Month: August 2019

Stats Indicate Strong Prices Steady Demand Going into 2014

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Confidence Demand Home Sales Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Move Inc. Service Providers 2014-01-21 Tory Barringer January 21, 2014 407 Views Despite the numerous challenges that sprang up throughout 2013, the housing market still managed to finish the year in a healthier position than in 2012, according to the latest figures from “”””:[IMAGE]The site’s “”statistics for December””: indicate the median national list price ended 2013 at $194,500, up 8.1 percent compared to the end of 2012. Relative to November, however, prices were down 1.6 percent–marking the late arrival of the “”usual seasonal winter slow down,”” says.””Bidding wars and all-cash offers left many home buyers empty handed after the summer home buying season,”” said Errol Samuelson, president of “”In fact, many buyers remained in the market throughout the fall in an effort to get ahead of the competition–extending the summer season and making housing indicators resilient to usual seasonal patterns.””The number of listings as of the end of December was an estimated 1.7 million, up 1 percent year-over-year but down 6.2 percent month-over-month. Much of the year saw accelerated price growth and increased competition among buyers as would-be sellers remained on the sidelines due to low equity or other concerns.Meanwhile, demand from buyers remained strong, even with the winter slump. The median age of inventory in December was 112 days, up 10.9 percent from November but down 5.1 percent from the prior year.””As we open the new year, the first quarter inventory figures are especially crucial as our first barometer into seller confidence for the 2014 home buying season,”” Samuelson said. “”The market is still showing significant demand, but in order to have a strong home buying season, sellers need to put their homes on the market.””There are factors besides seller confidence to consider when it comes to 2014 housing. In the group’s most recent “”Confidence Index””:, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said regulatory changes coming from Washington–like those instituted earlier in January by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau–run the risk of hamstringing lending activity if pursued without an eye toward balance.Another concern, says, is January’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which the site’s analysts fear may negatively impact consumer finances. in Datacenter_img Share Stats Indicate Strong Prices, Steady Demand Going into 2014last_img read more

Private Employers Add 230K Jobs in October

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News The number of jobs in the private sector increased by 230,000 from September to October, according to the October 2014 ADP Research Institute National Employment Report released on Wednesday.Medium businesses, those with between 50 and 499 employees, had the largest increase month-over-month with 122,000 jobs added in October, more than double the total of August to September’s increase of 47,000 for companies that size, ADP reported.Small business, those with between one and 49 employees, saw an increase of 102,000 jobs from September to October after adding 93,000 jobs from August to September. In October, 53,000 of the jobs added were in companies with between one and 19 employees and 49,000 were added in companies with between 20 and 49 employees, according to ADP.”Employment continues to trend upward as we begin the last quarter of 2014, driven mostly by small to mid-sized companies,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of ADP Research Institute. “October’s job growth is the highest since June and the second highest gain of 2014.”Large businesses with more than 500 employees gained only 5,000 new jobs month-over-month in October after adding 85,000 in September, according to ADP. Businesses with between 500 and 999 employees added 14,000 jobs from September to October, an increase from 8,000 added from August to September, but this gain was offset by the loss of 8,000 jobs in businesses with more than 1,000 employees, ADP reported.The goods-producing sector accounted for 48,000 of the jobs added in October, a slight decline from the 50,000 jobs that sector added in September, according to ADP. The construction industry added the most jobs in this category in October with 28,000, more than twice the number of jobs added in that industry for Sepember (13,000). Manufacturing, however, added only 15,000 jobs after increasing by a three-year high total of 33,000 in September.Meanwhile, 181,000 service-producing jobs were added in October, an increase over the 176,000 jobs that sector added in September. The professional and business service industries contributed the most job additions in that category with 53,000 in October, while the trade/transportation/utilities industries expanded by 47,000 jobs in October, up from 37,000 in September. The financial activities industry gained 4,000 jobs in October, which was less than half of September’s total.”The job market is steadily picking up pace,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “Job growth is strong and broad-based across industries and company sizes. At this pace of job growth unemployment and underemployment is quickly declining. The job market will soon be tight enough to support a meaningful acceleration in wage growth.” November 5, 2014 465 Views Private Employers Add 230K Jobs in Octobercenter_img Share ADP Jobs Unemployment 2014-11-05 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Mid America Mortgage Names Adam Rieke Director of TPO Lending

first_img Director of TPO Lending Mid America Mortgage Mortgage Lending 2015-05-08 Seth Welborn May 8, 2015 522 Views Mid America Mortgage Names Adam Rieke Director of TPO Lending Mid America Mortgage, Inc., based in the Dallas suburb of Addison, Texas, has announced the hiring of Adam Rieke as director of national TPO lending.Rieke’s 23-year career in the mortgage lending arena includes managing several highly profitable wholesale lending operations. In his new role at Mid America, Rieke will focus on the TPO lending sector.“Mid America has always placed a special emphasis on our third-party originators,” owner and CEO Jeff Bode said. “Combining Adam’s operational skills with the broker-specific functionality available through Mid America’s proprietary software system, Mortgage Machine, creates a unique opportunity to further enhance the value Mid America’s TPO channel provides, and together, we believe we can make the wholesale process so much better for our brokers.”Prior to coming to Mid America, Rieke was a regional VP with PRMG, where he focused on expanding that company’s wholesale lending operations in the Midwest. Before joining PRMB, Rieke served as SVP with Mortgage Services III, LLC, for seven years; under his leadership, that company grew into the nation’s seventh largest mortgage wholesale lender by volume. He has also served as president and CEO of a national wholesale lender and led First Horizon’s wholesale lending channel in the Chicago area in the mid-1990s.”Technology is a major concern due to regulatory compliance requirements and in allowing the millennial generation to have a greater role in the housing industry,” Rieke said. “Under CEO Jeff Bode’s vision and through utilization of Mortgage Machine, Mid America Mortgage enables its TPO partners to utilize technology-based solutions to combat an ever-changing regulatory landscape. In so doing, Mid America has attracted quality brokers, bankers, and depositories. By providing the necessary ‘ease-of-use,’ it has also freed its TPO partners to focus on their strength, the origination of residential mortgage loans.”Rieke said one of his initiatives to expand Mid America’s TPO space is to restore the human element to the underwriting process.”While the advent of automated underwriting has created some efficiencies in certain segments of the credit spectrum, we believe it has also turned ‘human underwriting’ into a lost art,” he explained. “Mid America is committed to employing the most competent, experienced underwriters in our industry. Our goal is to promote lending opportunities that are mostly overlooked by larger lending institutions, due to their dependency on automated underwriting.”center_img in Headlines, News, Origination Sharelast_img read more

