Bomb kills 1 wounds 8 others in Philippines

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Investigators were trying to determine the identity of the attackers. Zamboanga, a bustling city that’s a gateway to many urban centers in the south, has come under bomb attacks by Abu Sayyaf militants in the past.The Abu Sayyaf is a small but brutal group, which is on a U.S. list of terrorist organizations. It’s notorious for bombings, kidnappings for ransom, beheadings and extortion.More than a decade of U.S.-backed offensives by Philippine military have weakened the al-Qaida-linked militants but they remain a security concern.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A bomb packed with nails for more lethal effect has exploded in a massage parlor in the southern Philippines, killing one person and leaving at least eight wounded, officials said Friday.Two of the victims of blast late Thursday in the port city of Zamboanga were in critical condition in a hospital, police said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the night-time attack, which damaged the shop and nearby businesses.center_img Quick workouts for men Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more


SWISS wins new Business Traveller Award for Best Business Class

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) earned a further distinction in this year’s Business Traveller Awards: first place in the newly-inaugurated category of “Best Business Class to North and South America”. The readers of Germany’s reputed Business Traveller magazine also voted SWISS “Best Airline for Europe”, the fourth time in succession that the carrier has gained this distinction. SWISS also took the top honours in a further award category, for “Best Direct and Connecting Flights to North and South America”. Jochen Leibfritz, SWISS’s Sales Manager for Germany, collected the honours in Frankfurt today on behalf of the entire company. “These distinctions are a wonderful acknowledgement of our entire SWISS team,” he said. “We all work together day in, day out to offer our customers the highest possible quality. As Switzerland’s national airline, we attach immense value to our hospitality and our service-minded approach. Because when they board a SWISS flight, we want our customers to feel truly at home.” SWISS was particularly honoured to receive the first-ever Business Traveller Award for the “Best Business Class to North and South America”, as Markus Binkert, Managing Director and Head of Product & Services, explained. “We are delighted to see that the new Business Class which we have been introducing onto our long-haul fleet since last year is proving so popular with travellers,” he said. “This award confirms to us once again that our innovative new cabin product is truly meeting the needs of our premium customers.”The new SWISS long-haul Business Class features a unique seating configuration that provides genuinely spacious surrounds; and the seat itself boasts an innovative pneumatic air cushion whose softness can be quickly and flexibly tailored to individual needs. The new Business Class is being gradually installed aboard the SWISS long-haul fleet in a programme that started in spring 2009. Source = Swiss International Air Lineslast_img read more


First Auckland flight out of Chile lands

first_imgA LAN flight from Santiago to Auckland arrived this morning, the first flight on the route since last week’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile, the carrier said today.Flight LA 801 was previously scheduled to arrive at 4.20am, but arrived shortly after 6.00am local time today.LAN said the return flight LA 800 to Santiago would depart Auckland at 4.40pm. The carrier also plans to operate its next Santiago – Auckland flight tonight, arriving into Auckland early on Saturday and continuing on to Sydney.But passengers ticketed to fly on flights LA 800 (Sydney – Auckland – Santiago) or LA 801 (Santiago – Auckland – Sydney) are still advised to call the airline in New Zealand on 09 308 3352 or in Australia on 1800 558 129.LAN said it was “focused on transporting those passengers stranded since the weekend when their flights were cancelled or rescheduled following the earthquake” All stranded passengers ticketed to travel on LAN will be rebooked onto the first available flight, LAN said.However, operations into the international airport terminal in Santiago continue to be restricted due to damage, but some flights are being diverted to Punta Arenas airport in the south of Santiago. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more


