Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Aiming to keep Auckland in the forefront of Aussie football fans’ minds, Tourism New Zealand has launched a NZ$1.2 million dollar 100% Pure You marketing campaign promoting the city to Australian travellers.Teaming up with Auckland Tourism, Event and Economic Development (ATEED), the six week promotion was designed to drive more Aussie visitors into the city and its surrounding regions.Coming off the back of the Rugby World Cup, the marketing campaign will include a TV commercial similar to that released by the Group in April and May this year as well as cinema advertising and online promotion.ATEED manager tourism Jason Hill said it was perfect time to launch the campaign.“The great profile generated through Rugby World Cup provides a perfect platform for us to boost awareness of the range of Auckland experiences and prompt bookings for the peak summer season,” he explained. As well as online and cinema ads, the two Group’s have also unveiled special deals for Aussie travellers to convert awareness into actual bookings.According to figures for the year ending September this year, New Zealand welcomed up to 1.1 million trans-Tasman visitors with up to 58.9 percent of them arriving into Auckland.
Sydney Airport will ultimately be constrained by its location and operating restrictions, according to a new study that found a second Sydney gateway is needed to manage the expected 79 million travellers passing through Sydney by 2029.Recommending Badgerys Creek as the preferred site for the secondary airport and Wilton as an alternative, an Infrastructure NSW report highlighted that although supplementary air capacity would not be required until the late 2020s, an immediate start on a second gateway would make it readily available to unmet demand for 100 flights per day by 2027.Although owner of Sydney Airport, SACL believes the gateway has growth capacity for at least the next 20 years, the study said the increase in capacity from SACL’s proposed concept stage plans to reconfigure the existing Domestic Terminal and International Terminal, is yet to be determined.Aside from physical constraints, the report found additional regulatory restraints including; curfew, maximum movement limit and regional allocations, would also stifle growth.“It is Infrastructure NSW’s view… that for the duration of the State Infrastructure Strategy, Sydney Airport will remain the hub airport for the Sydney region but additional secondary capacity may be needed from the late 2020s,” the report read.Pegging on the new infrastructure report to renew discussions of a second Sydney airport, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said findings would give the NSW state government an opportunity “to really reconsider its position”.Mr Albanese said Sydney Airport was reaching full capacity, in terms of both planes and land access during peak hours and if a solution is not presented people would reconsider the city for events.“Sydney does need an airport for economic reasons, for employment and jobs and for our future as a global city,” Mr Albanese told media.“Hopefully Mr Greiner’s report will mark a bit of a line in the sand and an opportunity for the state government to really reconsider its position.”However,, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has ruled out a second Sydney gateway, instead hoping to establish a high-speed rail link between Canberra airport and Sydney.For more news from the report click back onto e-Travel Blackboard tomorrow. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Aerolineas Argentinas has decided to end its Buenos Aires to Sydney service from April 2014, owing to “poor economic performance”. Aerolineas cited “the existence of alternative (airlines) to maintain connectivity with Oceania through other international carriers” and the fact that “Australia as a destination is not a target most chosen by the Argentines” as rationale for shutting down flights to and from Sydney. The South American airline has revealed forthcoming changes to its network, increasing frequencies and opening new routes, while ceasing operations on the recently-established Australian route. Source = ETB News: P.T. The airline will boost international frequencies from 48 per week in October 2013 to 61 per week by October 2014, operating a new flight to New York (15 December 2013) and serving Caracas (1 April 2014), Barcelona and Rome (1 July 2014) with daily flights. The Argentinean carrier has been actively modernising its fleet over the past few years and will retire the Airbus 340-200 when the Buenos Aires-Sydney route ceases operation on 1 April 2014. Aerolineas celebrated 27 years in Australia at their Argentine Roadshow in August 2013. Aerolineas Argentinas said Australia ranks 50th in preference of destinations for Argentines, while 51 percent of passengers from Australia are connecting or travelling beyond Australia and Argentina. “When the international network is modified in this way, more number of frequencies to the most popular destinations with the same resources, can be operated which improves productivity,” Aerolineas Argentinas said in a statement.