Report Indicates Percentage of Underwater Homes in Decline as Equity Positions Continue

first_imgReport Indicates Percentage of Underwater Homes in Decline, as Equity Positions Continue to Rise June 16, 2015 466 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Approximately 254,000 properties regained equity in the first quarter of 2015, bringing the total of residential mortgaged properties with equity nationwide up to 44.9 million – approximately 90 percent of all mortgages, according to data released by CoreLogic on Tuesday.While more than a quarter of a million homes regained equity during Q1, the percentage of residential properties with negative equity – commonly referred to as being “underwater” or “upside down,” meaning the borrower owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth – declined year-over-year by about 19.4 percent from 6.3 million homes in Q1 2014 down to 5.1 million homes in Q1 2015. The 5.1 million homes with negative equity in Q1 represent about 10.2 percent of all residential mortgages nationwide.”Many homeowners are emerging from the negative equity trap, which bodes well for a continued recovery in the housing market,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With the economy improving and homeowners building equity, albeit slowly, the potential exists for an increase in housing stock available for sale, which would ease the current imbalance in supply and demand. There are still about 5 million homeowners who are underwater and we estimate that a further 5 percent appreciation in home values across the U.S. would reduce the number of owners with negative equity by about one million.”The national aggregate value of homes in negative equity for Q1 was $337.4 billion, which was a year-over-year decline of 13 percent from the $388 billion reported for Q1 2014, according to CoreLogic.About 9.7 million residential properties out of the 50 million homes nationwide with a mortgage (19.4 percent) have less than 20 percent equity, which is commonly referred to as being “under-equitied.” About 2.7 percent of homes (1.3 million) have less than 5 percent equity, which is commonly referred to as having “near-negative equity.” Borrowers with near-negative equity are at risk of moving into negative equity if home prices drop, according to CoreLogic. Under-equitied borrowers may have a difficult time refinancing their homes or obtaining financing for another home purchase due to underwriting constraints, CoreLogic said.”The CoreLogic Home Price Index for the U.S. was up 2.5 percent during the first quarter of 2015, which has improved the equity position of homeowners,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “About 90 percent of homeowners now have housing equity and, as a result, have experienced an increase in wealth, which can spur additional consumption and investment expenditures. The remaining 10 percent of owners with negative equity will find their home value rising while they continue to pay down principal on their amortizing mortgage loan.”Among states in Q1, Nevada had the highest percentage of residential properties with a mortgage with negative equity with 23.1 percent. The top five states in that category – Nevada, Florida, Illinois, Arizona, and Rhode Island – accounted for about 31.4 percent of all the negative equity in the country, according to CoreLogic. The state with the highest percentage of residential mortgages in positive equity in Q1 was Texas at 97.7 percent.Most of the positive equity is concentrated at the high end of the housing market, according to CoreLogic. About 94 percent of homes valued at more than $200,000 have equity as of Q1, compared to 85 percent for homes valued at less than $200,o00.Among core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) in Q1, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida, had the highest percentage of residential properties with a mortgage in negative equity at 23.1 percent; the CBSA with the highest percentage of residential properties in positive equity was Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, at 97.9 percent.First liens without home equity loans accounted for more than half of the national total of $337 billion in negative equity for Q1 ($181 billion, or 53 percent). First liens with home equity loans accounted for about $157 billion (about 47 percent) of the negative equity total. According to CoreLogic, about 3.1 million underwater borrowers have first liens without home equity loans; those 3.1 million borrowers have an average mortgage balance of $229,000 and are an average of $58,000 underwater. Also according to CoreLogic, about 2 million underwater borrowers have both first and second liens; those 2 million borrows have an average mortgage balance of $295,000 and are underwater by an average of $78,000.center_img CoreLogic Equity Properties underwater homes 2015-06-16 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

