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AAE breaks ice for Antarctic tourism gets frozen over

first_imgHowever, the expedition became stuck in ice after trying to go through 60km of fast ice and needed to be rescued, costing AUD $1.8 million. The expedition was going to conduct maintenance on the earlier Antarctic explorer, Douglas Mawson’s huts. “The beautiful thing about doing that is that you’re actually engaging the public, you’re trying to get them excited about the science you’re doing,” Mr Turney said. Chris Turney, a climate scientist from the University of NSW, said that the combination of tourism and research was the unique calling point for the AAE. The AAE was formed to follow the science tourism steps of explorers from the “Heroic Era” of Antarctic expeditions and encourage more travellers to follow in their footsteps, Radio New Zealand reported.center_img The Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), a group of Australian and New Zealand researchers, have broken the ice for Antarctic tourism but their boat also got frozen over. The failure of the expedition has led some commentators to question the wisdom of sending leisure travellers on Antarctic voyages.   Source = ETB News: T.N.last_img read more

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APAC releases the HRS Annual Hotel Price Radar 2014

first_imgS$102.2 +9.10% S$256.2 -0.7% -10.70% S$223.2 Bangkok Sydney +3.10% +0.50% Beijing S$113.2 Seoul S$235.8 S$128.9 S$103.7 Mumbai S$111.6 Rate development compared to 2013 in % -4.7% -9.7% -11.10% +3.80%center_img S$117.6 +10.90% S$110 Melbourne According to the recently released HRS Annual Hotel Price Radar, Melbourne, Sydney, and Singapore took the top slots for cities with most expensive average hotel room rates in 2014.With a 30 percent hike, Melbourne in Australia saw the biggest increase in hotel room rates in 2014, this can be attributed to the growing MICE sector in Melbourne.APAC managing director Todd Arthur, said that hotel room rates are a key indicator of both tourism and business travel levels throughout the year.“Our analysis shows that companies have confidence in the APAC region and are continuing to push for global growth. HRS’ goal is to support businesses as they address business travel related challenges, and identify smarter, strategic and more cost effective accommodation solutions that allow their employees to do their best work while on the move,” Mr Arthur said.The analysis also revealed the varying impact of political instability in different countries, for example in Bangkok there was a 10 per cent drop in room rates in 2014, as it struggled to overcome the impact of the negative political situation.On the other hand, Hong Kong, which takes the fourth place on the list of most expensive cities in terms of hotel room rates, witnessed a drop of less than a percentage point even with the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement taking place.Hotel rates in other economic powerhouses such as Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Beijing, remained fairly stable with a less than five percent change as compared to the previous year. S$289.2 Top APAC Destinations Singapore Kuala Lumpur Hong Kong -17.10% +31.40% Room Rate per night in 2014 (in SGD) Tokyo Bangalore S$91.2 S$212.2 Jakarta -4.3% Shanghai Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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Sabre launches virtual desktop

first_imgSabre Pacific has announced the launch of a new service to help Australian agencies take advantage of cloud computing. Sabre Vero is the next evolution in computing infrastructure which allows travel consultants to access their agency applications as a virtual desktop.This new Sabre Pacific service provides access to the agent desktop from multiple devices including Mac, PC, desktop, laptop, zero client, iPad, tablet or smart devices, across multiple locations, each with user controlled authentication for increased security. Allowing customers to take their world with them wherever they go.The service gives consultants the flexibility to pick and choose which applications to include in their virtual desktop based on individual requirements. They can include Sabre Red, Sabre Pacific applications, Microsoft Office 365 (including Outlook and Microsoft Office applications), One drive, printing, anti-virus and any agency web applications.“Sabre Vero allows the travel industry to centralise their technology offering with managed technical support for the Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and associated applications,” said Sabre Pacific managing director, Jeremy van de Klundert.Perfect for remote or mobile team-members, in-office hot-desking and anyone who wants the freedom to take their world with them wherever they need it.“By minimising expenditure on local hardware and office based servers, cloud computing is not only a cheaper option for travel agencies but it also delivers efficiency, flexibility and increases consultant productivity,” continued van de Klundert.A recent survey conducted by the technology leader revealed that the most important factor for agencies today is to have flexible access to data and the ability to work anywhere. They found that almost two thirds of the respondents need to access their computer files and data at least once daily, and yet only a third have a cloud based solution that allows them to meet this need. The main reason cited was a lack of knowledge on how to go about setting this up.“Sabre Vero solves this issue for our customers,” said van de Klundert. “Our customers look to us as their technology partner to help them with more than just their GDS. Sabre Vero gives consultants in Australia the IT infrastructure they need to leverage technology to succeed.”Source = Sabre Pacificlast_img read more