The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) says it is “deeply concerned” with Virgin Australia’s foreign ownership split and Australia’s dated aviation policy settings. “Our laws and regulations were not designed so that the interests of foreign-government backed airlines would be placed at a significant advantage to the national flag carrier,” AIPA president Nathan Safe said. “For years, AIPA has argued that Qantas forms a key plank of Australia’s national interest, and the government must ensure its vital role in boosting our economy, providing quality employment, and adding to our national security infrastructure.” Source = ETB News: P.T. AIPA has called for a policy review, claiming Virgin Australia’s AU$350 million capital raising venture is not consistent with the intent of Australia’s laws or the national interest. “We must get ahead of the game to avoid the need to repeat for international aviation what was required to support our ailing shipping industry,” Mr Safe said. AIPA argues that Australia’s current policy settings are obsolete, affirming the Australian Government recognise that international aviation needs a more equalised playing field.
Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city for the fourth year in a row, according to The Economist’s Global Liveability Index.The EIU’s Liveability Ranking measures living conditions in 140 cities across the world by gauging stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.Melbourne achieved perfect scores in healthcare, education, infrastructure and the sub-category sport.Destination Melbourne chief executive Laura Cavallo said that it is a great achievement.“Retaining the World’s Most Liveable City title will continue to reinforce Melbourne’s global position in attracting international visitation, business events, business investment and international education especially from the Asian markets,” Ms Cavallo said.The award follows Melbourne being named the world’s friendliest city by Condé Nast Traveller.Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
The latest Hotel Price IndexTM by Hotels.comTM, which compares hotel prices paid in 2014 with 2013, has revealed the top destinations to experience luxury accommodation for less.The list reveals the top 14 destinations where Australians experienced five-star luxury accommodation for under AUD$250 per night in 2014.The top five most affordable luxury destinations were in either Europe or Asia, cementing their position as top destinations for five-star accommodation at budget prices.Hotels.com regional director Australia, New Zealand and Singapore Katherine Cole said both Europe and Asia are becoming more popular among tourists seeking luxury on a budget.“Asian destinations continue to go head-to-head to offer the best-value luxury hotel deals for Aussie travellers, while a depreciating Euro is also making Europe an even more attractive long-haul destination than ever before,” Ms Cole said.“This year we really are spoilt for choice in culturally rich destinations offering luxury for less. With the widest range of hotel choices, competitive deals, and user-friendly technology, Hotels.com is the ideal place to find a luxury escape on a lemonade budget.”Warsaw, Poland came in at number one in the Hotel Price Index, where customers enjoyed a night in luxury accommodation for as little as AUD$147 per night. The Hotel Bristol, A Luxury Collection Hotel offers five-star luxury in Warsaw for travellers on a budget.In Mumbai, India, travellers paid an average AUD$187 per night to stay in luxury hotels and in Bangkok, Thailand luxury accommodation was an average AUD$197 per night.Fourth on list was Delhi, India where travellers could escape for an average AUD$198 per night. The LaLit New Delhi is a popular destination for five-star accommodation for less.Lisbon, Portugal came in at fifth place in the Hotel Price Index with customers enjoying a luxury stay for an average AUD$206 per night.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
Australia to gain from Asia’s luxury travel boom over the next 10 yearsAustralia is in prime position to capitalise on the luxury travel boom that will sweep Asia in the next 10 years, with high-growth expected to come from China and India.According to a new Amadeus report featuring data from Tourism Economics, Asia Pacific’s luxury travel market will see faster overall growth than Europe’s from 2011 – 2025. Out of the 25 countries explored in this report, India has the highest rate of projected growth with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.8%, closely followed by China with a CAGR of 12.2%.Australia is already seeing strong tourism growth coming from China and India. In 2015, China represented the biggest region for tourism revenue – $8.3 billion (up 45% from 2014) and visitor growth (up 22% from 2014). India followed closely behind with 19% growth in visitors and 38% growth in total expenditure1.Further, 48% of Chinese consumers2 and 41% of Indian consumer3 are considering travel to Australia in the next 4 years.Tony Carter, Managing Director at Amadeus IT Pacific said, “Because of Australia’s proximity to Asia, our world class tourism, quality infrastructure and amenities, we are in a prime position to capitalise on the luxury travel boom in the coming decade.