Housing Market Improves Amid Favorable Conditions

first_imgHousing Market Improves Amid Favorable Conditions in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, Market Studies, News, Origination As consumers purchase more homes, remain current on mortgage payments thanks to low rates, and employment continues to grow, the housing market continues to show improvement.Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) showed that the U.S. housing market continued to stabilize as the national MiMi value reached 81.2 as of August 2015. This means that the market is on its outer range of stable housing activity.The MiMi rose 0.27 percent from July to August and has shown a three-month improvement of 2.54 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Year-over-year, the MiM values has increased 6.16 percent and has rebounded 37 percent since the all-time low in October 2010. However, the value is still significantly lower than its high of 121.7.”The nation’s housing market continues to improve riding the wave of the best year in home sales since 2007,” said Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. “With the MiMi purchase applications indicator at its highest level in more than seven years we expect home sales to remain strong. Low mortgage rates are fueling the recovery across the country”The key drivers of the positive MiMi value were the current on mortgage indicator (83.7 points) and the employment indicator (103.3 points), both fell in range and increased 0.60 percent and 1.03 percent from July, respectively.The purchase applications indicator fell at 66.9 points in a weak position, but increased 1.23 percent from last month. The payment-to-income indicator also came in weak at 70.9 points, and fell 2.03 percent from last month.A total of 29 of the 50 states including the District of Columbia had MiMi values in the stable range, with the District of Columbia (103.9), North Dakota (96.9), Hawaii (93.5), Montana (93.2), and Utah (90.3) occupying the top five spots, Freddie Mac reported.Meanwhile, 46 of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values that are stable, with Fresno (99.4), Austin (96.6), Honolulu (94.1), and Salt Lake City (93.3), and Los Angeles (93) occupying the top five spots.”Buoyed by strong employment growth, housing supply is struggling to keep pace with demand, which is driving house prices higher,” Kiefer said. “Fortunately, low mortgage interest rates are helping to keep homebuying affordable for some prospective homebuyers.””Nationwide, housing markets are getting back to their long-term benchmark averages, but they still have room for improvement. We’re expecting housing to sustain its momentum going into yearend, but we’re going to need stronger income growth to carry housing throughout 2016,” he added.Click here to view the full report. Freddie Mac Housing Market Recovery Multi-Indicator Market Index 2015-10-23 Staff Writercenter_img October 23, 2015 474 Views Sharelast_img read more

Poll Homeownership is Low on the Priority List

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News Poll: Homeownership is Low on the Priority List If a recent poll is any predictor, 2017 may be a drab year for homeownership.According to the recent December Financial Literacy Opinion Index conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), only 10 percent of Americans say buying a home is their top financial priority in the new year.A whopping 80 percent of respondents say paying down debts is their No. 1 concern—far and away the top choice among financial priorities—while another 5 percent say growing their personal savings is their top choice.The NFCC cites consumer confidence and more frequent credit card use, particularly around the holiday seasons, as a large part of the poll’s results.“It’s a sobering moment when the credit card bill arrives in January and reveals a mountain of debt fueled by holiday spending,” said NFCC spokesman Bruce McClary. “January is a good time for planning to get debt under control before it becomes unmanageable.”Rounding out the list of financial goals for 2017 were buying a car, which 2 percent of respondents say is their highest priority, and “none of the above,” which accounted for another 2 percent, according to NFCC.NFCC conducted the recent Financial Literacy Opinion Index throughout the month of December on its website, A total of 1,834 individuals participated.While homeownership may not be a top priority for many Americans who are deeply in debt, another recent poll showed that the desire to own a home is there. A survey of more than 2,800 registered voters conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that 81 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds want to buy a home, and 36 percent of all respondents would like to buy a home in the next three years.“The survey shows that most Americans believe that owning a home remains an integral part of the American Dream and that policymakers need to take active steps to encourage and protect homeownership,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois.Having enough money for a down payment was not the biggest obstacle to achieving homeownership in the NAHB survey, however. Fifty-five percent said that finding a home that was sufficiently priced was the biggest barrier, compared to 50 percent for the down payment.To see the full results of the NFCC poll, read the entire NFCC announcement. Sharecenter_img Consumer Debt Homeownership 2017-01-05 Seth Welborn January 5, 2017 690 Views last_img read more

Trump Disbands Councils What Now

first_imgTrump Disbands Councils . . . What Now? August 17, 2017 526 Views Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologycenter_img 2017-08-17 Joey Pizzolato The mortgage banking industry no longer has a voice in President Trump’s ear as of Wednesday, when the president disbanded both his manufacturing and business advisory councils via Twitter:Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017The decision to disband the counsels comes on the coattails of nine members’ resignation after the events of Saturday’s alt-right rally and subsequent fallout in Charlottesville, Virginia.As of this week, additional resignations rolled in from: Inge Thulin, CEO of 3M; Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup; Scott Paul, President of the Alliance of American Manufacturing; Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO of Merck; Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour, Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel; and Richard Trumka, President of AFL-CIO.There was increased pressure for JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to also withdraw from the President’s council. On Wednesday afternoon, a handful of New York-based advocacy groups—including New York Communities for Change, Center for Popular Democracy, and Make the Road New York—marched on Chase’s headquarters in Manhattan, demanding that the CEO do more to stand up against the president.Dimon and JPMorgan Chase were largely silent until an internal memo surfaced with an official statement:“I strongly disagree with President Trump’s reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days. Racism, intolerance, and violence are always wrong. The equal treatment of all people is one of our nation’s bedrock principles. There is no room for equivocation here: the evil on display by these perpetrators of hate should be condemned and has no place in a country that draws strength from our diversity and humanity.As a company and for all business in general, it is critical that we help develop rational, intelligent policies to help expand opportunities for all of our citizens. I know that times are tough for many. The lack of economic growth and opportunity has led to deep and understandable frustration among so many Americans. But fanning divisiveness is not the answer. Constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country. It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart.”With a president that has been so vocal about tax reform and reducing regulations, what might it mean for the mortgage finance industry now that the council has disbanded? Rick Sharga, EVP of Ten-X, remains optimistic for the industry.“It’s unfortunate that the political climate has become so toxic that CEOs began resigning from President Trump’s advisory committees, fearing that their participation would damage their companies,” he said. “When Government and business work together towards common goals, the U.S. economy benefits.”Sharga believes the industry still has a voice, though.“Luckily, the mortgage industry is well-represented in the Trump Administration—both Steve Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross are mortgage industry veterans, with broad, deep networks of executives within both the bank and non-bank lender community. Interests of lenders, and the consumers they serve, should continue to be heard.”Sharga also suspects that Dimon will continue to counsel the president as needed, as he has been known to do for past administrations.last_img read more