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CLIA takes Cruise Week online

first_imgSource = Cruise Lines International Association Australasia Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has announced it’s taking this year’s Cruise Week to a new platform, with the popular consumer event to be promoted through a new interactive online magazine.CLIA Australasia General Manager Brett Jardine said the new approach would make Cruise Week – to be held from September 7-14 – even more accessible to consumers and agents.Mr Jardine said the e-zine would be supported by a dedicated marketing campaign featuring a mixture of EDMs and social media as well as banner advertisements and native advertising across popular mainstream sites such as the Women’s Weekly in Australia and New Zealand, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Cruise Critic, Trip Advisor and Fairfax media.“People spend more time online today than they do reading the newspaper, watching TV or listening to the radio – so it makes good sense to take Cruise Week into the digital space,” Mr Jardine said.“Our new e-zine will be a fantastic way for the industry to attract prospective passengers as it will enable readers to experience life onboard a wide range of ships through content, images and video designed to immerse them in the magic of cruising.”Mr Jardine said while agents would still be encouraged to undertake traditional promotional activity such as film nights and window displays, they would also be able to promote Cruise Week by simply sending their customers an email with a link to the Cruise Week e-zine.The e-zine’s content will include interviews with cruisers and celebrities about the appeal of cruising, coverage of different styles of cruising and destinations, as well as an overview of onboard product from dining to enrichment programs.The magazine will be located on the Cruise Week website along with cruise line deals and CLIA’s Cruise Specialist Agent locator tool, which is set to be a primary focus in all Cruise Week marketing.For more information visit www.cruising.org.au in Australia and www.cruising.org.nz in New Zealand.last_img read more

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Uttarakhand to add lesserknown destinations to its tourism map

first_imgThe Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat is initiating a comprehensive strategy along with other senior officials, to popularise lesser-known tourist destinations in the state like Jageshwar, Lakhamandal and Poornagiri, among others.The national tourism map should now include Harkidoon-Kedarkantha, Kotdwar-Karanaswaram, Jageshwar-Madmaheswar, Kalsi-Hanol-Lakhamandal, Champawat-Mayawati-Poornagiri, Lansdowne, Purlo-Mori, Kausani-Gwaldam-Garud-Bedini and Jakholi-Bednital , emphasised Rawat.“Uttarakhand is increasingly becoming the favourite destination of domestic and international tourists. Once we are able to include these lesser-known tourist attractions in the established tourist circuit, the tourist influx in the hill state may go up considerably, resulting in an increase in the income-generation,” he said.Rawat also stressed on the need to boost all genres of tourism in the state, comprising adventure, health and religious tourism. “Places like Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Rudraprayag can be developed to boost adventure and religious tourism while destinations like Nanital, Almora and Pithoragarh should be developed for adventure tourism,”said Chief Secretary Shatrughana Singh.last_img read more

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eLynx Announces New National Platform From ADS

first_imgeLynx Announces New National Platform From ADS Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-02-29 Abby Gregory “”Accurate Document Service, Inc. (ADS)””:http://www.accuratedocument.com/, has launched a new national platform. A long time corporate partner of ADS, “”eLynx””:http://www.elynx.com/ announced that the document prep company will begin creation and delivery of closing documentation on a nationwide basis.[IMAGE]ADS’ new services will encompass initiatives targeting truth-in-lending compliance, as well as government and conventional closing documents. Through its national presence and its existing document provision services, ADS’ electronic[COLUMN_BREAK] automation and adoption options for closing mortgage loans gives lenders bottom line benefits.The relationship between eLynx and ADS has lasted for more than a decade, and ADS became one of eLynx’s first clients in 1999. Sharon Matthews, president and CEO of eLynx, said of the long-standing partnership with ADS, “”This adoption of our compliant closing services is a testament to our ability to work with our partners, even in difficult regulatory environments, to continue to bring innovations to market that benefit lenders, borrowers and investors.””Matthews went on to add, “”We are extremely proud of our 13-year relationship with Accurate Document.””Via its partnership with eLynx, ADS can provide fully compliant document closing packages to its customers electronically. ADS’ president, Millie White, said of the successful business relationship, “”eLynx has always been able to adapt to the evolving market along with us. More of our customers are taking advantage of electronic documents and the secure document delivery that we provide through our partnership with eLynx.”” February 29, 2012 393 Views center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Sharelast_img read more