Qantas advises reaccommodation options

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Following the release of its updated schedule to keep passenger disruptions to a low after the grounding of its A380 fleet, Qantas have outlined options for passengers travelling on disrupted Qantas flights.Those passengers holding a valid Qantas ticket for travel between 11 November and 25 November and travelling on flights which have been disrupted may rebook, get credit or be issued a refund at no charge to the customer (although applicable ticket taxes may apply).The carrier today issued a statement informing passengers that should their flight be disrupted, they could, “rebook an alternate Qantas service (including Qantas codeshare services) using the lowest booking class available in the same cabin of service”. Alternatively, if travel has not commenced, passengers can apply for a refund or “retain the value of the ticket in credit” for travel within 12 months of original ticket issue.For revalidation, if the original ticket has been validated to Qantas, travel agents can revalidate tickets in-house if there is a change to only the flight or date; no authority number is required for revalidation.Again if the ticket has been validated to Qantas, to re-issue tickets, travel agents must enter the authority number ‘579480’ into the tour code box and move the existing data from the tour code box to the endorsement box for Nett, APoSD and Private Fare tickets.Net remit tickets will not require the NR indicator.Should a customer wish to retain the value of the ticket in credit, travel agents can reissue the ticket in-house if validated to Qantas but authority number ‘579480’ must be entered into the tour code box in order to waive the fee for voluntary changes.For Nett and APoSD tickets, travel agents are advised to contact the Qantas Industry Centre for ticketing options.Any refund fees will be waived “for tickets issued prior to 11 November 2010 where the original ticketed travel dates were between 11 November and 25 November 2010,” Qantas advised.Travel agents will be required to submit a Refund Application via BSPLink referencing authoritynumber ‘579480’ to waive any refund fees by 31 January 2011.For conditions, please visit the Qantas website.last_img read more


Aussies urged to prove their love of Uluru GBR

first_imgTourism Australia has called on Aussies to support Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef in their bids to become two of the New7Wonders of Nature by voting for their inclusion on the winners’ list.     With the announcement of the successful candidates looming less than ten weeks away, Uluru campaign ambassador Steve Liebmann urged Australians who were proud of their “incredible national treasures” to prove it.       “The competing countries are working hard for votes, so for our icons to be in with the chance to make it into the top seven natural wonders of the world, we need to rally as much support as possible,” Mr Liebman remarked.“That means not only voting ourselves, but also getting friends, family, neighbours and colleagues both from Australia and overseas to do the same.”As voted by the general public, the New7Wonders of Nature campaign aims to recognise seven of the world’s most beautiful and significant natural sites – Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef have been shortlisted as two of the 28 finalists.Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said having two of the world’s seven natural wonders would “reinforce our message that There’s Nothing Like Australia. “While many of the world’s most remarkable destinations are also in the running, we know that Australia’s candidates are truly phenomenal, highly worthy and stand a very strong chance – we just need the public to take action and vote,” Mr McEvoy added.Australians can show their support for the World Heritage-listed sites by voting at or by sending an SMS with Uluru or Ayers Rock and GBR or Reef to 197 88 555. The Barrier Reef is vying to become one of the world’s New7Wonders Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more


