of the Year in 2016, and was the recipient of the Tennessee Mortgage Bankers Association Community Development award in 2015.Hoskins expressed her approval of her new position by stating, “Joining a company built on a foundation of integrity, and genuinely dedicated to helping people, is both exciting and humbling. In a short time, I’ve seen that Human Mortgage is so much more than a name; it is the vision of equal opportunity. It’s about providing the right resources to people who dream of owning a home, and making sure they understand the entire process. I’m looking forward to helping expand the reach and impact of Human Mortgage, while finding additional innovative ways to make our customers’ experiences truly enjoyable.” in Headlines, News, Origination
in Daily Dose, Featured, News The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will publish the data on the sale of existing homes for February, on Wednesday, March 21, at 10 a.m. EST. The monthly data measures sales and prices of existing single-family homes for the nation, and also gives regional breakdowns. These figures include condos and co-ops, in addition to single-family homes. Existing home sales in January were down 3.2 percent and experienced their largest decline on an annual basis in over three years, according to NAR. The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $240,500, up 5.8 percent from January 2017 ($227,300) with January’s price increase marking the seventy-first straight month of year-over-year gains.Total housing inventory at the end of January rose 4.1 percent to 1.52 million existing homes available for sale, but was still 9.5 percent lower than a year ago (1.68 million) and fell year-over-year for 32 consecutive months. Unsold inventory was at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.Here’s what else is happening in The Week Ahead:FOMC Meeting, Tuesday, 9 a.m. ESTMBA Mortgage Apps, Wednesday, 7 a.m. ESTFed Chair Press Conference, Wednesday, 2:30 p.m. ESTFHFA House Price Index, Thursday, 9 a.m. ESTFed Balance Sheet, Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ESTNew Home Sales Report, Friday, 10 a.m. EST Share The Week Ahead: Gauging Existing Home Sales Existing-homes Federal Reserve Home Sales HOUSING Housing Inventory mortgage NAR New Homes 2018-03-18 Radhika Ojha March 18, 2018 511 Views
Vacant homes sell for less and take longer to sell, according to a recent report from Redfin. Redfin’s analysis revealed that vacant homes sell for $11,306 less and spend six more days on the market than comparable occupied homes.“Although vacant homes are easy for buyers to tour at their convenience, the fact that the sellers have already moved on is often a signal to buyers that they can take their time making an offer,” said Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist for Redfin. “It’s also likely that sellers who are in a comfortable enough financial situation to own a property that’s sitting empty aren’t as motivated to get the highest possible price for their home as sellers who need the cash from their first home in order to buy the next one.”Redfin notes that in every metro analyzed, vacant homes sell for less money than occupied homes, though the difference varied by location. For example, Omaha, Nebraska, and Greenville, South Carolina, both saw the biggest gap between occupied and vacant home prices, with vacant homes selling for 7.2 percent, or about $15,000, less on average than occupied homes.While vacant homes are still discounted in West Coast cities, they typically experience a smaller price differential on average. In San Jose, buyers get the smallest discount on vacant homes, which sell for just 0.9 percent less than homes that aren’t vacant, followed by Las Vegas (-1.5%) and Orange County (-2.3%).While most markets see vacant homes take longer to sell than occupied homes, San Jose flips the script. In San Jose, vacant homes spend an average of one and a half fewer days on the market than occupied homes.“When the Bay Area real estate market is ultra competitive like it was in 2018, vacant homes tend to sell faster than the ones occupied by their owners or tenants,” said Redfin Agent Chad Eng. “Vacant homes are accessible 24/7, which means homebuyers can see them and put in an offer quickly in hopes of beating out other potential buyers.” Home Prices sales Vacancy Vacant Homes 2019-05-20 Seth Welborn May 20, 2019 518 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination How Vacancy Impacts Home Sales Share