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New Home Sales in Steepest Drop in Two Years

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau For-Sale Homes Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman National Association of Home Builders Service Providers 2013-03-26 Mark Lieberman New Home Sales in Steepest Drop in Two Years New home sales fell 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 in February, the sharpest drop in two years, the “”Census Bureau and HUD””:http://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales_201302.pdf reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a smaller drop to 425,000 from January’s originally reported sales of 437,000. January sales were revised down to 431,000.[IMAGE]At the same time, the months’ supply of new homes for sale rose to the highest level since December 2011.The median price of a new home, according to the Census/HUD report, rose $7,200 in February after falling $20,500 in January. The median price is up 2.9 percent in the last year, the weakest year-over-year gain in eight months.The average price of a new home rose $18,500 in February, 6.3 percent, the strongest month-over-month gain in both dollar and percentage terms since last August. The average price is at its highest level since April 2008.The sharp drop in sales combined with the steep price increase suggests builders are facing some price pushback from buyers for new homes even as supplies of existing single-family homes remain at historic lows. Supplies of new homes continue to climb as housing completions–as reported separately by Census and HUD–routinely exceed new home sales.In February, builders completed 574,000 new single-family homes. In the last year, builders have completed 1.5 million more new single-family homes than were sold.The new home sales report–unlike the report on existing-home sales–is based on contract signings and reflects economic conditions of the month of the report. The weak sales report came in the same month the “”buyer traffic”” component of the National Association of Home Builders’ “”Housing Market Index””:https://themreport.com/articles/led-by-south-builder-confidence-slips-in-feb-2013-02-19 fell to 32, its lowest level in five months.It also arrives on the heels of the report last week from the National Association of Realtors that existing-home sale closings “”rose 0.8 percent in February””:https://themreport.com/articles/existing-home-sales-prices-up-in-february-2013-03-21. The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, which parallels the new home sales report, will be released Wednesday.Homes with price tags under $300,000 represented 64 percent of February sales, down from 68 percent in January. Homes priced below $150,000 represented 9 percent of February sales, down from 14 percent in January. Homes prices at $400,000 or more represented 22 percent of February sales, up from 18 percent in January. The boost in sales for higher priced homes could mean more construction activity for more expensive homes–reducing the supply of low-end starter homes. The change in construction activity would be consistent with a shift away from single-family homes to multi-family.Regionally, sales fell in three of the four Census regions, increasing only in the Midwest (to 58,000 in February from 51,000 in January). Sales fell 20,000 in the South to 186,000; 4,000 in the Northeast to 26,000; and 3,000 in the West to 141,000._Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. and again at 9:20 a.m. Eastern time._ March 26, 2013 450 Views center_img in Data, Government, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

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Chase Claims 868M in Consumer Relief Credit

first_img Consumer Relief JPMorgan Chase Settlements 2014-10-02 Tory Barringer JPMorgan Chase reports it has completed nearly a quarter of its consumer relief obligations required under a landmark mortgage-backed securities (MBS) settlement last year.According to a report issued Wednesday by the settlement’s monitor, Joseph Smith Jr., the megabank expects to be credited for more than $862 million it provided through various borrower relief measures in the second quarter. Adding in an initial sampling of loans Chase submitted to review its credited relief calculations, the bank claims it has doled out more than $868 million in relief through various means.While the 100-loan sample was validated in July, the second-quarter addition has yet to be approved by Smith’s team, the monitor said.”Chase will not receive credit under the settlement until I am satisfied it has met its obligations,” Smith said. “Therefore, it would be premature to apply the $862 million in new relief.”Under the terms of last year’s $13 billion settlement, Chase is required to provide $4 billion in credited relief through loan modifications, rate reductions, low- to moderate-income lending, and other programs by the end of 2017.The settlement stemmed from accusations that Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, both of which were acquired by Chase in 2008, misled investors to sell faulty MBS before the financial crisis. Chase is one of a small number of banks that have struck multibillion dollar agreements to resolve residential MBS claims, having been joined recently by Citi and Bank of America.Going by gross calculations, the bank’s internal review group says it has aided more than 46,400 borrowers in initiatives totaling a principal amount of $7.6 billion. Just in the second quarter, that figure includes loan modifications granted to nearly 7,000 borrowers and 39,500 loans granted to low- and moderate-income consumers.Under the terms of the settlement, Chase receives credit in varying amounts based on how it focuses its consumer relief efforts. For example, for principal forgiveness granted on first- and second-lien loans, the bank receives $1 of credit for each dollar forgiven on loans held for investment. For each dollar forgiven on loans serviced for others, only 50 cents of credit is given. October 2, 2014 475 Views Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market, Servicing Chase Claims $868M in Consumer Relief Creditlast_img read more

