Chifley Eastern Creek and Chifley Penrith have been recognised for the second year running as leaders in ‘Deluxe Accommodation’ in Western Sydney, taking out the Winner and highly commended Awards respectively in the category at the inaugural Greater Sydney Tourism Awards on Thursday, 28 July at Bicentennial Park, Homebush. The two Chifley’s beat other finalists to command the top accolades for their outstanding service, facilities and excellent business practices. The Chifley Hotels aim to solidify its position as a contender in the NSW Tourism Awards 2011 in November.“Over the last few years Chifley has invested time and effort into improving guest satisfaction through new hotel developments, refurbishments and additional services. We are proud to be acknowledged as the leading hotel group in the Greater Western Sydney region” Cameron Stewart, Constellation Hotels Director of Operations. Since opening its doors in 2008, Chifley Eastern Creek has provided Western Sydney with a superior 4.5 star hotel offering 104 trackside and courtyard guest rooms and suites with Internet lounge, indoor heated lap pool, gymnasium, along with exciting dining and social venues including Coldwater Creek tavern and Octane lobby bar and café. The hotel has also established itself as a leader in business tourism and events in Sydney’s west, housing three state of the art conference and function rooms capable of catering up to 200 delegates. Last year’s million dollar facelift at Chifley Penrith Panthers included the addition of seven brand new accommodation rooms increasing the number of rooms on offer at the hotel to a total of 223. Existing ground floor rooms have undergone a full refurbishment and the hotel lobby has been transformed into a cosy lounge and bar area with a big screen TV, wireless Internet and two Internet workstations. Both hotels are located within close proximity to the M7 and M4 motorways, allowing for easy and convenient access to all areas of Sydney. To celebrate their success Chifley Eastern Creek are offering a selected number of Deluxe rooms at only $99 per night plus a bottle of wine so everyone can afford to come and check out what makes the best Sydney’s West has to offer. Source = Chifley Hotels
Source = Oaks Hotels & Resorts Hotel Iinterior The results are in and Oaks popular M on Palmer in Townsville has been awarded for the thirdconsecutive year in Trip Advisors most popular awards poll – winning a place as one of Australia’s top 25 Trendiest Hotels.“The reviews are real and based on actual stays, which is fabulous recognition from unbiased travellers who see the best, so our team are thrilled with this news,” said Area Director of Sales and Marketing for Oaks Hotels & Resorts Queensland, Rachelle Cole. The Hotel’s stylish good looks; fashioned on New York Loft style, are complemented by contemporarydecor and sleek inclusions in studio apartments that represent excellent value.Located in the lively Palmer Street Precinct in Townsville, Oaks M on Palmer is within easy reach of all Townsville’s most popular attractions and features a pool and gym and is conveniently nestled behind Townsville’s Metropole Hotel with sports bar, bistro and on-site event and conference facilities. “There is nothing else like this property in North Queensland and it has set a new benchmark in the region for style, quality and the “element of cool” that travellers have responded to,” Cole said. Oaks M on Palmer was also ranked number one for accommodation in Townsville on Trip Advisor in 2011 and has taken out top honours as Townsville’s Top Value and Top Business Hotel previously too.“When independent guests are impressed enough to take the time to share their experience with other travellers on Trip Advisor it really is a huge acknowledgment. To poll in the top 25 Trendiest Hotels amongst the competition that exists in Australia is a fabulous achievement for our property and team,” she said.