“The key to success will come down to our understanding of luxury, and what it means to different people. Luxury travel is subjective. For one traveller, it could be a private multimillion-dollar cruise around Queensland. For another, it could be the reassurance of having their dietary requirements automatically catered for throughout their entire holiday and a bespoke designer wardrobe waiting for them in their hotel room. Curating something that appeals to them on a specific, personal level that goes above a traveller’s “norms” is key to capturing the next generation of the luxury travel market,” added Carter.Amadeus’ report found that Oceania’s own luxury market is very mature, having the highest percentage of luxury outbound trips in 2015 at 30.5%, higher than even the US at 26.2%. From 2015 – 2025, Oceania’s luxury travel will grow faster than overall travel with a CAGR of 4.1%, compared to a CAGR of 3.8% for the overall travel market. The report further finds that growth in luxury travel will outpace overall travel, spurred on by consumers’ desire for life experiences.Some key findings from the report include:We have entered a new age of luxury travel, where luxury is curated, real-time and experience-ledDriven by India’s impressive luxury market growth, South Asia’s luxury travel market will expand at a faster rate than any other region exploredChina’s relatively mature luxury market is set against a backdrop of tightening regulations and a battle against corruption. This means luxury travellers in China are more conscious about flaunting their wealthSoutheast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand and Philippines, will also see luxury travel outpace overall travelA human desire for more rewarding experiences provides an essential catalyst to evolve and improve travel industry quality and service standardsA hierarchy of luxury travel needs is identified, ranging from 5-star quality and service standards to exclusive VIP privacy and securityIn 2015, Amadeus released a report called Future Traveller Tribes 2030, which identified six traveller tribes based on consumer behaviour, recognizing that purchasing patterns change depending on the circumstances of each trip.Using similar methodology, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel, identifies six luxury traveller tribes to help travel providers better target their luxury customer market: Always Luxury; Special Occasion; Bluxury; Cash-rich, time-poor; Strictly Opulent; and Independent Affluent. Learn more herediscover more about Japan hereSource = Amadeus
Source = TravelManagers Australia Docking at Tain L’Hermitage looking over to Tournon sur RhonePersonal experience results in river cruise booking for Personal Travel ManagerSix personal travel managers recently enjoyed a dedicated TravelManagers’ famil to France where they experienced a six day Uniworld Boutique River Cruise on the Rhone River from Lyon to Avignon.Hosted by Fiona Dalton, Managing Director Australia for Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection the personal travel managers attending the famil were New South Wales based Beverley Burt representative for Ashbury, Michelle Collins representative for Bowral, Fiona Perry representative for Corlette, Rosemary Kates representative for Wollongong with Queensland based Emma Ross representative for Bulimba and Jeanette Dickson representative for Arundel.Perry has sold a number of European river cruises but hadn’t personally experienced one until now.Palais du Pape in Avignon“I now understand why my clients come back raving about their river cruise, the hype certainly lived up to my high expectations. A river cruise is such an easy way to see a number of destinations without the hassle of moving from hotel to hotel on a daily basis, sorting of plans for driving and self-touring in each village. There are expert guides daily for each port providing recommended sightseeing, dining options and local history information. The guide recommended to us in Lyon to walk over the bridge to the central mall and eat there, as the restaurants in the old town tend to be expensive. We discovered Bistro Regent that does a fabulous steak, chicken or salmon with salad and fries for around 13Euros and the servings are very generous. Its tips like these that really make a holiday.”Ross discovered a new appreciation for river cruising.“River cruising provides the opportunity to see a destination from a different perspective and if your time is limited, is a great way to see so much. We were so fortunate to experience the product in its entirety, getting to know staff and the ship in such detail. It is often the little things that make a product unique and the highlight for me was definitely the staff. Their impeccable attention to detail and eagerness to assist made a good holiday, great.”A street scape (known as the Jewish Street) in Viviers, Rhone-AlpesKates proves firsthand experience makes all the difference, with a Uniworld Rhone River Cruise booking already secured since her return.