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Alliant National Title Promotes New EVP Hires New Agency Representative

first_img September 28, 2015 651 Views Alliant National Title Insurance Company Independent Agents Title Insurance Underwriter 2015-09-28 Staff Writer Kyle K. RankCraig DunbarAlliant National Title Insurance Company, a title insurance underwriter that partners with Independent Agents to improve their competitive position in the marketplace, recently announced the promotion of Kyle K. Rank from Chief Compliance Officer to EVP, Agency.In his new role, Rank will remain on Alliant National’s executive team while expanding his responsibilities to head agency for the company.Rank first joined Alliant National in 2010 as Missouri State Agency Manager. From there, he was promoted to the position of Chief Compliance Officer.Rank has over 25 years in the title insurance industry split evenly between the underwriter and agency side of the business. Some of his previous positions include part owner and president of a large Midwestern title agency, Chief Claims Counsel, and Associate General Counsel. He also served as General Counsel for several independent title agencies.“It has been a pleasure working for such a dedicated and innovative company over the past five years,” Rank said. “I am grateful for this new opportunity. I look forward to this next stage in my career, and the opportunity to continue to serve independent agents.”In addition, Alliant National Title also hired Craig Dunbar as Agency Representative in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas.In this new position, Dunbar will develop, maintain and expand the marketing and management policies that affect the Independent Agents who make up Alliant National’s Southwest Regional Agency network.“I’m excited to now share and utilize my years of title experience to play a role in growing a national agency-oriented company,” Dunbar said.In previous roles, he acted as Regional Agency Representative for another national title insurance company and as Chief Deputy Superintendent of Insurance for the New Mexico Department of Insurance.“We’re proud to add Craig to an outstanding team,” said Rodney Anderson, Southwest Region Manager for Alliant National. “He brings more than 30 years of industry relationships and title experience to Alliant National, and we look forward to working with him and the new relationships he brings to the company.” in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Marketcenter_img Share Alliant National Title Promotes New EVP & Hires New Agency Representativelast_img read more

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Low Credit Score May be Keeping Many Renters from Homeownership

first_imgLow Credit Score May be Keeping Many Renters from Homeownership March 18, 2016 514 Views An analysis of millions of credit reports comparing financial behavior patterns of those who currently rent and those who have a current mortgage revealed that tens of millions of renters might not qualify for a mortgage due to a low credit score—and that a large share of renters have other outstanding debt that is currently in collections, according to the Urban Institute.In a report released Thursday titled Comparing Credit Profiles of American Renters and Owners by Wei Li, Senior Research Associate, and Laurie Goodman, Director, Housing Finance Policy Center from the Urban Institute, the authors discovered several patterns on how mortgage debt relates to other types of debt when examining the financial habits of 118 million homeowners and 127 million renters nationwide.Homeowners tend to have higher credit scores than renters, the authors reported. About 68 percent of homeowners had a Vantage credit score above 700, compared to just 33 percent of renters; meanwhile, renters accounted for 84 percent of all consumers with scores below 550. About 45 percent of renters who have not had a mortgage in the past 16 years have credit scores below 600; that share becomes 30 percent for renters who have had a mortgage in the past 16 years but do not currently have one; and 9 percent for renters who currently have a mortgage.”Generally, consumers need a minimum credit score of 650 to qualify for a mortgage,” the authors stated. “Using this number, 60.2 million current renters—48 percent of all adult renters—could qualify for a mortgage based on their credit score alone. . . The other 63.8 million—52 percent of renters—do not have a high enough credit score to qualify for a mortgage. This number would be lower once debt-to-income and ability to fund a down payment are considered.”The authors found that 96 million American renters have never had a mortgage—and 42 percent of them have some other type of consumer debt in collections. This group tends to be younger than other groups covered in the report and the members of this group are “less likely to have credit card debt or spending but much more likely than the other five groups to have a debt in collection. This group also has the lowest credit scores, a concern given that this is the largest group and the group that might be interested in eventual homeownership,” according to Li on the Urban Institute’s blog.The report also examined a group of current renters who have had a mortgage at some point in the last 16 years, which totals about 8 percent of American adults (19 million). The authors discovered that this group is typically about the same age as those who currently have mortgages but have more debt, which may have in fact led to their being forced out of homeownership. This group “has the highest percent of public debt records (28 percent) and the second highest percent of debt in collections (37 percent),” Li said. “This group uses auto loans and credit cards less than the two groups with current mortgages, possibly because of difficulties in obtaining credit.”Approximately 12 million renters are also paying on a current mortgage, according to the authors. Current homeowners and those renters who own a mortgage tend to have credit scores higher than 700, while about half the members of both groups have an auto loan and about 80 percent of both groups have some credit card debt.“The percent of debt collections and public records of debts owed are similar and modest; and less than one in five people in each group have a student loan,” Li said. “Renters with current mortgages are, however, slightly younger than owners with current mortgages. The average age of the renters group is 45 compared with 51 for the owners.”Click here to view the Urban Institute’s full report. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Originationcenter_img Credit Score homeowners Renters Urban Institute 2016-03-18 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