Houston Market Proves Resilient

first_img Share November 14, 2017 596 Views Growth Housing Markets Houston Metrostudy resale Starts 2017-11-14 Staff Writer According to a report published Tuesday by Metrostudy, the Greater Houston Area is an exceptionally strong housing market even following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. In particular, Houston has become a phenomenon in the resale market, according to the report. Metrostudy also said that Houston is also still strong in the new home market, despite Metrostudy not anticipating a significant increase in demand until the first quarter (Q1) of 2018.According to the report, Houston is only second to the Dallas/Fort Worth Area in housing starts, at 27,713 as of the third quarter (Q3) of 2017. This number represents a 6.4 percent year-over-year growth rate. Metrostudy also reported that it anticipated a 5 to 6 percent increase in Houston single family starts at the end of 2017. That number is expected to drop to a 2 to 3 percent increase at the start of 2018.“In general, Metrostudy does not anticipate any significant increase in new home sales demand generated by Harvey victims until 1Q18,” said Lawrence Dean, a regional director for Metrostudy’s Houston market. “These potential future buyers are simply focused on managing their damaged homes, temporary housing, and FEMA assistance to be able to move forward on purchasing new homes until this timeframe.”While the report states that 167,000 single family homes were damaged by the storm, home starts still managed to surpass closings in the third quarter at 7,540 homes. This number was 113 more than its third quarter of 2016 number.The report states that home starts in from $200,000 to $400,000 tend to have the greatest volume while starts over $400,000 show declines. According to Metrostudy, starts in the $600,000 and over category show the greatest decline.Finally, going back to the theme of resale, Houston’s market has shown a year-over-year growth of 9.3 percent. According to the report, there are 20,487 true resale listings on the inventory. This number reflects 3.7 months of supply, the lowest level seen in a year.center_img Houston Market Proves Resilient in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, journal, Newslast_img read more

Californiabased avocado company has opened a new

first_img California-based avocado company has opened a new ripening and distribution center in Portland, Oregon, expanding its capabilities in the Pacific-Northwest.“Portland, Ore., is a great location for our new FDC,” said Ben Barnard, vice president of global partnerships and business development.“This new facility at 58,000 square feet, will expand our ripe capacity by providing 10 ripe rooms that are each capable of storing 24 pallets.”Also, the facility will enhance our cold storage by offering two coolers and a cutting-edge refrigerated control system.”He said that in addition to coolers, refrigerated cool systems and ripe rooms, the facility will house five functional refrigerated loading docks and five temporary non-refrigerated docks.“Mission is extremely excited about this new facility,” said Steve Barnard, president and CEO. U.S.: Del Rey Avocado expands in Southern Californ … Image of peculiar ‘long neck’ avocado goes viral … “We are always looking ahead and considering the demand for avocados. Our continued growth within the ripe category is necessary.”This FDC is strategically positioned in Portland, Ore., to broaden our ripe capacities in the Pacific-Northwest region, keeping Mission within a 24-hour truck-drive away anywhere nationwide.”Mission hosted a grand opening of the new facility on August 30. The event was for customers and potential partners to tour the FDC and meet members of the Mission team from quality, sales, and ripening.“Our team of Mission trained experts were thrilled to host this grand opening. They are ready to continue assisting the Pacific-Northwest region with their ripening expertise and knowledge of the avocado industry standards,” said Ryan Fink, vice president of North American operations.“By continuing to expand our facilities, we are able to better serve our growing customer base with additional capacity to react when needed.”Also, with the upgraded refrigeration and ripening controls we are able to continue to monitor and ensure conditions stay optimal to deliver the highest quality fruit to our customers daily.” Mission Produce reveals avocado ‘size interchangea … center_img You might also be interested in September 04 , 2018 Colombian Hass avocado industry scores market acce …last_img read more

The Scottish Capital will join Glasgow as Emirates

first_imgThe Scottish Capital will join Glasgow as Emirates’ second destination in Scotland when a new daily Dubai-Edinburgh service begins on 1 October 2018.“We’re increasing our capacity to Scotland to meet growing demand, and by introducing a daily flight to Edinburgh, it will complement our current double daily flights between Dubai and Glasgow. Edinburgh is a very popular leisure and business destination, and the new service will offer our customers from across our global network, particularly from key inbound markets such as Asia and Australia, a direct option to the city via our Dubai hub,” said Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West.“It will also be a more convenient point for travellers from the greater Edinburgh area, and beyond, such as Aberdeen and Dundee, to travel with Emirates to Dubai and onward to destinations across our network.”The new service will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three class cabin configuration, with 8 private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class.The Scottish capital, with its Old Town and New Town both being UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is the second most visited city in the UK by tourists. It is famed for its rich history, cultural and architectural attractions, gourmet food scene, as well as international festivals and cultural events. It was also the first city in the world to be designated a UNESCO City of Literature, while last year it was named by the European Union as the top city of its size in Europe for culture and creativity.Flight EK023 will depart Dubai daily at 0955hrs and arrive in Edinburgh at 1450hrs, while the return flight, EK024 will depart Edinburgh at 2015hrs and arrive in Dubai at 0640hrs the next morning. The arrival of the flight is conveniently timed for connecting to Emirates’ services to popular outbound destinations for Scottish travellers, such as Bangkok, Lahore, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australian cities, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.IMAGE: Edinburgh/Emirates airlinesEdinburghEmiratesScotlandlast_img read more

