Top 29 Cities for MenImage Source: AskMen Australia’s cultural capital has ranked tenth behind powerhouses such as London, New York and Rio in AskMen’s fourth annual ‘Top 29 Cities for Men’ 2012.As part of the AskMen study, men found Melbourne’s ‘buzzing night life’ and sports scene was key to drawing in the fellas while popular city, Sydney failed to even garner a showing. AskMen Australian editor Jamie Watt said he understood the appeal behind Melbourne, which managed to steal attendance from both local and international males. London took top spot, with men declaring it “the centre of the world”, while Peru’s capital Lima was described as “the next sexy South America city you’ve never been to” and ranked in at number 13.“From Olympic fever in London (#1), to the adventure of a lifetime in Mumbai (#2), to preparing to be the most watched city on earth in 2014 – thanks to Rio (#3) hosting the Soccer World Cup and of course, enjoying ‘the beach party of your dreams’ in Cartagena (#7) – when it comes to this year’s ‘Top 29 Cities for Men’ it’s all about world sporting spectacles, soaking up the sun, partying and enjoying the foodie factor in exotic locations,” an AskMen representative said. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh (#14) was also incorporated into the list this year “because the food keeps getting better” as well as Cartagena in Spain for hosting the “beach part of your dreams”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Air France pilots have ended their 14 day strike against the carrier, despite failing to resolve to an agreement with the airline’s management over the development of its low cost operation Transavia.Air France’s main pilots union, SNPL France Alpa, announced it has decided to resume work after one the airline’s longest ever strikes forced the cancellation of more than half of its flights, costing the carrier around USD $355 million, The Australian reported.Although the strike has ended, the union plans to continue discussions over the Transavia development project, which Air France pilots fear will have a detrimental effect on their pay and conditions.However, Air France has announced it plans to speed up the development of Transavia, which it argues is crucial for the well-being of the company, as it struggles to compete with the increasing number of low cost airlines appearing in Europe, stating the project would create 1,000 jobs in France including 250 pilot positions.Air France says normal services are expected to resume in two to three days.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich
South American airline LAN Airlines is celebrating its inaugural launch of the Boeing 787 aircraft on its route between Sydney, Australia and Santiago, Chile.Passengers on the popular route will board the Boeing 787-8 aircraft on all of the service’s seven weekly flights.However, later this year the schedule will be further upgraded to include the larger Boeing 787-9 model.LATAM Airlines Group managing director Asia Pacific Patricio Aylwin said the upgraded fleet is a milestone for the airline.“The introduction of the Boeing 787 on our popular Sydney to Santiago, via Auckland, route allows us to offer more customers cutting-edge technology and increased comfort and efficiency,” Mr Aylwin said. “With the new Boeing 787-9 also joining the Pacific schedule in the second half of this year, LAN is able to increase its volume on the route, with the model providing 27 per cent more capacity.“We are proudly the first airline to announce delivery and operation of the 787-9 aircraft in this region.”LAN Airlines, a subsidiary of LATAM Airlines Group, has become the first carrier to operate this particular route using the new Boeing 787 aircraft.The 787-8 model holds almost 250 passengers and includes 30 business class seats.The 787-9 model, which will be introduced in the second half of 2015, will further upgrade the service with increased capacity, 20 per cent less fuel use and 20 per cent fewer emissions.Mr Aylwin said these upgrades coincide with the airline’s strategy to operate the most modern and diverse fleet in the aviation industry.“The benefits include more direct routes between distant cities, time savings for our passengers and the reduction of CO2 emissions,” Mr Aylwin said. “Advances involving the 787 model in the Pacific region are amidst ongoing improvements and developments for LATAM Airlines Group worldwide and are testament to our commitment to providing customers with the best connectivity and inflight experience across our network.”Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
Source = Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian AirlinesEthiopian won The Rising Star Carrier of the Year AwardEthiopian Airlines, the fastest growing and the largest Cargo operator in Africa, is pleased to announce that it has won the Rising Star Carrier of the Year Award, for the second year in a row, at the 5th Payload Asia Awards 2016 held in Hong Kong on 29th September 2016.Payload Asia 2016 honors the very best in the Air Cargo Industry; confronting and overcoming the manifold challenges in the air cargo sector by creating innovative products and services and delivering real value to customers. Ethiopian has pulled off a repeat performance by winning the Industry Choice Awards, where 90 nominees competed with over 31, 500 online votes cast in 20 award categories.Ethiopian Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked, “We are proud that Payload Asia has once again recognized our Cargo Services. Ethiopian Cargo is one of the seven strategic business units of the Ethiopian Group, established to progress as an independent profit center as per our fifteen years growth map, Vision 2025. To persue our position of being the largest Cargo service provider in Africa, we have been investing millions of dollars on our Cargo Services; deploying the best freighter fleet in the world, the B777-200 LR freighters; expanding our cargo destinations across the globe; building one of the largest cargo terminals in the world with 1.2 million annual capacity; and automating our entire cargo business process with one of the best Cargo IT systems (SITA Champ Cargo Spot) with the aim of providing one of the most efficient air cargo services within, to and from Africa.”Ethiopian Cargo currently operates to 35 destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe using six B777 and two B757 freighters. The Airline also carries freight in the belly of wide body passenger aircraft, B777/B787, to 94 destinations across the Globe. Some of the major cargo destinations are: Belgium (Brussels & Liege), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bombay, New Delhi, Dubai, South Africa, Lome and Lagos. Ethiopian Airlinesbook flights here
Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts accelerates expansion after record deals in 2016 2016 was a momentous year for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, marked by the appointment of its new CEO, Olivier Chavy, which made global headlines. This ushered in a new era for the hospitality firm, which also unveiled a fresh new logo and corporate identity to better reflect its warmth and inherent ‘Swissness’.The Switzerland-based global hospitality firm also fast-tracked its global expansion plans in 2016, signing a record number of management contracts for new properties across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, which already operates 83 hotels worldwide, inked deals for more than 13 new properties in key growth markets, growing its total development pipeline by one-third to 33-plus hotels. This will add more than 9,000 extra keys to Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ growing inventory over the next four years, with all pipelined properties currently on track to open by the end of 2020.New deals signed in 2016 will see the company debut in several locations across the Middle East and Asia including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and, in the UAE, the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.“2016 was our most successful year yet in terms of the number of new hotels we signed, which averaged more than one a month and grew our pipelined portfolio by more than 30 per cent,” said Olivier Chavy, President and CEO, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.“We not only consolidated our position in key growth markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand, where we are now a dominant player, but signed management agreements for properties in strategic locations where we will introduce the Mövenpick brand for the first time, in some cases, setting new hospitality standards that we believe will become an industry benchmark. “We enter 2017 in high confidence, building on our achievements over the past 12 months with firm plans to further grow our portfolio in line with our ambitious global expansion strategy. We’re well on track to operating over 100 properties by 2020.”The regional breakdown In Asia, where Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts currently operates 11 properties with 20 more in the pipeline, the company signed five new properties, three of which were in Thailand – Mövenpick Residences Ekkamai Bangkok (2017), Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai (2017) and Mövenpick Resort Mai Khao (2018).The company also signed deals for Mövenpick Hotel Khulna, its first property in Bangladesh, and Mövenpick Hotel Quang Binh in Vietnam, both of which are scheduled to open in 2020.At the same time, the 260-room Mövenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya on popular Na Jomtien Beach opened for business – the first five-star property outside of Pattaya’s city centre.In the Middle East, currently home to 31 Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts properties with twelve more in the development pipeline, four new management agreements were signed. They included the newly opened Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha, in Qatar, plus Mövenpick Hotel Apartments Al Burj Business Bay, Dubai, UAE and Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Tahlia, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which are both set to open in 2018. The 550-room Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, has a mooted 2019 opening date.2016 also saw the opening of the 228-room Mövenpick Hotel City Star Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – a unique European-style hotel which is Mövenpick’s third property in the Kingdom’s city.In Africa, where the firm has 25 properties and four more in active development, the company opened a landmark property, the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech, with 503 rooms and Morocco’s largest congress centre. It is the firm’s third property in Morocco, with the two others located in Casablanca and Tangier. Deals have also been signed for properties in Tunisia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire.In Europe, the company currently operates 21 properties and plans to open the 262-key Mövenpick Congress Hotel Stuttgart, Germany and the 260-key Mövenpick Hotel Basel, Switzerland in 2019.Green Globe In 2016, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts made history as the most ‘Green Globe certified hotel company in the world’. The certification body’s 2015 report revealed the Swiss hospitality firm had an overall average compliance score of 84 per cent, an impressive 2.5 per cent higher than the average of all Green Globe certified members worldwide (81.5 per cent).At the end of 2016, more than 63 of the company’s properties were Green Globe certified and more than half of those (35), had achieved the prestigious Green Globe Gold Member status, with more currently working towards this standard.Awards 2016 also saw a long list of properties recognised by renowned programmes such as the World Travel Awards, Haute Grandeur Awards and Condé Nast Traveler Awards.At the World Travel Awards, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea was named ‘Best Luxury Resort Spa 2016’; Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach was crowned ‘Best Luxury Contemporary/Stylish Hotel 2016’; and Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi received the ‘Best Boutique Hotel in South East Asia 2016’ accolade. In Europe, Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Center was ranked 9th in Condé Nast Traveler’s ‘Top 10 Best Hotels of Amsterdam’ listing and Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul was named one of US News & World Reports’ ‘Best Hotels in Europe’ 2016-2017.2017 development plans In 2017, nine properties are on schedule to open across Asia and Africa.The company will mark its debut in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Kenya with the openings of Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali, Mövenpick Hotel Colombo and Mövenpick Hotel & Residences Nairobi.The remaining four new properties on track to open this year are: Mövenpick Hotel Les Berges Du Lac Tunis in Tunisia, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay in the Philippines and in Thailand, Mövenpick Residences Ekkamai Bangkok and Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai.“We start the year as we mean to go on, forging ahead with our ambitious development plans, building on our sustainability successes, and bringing our award-winning Swiss hospitality to new locations across the globe,” concluded Chavy.Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts achieved several accolades in 2016, with properties in every region recognised by several prestigious awards programmes.They included: Middle East Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha • World Travel Awards – Qatar’s Leading City Hotel 2016 • Haute Grandeur Awards – Best City Hotel in Qatar 2016 • World Luxury Hotel Awards – Luxury City Hotel 2016Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea • World Travel Awards for Best Luxury Resort Spa 2016 • The 2016 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle AwardMövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay • World Travel Awards – Jordan’s Leading Resort (three-peat winner 2014 – 2016) • Luxury Travel Guide – Jordan’s Luxury Contemporary Resort (two-time winner 2015 – 2016) • Conde Nast Johansen’s Recommendation for Zara Spa Tala Bay • Finalist for Condé Nast Johansen’s Awards for Excellence under the category Best for Couple (Zara Spa Tala Bay) • Blue Flag, Green Key and ISO 22000 re-certificationsMövenpick Hotel Beirut • Best Leading Resort in Lebanon, World Travel Awards 2016Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach • ‘Best Honeymoon Hotel 2016’ at the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards • ‘Best Luxury Contemporary/Stylish Hotel 2016’ at the World Luxury Hotel AwardsMövenpick Hotel Jeddah • Received the distinction as ‘Best Business Hotel in the Middle East’ at the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel AwardsMövenpick Hotel Al Khobar • Took home the award for ‘Best Family Hotel in Saudi Arabia’ at the Haute Grandeur Global Hotel AwardsAsia Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi • World Luxury Hotel Awards: ‘Best Boutique Hotel in South East Asia 2016’Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu • 2016 – Ibiza Beach Club – Best Restaurants, The Philippine Tatler • 2016 – Ibiza Beach Club – Best of Cebu (Best outdoor dining venue) Sunstar CebuEurope Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Center • Condé Nast Traveller’s ‘Best in the World’: Top 10 Best Hotels of Amsterdam (ranked 9th)Mövenpick Hotel Ankara • World Luxury Spa Awards: ‘Best Boutique Spa’ 2016-12-21Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul • US News & World Reports’ ‘Best Hotels in Europe’ 2016-2017About Mövenpick Hotels & ResortsMövenpick Hotels & Resorts, an international upscale hotel management company with over 16,000 staff members, is represented in 25 countries with 83 hotels, resorts and Nile cruisers currently in operation. Around 20 properties are planned or under construction, including those in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Bali (Indonesia) and Nairobi (Kenya). Focusing on expanding within its core markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts specialises in business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, all reflecting a sense of place and respect for their local communities. Of Swiss heritage and with headquarters in central Switzerland (Baar), Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is passionate about delivering premium service and culinary enjoyment – all with a personal touch. Committed to supporting sustainable environments, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has become the most Green Globe-certified hotel company in the world. The hotel company is owned by Mövenpick Holding (66.7%) and the Kingdom Group (33.3%). For more information, please visit www.movenpick.com Source = Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
AccorHotels to consolidate leadership in Brazil with the integration of 26 BHG hotelsAccorHotels announces it has signed an agreement with Brazil Hospitality Group (BHG) and its shareholders, funds managed by GP Investments and GTIS Partners, in order to take over the management of 26 hotels (c. 4,400 rooms) currently owned or managed by BHG, the third-largest hotel company in Brazil.The portfolio includes economy, midscale and upper upscale hotels in Brazil’s major markets, especially in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, complementing well AccorHotels’ existing network in Brazil, and consolidating the Group’s leadership across all segments. The hotels will undergo major renovation and repositioning works and shall progressively be reflagged until the end of 2019 under AccorHotels brands, including ibis, ibis Styles, ibis Budget, Mercure, Novotel, Mama Shelter, MGallery and Pullman, under long-term management agreements.The management portfolio will be acquired by AccorHotels for a consideration of R$ 200m, or c. €60m at current exchange rate. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2017 and is subject to the approval of the Brazilian antitrust authority. It will be accretive to AccorHotels results as soon as 2018, notably thanks to significant synergies with the Group’s existing operating platform in the country.Sebastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO of AccorHotels said: “Today’s Brazil is a land of major opportunities. This transaction is a new milestone in the history of AccorHotels in this country, where we have been a firm leader for decades. It will bring new landmark hotels as well as an increased brand awareness across all segments. It also anchors a strong and long-term relationship with BHG, one of the largest owners of hotel real estate in Brazil, which will bring incremental growth opportunities going forward.”Alexandre Solleiro, CEO of BHG said: “We are thrilled with the opportunities that this transaction creates for our company, our business partners and our teams. Because 100% of the capital generated from this transaction will be reinvested in our owned hotels, we will be able to accelerate the repositioning and performance of BHG as a leading owner of hotels in Brazil. At the same time, we will also be able to better focus our resources and management teams in the development of our business of managing third party hotels through our owned and licensed brands.”Source = AccorHotels