Source = BIG4 Holiday Parks NRMA Treasure Island Resort has been recognised as the number one resort for families in the world by leading review website TripAdvisor. The BIG4 Holiday Park in Queensland was named a winner in three competitive categories of the Travelers’ Choice 2012 Awards including:Top 25 Large Hotels & Resorts for Families in the WorldTop 25 Hotels for Families in the South PacificTop 25 Hotels for Families in AustraliaBIG4 Ashmore Palms Holiday Village, QLD, also received a nod in the Top 25 Hotels for Families in Australia category, as well as the South Pacific, taking out second place in both; while BIG4 Beachlands Holiday Park, WA, earned the number five spot in the Australian list.TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice results are weighted by the highest amount of positive comments and ratings made by past guests of the hotel or resort.Manager of NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Park, Brendan Brady, is celebrating the award saying, “We are thrilled to be acknowledged as a world leader in the family accommodation industry. The award confirms our popularity by the most important people in our business; our guests. We would like to thank all our reviewers for taking the time to share their feedback on us, as these comments are the reason we received these fantastic awards, of which we are so proud!”Located on the stunning Gold Coast, Treasure Island boasts a range of facilities and activities for guests to enjoy, creating unforgettable holiday experiences. Set in tropical landscaped gardens, the park offers mini golf, tennis, go-karts, kids clubs, bar and bistro and a choice of three pools complete with waterslides – just some of the reasons the park took out the top spot in the awards. Guests can choose from luxury three bedroom townhouses and stylish studio units with spas, or enjoy a night under the stars on one of the parks premium powered camping sites.The stunning lagoon style pools and free kids activities at BIG4 Ashmore Palms Holiday Village were a hit with reviewers, while guests at BIG4 Beachlands Holiday Park loved relaxing with a glass of the regions finest wine while the kids bounced around on the jumping pillow.The awards reinforce a momentous 12 months for BIG4 Holiday Parks, including a clean sweep at the 2011 State Tourism Awards held across the country throughout November. BIG4 Holiday Parks were recognised as the best in the sector, taking out the ‘Caravan and Tourist Park’ category in each state.Those wanting to experience a BIG4 holiday for themselves can visit BIG4.com.au to book and order a free copy of the 2012 BIG4 Holiday Guide. With new QR codes throughout the Guide, readers with a Smartphone can be taken directly to BIG4’s fully bookable mobile site.
Travelport & TTS Sign reseller agreement for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific regionTravelport, a leading Travel Commerce Platform providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the $8 trillion global travel and tourism industry has announced today a new agreement with TTS, a global leading player in the development of innovative solutions for the travel and tourism industry. Thanks to the agreement, Travelport will resell and distribute TTS Consolidator, TTS Corporate and TTS WeBook products in the Middle East, Africa and APAC regions.Effective immediately, the multi-year agreement will see Travelport extend its product portfolio and provide three new tools to their clients:· TTS Consolidator – a solution that optimizes and simplifies the consolidation business by automating the processes between a Consolidator agency (IATA) and its subagents.· TTS Corporate –a corporate booking tool focusing on the SME market that enables travel agencies to provide corporate travellers with a simple to implement and cost effective B2B solution which incorporates the value of Branded Fares and Ancillaries.· TTS WeBook – an Internet booking engine, easy to integrate with any website or Facebook page that allows travel agencies to offer online flight booking to their customers.Rabih Saab, President and Managing Director of Travelport, AFMESA commented: “We are delighted to announce this agreement with TTS. As a leading travel commerce platform, Travelport recognizes the importance of our partners and these TTS products will complement our broad product suite offering by providing solutions which address some of the unique requirements of our customers across Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Having recently launched Smartpoint 6.0, the leading point of sale for airline rich content and ancillaries, TTS extends our industry leading technology solutions to our customers in the region.”Pedro Barata, Founder and CEO of TTS said: “For us, this agreement represents a great opportunity to further expand the reach of TTS solutions. We hope that together with Travelport we can help travel agents in Africa, Middle East & APAC to be more productive, provide a great service to their clients and grow their revenue.“ TravelportSource = Travelport