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Summer Months Bring Rise in SFR Vacancies

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Vacancies continued to rise across 23 single-borrower, single-family rental transactions (covering nearly 90,000 properties) as higher monthly lease expirations in the summer pushed the vacancy rate to 4.9 percent in July from 4.5 percent in June, according to the recent Morningstar Single-Family Rental Summary for August 2016.July marked the fourth straight monthly increase in vacancy, but the overall level remained low, according to Morningstar. At 7.4 percent, Houston had the highest vacancy rate among metros most typically seen in single borrower, single-family rental transactions.Morningstar shows that lease expirations across all single-family rental transactions were down to 7.8 percent in July compared with 8.1 percent in June. Despite the decline, the percentage of lease expirations remains elevated, which contributes to higher vacancy rates. according to Morningstar.“The relationship between lease expirations and vacancy generally remains at the MSA (metropolitan statistical area) level and can be seen in Houston and Chicago. Houston and Chicago have historically had higher than average vacancy rates,” the authors of the report stated. “However, Houston and Chicago had July rental changes of 2.9 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. While this is lower than the overall average rent change of 5.2 percent, it demonstrates that these MSAs are still experiencing rental increases despite their higher than average vacancy.”Additionally, delinquency rates in single-family rental securitizations rose up to 0.6 percent in July from 0.5 percent the prior month, according to Morningstar. As of June, the most recent data available, retention rates for full-term leases stayed in the mid-70s, as 21 of the 23 transactions reported a retention rate of 70 percent or above. Because more leases expire in the summer months, the turnover rate tends to rise, according to Morningstar.Morningstar shows that rents for properties backing single-family rental securitizations rose by 5.2 percent from their prior contractual rents, continuing to outpace the year-over-year increases of three- and four-bedroom RentRange, LLC median rents. They report, however, that the margin narrowed. In addition, Morningstar shows that average contractual rents in the top single-family rental MSAs are mostly higher than their property-level RentRange estimates.Click here to view the complete report from Morningstar. Share Morningstar Credit Ratings Single Family Rental Market 2016-08-31 Seth Welborncenter_img Summer Months Bring Rise in SFR Vacancies August 31, 2016 569 Views last_img read more

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Millennials Nows the Time to Buy

first_img June 7, 2017 700 Views Millennials: Now’s the Time to Buy Home buying Homebuyers HOUSING Millennials mortgage TD Bank 2017-06-07 Aly J. Yale Nearly all millennial homeowners think now is a good time to purchase a home—and about half are actually ready to take the plunge, according to the Mortgage Service Index released by TD Bank on Wednesday.According to the report, about 90 percent of millennial homeowners believe now’s the right time to buy. They’re particularly optimistic about single-family homes, which 91 percent believe are a good purchase at the moment. About half of those surveyed—51 percent—said they are either extremely or very likely to buy within the next year.The report also showed that due to rising rates—and the potential of more increases down the line—about 40 percent of millennial homeowners purchased a hew home recently. Another 26 percent started the buying process.But according to Ryan Bailey, EVP and Retail Lending Director at TD Bank, rising rates aren’t all bad; they also indicate a healthy marketplace.”Although impending rate increases worry some potential homebuyers, they should keep in mind that rate hikes are a sign of renewed confidence in our economy and job market,” Bailey said. “Our survey data tells us that millennials are seizing this opportunity and leading the way with a favorable outlook on homebuying this season and beyond.”Rates aside, there are still other roadblocks keeping many millennials out of the market. About 28 percent said low inventory was the problem, while 21 percent said a lack of homebuying knowledge and confidence in navigating the process posed issues.According to Bailey, working with lenders and other professionals along the way can help—particularly when there’s difficulty navigating the process.”It’s important for homebuyers to meet with their lenders early and often,” Bailey said. “Talking to your mortgage loan officer before and during the mortgage process will instill the knowledge and confidence you need to navigate the entire mortgage process with ease. Surprises can be fun, but not when it comes to getting a mortgage for your home.”TD Bank’s report proved as much, as 46 percent of those surveyed said they received information on mortgage products on services from a real estate agent, while another 41 percent got help through an in-person visit with a lender. Still, millennials think there’s more to be done—especially on the web; 65 percent said banks and lenders could “provide more relevant, helpful information online.”center_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, Newslast_img read more