Air Partner announces sale of two B737-700s on behalf of Kenya AirwaysAir Partner’s Aircraft Remarketing division (formerly Cabot Aviation), a leading aircraft remarketing agent, is pleased to announce that it has arranged the sale of two B737-700 aircraft on behalf of Kenya Airways. The aircraft were sold to an undisclosed lessor and leased back to Kenya Airways for continued operation.The aircraft, serial numbers 32371 and 32372, were originally delivered new to Kenya Airways in 2002 and 2003 and were operated by the airline on its scheduled routes. The aircraft are powered by CFM56-7B26 engines.Air Partner was appointed as Kenya Airways’ exclusive aircraft remarketing agent in August 2015 and, in addition to the B737-700s, has also sold three B777-200ERs for Kenya Airways. KenyaAirways continues to retain Air Partner to remarket its one remaining Boeing B777-200ER, MSN 33683, and a new GE90-115BL engine, which are available for immediate sale.“We are very pleased with this milestone which is in line with our on-going turnaround plan. Air Partner has found a suitable buyer for the two aircraft from whom the airline will lease them for aperiod of 18 months to ensure seamless operations,” said the airline’s chief executive and managing director Mbuvi Ngunze.Tony Whitty, Head of Remarketing and ACMI at Air Partner, said: “We are delighted to have arranged this sale following the recent sale of the three B777-200ERs. Our focus is now on finding a new owner for the remaining B777 aircraft and the GE90 engine on behalf of Kenya Airways.”About Air Partner Remarketing ServicesAir Partner Remarketing Services (formerly Cabot Aviation) is a specialist aircraft remarketing agent which acts for airlines (flag carriers and regional) and other aircraft owners, such as banks, operating lessors, manufacturers, insolvency practitioners and high net worth Individuals, to dispose of their surplus aircraft including commercial jets, turboprops, helicopters or private jets, either by arranging a sale or lease of the aircraft. It also advises clients on the acquisition of aircraft and their fleet China Airways, Flybe, British Midland, Cargolux, Daimler-Chrysler, KLM, DVB Bank, Halifax Bank of Scotland, Investec Bank and Rolls-Royce Aircraft Management. www.airpartner.com/en/ourservices/remarketingAbout Air PartnerFounded in 1961, Air Partner is a global aviation services group that provides worldwide solutions to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals. The Group is structured into four reporting divisions: Commercial Jets, Private Jets, Freight and Baines Simmons. The Commercial Jet division charters large airliners to move groups of any size. Cabot Aviation, which is formed within the Commercial Jet division, provides comprehensive remarketing programmes for all types of commercial and corporate aircraft to a wide range of international clients. Private Jets offers the company’s unique pre-paid JetCard scheme and on-demand charter. Air Partner Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly almost any cargo anywhere, at any time. Baines Simmons is a world leader in Aviation Safety Consulting which specialises in aviation regulation, compliance and safety management. Air Partner is headquartered alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. Air Partner operates 24/7 year-round and has 20 offices globally. Air Partner is listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIR) and is also ISO 9001:2008 compliant for commercial airline and private jet solutions worldwide. www.airpartner.comAbout Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 51 destinations worldwide, 41 of which are in Africa and carries over three million passengers annually. Itcontinues to modernize its fleet with its 41 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa. This includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircrafts. The on-board service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10. Kenya Airways takes pride for being in the forefront of connecting Africa to the World and the World to Africa through its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Kenya Airways celebrated 40 years of operations in January 2017.For further information call our 24HR Contact Center: +254 20 327 4747 or visit www.kenyaairways.com,Twitter:@KenyaAirways, Facebook: KenyaAirways, Instagram: OfficialKenyaAirwaysSource = Air Partner
Virgin Atlantic has expanded its code-share agreement with Jet Airways, which will help the Virgin airline in offering new travel options to four Indian cities— Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. The flights will be connecting between Delhi and London Heathrow service, with the Indian domestic code-share flights being operated by Jet Airways.The extended agreement would offer customers with the convenience of having all of their boarding passes issued at the originating airport, whether their travel originates in the India or UK.Nick Parker, Head of India and Middle East, Virgin Atlantic said, “It is really important to us to be able to offer our customers convenient one-stop options to get to where they want to fly. As part of our commitment to the Indian market, we already operate a successful code-share with Jet Airways between Mumbai and London, and we are delighted that our partnership is allowing us to open up other popular destinations in India for our customers.”Commenting on the development, Jet Airways, Chief Commercial Officer, Raj Sivakumar said, “We are indeed pleased to offer enhanced and seamless connectivity to Virgin Atlantic guests by offering seamless travel through this expanded code-share arrangement, providing our guests more options in the growing India-UK.”Virgin Atlantic has a daily flight service between Delhi and London Heathrow on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the newest aircraft in its fleet. Virgin Atlantic presently has six Boeing 787-9s in its fleet and is expecting 11 more by the end of 2018.