Stephen Marshall brings with him an extensive inte

first_imgStephen Marshall brings with him an extensive international travel career most recently as Director of Sales and Marketing – North America at Diethelm Travel Group in Washington D.C. His previous roles have included multiple positions within Tourism New Zealand, where he was Special Projects Manager and Premium Sector Trade Manager, both based in LA, and prior to that was General Manager for the New Zealand division of The AOT Group, also a Helloworld Travel Limited business. Stephen’s career also includes Rydges Hotels & Resorts in Auckland as well as Tui, British Airways and Thomas Cook, all in the UK.Stephen MarshallCinzia Burnes, Executive Director and Head of Wholesale & Inbound at Helloworld Travel Limited acknowledged and thanked Mark for his service to the company.“We thank Mark for his work and dedication to the Qantas Vacations business over the past 10 years, he has been a great team member and most recently a great leader for the brand and we wish him all the very best for his future.“We welcome Stephen into the position of President, a key role in our US operations. And we are so pleased to welcome him back to the company after many years since he was GM at AOT NZ. We are confident that Stephen’s knowledge and experience will be a great asset to Qantas Vacations and he will continue to build on growing the US businesses.” Qantas Vacations and parent company Helloworld Travel Limited have announced the appointment of Stephen Marshall to the role of President, following the departure of Mark Punshon from Helloworld Travel’s USA Wholesale division after 10 years of service with the brand. Marshall will commence in the role on 12 November, 2018, reporting to Cinzia Burnes. He joins the Qantas Vacations team based in Los Angeles. appointmentsHelloworld TravelQantas Vacationslast_img read more

Emirates is calling for both Melbourne and Brisban

first_imgEmirates is calling for both Melbourne and Brisbane locals to join its world-class Cabin Crew team as part of its latest recruitment drive. The announcement comes following growth within Emirates’ global route network and continued passenger demand.Recruiting both men and women for the roles, Melbourne locals interested in joining are welcome to attend the recruitment day on Sunday 25 November at 8am sharp at Oaks on Market Hotel, 60 Market Street Melbourne, 3000.Brisbane locals interested in joining the Emirates Cabin Crew team are welcome to attend on Thursday 22 November at 8am sharp at Novotel Hotel Brisbane, 200 Creek Street, Brisbane City 4000.“Emirates is proud to represent an incredibly diverse mix of cultures and backgrounds with Australians making up an important part of this. We’re in the business of people which is why it’s so important that we have the right team onboard to service our customers,” said Barry Brown, Emirates Divisional Vice President for Australasia.“Australian’s friendly nature, strong work ethic and commitment to succeed aligns closely with Emirates’ role in connecting travellers to the world while providing a superior service each time they fly with us. For anyone considering a role in aviation, we welcome you to come to our recruitment day where our team will be on hand to answer any queries and share insights into the life of an Emirates Cabin Crew,” said Mr Brown.Emirates Cabin Crew members are offered a complete employment package, which includes a variety of premium benefits such as tax-free income, free high standard shared accommodation in Dubai, free transport to and from work, coverage for medical and dental and exclusive discounts on shopping and leisure activities in Dubai.The package also offers attractive concessional travel benefits for employees, their families and friends, available across the airline’s global route network.Applications for Cabin Crew require detailed criteria. Candidates must be a high school graduate, at least 21 years of age at the time of joining and have an arm reach of 212cm when standing on tiptoes. Candidates wishing to kick start their careers should bring their CV, updated in English and a recent photograph. No prior registration is required to attend the open day.On the day, candidates must come prepared to spend the entire day in the selection process, if necessary. Those who are shortlisted will be informed of new dates for future assessments and interviews.Emirates offers candidates an outstanding career opportunity, in-depth training as well as an unmatched cultural exposure working within a truly international team from over 135 nationalities with a total of 1,311 Australian staff, including 572 cabin crew and 286 pilots.For further information regarding the requirements for the selection process, Cabin Crew starting salary and benefits CLICK HERE. cabin crewEmiratesMelbourneRecruitmentSydneylast_img read more


Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling It almost reads like a multiple choice question gone awry… Question: In Week 11, the Atlanta Falcons defeated the AZ Cardinals after the Falcons allowed which of the following to occur: A) A half-dozen turnovers, including 5 INT’s by Matt RyanB) Getting boo’ed at home (dome-not-so-sweet-dome)C) Allowing LaRod Stephens-Howling to rush for 127 yds (career high)D) Sleepwalking thru the first quarterE) All of the above And if you don’t make plays? Effective immediately, it doesn’t matter if you’re a 5-time Pro Bowler (Adrian Wilson) or the starting quarterback (John Skelton), the gauge has reached zero-tolerance. “The message this week was that we were going to make changes at different positions and the quarterback isn’t exempt from that,” Ken Whisenhunt replied when I asked him what prompted replacing John Skelton with rookie Ryan Lindley. “If they’re not making enough plays to win then you have to look and see if the next guy can do that…we had some throws early in the game we missed.” In fact, in baseball terms, this latest Cards loss is akin to an at-bat where you strike out swinging…after hitting 5 long drives – foul. “It really is a game that we should’ve won. There are some games where you say you should’ve won and other games where hands down, no question everyone in the locker room and everyone in the stadium knows you should’ve won that game,” Acho said. “That’s the toughest part about games like that.” Then I suppose this wouldn’t be a good time to mention to Cards defenders that Matt Ryan just became the first quarterback since Green Bay’s Bart Starr in 1967 to win a game despite throwing five interceptions and no touchdowns, according to Stats LLC. Considering that each of the multiple choice options actually took place during a 23-19 win by the Falcons, the correct answer is indeed “all of the above.” “We knew he’d throw us the ball, so it was up to us to just make the plays and make the catches. And we did,” Sam Acho said about Matt Ryan during our Cardinals radio network postgame interview on Arizona Sports 620. “Unfortunately, we were one stop too short.” Indeed, the Cards defense held the Falcons offense to just a single touchdown. Stating the ultra-obvious, the Big Red D played well enough to win. And the Cards offense left Atlanta with almost a guilty look on its face. “It’s terrible because of the job that the defense did. On offense, we need to score more points and help them out,” LaRod Stephens-Howling bottom-lined after a career-high rushing effort. The game plan called for the Cards to pump the A-B-S (brakes) in the A-T-L and bring the skidding to a halt. Thing is, that’s getting tougher as it’s a moving target right now. “We ran the ball well today, didn’t throw it. Last game, we threw the ball well, but didn’t run it,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt told me after the game. “We have to get a mix where we can do both of them well and move the ball well and make plays.” “We were kind of sleepwalking thru the first quarter of the football game,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith stated. “It shows our resiliency, that’s what it shows. We’re a very resilient football team that is going to find different ways to win.” Well, the Cards sixth straight loss was, uh, different alright. As in – all of the above. – / 18 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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first_img Top Stories Carson Palmer goes under center during Arizona Cardinals training camp Aug. 11. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) – / 19 Until then, however, it’s more training camp. So let’s get into what went down in an afternoon where the players were in shells.The GoodRight tackle D.J. Humphries was back on the field after dealing with a knee injury for the better part of the last week. Given what’s going on with Bobby Massie, the team’s starting right tackle, Humphries’ return did not come a moment too soon.Andre Ellington was also on the field again, though he did not take part in any of the 11-on-11 work.Carson Palmer connected on a really nice deep ball to Larry Fitzgerald during 11-on-11, beating safety Rashad Johnson in the process. Drew Stanton did the same (minus Rashad Johnson) with Jaron Brown.In 7-on-7, Palmer hit Jaron Brown deep. During the two-minute offense, Jaxon Shipley made a great catch on a Stanton pass in ripping the ball away from the defensive back at the goal line.Also in two-minute offense, Stanton hit Brittan Golden for a deep pass.Ifeanyi Momah also made a couple of nice grabs on Stanton passes.The BadPractice ended with Logan Thomas being picked off by C.J. Roberts. Thomas made a few nice throws, but this did not seem to be his best afternoon.There were a few deep balls that may have been completed but would have been sacks if the defense was allowed to hit the quarterback. That went for both the first and second-team offenses. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo GLENDALE, Ariz. — There appeared to be a more sparse crowd than usual at Tuesday’s practice, though that can be attributed to a lot of things including bad weather and this sort of being the dog days of training camp. Because while the team still hasn’t necessarily beat itself up, there is a definite feeling of it being time to actually hit someone wearing a different team’s jersey. It will happen soon enough, as the preseason opener looms. “You try to avoid that. It hurts you. It hurts you all around. It hurts you individually, it hurts you as a team. So it’s something you don’t want to do, but stuff happens and people make mistakes.” – Ted Larsen on Massie“A knee in his ass every day.  A foot wasn’t going to do it, so I nicknamed him ‘knee deep.’” – Bruce Arians on what it takes to motivate D.J. HumphriesThe InjuredThe Cardinals got a little healthier Tuesday, but are still fairly beat up. Out of practice Tuesday was:WR Michael Floyd (hand)RB Marion Grice (hamstring)CB Jerraud Powers (oblique)CB Darren Woodard (groin)RB David Johnson (hamstring)LB Shaq Riddick (hamstring)LB Darryl Sharpton (hip flexor)OT Cameron Bradfield (unknown)OT Rob Crisp (knee)A Larry Fitzgerald Highlight Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Spectacular Catch Rating: 99. @LarryFitzgerald | #CardsCamp— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 11, 2015Up NextThe Cards will be back at it again Wednesday with a morning walkthrough and an afternoon practice, which starts at 2 p.m. and is open to the public. It didn’t look like the secondary made too many plays. This would be alarming if not for the fact that Arizona is very talented in that area and there have been many, many times this camp where the likes of Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson and Rashad Johnson have come up big. Just not Tuesday.NotableThough Massie has been suspended by the league (a suspension he is currently appealing), the fourth-year pro still worked with the first-team offense at right tackle Tuesday. Humphries was running with the second-team, with Earl Watford — second-team right tackle Monday — was in that spot for the third group. Watford also saw time at left guard with the second-team.Though Thomas has not exactly been special, it still seems like the third QB job is firmly his. Phillip Sims is receiving very little work outside of the regular drills.Troy Niklas, who has been hurt most of camp, was on the field with the second-team for a few snaps in 11-on-11.Arizona’s four-receiver sets included Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, J.J. Nelson and Brittan Golden.Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon did not practice, but was seen sprinting across the field at various times.Quotable“It’s one of those things you hate to hear, you hope that the appeal process goes in our favor, but it’s one of those things you have to deal with. It’s one of those things that when something happens you look him in the eye, he has to be accountable to his team. Tell him ‘we need you back, make sure you’re ready if you do have to miss games,’ and somebody else gets the opportunity to step up.” – Calais Campbell on Bobby Massie being suspended by the NFL Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more