Bloomfield Lodge Best Boutique Accommodation at QHA Awards for Excelle

first_imgBloomfield Lodge in tropical north Queensland has been awarded “Best Boutique Accommodation” at theprestigious Queensland Hotels Association 2011 Awards for Excellence this week. The Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence are an annual event which this year attracted morethan 300 entrants across 30 categories. More than 1000 members of the Queensland hotel industry gathered atBrisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday to attend a glittering black-tie gala presentationevening and celebrate those achieving excellence in a range of categories including service, accommodation,dining, marketing, responsible service practices, training and redevelopment. The award for Best Boutique Accommodation was accepted on behalf of Bloomfield Lodge by its long-termmanagers Ben Morley and Courtenay Greer-Morley. “The team at Bloomfield Lodge strives on a daily basis to provide an outstanding guest experience across allfacets of the operation, so it’s a wonderful achievement to have that dedication recognised by our industrypeers,” Ben said. Bloomfield Lodge is an exclusive luxury retreat, with 17 individual, spacious suites set at the most northern tip ofthe world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest where it meets the magical Great Barrier Reef. It is owned and managed by the Trailfinders group of companies and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of theWorld. In the last 12 months it has attracted a series of accolades including the TripAdvispor Certificate ofExcellence for consistently high standards, and was ranked No 1 by US Forbes magazine as the ‘World’s BestRemote Hotel’. Bloomfield Lodge will now go on to compete in the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) National Awards forExcellence in 2012.Why Bloomfield Lodge won the QHA judges vote…Bloomfield Lodge is truly a hidden gem and perfect for those seeking to escape it all. Access to the boutique lodge requires a 45 minute private charter flight from Cairns landing at the grassy airstripadjoining picturesque Mt Louis Station, where guests then enjoy a scenic drive through lush rural lands dwarfedby towering hinterland ranges before reaching the Bloomfield River where guests board a boat and embark on abreathtaking cruise, across the turquoise waters of Weary Bay to the welcoming smiles of Bloomfield staff at thelodge’s beachfront entrance. With a capacity of just 36 guests at any one time, Bloomfield Lodge is an idyllic piece of tropical paradise. Itindulges both body and soul, with no compromise on life’s little luxuries. For those seeking solitude, relaxationand rejuvenation Bloomfield is the pinnacle in luxury lodging. The 17 individual natural timber rooms are beautifully appointed and have been thoughtfully constructed inprivate rainforest settings to ensure the guest experience is peaceful. Each room features ensuite facilities and large picture windows capturing stunning ocean views, and largebalconies perfect for those long restful days spent reading on the comfy daybeds whilst glancing up occasionallyto catch the brilliant blue flicker of the Ulysses butterflies who call Bloomfield home. Bloomfield offers a range of activities including, rainforest walks, river cruises, boating and snorkelling on theGreat Barrier Reef (with the option of a gourmet picnic lunch on Hope Island), fishing, and relaxing spatreatments including massage and beauty therapies. Further afield the lodge hosts day tours to Cooktown,Cedar Bay National Park and can also arrange interpretive Indigenous tours of Bloomfield Falls. The remote location means there is no mobile reception or internet access at the property. It really is the perfectplace to “switch off” quite literally and enjoy a luxurious holiday experience in an unspoilt wilderness. Part of Bloomfield’s appeal is its mouth-watering selection of freshly prepared meals which are unarguablybeyond extraordinary. With the use of quality produce (including local seafood) and immaculate presentation,the meals are a highlight of the guest experience. Served in a lush tropical alfresco setting, there is also theoption for romantics to take advantage of private dining in one of the beautiful timber gazebos. All inclusive 4 night packages at Bloomfield Lodge start from as little as $1,520* per person double share. Allmeals, guided rainforest walk, guided river cruise, accommodation, courtesy car from and to the guest hotel inCairns, return scenic flight, private bus/4wd and boat transfers to and from Bloomfield Lodge, some lodge basedactivities, tea and coffee available 24 hours, and guest laundry are all included in the package. * Subject toavailability. Normal terms and conditions apply. Source = Bloomfield Lodgelast_img read more

TA tells China Theres nothing Like Australia

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. Moving forward with plans to tap into the Asian Century, Tourism Australia launched the next phase of its ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ campaign in China.The Group’s managing director Andrew McEvoy travelled into Shanghai for the launch late last week alongside a delegation from Tourism Australia with the hopes to build tourism from one of the fastest growing travel markets, News, reported. The campaign will take on a social media approach, driving fans to the tourist bureau’s Facebook page, which last week reached up to three million fans.The campaign will also feature a “broadcast film” showcasing Australia’s “best and brightest” as well as introducing Tourism Australia’s new mobile application that allows users to make direct bookings.  “The big thing about this campaign is it is the most integrated campaign in partnership with state and territory tourism authorities that we have ever done,” Mr McEvoy said.”The app is quite significant. It’s a first generation app which takes the consumer from the inspiration of a good old-fashioned ad they will be motivated then make it more tangible for them to book a trip to Australia.”last_img read more