Australia should match Indonesia on 30 day free tourist visasThe Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has renewed its call on the Federal Government to match Indonesia’s decision to scrap the $49 fee on Australian tourists on a one month tourist visa.The Indonesian Government has announced the removal of the tourist visa fee for another 90 countries, including Australia, bringing the total to 169 countries.“This is an aggressive strategy by the Indonesian Government to attract 20 million international visitors over the next five years and Australia is being left behind with our increasingly uncompetitive visa system,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.“An Australian travelling to an Indonesian destination like Bali will now incur no fee on a trip of less than a month but when the shoe is on the other foot, an Indonesian traveller coming to Australia is being charged $135 for the same visa.“The Indonesians report that they experienced a 19 per cent increase in visitor numbers after their last round of visa fee waivers in 2015 – this is an absolute no-brainer for Australia to follow suit.“Indonesia is one of Australia’s closest neighbours with a growing middle class population. Yet it is far down the list, at number 12, by the country of origin, for tourists coming to Australia with only 151,700 Indonesians visiting the past 12 months.“The Indonesian tourism market is worth approximately $10.8 billion a year but Australia is only attracting $500 million of that spending – a paltry 5.5 per cent of the Indonesian market.“It’s a big world and travellers have the choice between a destination like Indonesia that won’t charge you for a short-term visit and Australia who will slug you $135 – which one is sending you the strongest message that they want you to visit their country?“The Indonesians recognise the value of Australian tourists by this decision to abolish the visa fee for one month tourist visas. It’s just common sense that Australia should follow suit in abolishing our disincentive for travellers in Indonesia and beyond to visit our country.” Tourism & Transport ForumSource = Tourism & Transport Forum
Mr. Li Dianchun, Chief Commercial Officer of Hong Kong Airlines, said, “The Japan destinations have been quite popular among Hong Kong Airlines’ passengers. Satisfying response has been received since the commencement of flight service to Sapporo and Osaka in December 2014 and July 2016 respectively, in view of which we have been proactively exploring to add frequency to these routes so as to meet the travel demand of our passengers. In addition, Hong Kong Airlines will launch its flight service to Yonago soon on 14 September, bringing more travel choices for the passengers.”Hong Kong Airlines currently flies to over 30 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. With the upcoming flight service to Yonago and the additional flight service to Osaka and Sapporo, by then Hong Kong Airlines will operate a total of 60 weekly flights between Hong Kong and Japan, including two daily flights to Okinawa, Tokyo and Osaka respectively, one daily flight to Sapporo and five-time weekly service to Kagoshima, as well as twice-weekly flights to Miyazaki, Okayama and Yonago respectively. Hong Kong Airlines will then have 8 flight destinations in Japan, which represents a further upgrade of its destination network in the country. Hong Kong Airlinesbook your flights hereAbout Hong Kong AirlinesEstablished in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines is a full-service airline firmly rooted in Hong Kong with a wide destination network covering over 30 major cities across the AsiaPacific region, including Gold Coast, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Sapporo, Bangkok, Bali and Okinawa. The current operating fleet is made up of 32 Airbus aircraft with an average age of around 3.9 years, consisting of 26 passenger aircraft and five freighters, being one of the youngest fleet in the world. Hong Kong Airlines has been awarded the internationally acclaimed 4-star rating from Skytrax since 2011. Adhering to the concept of “Fresh and Very Hong Kong”, Hong Kong Airlines is committed to “Bringing Greater Journeys Sky High”, and is dedicated to providing a pleasant and enjoyable journey to all passengers. Japan National Tourism Organisationdiscover more bout Japan here Source = Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong Airlines adds service frequency to Sapporo and OsakaHong Kong Airlines adds service frequency to Sapporo and OsakaThe internationally-acclaimed full-service airline Hong Kong Airlines announced that it will add frequency of its flight service to Osaka to two flights daily, commencing 15 September 2016, and that to Sapporo to one flight daily from 30 October 2016. The arrangement is believed to meet the growing travel and trade demand between Hong Kong and the two cities, further strengthening the airline’s network in Japan.
Oberoi Lombok Beach ResortOberoi Beach Resort, Lombok Returns after RenovationFollowing an 11-month closure, the luxurious Oberoi Lombok Beach Resort has reopened with a complete renovation. The resort is located on the white sandy shores of Medana Beach and set within 24-acres of landscaped gardens with pavilions and free-standing villas; all offering a garden or ocean view, creating a sense of space, privacy and tranquility for guests.The four restaurants at the resort, including the Amphitheatre where visitors can view traditional performances once a week, offer local and international delicacies accompanied by mesmerizing views of the ocean. Guests can also indulge in the array of unique Oberoi experiences including the Oberoi Spa, infinity pool and tennis courts.The secluded nature of the resort lends itself well to couples seeking a romantic retreat or solo traveler’s looking to relax. The clear, warm waters of Medana Bay and the nearby Gili Islands are home to coral reefs and underwater gardens teeming with colorful marine life and giant sea turtles, great for snorkeling and scuba diving. The resort is known for having some of the best sunsets in the world over Bali’s sacred Mount Agung. Source = Oberoi Lombok Beach Resort