It sounds weird to say it but the Baltimore Raven

first_imgIt sounds weird to say it, but the Baltimore Ravens defense isn’t very good in 2015.Once the calling card for a team that a franchise that made the playoffs seven times in a nine-year span from 2006 to 2014, Baltimore is 16th in the league in total defense, and 20th in passing defense. That side of the ball has been a big reason why the Ravens limp into Monday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at 1-5 overall. Top Stories On the other sideline, we know how Arizona head coach Bruce Arians likes to take his shots down the field. It’s something that could be exploited by the Cardinals, according to ESPN NFL insider Mike Sando.“The Ravens had to turn over their defense, they lost Terrell Suggs,” Sando told Bertrand Berry Monday on Off the Edge with B-Train on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “They can’t cover down the field. They’ve given up more deep passes than any other team in the league, and that plays right into the strengths of the Cardinals.”Baltimore has yielded 26 passing plays of 20 or more yards in its first six games this season, or 4.3 per game. By comparison, last year’s Ravens allowed just 54 passing plays of 20 or more yards, an average of 3.4 per contest.The Ravens have also allowed three touchdown passes of 68 or more yards on the season.Baltimore’s secondary is banged up heading into the Arizona game, with cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson and safety Kendrick Lewis listed as questionable and another safety, Terrance Brooks, won’t play.In years past, the Cardinals had a lethal passing game, but didn’t offer much in terms of balance. In an 11-win season a year ago, the Cardinals ranked in the league’s top half in passing yardage per game, but were second-to-last in rushing. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo That’s changed this year, and should make things even more difficult for the Baltimore defense, according to Sando.“Their running backs are averaging over five yards per carry,” he said. “That’s number-one in the league. They were last in that category last year. You look at what this coaching staff and front office did to improve run game personnel — on the offensive line, at running back.“And you have to give Larry Fitzgerald a lot of credit for the way he’s blocking, too. I think they just need the threat of a running game, but they have a real running game and that’s huge.” Comments   Share   last_img read more


On 15 July 2015 LATTE was welcomed by delegates f

first_imgOn 15 July 2015, LATTE was welcomed by delegates from Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA) who hosted a travel industry workshop in Sydney to further encourage strong relations between Chinese and Australian tourism through promoting Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta region.The event occurred prior to the Travel Industry Exhibition, held at Sydney’s Luna Park 16 – 17 July 2015, where SMTA will be strongly represented and a prestigious workshop promoting the Yangtze River Delta region at the Imperial Peking, Sydney, on Thursday 15 July 2015.Ms Connie Cheng, SMTA’s vice chairman, commented on the growth of tourism co-operation between Australia and China in recent years, saying that increased flights between capital cities and Shanghai (between 15 and 18 per week from Sydney) and a 72-hour visa-free transit within Shanghai for Australians make visiting the city all the more appealing.“We are natural partners blessed with different attributes and features. To many Shanghai citizens, breathtaking nature here in Australia holds powerful appeal for those who are going out especially while China is experiencing winter.”The 72-hour visa free transit is available to tourists from 45 countries, including Australia.It follows the introduction on 1 July 2015 of a tax refund policy for overseas tourists that spend less than 183 days in the Chinese mainland. Visitors are entitled to a rebate of 11 per cent on consumer goods purchased at designated department stores.last_img read more


Go back to the enewsletter Crystal Cruises will

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Crystal Cruises will reposition one of its luxury ocean vessels in 2017, unveiling an entirely new line-up of itineraries. Following the 2017 Southern Celebración World Cruise round-trip from Miami, Crystal Serenity will sail throughout North America for the remainder of the year, offering routes along the east and west coasts, through Alaska, New England and Eastern Canada, as well as the eastern seaboard into the Caribbean. Historically, Crystal Serenity has spent the majority of her 12 years at sea cruising the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Black Sea.“The Mediterranean and surrounding regions have long been favourite destinations for our guests, and will continue to be, with the launch of Crystal Yacht Cruises and Crystal River Cruises,” says Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “These new ventures allow us to expand our offerings for our guests, so they can continue to experience their favourite Crystal holidays in new ways.”Crystal Serenity’s new roster of ultra-luxury cruises includes a repositioning voyage from Miami to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal; convenient seven-day explorations of California’s coastline; a 14-day intensive Mexico itinerary; a 16-day route through the Hawaiian Islands; seven-, 9- and 10-day cruises through the ports and glaciers of Alaska and British Columbia; seven- and 10-day itineraries through the charming ports of New England and Eastern Canada; and warm-weather fall and winter cruises along the Southern East Coast into the Caribbean.Bookings for the newly unveiled 2017 Crystal Serenity voyages are now available with Book Now fares starting at US$2625 per person double occupancy including all taxes through 29 February 2016.Crystal’s newest vessel, luxury yacht Crystal Esprit, as well as its upcoming five luxury river yachts, will focus primarily in the waters of the Mediterranean region nearly year-round.  Crystal Esprit will sail to and from long-favoured cities such as Venice, Dubrovnik and Athens, with calls to lesser-explored gems only accessible by yacht. Likewise, the river yachts will grace the waterways of Europe include the Rhine, Seine, Danube, Main, Garonne, and Dordogne Rivers, visiting charming ports throughout Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, and others.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more