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Existing Home Sales to Top 5 Million Again in 2018

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Existing Home Sales to Top 5 Million Again in 2018 December 18, 2017 522 Views Sharecenter_img Home Sales predictions Recovery rise WalletHub 2017-12-18 Staff Writer Home sales will again rise beyond 5 million in 2018, according to credit score and financial advice website WalletHub’s eight financial predictions for 2018. WalletHub’s editors surveyed more than a dozen economics experts, as well as analyzing big-bank projections and Federal Reserve forecasts, to produce this list of financial predictions for 2018.WalletHub said that home sales would rise on a number of factors including the fact that, unlike credit cards, most mortgages aren’t directly affected by Fed rate hikes. Citing data from Freddie Mac, WalletHub points out that nearly 90 percent of mortgages have fixed rates and a 30-year term. Despite Fed recently increasing its target rate by 125 basis points, the average APR on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has actually fallen a bit since 2015. When people hear rates are rising, they may think the window to borrow on the cheap is closing, and WalletHub predicts this will lead to more home sales.Citing data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the National Association of Realtors, WalletHub noted  that, through October, existing home sales were 9 percent behind 2016’s pace of 5.45 million homes sold, and WalletHub expects similar results in 2017, continuing into 2018.“Home sales can be expected to continue to rise in many markets that have yet to recover from the crash a decade back,” Oscar Brookins, an associate professor of economics at Northeastern University, said. “Those markets that have already recovered (primarily the coastal markets) will probably continue growth and attenuate the existent gap between themselves,” he added.Among its other financial predictions, WalletHub has said that the U.S. GDP growth would  remain near 2.5 percent as the economy continued to rise throughout 2017, and economic expansion was expected to continue through 2018. However, a lot would depend on the fate of the Congressional tax reforms. WalletHub also predicted that unemployment will crack the 4 percent mark; S&P 500 will top 2,900 to finish the year at 2,838; the Fed will raise rates thrice, costing borrowers billions; credit card debt will break all-time records, topping $1 trillion owed; consumer credit scores will peak in 2018; and auto sales will top 17 million for the fourth straight year.To read the complete list of WalletHub’s financial predictions for 2018 click here.last_img read more

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Landmark PresidentCOO Hunter Gorog Stepping Down

first_imgLandmark President/COO Hunter Gorog Stepping Down in Headlines, journal, News, Servicing Landmark Network, Inc., a national appraisal management company, announced that President & COO Hunter Gorog has decided to leave the company after a successful eight-year tenure helping grow the firm from $300,000 to over $13.5 million in annual revenue. Gorog is departing to pursue other professional opportunities and will assist the company during the transition. He remains a Partner and Board Director.“Hunter has been critical to Landmark’s success and our explosive growth over the last eight years. I want to thank him for the vision, creativity, and dedication he brought to the company and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Erik Richard, Founder and CEO of Landmark. “Under his leadership, Landmark has grown into a national force in the appraisal management industry and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the fastest growing private businesses in America, year after year. His integral role in developing our software platform has strengthened the company’s competitiveness and leaves Landmark well-positioned to build on Hunter’s record of success.”“I am very proud of everything Landmark has accomplished and have been honored to work in partnership with Erik and our incredibly talented team over the past eight years,” said Hunter Gorog. “Landmark continues to drive towards its long-term vision of leveraging technology to transform the valuation space, and I’m excited about the achievements we’ve made and the strong outlook ahead for the company.”Gorog joined Landmark in 2010 as the company’s Managing Director and was promoted to President and COO in 2012. Landmark Network has been recognized on Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list for three out of the last six years; and was named a top Service Provider by Mortgage Executive Magazine. The Los Angeles Business Journal and San Fernando Valley Business Journal also rank the company in their Top 100 fastest growing businesses. Sharecenter_img Company News Hunter Gorog Landmark Network 2018-01-26 David Wharton January 26, 2018 562 Views last_img read more