Hyatt recently announced the opening of Hyatt Place Rameswaram, the first Hyatt Place hotel in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the fifth Hyatt Place hotel to open in India, developed by JKR Enterprise Limited.Hyatt Place Rameswaram is situated in the heart of the Rameswaram, close to the holy Ramanathaswamy Temple and Agni Theertham, one of Rameswaram’s sacred bodies of water, as well as the house of former Indian President Late Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.“The opening of Hyatt Place Rameswaram is a significant milestone for the Hyatt Place brand as it continues to expand in India and across the globe. Rameswaram’s first Hyatt Place hotel will be a vibrant and dynamic hotel that combines comfort and style that fits right into the region’s religious tourism,” said Kurt Straub, Vice President-Operations, Hyatt India.“The Hyatt Place brand offers an innovative service concept and a modern design, and we are confident this hotel will provide a wonderful new lodging option to those visiting the area. JKR remains highly committed to providing modern and affordable accommodation and services that cater to the needs of those visiting the holy city,” said Sharda Deepa, Managing Director, JKR Enterprise Limited.Hyatt Place Rameswaram is spread out over 4,757 square feet offering flexible, high-tech meeting and function space along with 101 spacious guestrooms and suites.“The Hyatt Place brand is designed to offer seamless experiences for travellers, and we know that our guests will appreciate the comfortable and functional amenities offered at Hyatt Place Rameswaram,” said Utsa Majumdar, General Manager, Hyatt Place Rameswaram.
Tourism destinations in the district of Kozhikode are planning to introduce new facilities like smoother transport and sightseeing in an effort to welcome people with special needs. The District Tourism Promotion Council of Kozhikode is set to convert the Kozhikode Beach, South Beach, Sarovaram and Kappad into disabled-friendly zones. Ramps for the movement of wheelchair-bound people are being constructed at Kozhikode and South Beach as part of the ongoing beautification work.“Toilet facility for disabled people will also come up at these destinations. Slippery-free tiles and handrails will be installed at all tourist spots,” said Benoy Venugopal, Secretary of District Tourism Promotion Council, Kozhikode.The tourism department is set for a makeover as part of ensuring accessible tourism infrastructure, product and services. The department will also introduce booklets in braille and produce audio instructions for tourists in the next phase. Personnel at the information counters and tourist guidance cells will also be imparted training in sign language.
in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Expand Refi Opportunities Lawmakers introduced a new bill on Monday with plans to once more revamp the Home Affordable Refinance Program for current borrowers with eligible loans with “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/.[IMAGE]Sens. “”Barbara Boxer””:http://boxer.senate.gov/ and “”Robert Menendez””:http://www.menendez.senate.gov/, among others, drafted the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act to increase lender competition, open up refinance opportunities to all current borrowers with government-backed mortgages, and strike through appraisal costs and upfront fees on home loans.[COLUMN_BREAK]Menendez said in a statement that passing the bill “”will get rid of the red tape that leaves millions of borrowers… trapped in higher interest loans, put money back into the pockets of middle class families and strengthen our economy. I’m asking Republicans to join us in putting families first.””If the bill passes the House ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an unlikely feat, given election-year partisanship and unyielding Republican opposition ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô lenders will begin to compete more often with other lenders that typically face tough underwriting standards.Underwater borrowers would also benefit from expanded eligibility. The bill would do away with equity thresholds responsible for encumbering borrowers, giving those most affected by the financial crisis and sweeping losses in equity the opportunity to refinance their home loans.Borrowers with less than 20 percent equity on their homes would face lower upfront fees, and the bill would get rid of manual appraisal fees for those trapped in underwater neighborhoods.This bill is a win-win-win: homeowners will have more money in their pockets, Fannie and Freddie will see fewer foreclosures, and the housing market and economy will be strengthened. That’s why the Menendez-Boxer bill has such broad support from industry and consumer groups,”” Boxer added. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Freddie Mac HARP Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Refinance Regulation Service Providers 2012-09-10 Ryan Schuette Share September 10, 2012 413 Views
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Zillow 2012-10-31 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology October 31, 2012 470 Views Share Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Now Available on iPad “”Zillow’s””:http://www.zillow.com/ free Mortgage Marketplace App is now available on iPad, the company announced. [IMAGE]Mortgage Marketplace is one of Zillow’s app suite that features 15 real estate-related mobile apps across all major platforms. The app provides a transparent lending marketplace where borrowers can connect to reputable lenders to find personalized loan options and get a variety of competitive mortgage rates. In addition, Mortgage Marketplace features easy-to-use calculators and animated charts to help consumers understand and engage with every stage of the mortgage process.””Shopping for a home loan can be complicated, cumbersome and not very much fun. Not to mention, a borrower could leave thousands of dollars on the table by choosing the wrong loan,”” said Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. “”Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for iPad takes a complex process and makes it easy to understand, engaging and visual to help borrowers understand their options and find the best loan and lender for them.””Also compatible iPhone and Android devices, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is available for free from the “”Google Play store””:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zillow.android.zmm and the “”iTunes App Store””:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mortgage-calculator-mortgage/id437660937?mt=8.