Joining a list of other mortgage fraudsters Monday, three Cleveland residents received jail time for their role in a multi-million-dollar scheme while two others in Maryland and Virginia saw their names in fine print over $700,000 in fraud.[IMAGE]Owing today’s fraud blotter to reports from a few sources, _MReport_ canvassed news stories from the “”Federal Bureau of Investigation””:http://www.fbi.gov/ (FBI) and the “”_Cleveland Sun News_””:http://www.cleveland.com/beachwood/index.ssf/2011/12/beachwood_gates_mills_and_clev.html.[COLUMN_BREAK]Homes went into foreclosure as a result of activity by LaFrances Dudley O’Neal, of Maryland, and Donald Ramsey, of Virginia, according to the FBI, resulting in indictments for the two on charges related to bank fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud.Not without means or willingness to pay, the FBI reports, O’Neal and Ramsey allegedly used sham buyers to purchase properties with bad loans, obtained loan proceeds fraudulently, and sent forth false rental agreements.Each could face time that ranges from 37 to 46 months in jail, the agency said.The _Sun News_ offered the account of three ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô Louis Amir, Deirdre Ferguson, and Daphne Stokes, all from Cleveland ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô who drummed up $6.7 million from loan proceeds illicitly obtained from lenders.The grand jury in Cleveland sent back 29 indictments to the alleged fraudsters, all for suspected money-laundering transactions, plus counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and more, according to the news outlet. in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Five Mortgage Fraudsters Make Monday Fraud Blotter Share Agents & Brokers Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Fraud Processing Service Providers 2011-12-12 Ryan Schuette December 12, 2011 465 Views
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Capital Economics Predicts Further Drops in Homeownership Rate With the homeownership rate already at its lowest point since 1995, “”Capital Economics””:https://www.capitaleconomics.com/ predicts further decline before a rebound occurs. [IMAGE]The analytics firm predicted last July that the homeownership rate would fall to a low of 64 percent, and the firm is sticking to that forecast. The firm suggests the 64 percent low will come sometime “”within a year or so,”” and when it does, the market will have about 9 million more renters and only 400,000 more homeowners than it did in 2004 when the homeownership rate peaked. In the first quarter of this year, the rate “”dropped””:https://themreport.com/articles/homeownership-rate-drops-to-8-year-low-2013-04-30 0.4 percentage points to 65 percent. While the peak of 69.2 percent in 2004 “”never looked sustainable,”” according to Capital Economics, the current rate “”is now as far below its trend level as it was above it in the boom.”” [COLUMN_BREAK] One of the major contributors to the ongoing decline in homeownership is the high level of foreclosures that continues to challenge the market. As of the end of 2012, the market held 1.9 million homes in foreclosure. While some of these loans might be cured, Capital Economics predicts at best, the result will be a 0.8 percentage point decline in the homeownership rate. In the first quarter of this year, the greatest decline in homeownership took place among those ages 35 to 44, which Capital Economics interprets as evidence that foreclosures are a major source of changes in the owner and renter markets. Another factor contributing to the declining homeownership rate is tight lending standards. According to data from Ellie Mae, many lenders are demanding FICO scores of about 745, while the average score is lower than 700. Relying on an average annual household formation of 1.2 million, Capital Economics calculates about two-third of new households will rent, resulting in an additional 0.3 percentage point drop in the homeownership rate over the next year. With a 0.3 percentage point drop resulting from tight lending standards and a 0.8 percentage point drop resulting from foreclosures, the homeownership rate is set to reach the 64 percent mark Capital Economics predicted last summer. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Census Bureau Credit Standards Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-05-03 Krista Franks Brock Share May 3, 2013 464 Views
When the Federal Reserve concludes its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, the nation could see increased interest rates for the first time in nine years.Though policymakers of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) addressed possible rate increases in its March meeting, officials couldn’t agree on which step to take next. Some policymakers argued that raising rates at the end of the fiscal year would help to stave off inflation, while others argued that the strengthening dollar and declining energy prices would do that on their own. Many also claimed that the economy would be in a better position for rate hikes in another year or so.In the end, the decision was tabled for a later date, and the FOMC moved to change its official statement on raising interest rates instead. While previously, the committee had said it would remain “patient” with regards to increasing interest rates, once the March meeting concluded, the term “patient” was removed from its official statement, presumably opening the door for rate hikes at future meetings.The statement read: “With continued improvement in economic conditions, [Committee members] preferred language that would provide the Committee with the flexibility to subsequently adjust the target range for the federal funds rate on a meeting-by-meeting basis.”Though the Fed has said this act alone shouldn’t be considered a sign of things to come, the removal of “patient” was widely assumed to mean rate hikes were inevitably on the horizon. Once the Fed’s policy meeting concludes this Wednesday, the nation may find out for sure.As for experts, most believe an increased rate is definitely on its way, but when that day will come? That they’re not so sure on.”I don’t think the Fed will have the necessary ingredients in place for a rate hike in June, but I expect economic growth and job gains to accelerate during the summer and that will lay the basis for a rate hike at the September meeting,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told U.S. News and World Report.Dr. Ataman Ozyildrim, director of business cycles and growth cycles at The Conference Board, told the MReport the Fed may want to hold off on raising interest rates in the near future.