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One limiting factor to continued strong growth is

first_imgOne limiting factor to continued strong growth is the scarcity of labor, Bentín said. He described the demand for farmworkers as “extremely high”. Many other fruits, such as avocados, table grapes and citrus have also seen a sharp uptick in exports recently, thus competing more heavily for labor.But he said that for now there is enough labor for the industry, with many companies factoring this into their plans.”Today the development plans of large blueberry operations are considering the construction of adjoining towns to house farmworkers,” he said.Blueberry export market mixLooking at markets, he expected the spread in blueberry exports this year to be similar to previous years. The U.S. has typically received the lion’s share, with around 40-50%. As illustrated in this article, Peru’s heavy volumes are helping to reshape the U.S. blueberry market.The next biggest markets are Continental Europe, China and the U.K.However, Bentín noted that growth to the Asian market has not been as high as previously hoped. China, for example, has good demand for high-quality blueberries, but still cannot absorb high volumes relative to other developed markets.Peru is also working to gain access to South Korea and Taiwan, although the industry’s hopes for future growth are still very much on China, he said.The Peruvian blueberry season started in weeks 28 and 29 and will likely run until weeks 10 to 12. July 30 , 2019 The global blueberry industry gathering in British … Peru looks set to continue its explosive growth trend in blueberry volumes this coming season, with a forecast that, if realized, could make it the world’s largest exporter.”We expect blueberry exports to be around 110,000 and 125,000 metric tons (MT),” said Miguel Bentín, vice president of ProArandanos.The figure would represent a leap over last season’s figure of 78,000MT. It would also be more than double the 48,000MT exported in 2017-18.And if realized, Peru would likely overtake Chile as the world’s leading exporter of the fruit. For the last two seasons Chile has shipped slightly over 110,000MT.Bentín attributed Peru’s expected increase to the higher maturity of plantations and a high rate of plantings.”Blueberry farms that are managed reasonably well tend to produce fruit very quickly,” he said.He added that although growth will continue, it will likely not continue to be as exponential as in previous years. You might also be interested inlast_img read more

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Helen Wongs Tours is offering free return airfare

first_imgHelen Wong’s Tours is offering free return airfares from Sydney or Melbourne, to China, for earlybird bookings on selected 2018 tours, plus commission for agents.“We believe by offering commissions to traditional agents we can work together in combatting the online agents which have a sole aim of selling low cost tours directly to the consumers with no benefits to the retail agents,” said Helen Wong.“Combine our low prices with the offer of free airfares and we have a seriously competitively priced product for agents to sell – for a commission.”The exclusive free airfare offer is available until 30 November 2017 (or until sold out) and applies to bookings of an eight-night A Glimpse of China tour from $999 per person twin share, as well as those for the seven-night Wall and Yangtze River Cruise option, priced from $1299 pp twin share. The deal is valid on departures between April and September 2018.For more information contact hwtaus@helenwongstours.comIMAGE: Temple of Heaven/Helen Wong’s Tours/Ken Duncan agentsChinaearlybirdsHelen Wong’s Toursincentiveslast_img read more

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agentsfamilluxuryMagellan

first_imgagentsfamilluxuryMagellan 2017 Magellan Travel award winners, announced at the Group’s annual conference in September last year, stood in Eyre Square in Galway, Ireland on Saturday to celebrate an authentic St Patrick’s Day.Their all expenses paid, luxury award trip to Ireland came courtesy of Etihad Airways and Tourism Ireland and included Business Class flights to Dublin, visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher CO. Clare, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, with more luxury travel ahead for the group as they continue on their journey around The Emerald Isle.“These individuals contribute not only to the success of their agencies but also to Magellan Travel and our broader industry. They were nominated by their peers for their outstanding effort and it is fantastic to acknowledge, celebrate and reward each of them,” said Magellan Travel’s General Manager, Andrew Macfarlane. “I am sure that this luxury trip to Ireland over St. Patrick’s Day 2018 will be one that our deserving participants will remember forever.”IMAGE: L-R: Chelsey Secker (Angas Travel, Joint Rising Star of the Year Award Winner 2017), Ash Fabiani (Travel Experience, Joint Rising Star of the Year Award Winner 2017), Josephine O’Keeffe (Failte Ireland Guide), Fiona Caffrey (Travel Sense, True Spirit Award Winner 2017), Laura Noccioli (Travelrite International – Leisure Travel Consultant of the Year 2017), Frank (the bus driver), Trevor Jones (Magellan Travel), Brooke McClune (World Corporate Travel, Specialist Consultant of the Year Award 2017), and Christine Keighley (Complete Travel Services, Corporate Travel Consultant of the Year 2017).last_img read more

