Source = Hilton Hotels & Resorts Hilton Sydney has won the coveted awards for ‘Australian General Manager’ (Paul Hutton), ‘Hotel Bar of the Year’ (Zeta Bar), Hotel Engineer (Craig Cavers) and Hotel Brand at the ninth annual HM Awards for Hotel & Accommodation Excellence.Regarded as the leading awards in the industry, the HM Awards recognise excellence in people and departments, properties and chains in 48 categories across properties in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Paul Hutton, General Manager of Hilton Sydney, whose hospitality career spans 25 years across destinations worldwide, said, “I feel tremendously proud of this accolade and it is testament to the hard work and impeccable standards of an internationally diverse Hilton Sydney team. “A mid-city icon for four decades, Hilton Sydney firmly re-established itself after a two and a half year closure and its re-opening in July 2005 as a more exciting and vibrant property than ever. This honour sets the tone for next year and beyond and will see Hilton Sydney continue to take its place as a truly iconic Australian hotel offering world-class service.“I’m delighted to see Zeta Bar collect the 20th award in its six-year history, making it the most awarded cocktail bar in Australia. This is an outstanding achievement and proves that we continue to lead the way in cutting-edge bar trends and set internationally pioneering standards.“Lastly, but by no means least, it’s always pleasing to see individual recognition so I am thrilled for Craig Cavers’ thoroughly deserved engineering award. He is a vital cog in the Hilton Sydney machine, so I congratulate Craig and thank his team wholeheartedly.”Ashley Spencer, Vice President Operations, Australasia, Hilton Worldwide, accepted the Hotel Brand award during the ceremony and said, “I am thrilled to accept this major award and showcase to the Australasian hospitality industry why Hilton is the number one hotel brand in Australasia; a success which demonstrates the strength of our international team.“In addition, it was extremely pleasing to see Hilton Lake Taupo take the award for New Zealand Regional Property and highly commended recognitions going to Hilton Queenstown (New Zealand Hotel), Hilton Melbourne South Wharf (Marketing Campaign) and Hilton Cairns (Service to the Community). It was undoubtedly an outstanding night for Hilton and one which we should all be proud of.”Hilton Sydney also received three highly commended awards for Tech Hotel (recognised for the third year running), Business Hotel (recognised for the second year running), and Environmental Program at the ceremony, which was held at the Sydney Town Hall. The awards were co-hosted by James Wilkinson, managing editor of HM – Hotel & Accommodation Management magazine and the charismatic Larry Edmur, Channel Seven’s Morning Show host who entertained more than 600 guests at the ‘Night at the Opera’-themed gala. The HM Awards judging panel is made up of over 50 industry professionals and travel media who decide on all of the finalists and the winners. Written submissions for each category are considered and all judging decisions remain anonymous. All results are audited by Ernst & Young.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Research has revealed that humour was a favourable characteristic when selecting a travel buddy, with 39 percent of men listing it above all other qualities and 57 percent of females opting for an amusing cohort.When seeking a travel companion men value beauty above all other qualities, while women regard a good sense of humour as the most important feature, according to research conducted by MissTravel.com.41 percent of males consider beauty to be the chief attribute when considering a travel partner, while only 13 percent of female respondents valued attractiveness in a travelling counterpart.19 percent of males value a woman with intelligence above all other qualities, yet only 7.5 percent of women prefer a brainy travel mate. 22 percent of females listed value, generosity and wealth above all other qualities.Other features such as spontaneity and being well-travelled were irrelevant for both male and females.Results were derived from a survey of 4000 males and females between the ages 18-45.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Australian travellers risk bringing back more than just souvenirs when going away by not visiting their local doctor to get health advice prior to travel, according to researchers.The University of Sydney’s Family Medicine Research Centre reported three in five Australian’s travelling won’t visit their doctor to get health advice before setting off, risking picking up serious diseases overseas.Travellers visiting destinations with a risk of infectious diseases like rabies, hepatitis A and B or typhoid fever can have consequences ranging from losing a few days of the trip to gastro or the flu to ending up in hospital with a serious disease.Travel Doctor TMVC clinic in Sydney medical director Dr Conrad Moreira said while most people who travel won’t get any serious illness the message is that these diseases are preventable.Of the 670 people who took part in the research project, only 30 percent had visited their doctor before going overseas.While there are more high-risk areas than others, Dr Moreira adds “the risk depends on the destination as well as the type of person travelling.””Certain groups of travellers are at higher risk of infectious diseases, including pregnant women, children, people with impaired immunity and immigrants returning to their country of origin to visit friends and relatives.”Travellers are advised to visit their doctor or a travel clinic between six and eight weeks before they are due to depart to ensure they are aware of their destination health risks and any required inoculations.
Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman Travel News Media now offers managed competitions through ETB Travel PrizesTravel News Media, Corporate Office, London, owners and publishers of the global travel and tourism news publication, ETB Travel News, has announced today its latest advancement. The global travel news source is now ready to provide the industry with its latest promotional “Industry Tool”, ETB Travel Prizes allowing them to host and administer competitions in a white labelled environment through their new website www.etbtravelprizes.com. There is a demo competition available to view.ETB Travel News (Travelblackboard and ETravelBlackboard) has, over the last thirty two years, been committed to supporting the travel and tourism industry in numerous forms. The release of ETB Travel Prizes is the latest in an impressive collection of valuable “Industry Tools” for partners within the industry to promote their products and services.ETB Travel News Global CEO, Jonathan Harris said, “This is the ideal platform for our partners to deliver competitions and prizes via our vast global network within a simple, managed online environment. This development is the latest in an impressive array of products that we have developed for the industry in recent months. Earlier we launched our Travel Directory offering all tourism industry players a self-service opportunity to list their businesses within our platform and more recently our Events Calendar which is another self-service system that allows all functions and events to be posted, at no cost, for the world to see.”“Our partners have often asked if we could promote competitions but it was simply too time consuming and expensive for our team to set up, administer and manage them individually. Now we have the perfect platform to run cost effective, exciting and engaging competitions on behalf of our partners.”Travel News Media IT Director, Tim Davies, divulged, “This latest development is only part of a suite of “Industry Tools” presently under development for the Travel News Media group for the benefit of the tourism industry. Some of our advertising partners are already loading their articles directly to the back end of the ETB Travel News website. They have 24/7 365 day access and they can even view all their click stats whenever they want. They also benefit from content rich splash pages with unlimited links to their other online presence and activities. These are also available to them to edit and update at any time. We have invested significantly in our technology and it is pleasing to see numerous projects now becoming available to the industry.”Mr Harris also said ETB Travel News remained very much committed to supporting the tourism industry as it has done for the last thirty two years. “We are constantly looking to be at the forefront of technology in order to maintain systems that are effective in the ever changing landscape of the modern world. We must assist our partners to progress in this new environment by enabling them with the tools that are needed – cloud based, available anytime, anywhere and on any device.”“Over time we will release more industry tools enabling our partners to achieve greater results and exposure in the areas that they operate and those which they want to enter and develop. 24/7 reporting and completely transparent online platforms to load, monitor and manage their respective campaigns is the direction that we wish to pursue.”ETB Travel News is already Australia’s leading travel and tourism publication and has been for many years. Now, with highly advanced technology, the publication with its worldwide reach is fast becoming a major powerhouse within the global tourism media space.ETB Travel News leads the industry with technology, tools and innovation not only for their commercial partners, but also their impressive and ever increasing list of subscribers.Mr Harris added, “I think what makes us unique is the way we can integrate all our promotional tools into campaigns and that we are long time tourism industry professionals which allows us to better understand our partner’s requirements. Running competitions is certainly a potent method of engaging with your customers. However running them in conjunction with advertorials, banners, eDMs and featured articles and distributing through the 260,000+ pages of the ETB Travel News website and the 150,000+ newsletters despatched each week, offers exposure and results that are simply not available elsewhere. This is of course before we even start discussing our substantial social media platforms which we are willing to make available to our partners.”For enquiries relating to loading competitions and utilising our other services please contact the sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org ETB Travel Prizes. Find out more …
Dubai www.LonelyPlanet.com98% of travellers rate their Dubai travel experience a 7 or higherDubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has introduced a more advanced mechanism to measure and track the satisfaction levels of visitors to the city with various aspects of the destination offering from their time of arrival until departure.As part of its wider Dubai International Visitors Survey (DIVS), this module is designed to scrutinise the end-to-end tourist experience and how likely a visitor of each nationality is to positively endorse Dubai as a must-visit destination, across the core destination pillars and services that are likely to most impact their travel.The findings, released today at Arabian Travel Market as part of Dubai Tourism’s wider Annual Visitor Report, shows a massive 98% of international respondents across the cross-section of nationalities rating their Dubai travel experience in 2015 at a 7 or higher, with over 61% giving a 9+ score.Closely mirroring these satisfaction results were ratings that measured the likelihood of the traveller to ‘recommend’ their Dubai visit to their network of friends and family, which showed 97.5% of respondents to be ‘likely promoters’ of which over 60% would be ‘active advocates’ for the Dubai brand.In keeping with Dubai’s pursuit of excellence, only ratings at 9 and 10 on a 10-point scale are considered to be genuinely ‘happy’ and hence ‘active advocates’ of the city or its specific offering, while ratings of 7 and 8 are considered to be ‘satisfied’ and hence ‘likely promoters’. Anything at a rating of 6 or lower in this survey is earmarked as an area for further development, ensuring extremely high standards are maintained and strived for.Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing, said: “The findings from these visitor surveys will continue to inform Dubai Tourism’s on-going efforts to deliver a superior end-to-end destination experience to ensure visitors become loyal repeat travellers, supported by synchronised private and public partnership projects at all stages of the visitor journey. With continuing development of specialised facilities, sophisticated infrastructure and content through 2016 spearheaded by the opening of three new theme parks, a robust calendar of events, festivals and concerts, as well as enhanced beachfront and coastline regeneration initiatives, Dubai ultimately expects to make every visitor to the emirate a life-long ambassador of the destination.”Across the emirate’s strategic destination offering pillars, topping the ‘happiness’ charts were the quality of experiences around Beach & Marine activities as well as the Hotels & Accommodation. Following very closely and registering very high degrees of satisfaction on the comprehensiveness of the offering were Shopping and the Gastronomy proposition indicating the effectiveness of the city’s active promotional efforts to broaden the appeal to a wider global market. Family offerings, Adventure Sport activities and the Business related proposition remained strong as aspects of a travel experience that Dubai has been delivering effectively and continues to evolve in terms of the variety it offers.Earmarked as an area for enhancement based on respondents’ experience – in terms of both raising awareness and evolving the offering – was Culture, Art & Heritage – which is already being actively addressed during 2016 by Dubai Tourism in close collaboration with Dubai Municipality and Dubai Culture and Arts Center through the Dubai Historical District project.Spanning 1.5 km², this regeneration project is aimed at enhancing Khor Dubai, as well as other historical neighborhoods of Bur Dubai, Al Fahidi and Deira, to showcase the emirate’s heritage, particularly in the fields of trade, handicrafts and pearl diving ably complementing other cultural experiences offered around the emirates.In terms of infrastructure and service provisions at various touch points of a traveller’s journey, the survey saw remarkably high satisfaction levels with the city’s safety & security, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dubai Police – cementing one the cornerstones to building and maintaining the universal appeal of a family destination.As part of the wider 2015 Annual Visitor Report, Dubai Tourism also released a number of tourism metrics, trends and insights across the destination.In terms of visitation, leisure visitors continued to make up the lion’s share in 2015 at 64.9%, up 10% over the previous year, further underscoring the city’s growing attractions, events and activity portfolio that continues to appeal to an ever-growing catchment of visitors.Dubai continued its core focus of becoming the world’s leading family destination, which is representative in the fact that families now make up more than half of all travellers visiting the city, whilst individual travellers constituted 29% of the overall base, remaining almost flat year-on-year.Business traveller growth also remained steady despite toughening economic conditions, representing close to 20% of all visitors to the emirate in 2015. This confirms the city’s strategic importance as a global business and event hub as well as being an international gateway to high-yield regional markets.Those visiting friends and families/or relatives (VFR) represented 13.9% of all visitors in 2015, underlining the importance of the residing population in being advocates for the city and goodwill ambassadors for Dubai through word-of-mouth endorsement. Dubai TourismSource = Dubai Tourism
The Continent Hotel won Thailand’s Leading Boutique Hotel AwardsThe Continent Hotel won Thailand’s Leading Boutique Hotel AwardsThe Continent Hotel has been voted as Thailand’s Leading Boutique Hotel for 2016 by World Travel Awards. This prestigious honour gives recognition around the world for world class hotel facilities and service, and is based on votes which are the actual result of guest experiences and how they ranked the facilities and were treated at each establishment.Bangkok’s only boutique lifestyle hotel, the Continent is set in the heart of the city, overlooking Sukhumvit Road, and offers the best access to shopping, dining, and nightlife in town. The 153 guest rooms are uniquely designed according to the eco-themes of “Ocean, Forest, Desert, and Space,” and the appropriately named Sky Rooms from the 22nd-32nd floors offer superlative views of the Bangkok skyline, as well as plenty of perks to guests.While some of Bangkok’s premier shopping malls are just a stone’s throw away, along with a vast array of eating and drinking options, the Continent offers its own stellar hangouts. Medinii offers contemporary Italian food with an Asian twist, set up above the city on the 35th floor, and has Sky Dining every evening as one of its highlights.The hotel also boasts Bangkok’s newest most authentic fine Thai food restaurant, Bangkok Heightz, which a high end authentic Thai food restaurant located on the 39th floor. Overlooking a fabulous cityscape, it features authentic Thai dining and in a refined atmosphere that can’t be topped. Bangkok Heightz takes traditional Thai recipes passes down through generations and elevates them to new heights, combining the best of Thai cuisine and elegant sky high dining.Additionally, the Axis & Spin Sky Lounge and Bar on the 38th floor features, signature cocktails, fine wines and plenty of snacks and dining options as well, the perfect spot to watch the lights come on and the sun go down over the metropolis.Other features at the hotel include the O2 Sky Gym, where one can work out, relax, and escape the stress of city life high above the town, and a 37th floor swimming pool overlooking the skyline.Perfect for those looking to shop, party, dine, and have a superlative stay in the heart of town, the Continent excels in its boutique lifestyle endeavours, and ensures guests will be returning time and time again. Source = The Continent Hotel