“Leading indicators suggest the U.S. business cycle is entering a maturing phase almost six years after the end of the recession of 2008-09,” Ozyildrim said. “They still point to a moderate expansion, but economic growth ahead may be weak, and certainly doesn’t look to be much more than trend growth. Under these circumstances, the Fed might prefer to wait before raising interest rates at this time.”Experts say there are dozens of factors that must be considered before the Fed can make a decision, and a questionable economy makes it even more difficult.According to Business Insider, Patrick Newport and Stephanie Karol of HIS Global Insight said policymakers will need to factor in dock strikes, bad winter weather, the strong U.S. dollar and declining oil prices to get a clearer picture of the nation’s economy.”We expect that second quarter economic activity will be stronger than in the first quarter, paving the way for a rate hike in September, but the Fed will have to feel confident in ongoing economic strength,” Newport and Karol said.Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, told the Wall Street Journal that the global economic climate would play a role as well.“We are at very different points in the world economy,” Rosengren said. “That means we are going to be in an environment where exchange rates and interest rates may be more volatile than if everybody was moving more synchronously. We do have to be concerned.”Dr. Ozyildirim said the Leading Economic Index (LEI) should be considered, too.“When you look at the components of the U.S. Leading Economic Index, which is a forward looking index for the U.S. business cycle, building permits was the weakest component in March, but average working hours and manufacturing new orders have also slowed the LEI’s growth over the last six months,” Ozyildirim said. “These indicators all point to an economy at or maybe even slightly below trend growth. These are not conditions that suggest the economy is booming or overheating.”The Fed will conclude its monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, April 29. Check back at the MReport for the full details. in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News April 28, 2015 504 Views Fed Meeting Could Result in Increased Interest Rates Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve Interest rates 2015-04-28 Seth Welborn Share
May 28, 2015 562 Views in Headlines, News, Origination, Servicing, Technology Share New Program to Eliminate Closing Costs and Simplify Loan Process Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC, announced in a press release that it will make The Carrington Loan program available through its national wholesale lending division. This program was developed in order to support the company’s commitment to serve the “underserved” market and first-time homebuyers. The loan program gives borrowers a more transparent, simplified home loan process with no closing costs or upfront financing fees to facilitate home purchases.“The Carrington Loan simplifies the loan process and improves the experience to help remove the anxiety often associated with a mortgage loan, particularly for those who do not have sufficient cash on hand to pay upfront financing fees, appraisal, and closing costs,” said Ray Brousseau EVP of Carrington’s the mortgage lending division. “With The Carrington Loan, there is no need for a mortgage broker to modify the rate after it is presented to the borrower to offset loan costs and loan closing fees, and unexpected increases to estimated closing costs are not an issue. Removing these barriers simplifies the process for our mortgage broker partners and their borrowers who desire to fulfill their dream of homeownership.”The Carrington Loan is a government insured loan program, according to the company. Any upfront mortgage insurance or funding fee that may be required by a government agency may either be financed into the loan amount or paid by the borrower in cash at closing. The borrower must take responsibility for any additional services requested that are not part of the loan. This includes, but is not limited to, rate-lock extension fees, survey fees, and home warranty costs.This initiative presents additional opportunities for purchase-focused brokers to work directly with real estate agents, consumers and investors to extend their purchase home loan offerings, the company said. “In addition, mortgage brokers who specialize in refinance opportunities provide The Carrington Loan as an option for FHA/VA borrowers.”The Carrington Loan Offers:No closing costs, appraisal fees, or lender financing fees.Carrington pays all eligible loan costs as lender credits.If any unanticipated lender costs arise, Carrington will issue a credit to cover them. This may include additional title or escrow service charges from the title or settlement company.Industry experts say, one in three consumers has a FICO credit score below 650. These consumers often have trouble obtaining financing options. Carrington has lowered its minimum credit score requirement to 550, and expanded its guidelines on FHA, VA, and USDA loan programs, extending eligibility to more property types and reducing overlays last year. Carrington Mortgage Services First-Time Homebuyers LLC The Carrington Loan 2015-05-28 Staff Writer