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Sally Sylvester has been appointed to the role of

first_imgSally Sylvester has been appointed to the role of Head of Sales with Trafalgar, effective week commencing 6 August 2018.Sylvester previously spent 20 years with the Flight Centre Travel Group, most recently as General Manager for Travel Associates. Her previous roles with FCTG included eight years as state leader (NSW/ACT) as well as area leader for NSW for seven years.“Following an extensive search, Sally’s core work in sales management and training fuelled by her passion for building and inspiring sales teams made her a stand-out,” said Trafalgar md, Matthew Cameron-Smith. “Her breadth of expertise and experience with retail, franchise and home based agents will be a real asset to Trafalgar. Sally’s results driven nature and ‘get stuff done approach’ will be an exciting addition to our team and I am confident that she will continue to steer us through our ongoing wave of growth.” appointmentsTrafalgarlast_img read more

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Last year was a big one for TravelManagers with tw

first_imgLast year was a big one for TravelManagers with twelve consecutive months of record sales, reaching a milestone of 550 personal travel managers (PTMs) and launching individual PTM websites.“These achievements, and many more, come as a direct result of the experience, expertise and passion to deliver excellence for which our people are renowned,” explains Chief Operating Officer, Grant Campbell, who notes that the company’s PTMs have an average industry experience of more than 20 years, with more than half having chalked up at least five years with TravelManagers.Recognising that investing in their people reaps great rewards both for the individuals and for the company, TravelManagers focused considerable attention on personal and professional development throughout 2018.Last year saw TravelManagers take part in nine dedicated airline product and fares days and six dedicated cruise training days. In addition to this were 258 webinars, run by the National Partnership Office (NPO), providing updates on a range of topics, both internal and partner supplier-related.In addition to this, there were 26 specific corporate webinars that were supported by dedicated corporate classroom workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and at the annual National Conference in Hawaii.Professional development also included 248 opportunities for worldwide product and destination famils, with 132 PTMs taking part in fifteen famils that were exclusive to TravelManagers.TravelManagers are constantly seeking ways to enhance the business, looking beyond the status quo to ensure that TravelManagers retains its place as the preferred travel company for its people and its clients.Accordingly, several new initiatives were announced at the company’s annual National Conference, which was held in Hawaii in August, including a new partnership with Luxury Escapes as their sole home-based network and inaugural retail partner and TravelManagers’ new Network Assistance Program (NAP) is an initiative aimed at supporting its members’ health and well-being.“Our PTMs can choose their own work hours and location, so it’s important they still have the support and camaraderie they would enjoy in a traditional office environment,” Campbell explains.“The retail travel environment is not without its stresses and challenges, but NAP is designed to provide PTMs with access to expertise across a wide range of professional services, covering everything from anxiety and anger management to mediation and conflict resolution.”The 2019 annual national conference has been confirmed for 9-11 August in Perth. personal travel managersTravelManagerslast_img read more

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What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Comments   Share   Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaycenter_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Players and owners will now be splitting all the revenue in the league and that is nothing but good news for fans who want to make sure that their favorite sport avoids another lockout in the near future. With both sides splitting things almost equally, everyone should be happy.“The NFLPA they are true partners with the NFL,” Wolf said. “As the NFL grows so does the NFLPA. A lot of people are missing the point on this saying ‘it’s about quality of life for the player.’ You’ve got to be joking. This was about money, it always has been about money. Now, this win-win has occurred. It’s a true partnership in the NFL.”That partnership means we’ll have football in the next few days, and that’s a win-win for everyone. The NFL lockout is over and as the dust settles many people still think all of this was about protecting the players. Don’t count Ron Wolfley as one of them.Wolfley would like fans to remember, in the end this was all about the money.“A lot of people are saying this was quality of life the players were looking for. Just knock it off,” Wolfley told listeners of Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf Monday. “This wasn’t just about quality of life. The fact that they didn’t want two-a-days any more where you could just put somebody through the meat grinder. It’s not about that. It’s not about all the OTAs in the offseason. Yeah, that was important to the players, but it’s still about the money. Make no mistake about this. When you hear they took 48 percent, yeah it’s of all revenue now. There’s no one billion dollar exemption for the owners.”last_img read more

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