Four Chatrium Properties Win Hotels.com 2018 Loved By Guests AwardFour Chatrium Properties win Hotels.comChatrium Hotels & Residences is proud to announce that four of its properties – Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok, Emporium Suites by Chatrium, Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok, and Chatrium Royal Lake Yangon – have received the Loved by Guests Award 2018 from Hotels.com.The award is granted to the best hotels around the world for delivery of exceptional levels of guest service. More than 2,700 hotels across 94 countries were the named the best of the very best, based on over 20 million authentic reviews submitted by verified guests.Chatrium would like to thank its guests for taking the time rate our hotels and for sharing your experiences on Hotels.com. Taking the top prize motivates us to develop our service to new heights, and to further strengthen our reputation and success.Each of our fine properties recognized by Hotels.com has its own special sense of place, from the captivating riverside charm of Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok with its stunning views of the Chao Phraya River, to the extraordinary lakeside comfort of Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon and its serene environs next to the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. In Chatrium Residence Sathon Bangkok one finds a contemporary city oasis with facilities for both luxurious living and family activities, while at the Emporium Suites by Chatrium one can embrace iconic living astride one of Bangkok’s finest malls in the midst of its famous Sukhumvit shopping district.Khun Savitri Ramyarupa, Managing Director of Chatrium Hotels & Residences, expressed her deep appreciation to the employees for all their hard work and her heartfelt thanks to our guests, whose support has allowed us to win this prestigious award.We welcome you to Asia to experience the Chatrium’s charm, where you can feel the remarkable every day. For reservation please contact T: +66(0) 2307 8888 E: email@example.com or visit our website www.chatrium.comSource = Chatrium Hotels and Residences
Source = SKYE Suites Sydney Arc by Crown GroupJewel in the crown of Sydney’s CBD will soon open its doorsSKYE Suites Sydney will open its doors for Sydney’s first boutique serviced apartment in the CBD in October 2018. Located at 300 Kent Street, the highly-anticipated opening of the luxury 25-storey, multi-residential tower will set new benchmarks for combining architectural excellence and luxurious amenities and will enhance the modern inner-city lifestyle.SKYE Suites Sydney sits within the Arc by Crown Group, offering serviced apartments for short-term and long-term-stay guests. In total, SKYE Suites at Arc by Crown Group will host 73 serviced apartments, including studio suites, one-bedroom suites and two-bedroom suites. The second phase of the project will see the remaining residential suites, rooftop and retail precinct completed in November 2018.Committed to luxury experiences for guests, each superior-sized apartment suite features timeless interior finishes, complete with Delonghi appliances, Vittoria coffee machines, Kevin Murphy toiletries and haircare products, complimentary Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, pre-stocked mini bars and a bespoke bedding firmness menu. Modern facilities will delight even the most seasoned business traveller with an ice cave-themed lobby and pool and state-of-the-art gymnasium.The building itself is an impressive centrepiece for Sydney’s CBD, achieved by globally renowned architect, Koichi Takada. In collaboration with Crown Group, Koichi’s vision will come to life creating a soaring icon of style with arched metal fins that cantilever and curve over the exclusive Horizon Lounge and rooftop, shaping the skyline with a gentle and organic form. The arches filter throughout the project, from the ice cave-themed lobby through to the arch balconies of the suites. Offering hotel guests private balconies and fresh air, the development features a masonry façade podium and glazed frontage inspired by the unique character of significant heritage buildings.Designed to enrich and regenerate public amenity in the CBD, Crown Group has worked collaboratively to restore Skittle Lane, which will host Reflect, a public art installation created by Ramus Illumination. Reflect will be an illuminated sculpture stretching 12 metres across the atrium, comprised of a steel frame, stainless wires and thousands of LED lights. Reflective of a path of flight through the air itself, the artwork will shift its palette of colour and movement in lights according to the sound and movement of people beneath it.Skittle Lane was originally built in the 1800s as a laneway to service the surrounding warehouses and was used as a bowling alley for sailors and soldiers. Using trachyte blocks, Skittle Lane has been repurposed to act as a pedestrian and boutique retail thoroughfare comprising an eight-storey atrium, linking King Street with Kent Street and Clarence Street.Adding to Crown Group’s already extensive portfolio of retail and hospitality venues, SKYE Suites Sydney will offer guests and “Sydneysiders” fine dining and al fresco experiences with an exciting new food hub along Skittle Lane, featuring new offerings from some of Sydney’s most popular new restaurants to open in October 2018.Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites Wayne Taranto says, “Appealing to domestic and international visitors and business travellers, SKYE Suites Sydney will offer short-term-stay guests a taste of luxury lifestyle in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. The location of SKYE Suites Sydney is within easy walking distance to the International Convention Centre, Darling Square, Barangaroo precinct and transport that connects to the rest of the city.”“This is an exciting project for Sydney as Arc by Crown Group will be the first collection of serviced apartments to redefine the west corridor of the city – tapping into the business and financial district of the CBD. We are thrilled to be offering a luxury boutique and service-orientated apartments for guests and ‘Sydneysiders,’” concludes Taranto.The introduction of SKYE Suites Sydney comes after Crown Group’s move into the luxury hotel arena with SKYE Hotels Suites Parramatta, which opened in August 2017. Crown Group Chairman and Group CEO Iwan Sunito says, “We are incredibly excited to open our doors to SKYE Suites Sydney after such success in Parramatta. This architectural masterpiece in the city’s CBD will not only form a striking addition to Sydney’s skyline, but will also enhance the existing streetscape for domestic and international guests and ‘Sydneysiders.’”For more information and to book a stay, please visit http://www.skyehotels.com.au or contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IHG to bring Holiday Inn & Suites to Ringwood in Melbourne’s eastIHG to bring Holiday Inn & Suites to Ringwood, MelbourneIHG continues the expansion of the Holiday Inn brand in Australia with the signing of Holiday Inn & Suites Melbourne Ringwood. It follows the signing of a management agreement with Ninety Four Feet, an Australasian property development, investment, and construction company, and their partners Omni Property Group and Hamilton Marino Builders.Opening in 2020, the 164-room hotel will offer all day dining and bar, conference and meeting facilities, a gym and a swimming book, along with on-site parking. It sits as part of a mixed-use development that will feature 82 residential units.Ringwood is a growing city on the fringe of the Eastlink motorway, just 23km east of Melbourne’s CBD, with a population of more than 16,000 people and more than 9,000 operating businesses. It’s home to Cadbury’s second-largest factory in Australia, but perhaps most famous for the development of the “Pride of Ringwood” hop variety in 1958, which today flavours Foster’s Lager, Victoria Bitter and many other beers around the world. However, despite its size and commercial clout, there is currently limited quality hotel stock in this area.The signing of Holiday Inn & Suites Melbourne Ringwood complements the growing pipeline of Holiday Inn branded hotels in Victoria, which include Melbourne Bourke Street Mall, Coburg, Dandenong, Werribee and Geelong, along with existing properties Holiday Melbourne on Flinders and Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport.Abhijay Sandilya, IHG’s Senior Director of Development – Australasia, said: “Wherever you are in the world, there’s a good chance you’ll find a Holiday Inn nearby, delivering an affordable, enjoyable hotel experience where guests are always welcomed warmly. We are so excited to bring that same joy of travel to Ringwood, continuing the momentum in Victoria’s big cities and micro markets. I’m also very pleased to expand our great partnership with Ninety Four Feet.”Holiday Inn & Suites Melbourne Ringwood is Ninety Four Feet’s second IHG hotel, after it signed an agreement in July to open Hotel Indigo Auckland in 2021.Dean Rzechta, Managing Director at Ninety Four Feet Property Development said: “We are thrilled to sign our second hotel with IHG, and our first hotel in Australia. Ringwood is an exciting destination, with a vibrant community and growing business investment that has included a $66 million upgrade to Ringwood Train Station and a $665 million expansion of Eastland Shopping Centre. We are confident that, with the world’s largest brand family behind it, Holiday Inn & Suites Ringwood will be a huge success.”IHG currently has 48 hotels operating under four brands in Australasia, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, with another 22 in the pipeline, including Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels and vocoTM.Source = IHG
Shruti Dugar | Kolkata While exhibiting at OTM 2018, Tater Mize, District Tourist Officer, Government of Arunachal Pradesh highlighted the destination’s breathtakingly beautiful and scenic landscapes and invited film producers to shoot in the region.“Actor John Abraham is already the Brand Ambassador of Arunachal Pradesh. The tourism department is also working extensively on promoting film tourism. The last movie shot was Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon, the cast and crew of which were provided with accommodation and on-ground facilitation. Arunachal Pradesh is the state with hidden treasures and is a ‘must-visit’ travel destination in India,” he added.Speaking to Travel News Digest, Mize elaborated that Arunachal Pradesh is spread over 83,743 sq km and 80% of that area is still dense in forests. The state is rich in flora and fauna, and is proud to have the largest area of orchids in Asia. It also houses many rare species of birds, butterflies, flora and unique medicinal plants.Mize also pointed out that taking the government’s initiative to promote tourism and create more employment opportunities forward; the tourism department is promoting homestays in the region as well. The government is also working to train, educate and raise awareness among all the stakeholders. They are also giving subsidies of INR 5 lakhs each for the development of homestays.2017 witnessed more than 4,00,000 domestic travellers and 6,000 international travellers to Arunachal Pradesh. Top countries amounting to outbound travel were America, England, Australia & New Zealand.Speaking about the travel show, Mize asserted, “Exhibiting at OTM has been very eventful for us. We were acquainted with quality buyers and were able to conclude business on positive note. We’re hopeful that we have made good networking opportunities.”