Real Estate & Construction Job Sectors Show Strong Growth in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, Market Studies, News December 8, 2015 493 Views Bureau of Labor Statistics Construction Job Openings and Labor Turnarounds Summary real estate 2015-12-08 Staff Writer Although overall job openings, hires, and separations were little changed at the end of October 2015 compared to the previous month, the construction and real estate and rental and leasing sector experienced some positive changes.The Job Openings and Labor Turnarounds Summary (JOLTS) released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) outlined job openings, hirings, and separations in the real estate industry and construction divisions in the job market.According to the report, the job openings level for the real estate and rental and leasing division reached 69,000 in October and a rate of 3.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), a significant increase from September when the number was only 38,000. Year-over-year this figure is down by 2,000 openings.Hire rates within the real estate and rental and leasing industries reached 72,000 in October, a slight increase from 71,000 the previous month, the data showed.Despite the uptick in openings and hires, many people fled the real estate and rental and leasing division in October. There were 45,000 quits, up from 36,000 in September, the BLS said.The data showed that job separations in the real estate and rental and leasing division was 68,000 in October at a rate of 3.3 percent, down from 70,000. Last October, this figure was 62,000.Construction workers appear to be needing a few more hands on deck as hiring within the residential construction sector spiked in November openings and hirings rose, while separations and quits declined.Source: NAHBAccording to the JOLTS report, construction job openings totaled 126,000 in October 2015 at a rate of 1.9 percent (seasonally adjusted), up from September’s 119,000. Last October, the number was 139,000.Hiring in construction also fared pretty well, jumping from 317,000 in September to 322,000 in October (seasonally adjusted). The rate of hiring stood at 5.0 percent in October, the BLS reported.The report found that job separations declined in October to 289,000, compared to 311,000 the prior month. Last year in October, job separations were 303,000. The rate of separations in October was 4.5 percent.Fewer people appear to be quitting their construction job, with only 90,000 quits in October, down from 121,000 in September, the data showed.”Rising job openings for the overall economy are affecting many business sectors as the unemployment rate has fallen, with employers wanting new workers but holding greater numbers of unfilled positions,” said Robert Dietz, Ph.D., VP for Tax and Market Analysis for National Association of Home Builders. This could bode well for future hiring, but it might also signal that scarcity for labor is becoming a more general concern.” Share
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination April 22, 2016 531 Views First-time homebuyers are faced with two major challenges in the housing market that are keeping them from purchasing a home: scarce inventory and higher home prices.In more than half of the largest U.S. housing markets, home values are rising quickly among entry-level homes, according to first quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.This phenomenon is fueled by a devastatingly low supply of homes for sale on the market. Zillow reported that there are 5.9 percent fewer homes for sale in the U.S. than a year ago and 10.4 percent fewer entry-level homes for sale this year compared to last year. “The findings signal difficult times ahead for first-time homebuyers looking to enter the market. Going into home-shopping season this spring, buyers will find fewer homes in the bottom and middle of the market—the homes most affordable for first-time buyers,” the report stated. “The trend also highlights the different experiences buyers are having in the recovering housing market. Buyers looking for the most expensive homes will find slower price growth, a larger selection, and less competition this spring than entry-level buyers who are likely to face stiff competition, bidding wars, and very few homes to choose from.”According to Zillow’s data, home values rose 4.8 percent to $186,200, while rents rose 2.6 percent to $1,389. More than a third of the homes available for sale in the largest U.S. housing markets are in the most expensive segment, or the top third of the overall housing stock in the market. Top-tier homes occupy over half the inventory in nine markets.”It’s going to be a tough home-buying market this spring, especially for first-time buyers or even people looking to move up into a slightly more expensive home,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “In order to stand out in a competitive market, buyers should get pre-approved for a loan, find an agent who has experience with bidding wars, and consider coming in at the asking price, so the seller knows they’re serious.” Market Conditions Trouble Buyers First-Time Homebuyers Home Prices Housing Market Inventory Zillow 2016-04-22 Staff Writer Share
KBRA Announces Head of Financial Institutions Group Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) announced the appointment of Van Hesser to the role of the head of the Financial Institutions group. Founded in 2010, KBRA is a full-service rating agency that provides risk assessment and ratings for the investment community. Hesser is also the Senior Managing Director of the Corporates group. He previously worked with Wells Fargo Principal Investments, where he led the Financial Institutions sector. Prior to Wells Fargo, he was at HSBC Securities for 10 years, where he served as the Global Head of Credit Research and was the Senior Corporate Bond Research Analyst covering U.S. banks, brokers, and specialty finance companies. Hesser has also worked with Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.James Nadler, President and COO of KBRA, expressed his approval of Hesser’s appointment by saying, “KBRA’s Financial Institutions group has rated over 100 commercial banks and non-banks, and has expanded its insurance ratings group. We look forward to capitalizing on Van’s experience to continue growing in this space alongside the progress we’ve made in corporates.” March 27, 2017 531 Views in Government, Headlines, News Company News KBRA MCrowd 2017-03-27 Mirasha Brown Share
in Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News November 7, 2018 583 Views While overall home price growth is beginning to moderate, lower-priced homes continue to outpace higher priced homes in appreciation, continuing to challenge young millennials interested in homeownership.Nationally, home prices rose 5.6 percent over the year in September, 3.8 percent when adjusting for inflation, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index, released yesterday. CoreLogic expects home prices to increase another 4.7 percent by next September.Home price appreciation, while not uniform, is nearly ubiquitous. Home prices increased in every state, except North Dakota, which experienced a slight decline of 0.6 percent over the year in September, according to CoreLogic’s data. Nevada and Idaho posted the highest home price appreciation over the year in September, rising 12.8 percent and 12 percent, respectively.Home prices have been on the rise since February 2012 and have increased 57.5 percent since their March 2011 trough. While nominally, they are 5.5 percent above their peak, when adjusting for inflation, CoreLogic determined prices are 13.3 percent below their peak.Homes at the higher end of the price spectrum are experiencing much slower appreciation than those at the lower end, according to CoreLogic, which breaks the housing market into four price categories for its analysis. The lowest price category includes homes priced no more than 75 percent of the median home price, while the high-priced homes include any homes priced higher than 125 percent of the median home price.Homes in the highest price tier rose 4.5 percent over the year in September, while homes in the lowest price tier climbed 8.5 percent. In fact, low-priced homes have been outpacing the high-end market since 2013. Over that time, prices at the lower end of the price spectrum have risen 47 percent compared to just 25 percent growth in the highest price tier.This environment of rapid home price growth at the bottom of the market has been especially challenging to young millennials interested in becoming homebuyers.“Our consumer research indicates younger millennials want to purchase homes, but the majority of them consider affordability a key obstacle,” said Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic.“Less than half of younger millennials who are currently renting feel confident they will qualify for a mortgage, especially in such a competitive environment,” he added.Young millennials continue to reveal interest in homeownership with 40 percent saying they are “extremely or very interested in homeownership,” and 64 percent claiming to monitor home values regularly, according to a consumer housing sentiment study conducted by CoreLogic and RTi Research.However, 73 percent of young millennials surveyed say affordability is “a barrier to homeownership,” according to CoreLogic. Share Home Prices millennial buyers Millennial Homebuyers Millennials rising home prices 2018-11-07 Krista Franks Brock Cheaper the Home Faster the Price Rises
March 6, 2019 1,529 Views Affordability Homeownership HOUSING NAR real estate technology virtual firms 2019-03-06 Radhika Ojha The Outlook for Real Estate Professionals Is … Real estate firms are optimistic about the industry’s future growth, despite challenges like competition from non-traditional market participants and virtual firms, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR’s) 2019 Profile of Real Estate Firms.The report, which is based on a survey of NAR’s Brokers of Record membership, looked at the demographics, composition, and characteristics of real estate firms from the perspective of executives and managers. The report noted that 57 percent of the firms surveyed expected their profitability from all real estate activities to increase in the next year. However, they also saw competition increasing during this period.While 44 percent of firms expected competition from virtual firms to increase next year, 43 percent believed that most of the competition would come from non-traditional market participants. Keeping up with technology and housing affordability were among the other challenges that real estate firms saw over the next two years.”It is clear that the real estate industry is rapidly changing, and with that comes growing competition in the market,” said Bob Goldberg, CEO, NAR. “NAR continues to stay ahead of the evolving trends in technology as we work with market disruptors to best serve our members and ensure they have the resources needed to be successful.”Looking at affordability concerns specifically, 58 percent of firms were concerned with millennials’ ability to buy a home, 46 percent with millennials’ view of homeownership, and 26 percent with Baby Boomers retiring as real estate professionals.”Real estate firms continue to look optimistically toward the future, with a majority expecting profits to increase in the next two years,” said John Smaby, President, NAR. “These trends are positive signs, particularly in our constantly evolving industry.”The report noted that over 80 percent of real estate firms had a single office, typically with two full-time real estate licensees, down from three licensees indicated in the previous report in 2017. Firms with only one office had a median brokerage sales volume of $4.2 million in 2018 (down from $4.3 million in 2016), while firms with four or more offices had a median brokerage sales volume of $100 million in 2018 (down from $235.0 million in 2016).Click here for the full report. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News