Go back to the enewsletter Etihad Airways and the

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterEtihad Airways and the Sydney Opera House announced on 31 March the extension of their Major Partnership for a further five years.The extension will take Etihad Airways well into the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal – launched in its 40th Anniversary year in 2013 to ensure the World Heritage-listed ‘masterpiece of human creativity’ continues to inspire new generations of audiences and visitors.The announcement comes at an exciting time for Etihad Airways and Australia’s number-one tourist destination.In addition to being named Air Transport World’s Airline of the Year 2016, Etihad Airways was last year voted World’s Leading Airline for the seventh consecutive year. The Abu Dhabi-based airline is also rapidly increasing its global footprint through groundbreaking innovations in product and service, major investments in destination marketing, and brand campaigns.Meanwhile, Opera House Renewal is well underway, from a suite of building projects that will touch all four corners of Jørn Utzon’s masterpiece to a renewed focus on integrating the experience audiences and visitors enjoy at the Opera House – transformative arts and culture, the greatest contemporary and classical music, inspirational speakers, creative shows for children and families, insightful tours and incredible Australian cuisine.Under the terms of the new deal, Etihad Airways will continue as the Sydney Opera House’s Major Partner and Opening Nights Presenting Partner. The airline will support Opera House programming by flying guest artists and performing arts companies to Sydney from across its extensive network of 116 international destinations. It will also leverage its investment in Australian tourism – through its partnership with Tourism Australia – to bring more visitors to Sydney and to the Sydney Opera House.NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said: “The Sydney Opera House is a world-renowned performance venue and continuing a partnership with the award-winning global airline Etihad Airways makes perfect sense.“I would like to congratulate both the Sydney Opera House and Etihad Airways on this agreement that will deliver countless benefits to both organisations.“The Sydney Opera House has attracted commercial sponsorship in a way that has brought serious innovation and investment in Australia’s most recognised building while maintaining its heritage and integrity.”Etihad Airways General Manager Australia and New Zealand Sarah Built said extending the partnership with Sydney Opera House for another five years underscored the airline’s commitment to Australian tourism and to the arts and culture worldwide.“The partnership with the Sydney Opera House, one of the world’s architectural wonders, is especially significant for Etihad Airways.“Together with the five-year, $30 million deal we signed with Tourism Australia last year, it multiplies our efforts to promote travel to Australia and to elevate Sydney’s profile as one of the world’s great tourist and cultural destinations in key markets.“It also increases our investment in Australia’s cultural sector enabling us to support the programming of arts and entertainment experiences that enrich the lives of local citizens as well as visitors to the city.“The partnership is a natural fit because both organisations share many of the same values, including a shared passion for excellence and inspirational guest experiences.”Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more


Sofitel has announced the largest Sofitel property

first_imgSofitel has announced the largest Sofitel property in the Middle East with development partner MKM Commercial Holdings LLC. Expected to open in early 2019, Sofitel Dubai Wafi will join the luxury brand’s growing portfolio of 14 hotels and 4400 rooms in operation and under development in the Middle East.Sami Nasser, Chief Operating Officer, Luxury Brands, AccorHotels Middle East, commented: “We are delighted to work with MKM Commercial Holdings, one of our long standing partners, to develop this impressive project that will undoubtedly become a future flagship for Sofitel in the region. The development of this property is aligned with our strategy to operate one of our leading luxury brands across strategic locations in theMiddle East.”Sofitel Dubai Wafi will feature 501 luxury guestrooms, inclusive of 86 suites, ranging in size from 55 to 625 square metres, in addition to 97 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom serviced residences to be operated on an extended-stay basis. The property will offer a number of dining concepts including an Asian specialty restaurant, gastro pub, a unique destination restaurant, bar and lounge on 43rd and 44th floors, a French lobby café, an all-day restaurant and a pool bar. Guests will have the option to relax and unwind at the SoSpa or use a comprehensive gymnasium, outdoor pools, private cabanas and a kids’ club. Business travellers will have access to 10 meeting rooms in addition to a 1115-square-metre ballroom.Guests of Sofitel Dubai Wafi will enjoy close proximity to Wafi Shopping Mall, Downtown Dubai, Business Bay and the Dubai International Airport. Corporate clientele will have convenient access to primary business and exhibition centres including the Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Healthcare City and the Dubai International Conference and Exhibition Centre. Located adjacent to Raffles Dubai, both properties will form a luxury cluster within Wafi offering guests a range of shared amenities and services.H.H. Sheikh Manna Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Chairman of MKM Commercial Holdings said: “We are excited to sign this agreement with AccorHotels, our trusted partner for the Sofitel Dubai Wafi. We are confident that the Sofitel, through its distinct brand positioning and expertise in the luxury segment, will be able to complement our existing Raffles Dubai while cementing the strength of hospitality offerings present within the expanded and revitalised Wafi.”AccorHotels has 39 existing properties in the UAE, in addition to 23 others under development. In the Middle East and Egypt, AccorHotels currently operates 95 hotels encompassing 28,800 rooms across the luxury to economy segments. The Group’s regional network is expected to double in number, bringing over 25,000 additional rooms and nearly 2400 branded residences to the Middle East.last_img read more

Samsonite Australia will launch its new Evoa TECH

first_img Samsonite Australia will launch its new Evoa TECH collection to the local market next month. The Evoa TECH range features fingerprint-activated TSA locking technology, built in weight scale, Bluetooth tracking and a USB port. The new collection aims to bring a complete upgrade of experience to solve common problems in everyday travel, improve efficiency and enhance security.The fingerprint-activated TSA combination function can open and lock the luggage with one simple fingerprint touch, a godsend for frequent travellers. With the help of a user-friendly system, consumers can record up to (and later switch out) 10 selected fingerprints within the device, allowing the suitcases to be borrowed or accessed by friends and family with ease.There’s also an option of using a set-dial code, along with a USB port to charge mobile phones and tablets with the power bank kept inside the smart pocket of the interior divider.With the integrated weighing scale, travellers can avoid costly airline baggage fees with a simple lift of the side carry handle. The user-friendly design features a convenient one-touch display screen built into the handle that shows the weight by lifting up and down.Thanks to the Bluetooth tracker, owners will be able to ensure luggage is never left stranded at the airport as its proximity guidance feature can be set up to alert the user when their luggage is a set distance away.Evoa TECH also features double layer anti-theft zips and metal corner guards for increased protection.The new luggage line also features innovation Aero-Trac™ suspension wheel technology which effectively reduces rolling vibration and noise against frictional paths.Evoa TECH comes in a stylish Brushed Black texture to reduce the appearance of marks and scratches. It’s loaded with additional convenient features including expandability and multiple internal organisers including a smart pocket and wet pocket. Available this September from leading luggage retailers, as well as online at, the new Evoa TECH will be available in three sizes and prices: 55cm/$679.00, 69cm/$799.00 and 75cm/$899.00. Want to be in the luxury travel know? Subscribe to our free eNewsletter here to keep up to date with everything in the luxury travel industry. Go back to the e-newsletter Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more