May 21, 2012 438 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing In its latest monthly report released Monday, “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/ painted a positive picture of the housing market, insisting the market “”has moved from bottoming-out to recovering.”” [IMAGE]To those wondering whether Capital Economics’ positive prophesies are merely a mirage soon to be dispersed much like the short-lived positive movement the market experienced in 2009 and 2010, the analytics firm pointed out a substantial difference between what occurred in 2009-2010 and what is occurring today: Today’s recovery is not the result of government stimulus or tax credits. What occurred in 2009 and 2010 was a direct result of $19.2 billion in tax credits distributed to 2.7 million home buyers. Still, Capital Economics admitted “”it may seem strange that we have been talking about a housing market recovery since towards the end of last year even though house prices have fallen over most of this period.”” In fact, the most recent “”S&P Case-Shiller Indices””:http://www.standardandpoors.com/servlet/BlobServer?blobheadername3=MDTType&blobcol=urldocumentfile&blobtable=SPComSecureDocument&blobheadervalue2=inline%3B+filename%3Ddownload.pdf&blobheadername2=ContentDisposition&blobheadervalue1=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobheadername1=contenttype&blobwhere=1245332471437&blobheadervalue3=abinary%3B+charset%3DUTF8&blobnocache=true revealed annual price declines for both the 10- and 20-city composites. However, Capital Economics insisted in its report that “”because prices lag changes in housing market activity by as much as six months, they are not the most timely indicator of when the market has turned.”” If not house prices, what indicators suggest the market is in recovery mode? Economists at Capital Economics said in their report that home sales and housing starts are on the rise and visible inventory has declined to sustainable levels.While a large proportion of today’s home sales are going to investors and cash-buyers, Capital[COLUMN_BREAK]Economics has detected a rise in average mortgage loan size among new loans, which suggests “”the appetite for mortgage credit is also beginning to improve.””Furthermore, with homes continuing to be undervalued and the broader economy starting to pick up slightly, Capital Economics said the current recovery will continue without help from policymakers, though it does face a few threats. First, with the national “”robo-signing settlement””:http://www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com/ now a few months behind us, it is possible that the backlog of foreclosures built up over the 18 months of settlement talks will flood the market ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reversing the recent decline in inventory, putting downward pressure on prices, and negatively impacting new construction. While this remains a possibility, “”so far at least, there have been few signs that banks are processing foreclosures at a quicker rate,”” Capital Economics stated.Another threat, top of mind for many following the G8 Summit, is the impact of the euro-zone debt crisis. However, Capital Economics suggested a limited euro-zone break-up would have a minimal impact on lending in the U.S., pointing out that U.S. banks’ claims on Greece are only about 0.3 percent of Tier 1 capital ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a major indicator of financial strength measured by a bank’s regulator. For now though, Greece remains part of the European Union following a unanimous statement from the participants in the G8 Summit stating that they intend to ensure Greece remains part of the union, according to a Monday article in the “”_Huffington Post._””:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/20/g8-summit-2012-obama-growth-over-austerity_n_1531486.htmlRegardless of its positive outlook, Capital Economics insisted the recovery will be slow and gradual with little to no improvement in prices through 2013 and only modest improvement to follow. Abating anxious policymakers’ tendency to attempt to “”fix”” the market, Capital Economics said in its Monday report, “”At this point, frustrating as it may seem, time is probably going to be the best healer.”” Capital Economics reminded policymakers that following the Great Depression, the government poured funds amounting to 8.5 percent of the nation’s GDP into the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. In comparison, the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program and the Home Affordable Refinance Program amount to about 0.5 percent of the current GDP. Without intervening on a drastically larger scale, policymakers will have miniscule effect on recovery. Agents & Brokers Bank Failure Capital Economics Confidence Debt Crisis Euro European Union GDP HARP Home Prices Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Regulation Service Providers Sustainability 2012-05-21 Krista Franks Brock Share Group: Housing Finds Sustainable Recovery Amid Threats
Confusion Over Reverse Mortgages Linked to Higher Foreclosures Agents & Brokers Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Home Equity Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Reverse Mortgage Service Providers 2012-06-28 Tory Barringer The “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) “”released a report””:http://files.consumerfinance.gov/a/assets/documents/201206_cfpb_Reverse_Mortgage_Report.pdf Thursday showing that although reverse mortgages are meant to help borrowers in retirement, they are in fact causing problems for many who don’t fully understand them.[IMAGE]A reverse mortgage is a type of home loan that lets older homeowners access the equity they have built up on their homes and defer loan payment until they sell the home, move out, or pass away. The original purpose of reverse mortgages was to allow these homeowners to convert home equity into an income stream or line or credit to use in retirement. Borrowers were largely expected to age in place with their loans, living in their current homes until they passed or needed skilled care.Reverse mortgages require no monthly mortgage payments, but borrowers must still pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. The report showed that nearly 10 percent of reverse mortgage borrowers are at risk of foreclosure because they failed to pay those costs.””Reverse mortgages are complex and have the potential to become a much more pervasive product in the coming years as the baby boomer generation enters retirement,”” said CFPB director Richard Cordray. “”With one in ten reverse mortgages already in default, it is important that consumers understand what they are signing up for and that it is the right product for them.”” [COLUMN_BREAK] The report found that many reverse mortgage borrowers do not understand how their loan balance will rise and their home equity will fall over time. In addition, the influx of new choices brought on by innovations and policy changes have made the matter too complex for many homeowners.The bureau further found that the tools currently available to help consumers understand the risks and tradeoffs are not enough. The report called for improved methods for housing counselors to help consumers understand their choices. There are many other problems with reverse mortgages as they currently stand, the report pointed out. Many consumers are getting reverse mortgages before the age of 70 (with the most common age for a new borrower being 62, the first age at which reverse mortgages are available), and some are even getting them before retiring. “”These borrowers will have fewer resources to pay for everyday and major expenses later in life and may find themselves without the financial resources to finance a future move-whether due to health or other reasons,”” said the report.Another problem is that 70 percent of borrowers are taking out the full amount of proceeds as a single lump sum instead of treating the payment as an income stream. As a result, these borrowers have fewer available financial resources later in life. They may not be able to continue paying taxes and insurance on their homes, leading to potential foreclosure. The report found that borrowers who save or invest their money may earn less on the savings than they spend paying interest on the loan.Finally, the bureau addressed the issue of deceptive or misleading marketing materials about reverse mortgages.The report cited examples of mailers that depict reverse mortgages as a government benefit or entitlement program in the vein of Medicare and use images resembling government seals to entice consumers. It can be difficult for consumers to tell that a reverse mortgage is a financial product, not a government benefit.In order to address these issues and help consumers better understand reverse mortgages, the CFPB has released a request for information. in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing June 28, 2012 429 Views Share