in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News March 14, 2019 604 Views Census Bureau HUD LendingTree New Home Sales New Residential Sales tendayi kapfidze 2019-03-14 Donna Joseph The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the new residential sales statistics for January 2019 on Thursday. According to the report, the sales of new single‐family houses in January 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607,000—which is 6.9 percent below the revised December rate of 652,000 and is 4.1 percent below the January 2018 estimate of 633,000.The median sale price of new houses sold in the month of January this year was $317,200, the average sales price was $373,100. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 336,000. The report pointed out that this represents a supply of 6.6 months at the current sales rate. Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree indicated that though new home sales missed the estimate, the report suggests a healthy spring season. “January sales missed estimates, but the report is an encouraging one as December sales were revised substantially higher to 652,000 from 621,000. This brought sales for the full year 2018 to 627,000, 2.2 percent higher than 2017 in a year when most discussions were about a slowdown in housing,” Kapfidze said. He also stated that “sales may have broken their downward trend as the three-month average moved to the highest since June. Lower mortgage rates may be starting to support sales despite the January decline.”Speaking of affordability, Kapfidze said that the “falling prices are also helping affordability. The median sales price of $317,200 was 3.7% below January 2018. The boost in affordability should support spring sales. Inventory is encouraging. 341,000 homes were available for sale, up 14 percent from January 2018 and months supply of 7.4 will also keep a damper on prices.” According to Kapfidze, NHS data is “always messy.” He noted that the Census Bureau notes in the release that “it takes 6 months to establish a trend for new houses sold” as they are among the most volatile and revision prone economic data series. At LendingTree, the 3-month average to balance timeliness with information value is taken into account. “The 3-month average of 629,000 is the highest since June,” he added. Read the full report here. Healthy Season Ahead for New Home Sales Share
Building Permits Census Bureau Construction Housing Starts HUD Realtor.com 2019-03-26 Radhika Ojha March 26, 2019 712 Views Housing Starts Flip-Flop Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Housing starts declined in February despite a strong showing in the previous month, according to the latest new residential construction data published by the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday.The report indicated that housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million, decreasing 8.7 percent month-over-month and 9.9 percent on an annual basis. Single-family housing starts also weakened decreasing 17 percent to 805,000 in February compared with 970,000 in the prior month.”A spike in mortgage rates in early November undermined buyer purchasing power and caused a dip in builder confidence that has started to recover but has yet to reach its October level, before the surge in mortgage rates,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com. “Thus, we may see a few more months of up and down single-family starts before increasing confidence leads to increased production.”Building permits during the month also saw a decline of 1.6 percent over January, decreasing to 1.29 million against 1.31 million recorded in the previous month. Permits also fell on a year-over-year basis by 2 percent from 1.32 million recorded in February 2018. The report revealed that single‐family authorizations in February remained unchanged at were at a rate of 821,000 on an annual basis.However, housing completions increased in February, rising 4.5 percent to 1.3 million compared with 1.24 million completions in January. Completions were also slightly above the February 2018 numbers rising 1.1 percent on an annual basis.Looking at the buying season ahead, Hale said that the current market conditions provided plenty of opportunities for homebuyers. “Mortgage rates have dipped notably since the November surge and signs point to steady to lower mortgage rates ahead,” Hale said. “Home prices continue to rise, but their moderation puts them within range of stronger income growth creating opportunities for homebuyers, where we previously saw hurdles.”
Dr. Gottlieb said he was still trying to figure out how that could be achieved. “These are people who are now furloughed and can collect unemployment insurance or take a second job,” he said.“If we pull them in and tell them they have to work, they can’t collect. I have to make sure I’m not imposing an undue hardship.” You might also be interested in January 11 , 2019 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stopped food safety inspections of foods including fruits and vegetables because of the government shutdown, The New York Times reported.FDA inspectors normally examine operations at about 160 domestic manufacturing and food processing plants each week. Nearly one-third of them are considered to be at high risk of causing food-borne illnesses, the story reported. In a series of tweets, FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he was taking steps to restore food safety surveillance inspections and to cover more of the high-risk sites as the shutdown continued. He said he hoped to bring back about 150 inspectors who had been furloughed during the shutdown, perhaps as early as next week. U.S.: FDA finds no salmonella outbreak source at D …
Tokyo Handy Guide and Tokyo Handy Map have been integrated into one useful brochure for 2018 – Tokyo Travel Guide. The guide will be available at tourist information centres and hotels and the digital version is available here.In addition, the Tokyo Handy Guide App is now available in four languages (English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese) and is available through the App store and Google Play. appguideTokyo