“My client was looking for a stress-free, all-inclusive small group holiday with personal experience on all levels. I knew a river cruise would suit perfectly. Being able to talk knowledgably about visiting St Vincent Cathedral in Viviers to enjoy a live organ concert, tasting truffles at a local truffle farm in Grignan where we learnt about the techniques used to collect the truffles and our biking adventure around Lyon was invaluable. Talking about the cruise with such passion and excitement with knowledge gained from my own experiences and sharing my own photos, without doubt closed the sale,” laughs Kates.River cruising more so than other forms of land based transport can be weather dependent, as the personal travel managers recently experienced.“We travelled during an extremely wet week, and as a result, the rivers were extremely swollen. Our itinerary changed somewhat due to the weather conditions. We left a port early and didn’t dock at a particular town due to the river levels. At some points we were unable to pass under bridges so we were bused to our ports of call instead of docking as per the itinerary. It is important for clients to understand that whilst this doesn’t happen regularly, it can happen at some time in the season. The crew make it extremely seamless though and it by no way alters the enjoyment of the holiday, in fact it just adds to the adventure,” says Ross.The group travelled on Qatar Airlines from Adelaide via Doha on the new Dreamliner aircraft.“I know Qatar Airlines have won best Skytrax Business class for a few years and being lucky enough to travel business class from Adelaide to Doha I can concur what a pleasure it was flying with them. The seats were lush, with plenty of storage compartments. The food was of a very high standard and the cabin staff was both attentive and intuitive to passenger needs. The on-board entertainment had a huge number of choices and the size of the TV screen in business class was the largest I have experienced. Economy class was good in most instances and I highly recommend if passengers are flying economy class, to request the upper deck on the A380 as the cabin is cozy and the service impeccable,” says Perry.TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (left to right) Fiona Dalton Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Fiona Perry, Emma Ross, Jeanette Dickson and Michelle Collins enjoying a glass of local Avignon wine at Hotel L’Europe one of the oldest hotels in FranceTravelManagers attribute the exceptional, strong and effective business relationships with key airline, cruise and wholesale suppliers with providing personal travel managers the ability to experience exclusive educationals, to a variety of worldwide destinations.“Supplier relationships have been built over many years and support of our partner suppliers’ products is absolutely key to our business model. The ability for our personal travel managers to experience dedicated famils is a large part of this support, says Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal.Gazal further adds that “TravelManagers prides itself on providing exceptional and personal customer service which comes from first-hand knowledge and experience. Educationals that allow immersion into a destination, such as our co-created dedicated supplier famils, are so important and why we proactively work to provide as many educational opportunities as possible.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. Personal Travel Manager become a PTM todayAbout TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.
Huntington BeachHuntington Beach voted ‘Best California Beach’Huntington Beach, Calif. – Huntington Beach has got it going on! Surf City USA is named The Best California Beach by USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Huntington Beach’s shoreline stretches for 16 uninterrupted kilometers of wide opened sandy beaches making it a paradise for families, couples, dogs, and surfers. Where perfect waves are born, Surf City USA attracts professional surfers and World Surf League contests. The endless summer weather offers both relaxation and outdoor activities year-round. Some visitors favorites include: volleyball courts, bonfire pits, concerts and movies on the sand, and of course the iconic Huntington Beach Pier spanning 1,850 feet in length. The iconic pier sits in the heart of Huntington Beach and allows visitors and locals alike to experience the the breathtaking views amidst the sounds of crashing waves and the ocean breeze. Huntington Beach is a beach that creates memories and holds a special place in the hearts of both our locals and visitors.The top 10 winners in the category Best California Beach are as follows:Huntington City BeachNewport Municipal BeachHermosa Beach – Los AngelesManhattan Beach – Los AngelesCarmel Beach – Carmel-by-the-SeaCrystal Cove State Park – Newport BeachNatural Bridges State Beach – Santa CruzMcClures Beach – Marin CountyCoronado Beach – San DiegoSanta Monica State BeachA panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Congratulations to these 10 winning beaches! Read the full article here.About Visit Huntington Beach One of Southern California’s premier coastal destinations, Huntington Beach is the ideal location for a California family vacation, active outdoor adventure trip or relaxing weekend getaway. With 16 km of wide-open white sand California beaches, Huntington Beach is a destination of choice for vacationers and business travelers alike. To plan your Surf City USA® vacation, or to learn more about Huntington Beach, see the Visit Huntington Beach website at www.surfcityusa.comUpcoming Events Coastal Country Jam – (June 24)US Surf Open (July 28 –August 5)Surf City Dog (Spetember 29)Huntington Beach Airshow (October 19-21)California Wine Festival (November 9-10 Source = Visit Huntington Beach