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Compliance Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Title Insurance 2013-01-03 Tory Barringer Share The “”American Land Title Association””:http://www.alta.org/index.cfm (ALTA), a national trade association for the land title insurance industry, released a set of “”Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices”” created to help members highlight policies and procedures used to ensure a “”positive and compliant real estate settlement experience.””[IMAGE]””ALTA is publishing these best practices as a benchmark for the mortgage lending and real estate settlement industry,”” said ALTA CEO Michelle Korsmo. “”The best practices are voluntary standards professionals can adopt to protect consumers, promote quality service, provide for ongoing employee training, and meet legal and market requirements.””The list includes seven “”main”” best practices for title and settlement professionals, including: establishing and maintaining current licenses as required to conduct title insurance and settlement services business; adopting and maintaining a written privacy and information security program to protect non-public personal information; maintaining appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage; and maintaining procedures for resolving consumer complaints.A “”full copy””:http://www.alta.org/bestpractices/docs/ALTA_Title_and_Settlement_Company_Best_Practices.pdf of the document can be found at ALTA’s website.””Providing professional service to customers and safeguarding the real estate transaction is paramount to the land title insurance industry,”” Korsmo said. “”ALTA is delighted to release our full ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôTitle Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices’ at a time of tremendous growth and change in the industry.”” January 3, 2013 489 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing ALTA Publishes ‘Best Practices’ Standards for Title Insurance Industry
February 20, 2013 415 Views Share “”WNC””:http://www.wncinc.com/, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives, announced Anil Advani rejoined the firm as SVP of private label funds.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Advani, a 17-year tax credit veteran, previously oversaw WNC’s underwriting department and now serves in a new role created to grow the company’s private label fund business with large institutional investors. Advani is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with private label investors, as well as managing the closing process of WNC’s private label funds. Prior to joining WNC, Advani served as managing director with Red Capital Group. He also held a role as manager of tax credit investment advisorservices at Ernst & Young. “”WNC is pleased to welcome Anil, a seasoned industry professional,”” said Michael Gaber, COO of WNC. “”Throughout his 17-year career, Anil has built a reputation for execution and integrity and is an excellent fit with the WNC team.””Advani earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin and pursued his Juris Doctorate from American University. New,Tax Credit Veteran Returns to WNC as SVP of Private Label Funds in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-02-20 Esther Cho
Index of Improving Markets Drops to 247 in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share August 8, 2013 433 Views The number of markets listed on the “”National Association of Home Builders'””:http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx (NAHB) Improving Markets Index (IMI) continued to decline in August, though the index still sits well ahead of where it was last year, the association reported.[IMAGE]The index, compiled by NAHB and “”First American””:http://www.firstam.com/, tracks three major indicators–employment, home prices, and housing permits–across the United States to determine which metro areas have shown growth (from their respective troughs) for at least six straight months.””While the number of improving housing markets this August remains well ahead of the same month last year, the index is affected by seasonal softening in home prices just as we saw happen in 2012. The metros that fell off the list this month originally qualified with very small home price improvements that have since slipped back,”” explained NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “”As house prices return to more normal levels in fully recovered markets, further IMI advancements will be more modest.””According to NAHB, a total of 247 markets across 49 states and the District of Columbia qualified for the list in August, eight short of July’s total but nearly three times the number reported in August 2012. Three new metros made August’s list: Kankakee, Illinois; and Atlantic City and Ocean City, both in New Jersey. Eleven markets were dropped, including Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Tyler, Texas; and St. Cloud, Minnesota.Connecticut was the only state not to be represented on the list in August.””In all, 244 metros that were listed as improving in July retained that status in August, and this is an encouraging sign of the continuing housing recovery,”” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson. “”That said, we know that the pace of improvement is being hampered somewhat by challenges that builders and buyers are experiencing with regard to the availability of credit, material, lots for development and labor.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Homebuilders Housing Permits Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-08-08 Tory Barringer
Fannie: Economy to Drag ‘Unspectacular’ Housing Activity Up Share January 22, 2015 457 Views Demand Fannie Mae Forecast GDP 2015-01-22 Scott_Morgan in Data, News As Fannie Mae sees it, 2015 will be a good year for the housing market, even if residential real estate has to get dragged into the black.Fannie’s 2015 economic forecast, released Thursday, is less a picture of a purely positive housing market than an expectation of an economy so strong across several key growth sectors that it will propel the national housing market to greater heights than in 2014. Or, as Fannie puts it, the economy is strong enough to drag housing behind it and create growth by default.”Our theme for the year, ‘Economy Drags Housing Upward,’ implies that both housing and the economy will pick up some speed in 2015, but that the economy will grow at a faster pace,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.Fannie expects strengthening private domestic demand to drive the economy up 3.1 percent in 2015—up from the agency’s earlier prediction for 2.7 percent growth.While that prediction is still modest, Fannie says it’s strong enough to “drag last year’s unspectacular housing activity upward,” according to the report. Fannie credits projections for continued low gasoline prices, firming labor market conditions, rising household net worth, improving consumer and business confidence, and reduced fiscal headwinds to usher in a year of steady, if “not yet robust” economic improvement that should lead to a higher rate of household formation in 2015.”Consumer spending should continue to strengthen due in large part to lower gas prices, giving further support to auto sales and manufacturing,” Duncan said. “We believe this will motivate the Federal Reserve to begin measures to normalize monetary policy in the third quarter of this year, continuing at a cautiously steady pace into 2016 and 2017.”Duncan also said he suspects mortgage interest rates to stay low throughout this period, attracting steady supply of new homebuyers.Fannie’s report echoes the sentiments of the National Association of Home Builders, which also this week spoke of bluer housing and economic skies ahead. Top economists and housing experts in a panel at the group’s International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas predicted a recovering labor market, low interest rates, and improvements in credit availability for borrowers as the three main triggers for growth in the housing market this year.These assessments, however, are not shared by everyone, at least not blanketly. Earlier this month, Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko warned that falling oil process could have a recessive effect on housing in major oil-producing state such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.Kolko did say, however, that lower fuel prices could just as likely stimulate flagging industrial economies in the north and Midwest, where oil production is virtually nonexistent.Regardless, Duncan and Fannie Mae foresee big things, even if this year will not be a breakout year for housing. “We expect the rising share of new home sales to lead to a healthy increase in single-family construction of about 19 percent, or 765,000 units,” he said.