Carlson Rezidor expands in Australasia with new hotel in Fiji

first_imgCarlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, today announced the signing of a management contract with Fund Trust Joint Venture* to develop Park Inn® by Radisson Fiji Suva.This is the second Carlson Rezidor hotel in Fiji, following Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island**.Park Inn by Radisson Fiji Suva is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2018.“We are excited to grow Carlson Rezidor’s presence in Australasia (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands), beginning with Fiji’s capital of Suva, the hub for regional businesses operating in the Pacific Islands,” said Thorsten Kirschke, president, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.“Park Inn by Radisson Fiji Suva underscores our renewed commitment to Australasia, which is a key region for Carlson Rezidor in Asia Pacific.“To optimise the potential of Australasia as an engine of growth, our dedicated Australasia development team is rolling out plans to introduce new brands to the market.”Park Inn by Radisson Fiji Suva is the first NexGen Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Australasia and also the first international midscale hotel in Suva.Park Inn by Radisson Fiji Suva is a 130-key new build hotel located within walking distance of the main street, the wharf and the city’s main bus terminal.The hotel is located close to shopping malls, offices, banks, the headquarters of religious organisations, the European Union office and many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).The hotel is served by Nausori International Airport, which is about 17km or a 30-minute drive away. As part of a master plan for the airport, a complete refurbishment exercise to upgrade the airport to a domestic and international air hub, is expected in the future.Park Inn by Radisson Fiji Suva will have an all-day dining restaurant and a lounge. To cater to demand from the MICE segment, the hotel’s meetings facilities will include a ballroom and meeting rooms. There will also be a fitness center and ample parking lots. Carlson Rezidor HotelsSource = Carlson Rezidor Hotel Grouplast_img read more

Scoot has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft

first_imgSource = Scoot Scoot has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraftScoot has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft from Toulouse, France, out of 39 firm orders placed with Airbus in 2014. The aircraft, bearing registration number 9V-TNA and named ‘Chapati Party’, landed in Singapore Changi Airport on 7 October 2018 on 7.39pm.The delivery marks the beginning of Scoot’s narrow-body fleet renewal plan, and the A320neos will service Scoot’s short- to medium-haul regional destinations. ‘Chapati Party’ will be making its debut with Scoot flight TR610 from Singapore to Bangkok on 29 October 2018.About ScootScoot is the low-cost arm of the Singapore Airlines Group. Scoot took to the skies in June 2012 and merged with Tigerair Singapore in July 2017, retaining the Scoot brand and positioning it well for a new chapter of growth. Scoot has carried sixty million guests and now operates a fleet of 18 state of the art, widebody Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 27 young and modern Airbus A320 family aircraft, with two more Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 38 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order. Scoot’s network presently encompasses 66 destinations across 18 countries and territories. Scoot provides – in addition to fantastic value airfares – a safe, reliable and contemporary travel experience with a unique attitude – Scootitude. Offering amenities including on-board Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and in-seat power on selected flights as well as the ability to redeem and accrue Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, Scoot was voted 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Best Low Cost Airline (Asia/Pacific) by and ranked in the Top 10 of the World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines in 2015 and 2018 by Skytrax. Scoot is passionate about making travel attainable for all and enabling people to embrace the full potential of what we term Wandermust – the innate need that humans have to travel and seek new experiences.Book your tickets at or contact our Call Centre.Find out more on,,, and read more

Maharashtra to set up Promotion Board for MICE tourism

first_imgWith Mumbai as an important global gateway to India, Maharashtra is focusing on MICE tourism for which it plans to set up a Promotion Board in the state.At a roundtable organised by the Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) in Mumbai, Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra, while speaking on ‘Repositioning Mumbai as a tourism destination of the future’, informed, “We will soon set up a Promotion Board for promoting MICE tourism in the state. The Board will be a one-stop-shop for MICE, facilitating permissions for big conferences and events. We are also looking at a system of pre-approved venues for the same and a Single Window System for hospitality.”Film City was already undergoing redevelopment, added Singh, of which 40 new studios featuring world class facilities will be set up, along with an archive for Marathi and Hindi films. Besides, the new Tourism Policy to be framed will have three main aspects: Project development, Human Resources or Skill development and Investment & Promotion. These will offer big incentives for the industry including complete tax exemptions for 20 years for investment in some tourism districts.The new Tourism Policy promises to completely change tourism for the state, said Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). He added, “MTDC’s chopper darshan has evoked a very good response. We plan to start the Mumbai Darshan buses in May. We will have 11 hop on hop off buses. We are also looking at promoting yacht tourism. There are about 93 private yachts in the state and by October 2016 we hope to make some of them available for commercial use to offer tourists leisure trips in the Mumbai Harbour. We are also planning to work on setting up a few casinos in the state with the required permissions.”last_img read more

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