Share Production profits for independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries in 2017 were almost half of what they were a year earlier, according to the latest MBA Performance Report. The report also revealed that production volumes were down over the year. On average, mortgage loans reaped $711 per loan in profits for independent mortgage bankers in 2017, compared to $1,346 in 2016, according to the report. Measured in basis points, the average loan’s production income was 31 basis points in 2017, down from 58 in 2016. Not only was net production income down over the year but it was also substantially lower than the yearly average is 53 basis points or $1,085 per loan for the MBA’s annual report since its initiation in 2008. “Production revenues per loan were up slightly for the year, as higher loan balances mitigated the effects of competitive pressures,” said Marina Walsh, VP of Industry Analysis at MBA. “However, production expenses grew in all categories—sales, fulfillment, production support and corporate allocations—reaching a study-high $8,082 per loan for the Annual Performance Report.” This compares to production expenses of $7,209 per loan in 2016. Production revenues—including fee income, net secondary marking income, and warehouse spread—totaled $8,793 per loan in 2017, up from $8,555 the previous year. Overall production volume also diminished in 2017. For the industry as a whole, MBA estimated a decline from $2.05 trillion in 2016 to $1.71 trillion in 2017. On average, independent mortgage banks produced 8,882 loans totaling $2.13 billion in volume in 2017, down from 11,106 loans totaling $2.68 billion in 2016. Alongside declining production, productivity slipped over the year, with an average of 1.9 loan originations per production employee per month, down from 2.4 originations per month in the previous year. Among independent mortgage banks, refinance share by dollar volume fell from 38 percent in 2016 to 25 percent in 2017. MBA estimates refi dollar volume for the industry as a whole fell from 49 percent to 35 percent. The good news for mortgage banks is balances on first mortgage loans rose, driving mortgage servicing fees up along with them. In fact, following eight consecutive years of gains, first mortgage loan balances reached a record high for MBA’s study, climbing to $245,500 in 2017, up from $244,945 in 2016. Net servicing financial income increased significantly over the year in 2017, up from $34 to $64. Net servicing financial income encompasses net servicing operational income and mortgage servicing amortization gains and losses. Despite these bright spots for independent banks, declining volume and profits may have taken their toll on overall profits for independent mortgage institutions. The share of firms reporting overall pre-tax net financial profits for the year was down in 2017, falling from 94 percent to 80 percent, according to the report. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination April 17, 2018 704 Views Production Profits, Volumes Drop at Independent Mortgage Lenders Banks First Mortgage Loans Lenders loans MBA mortgage Origination Production Profits Volume 2018-04-17 Radhika Ojha
Buyers Home price Home Sellers homeowners homes HOUSING Median List Price real estate Realtor.com ROI 2018-07-23 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News July 23, 2018 828 Views It is widely understood and accepted that a car loses value the moment you purchase it. However, when it comes to a home, we expect and hope that it will appreciate in value over the length of time we own it. For many, that return can go a long way toward purchasing their next home or toward retirement. Of course, the size of that return varies widely across the nation. “Picking a place where home prices will continue to surge in the long term is one part science, one part dogged research, and one part blind, dumb luck,” according to Realtor.com, which set out to find the markets serving up the greatest return on investment (ROI) for homeowners. For the study, Realtor.com observed the 100 largest U.S. metros and calculated median annual returns by market ranging from 2 percent to 14 percent with an 8 percent median annual return at the national level. All of the top 10 earning metros are bringing homeowners double-digit annualized returns, it found. At the top of the list, earning a 14 percent annualized return is Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the median list price is $789,100. Detroit, Michigan; Seattle, Washington; San Jose, California; and Palm Bay, Florida were the top five profitable cities with an ROI of 12 percent. The study indicated that San Jose’s housing market that has been bolstered by the tech industry has vacant lots now selling in the $1 million range and a median home price at $1.24 million. Seattle likewise has experienced an influx of affluent tech employees creating stiff competition for housing and lifting the median list price to $582,400. With an ROI of 11 percent, Denver, Colorado, and Providence, Rhode Island was placed sixth and seventh on this list. They were followed by Boston, Massachusetts; Nashville, Tennessee; and Portland, Oregon, all registering a 10 percent ROI for homeowners.For those who can’t quite make ends meet in Seattle or San Francisco, Portland has been a haven, according to realtor.com, but home prices here are climbing quickly. The study found that Portland’s home prices have risen 56 percent from 2010 to 2017, bringing today’s median list price to $477,500. However, West Coast’s, trendy, tech-inundated markets aren’t the only metros bringing home sellers stellar returns. Having experienced high unemployment, staggering foreclosure numbers and filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013, Detroit is making a strong turnaround. “Homeowners who rode out the bad times are starting to see the rewards,” according to the study. The median home price in the city in 2012 was just $108,800. Today it is $260,000, and homeowners are seeing 12 percent annualized returns. Similarly, after widespread foreclosures during the housing crisis, Florida’s housing market is rebounding, in part due to demand from retiring baby boomers. Palm Bay residents are raking in 12 percent annualized returns, and the market’s median list price is currently $270,000. Realtor.com completed its report relying on home sales data from the past 12 months and limiting its top 10 list to no more than one metro per state. Share 10 Metros With the Greatest ROI for Homeowners