Freddie Mac released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) Wednesday. According to Sean Becketti, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, rates dipped slightly in a short week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.”The 10-year Treasury yield fell roughly 4 basis points, while the 30-year mortgage rate dropped 3 basis points to 3.92 percent. Mortgage rates continue to remain low.” Becketti said.The 30-year fixed mortgage (FRM) rate averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending on November 22, 2017, which is down from last week at 3.95 percent. This is a decrease compared to November 2016 where the 30-year FRM averaged 4.03 percent.The 15-year FRM averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week’s 3.31 percent. In November last year, the average for the 15-year FRM was 3.25 percent.Additionally, the 5-year Treasury-Indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.22 percent with an average 0.4 point this week—representing an increase from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent and at the same time last year, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.12 percent.To reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining a mortgage, average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees. Closings costs may still need to be paid by borrowers, which are not included in the survey. A full list of definitions from Freddie Mac can be viewed here.To see the full graph of data, click here. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Share Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Experience a Dip November 22, 2017 594 Views Freddie Mac HOUSING mortgage Sean Becketti 2017-11-22 Nicole Casperson
July 24 , 2018 Colombia: Citrus crops ravaged by yellow dragon … NZ: MPI issues positive update on fruit fly contro … U.S. jury urged to “send message” to Monsanto as R … You might also be interested in Andreas Schindler, CEO and Founder of Germany-based produce company Don Limon, speaks about the future of the global produce industry and his thoughts about one day planting sweet potatoes with Elon Musk on Mars. This video was originally published by Don Limón. New study finds managed honeybees spread deadly vi …
June 12 , 2019 “We don’t compromise when it comes to excellence.”Nicknamed Driscoll’s Joy Makers, a team of agronomists, breeders, sensory analysts, plant health scientists and entomologists research and develop proprietary varieties. These include the new limited edition offerings, through traditional breeding methods and without GMOs, says the company.“Driscoll’s brand promise is to consistently delight consumers with the freshest, most delicious berries, and the release of Rosé Berries and Sweetest Batch does just that,” says Fran Dillard, senior director, brand and product marketing at Driscoll’s.“It’s taken a long time to perfect these offerings – not only for the trend-forward color and desirable texture but for the superior taste.”The corporation explains that its Rosé Berries get their beautiful light-pink hue from the non-GMO breeding methods its Joy Makers use. For example, it notes that Rosé Raspberries get their “sunset coloring” from being bred from golden and red raspberries.Meanwhile, the company says its Sweetest Batch category promises high flavor strawberries and raspberries.Naomi Sakoda, Driscoll’s product marketing manager elaborates. “With Rosé Berries and Sweetest Batch, we’ve introduced a premium new product that offers a depth of flavor variety remarkably different than anything else in the category.”“Our team has worked tirelessly to offer the flavor-forward, highly enjoyable berries consumers have come to expect from Driscoll’s.” With summer approaching, Driscoll’s is now offering two new “high-flavor” berries for the season as part of its curated collection, now available for a limited time.The first of these fruits are the company’s Rosé Berries. It describes these as “beautiful blush-colored strawberries and raspberries bred for their unique color and aromatic flavor.”The second consists of Driscoll’s Sweetest Batch strawberries and raspberries. According to the company, each is grown from one proprietary variety and selected for their extra sweet flavor.This limited-edition collection of berries marks the first in a series of the company’s offerings. It adds that they’re designed to give consumers a new way to experience the trademarked fruits, labeled Only the Finest Berries.Developing Driscoll’s new berry varietiesDriscoll’s is one of the few berry companies with a dedicated research and development department. It comments that this department is focused on breeding high-flavor proprietary categories exclusively for its network of independent growers.“Introducing an immersive berry eating experience with both Rosé Berries and Sweetest Batch is a testament to our thoughtful and dedicated breeding process,” says Rick Harrison, vice president of global variety development. You might also be interested in Driscoll’s takes California Berry Cultivars (CBC) …