in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Home Values Take a Drop March 15, 2019 1,117 Views Home Value Appreciation Jeff Tucker Rent Growth Zillow 2019-03-15 Donna Joseph Share According to the February Zillow Real Estate Market Report, rent prices grew at their fastest rate in 10 months in February, reaching 2.4 percent year-over-year appreciation. However, while rent price growth increased, national home value appreciation sagged to its lowest level since December 2017. The report found that the U.S. median monthly rent was $1,472 in February, recording an increase from $1,438 a year earlier. This translates to more than $400 in additional yearly expenses for the typical renter. Zillow noted that rents have steadily recovered since a slowdown in the fall that saw the first annual price decreases in more than six years. Data on the annual rent growth reflected an acceleration from January rates in most large housing markets, with the biggest jumps coming in Portland—a turnaround after six straight months of annual rent declines from July through December—and Indianapolis.Orlando and Pittsburgh were the only two large housing markets where rent growth declined. Despite that slowdown, both areas experienced higher-than-average growth, with Orlando rents growing at a faster pace compared to any other large metro area (7.0 percent). Addressing Amazon’s HQ2 withdrawal from Long Island City, the report indicated that New York renters are yet to feel the effect. New York rent prices along with those in Washington, D.C., and Nashville—two markets where Amazon still intends to build large office spaces—have largely followed national trends since the November announcement, Zillow pointed out. “The rental market spent part of last year catching its breath after several years of breakneck growth,” said Jeff Tucker, Economist at Zillow. “Landlords are now coming to terms with the fact that rent cannot grow faster than income forever, and after that short correction we can expect a much more vanilla, slow-growth market going forward. As we enter the 2020s, the demand for rentals is projected to fall as many millennials move on to homeownership,” he added. The median U.S. home value increased by 7.2 percent increase from a year earlier with a cooldown mostly felt in San Jose, California; and San Francisco. U.S. for-sale home inventory grew 1 percent year-over-year, an increase of 16,137 homes. Inventory picked up the most in San Jose, Seattle, and Los Angeles, further signaling a cooldown from the frenetic pace of the past year in major West Coast markets. Zillow stated that Mortgage rates listed were mostly flat in February. Rates ended February at 4.16 percent, down one basis point from the start of the month. Click here to read the full report.
AI Foundry 2019-07-12 Seth Welborn in Headlines, News 21 days ago 284 Views AI Foundry Launches Mortgage Document Model AI Foundry, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform company, recently announced the launch of its mortgage document model, adding new functionality to its Cognitive Business Automation Platform. According to AI Foundry, it incorporates the “latest in AI, machine learning and machine vision to deliver a higher level of automated classification and data extraction capabilities.””This document model capability will enable the mortgage industry to use AI to replace multi-week manual processes, so that mortgages can be processed from ‘application to underwriting’ in days, not weeks.”“The model enables any lender to upload its loan application material and in return receive fully indexed and extracted data within seconds. The model delivers 95 percent accuracy and was trained on more than 100,000 mortgage documents, 300 document types and 2,000 data extractions to date, using both cognitive and deep neural network techniques,” said Peter Piela, Ph.D., Head of Solution Development at AI Foundry. “The percentage of accuracy using our vision technology is comparable to human manual processes, while legacy text classification approaches fall well short of this at roughly 80 percent accuracy. The impact of using our document model means significant time savings for the lender and the replacement of expensive manual processes with far more efficient automated ones.“In addition to the document model, the platform contains a powerful rules engine that allows clients to create intelligent robotic agents to automatically monitor completeness, integrity and compliance. The rules engine enables users to make actionable inferences that trigger remedial events early in the document-processing and exception-handling phases, thereby reducing overall cycle time and the cost of remediation,” added Piela.AI Foundry’s plan is to make the document model available to customers as part of the Cognitive Business Automation Platform, so they can use the existing model as well as augment the capabilities of the base model to solve specific mortgage workflow processes.AI Foundry has been selected to present and demonstrate this new technology at the VentureBeat Transform Showcase Expo, July 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Share
AUS: Red Rich Fruits secures exclusive rights to C … Granny Smith has also enjoyed an upturn in demand but demand for the Golden Delicious remains “below expectations”. However, VOG said that stocks of this latter variety are down 30% compared with 2016 and so there is “no need for alarm”.Similarly, stocks of the Fuji and Braeburn are down 20% but, like every year, the market is still waiting for an upturn in demand in February and March.“Another positive aspect at this stage of the campaign is the retail price which, having returned to normal levels, is now extremely attractive to the final consumer,” he said.The demand for club apples – of which the most important are Pink Lady and Kanzi – goes along with expectations. In the coming weeks they will be supported by many promotional activities. Demand from German supermarkets is also recovering after a very quiet autumn caused by the high production levels of private gardens in Germany.As such, the signs for the next few months of the campaign look promising, VOG said. Pink Lady apples “maintained good performance” in … You might also be interested in February 08 , 2019 Italian apple cooperative VOG says sales in the European market are seeing an “upturn” following a tricky start to the season.It said the early season was “shrouded in doubt” due to the record production on the continent and the “excessively high retail prices” following the poor harvest of the previous season, but the early January markets were showing signs of improvement.“Compared with the market situation in the autumn, sales in the first weeks of January suggested an upward trend,” said Gerhard Dichgans, director of VOG.”From 1 February the stocks in our storage facilities will be about 10% down compared with two years ago. In fact, we have to exclude last season from this comparison given that the 2017 harvest in Europe was largely unprofitable.”In recent weeks, demand has centred around Royal Gala – which has been particularly popular in the Middle East – and the Red Delicious, which represents a big opportunity particularly for the Indian market given the lack of products arriving from the U.S., VOG said. T&G apple harvest underway amid expectations … Golden Bay Fruit creates “One of a Kind” show …
Hot on the heels of the opening of British Airways’ exclusive First Wing at London Heathrow Terminal 5, a new private check-in area for British Airways’ First, Gold Executive Club and oneworld Emerald customers, the airline has unveiled the refurbishment of its Concorde Room lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5. The makeover includes the re-upholstering of iconic pieces of furniture, and adding new feature pieces to the room, all of which are illuminated by hand-blown glass lighting with bone linen shades and ochre silk linings. The popular terrace has been treated to new luxurious sofas and new elegant loungers, and guests will still be able to dine before they fly, in private booths with full waiter service. If they wish to unwind ahead of their flight, private cabanas with a day bed and ensuite are also available to book.Next in British Airways’ revamp schedule is the lounge at New York’s JFK Terminal 7. BABritish AirwaysHeathrowlounge
According to their official website, the Arizona Cardinals currently have 100 players on their roster.Forty-seven of them weren’t on the roster when the 2012 season ended.But maybe the one new face getting the most attention is veteran quarterback Carson Palmer. Acquired in a trade with the Oakland Raiders in the offseason, Palmer is being counted on to jump-start a woeful passing offense that ranked 28th in the National Football League last year. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo New head coach Bruce Arians has no doubt that Palmer will be able to resuscitate the Cardinals’ offense.“He’s still got the arm, he can make all the throws,” Arians told NFL AM on NFL Network. “What I love about him is he brings spirit to the locker room. He’s on fire every day when he comes in there — he’s the first one in there, the last one to leave and (he’s) everything you want out of your quarterback.” – / 6 0 Comments Share
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires If you listen to Doug & Wolf, you know I love stats. ESPN Stats & Info just produced a great piece on the Seahawks at Cardinals game.If you want the whole link, here it is. If you want just the highlights, keep reading.ESPN Stats & Info: The Seahawks are just 5-6 on the road over the last two regular seasons. In road games this season, the Seattle defense is allowing opposing quarterbacks a 69 Total QBR. That means the average quarterback playing at home against Seattle is basically producing at a Pro Bowl level this year.I’m not a huge fan of the QBR because it has a ton of subjective qualities yet I see the value of this info. Russell Wilson has never lost a home game but look at the road record. The defense stat is stark on QB rating. It shows the enormous affect the crowd noise has on Seattle’s opponents. You take that crowd noise away and the defense goes from “stellar” to “solid.” ESPN Stats & Info: Wilson has attempted 65 throws off play action this season, the second-highest total in the league, and his 93.5 Total QBR on such throws ranks behind only Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers.Important point because it shows Wilson isn’t a total dog as QB but he’s a little over-hyped after his successful rookie season. Take away Marshawn Lynch and you’ve taken away a great deal of Wilson’s effectiveness.ESPN Stats & Info: Carson Palmer has more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (four) when throwing to Fitzgerald this season. When Kurt Warner throws to Larry Fitzgerald the Cardinals TD/INT ratio is +19 but when the other 8 Cardinal QBs since Warner’s retirement throw to Fitz the number goes to -10.I think we all understand. The bad QBs force the ball to Fitz because they panic and don’t read coverage. Warner forced teams to cover everyone because he was willing to throw to anyone, therefore passes to Fitz weren’t forced.ESPN Stats & Info: Over the last two seasons, the Cardinals are 1-7 against their fellow NFC West teams, the worst divisional record of any team in the NFL. However, the only win was the aforementioned win over the Seahawks in last season’s Week 1.Remember when Michael Bidwill said that he fired Whisenhunt because he was worried the Cardinals were falling behind the rest of the division? It’s hard to argue the point. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments Share Top Stories ESPN Stats & Info: Lynch has 487 rushing yards this season, the third-most in the NFL. He’s done a large part of his work in the first quarter with 231 of those rushing yards (more than 47 percent) coming in the first quarter.This goes back to the Wilson play-action stats. LBs and DBs are much more disciplined at the beginning of a game. If Wilson starts a ton of play-action in the first quarter, it won’t be totally believable because Lynch hasn’t started gashing. Every team thinks they have a plan to stop Lynch. Panic doesn’t set in until they realize the plan didn’t work. Panic by the defense leads to play-action by the offense.We all know a huge key to the game is protecting Carson Palmer with the assumption protection will lower his turnover totals. Protecting Palmer is far and away the number one issue. It could be argued the second thing to study in this game, based on ESPN Stats & Info, is how well the Cards handle Lynch in the first quarter. If Lynch ends the 1st quarter with 50 or more yards rushing, it’s the 7 that will go up instead of the 1 in the recent NFC West division games for the Cardinals.