Source = Crystalbrook Collection Hotels and Resort Mark Davie – CEO – Crystalbrook Collection, Wendy Morris – General Manager – Little Albion, a Crystalbrook Collection Boutique Hotel and Geoff York – Group Director, Hotels – Crystalbrook Collection celebrate Crystalbrook Collection taking on ownershipCrystalbrook Collection takes ownership of its first Sydney HotelCrystalbrook Collection Hotels and Resorts has today officially welcomed one of Sydney’s newest boutique hotels, Little Albion, to its fast expanding family of hotels.Centrally located in the bustling inner-city suburb of Surry Hills, Little Albion has its own distinct personality, fitting in seamlessly with the hospitality group’s existing portfolio.The 35-room boutique hotel is set within a stunning heritage building, complete with a rooftop garden.Crystalbrook Collection will retain all the existing staff including General Manager Wendy Morris and her team of dedicated hosts who are all Surry Hills locals.Speaking on the sale, Ms Morris said: “This is an exciting time for Little Albion. We’re thrilled with the great reputation we have acquired since opening and we are confident that under Crystalbrook Collection we will reach new heights and achieve further great success.”Crystalbrook Collection CEO Mark Davie said: “We had been looking for a Sydney property for some time, but it had to have the right fit.”“All of our properties are like siblings, each similar but with their own unique personality and style. So naturally Little Albion’s refreshingly unpretentious personality and beautifully chic style was the perfect addition to our growing collection. Not to mention it is in one of the best locations in Sydney, with some of city’s best food and beverage offerings right on its doorstep.”“This is just the beginning for Crystalbrook Collection. We have plans for further growth with a number of new properties across key Australian destinations.”Crystalbrook Collection most recently opened Riley in Cairns on 6 November this year, the first of three five-star hotels the group has in the works for the city. Their portfolio also consists of Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina in Port Douglas, Crystalbrook Lodge, one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia located three hours from Cairns in outback Queensland and 90-foot motor yacht MV Bahama. In addition to tourism enterprises the group also owns three cattle stations, which will provide the hotels with locally sourced sustainable beef.Bookings for Little Albion can now be made at crystalbrookcollection.com/little-albionCrystalbrook Collection’s domestic and international sales team will now handle all business to business bookings. Enquires can be made by emailing email@example.com.
Four weekly flights have been added between Mumbai and Singapore, announced Singapore Airlines, taking the total frequency on the route to 18 flights per week.The airline is currently offering morning and evening flights on Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 respectively. The extra service operates every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April 21 to May 22, 2016.Flights will depart Singapore at 02:35 and arrive in Mumbai at 05:25. The return flights will the leave Mumbai at 08:35 and arrive back in Singapore at 16:40. Running at the same timings, from May 23 to June 12, 2016, the additional flights will operate every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.“The additions in frequency have been made to meet the growth in demand for travel. With peak summer travel season approaching, increased flight connections will help in view of anticipated surge in holiday traffic,” the airline’s General Manager (India) David Lau said.
By the white sand, near the sea, what a dreamy place to be; Maldives is truly the castaway island of your imagination. From skimming the Indian Ocean waters on a jet-ski to parasailing, kayaking and surfing. Maldives is the ideal destination for an active beach holiday. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the Indian Ocean region. Famous for its pristine beaches, extreme water sports, relaxed environment and exotic lagoons.India performed incredibly well for destination Maldives in the year 2016. Visitor arrivals from India to Maldives registered an overall growth of 27.9% over 2015 with total arrivals of 66,955 travellers. India is an important source market for Maldives as it shares a close relation with India and has distinct offerings for the Indian travellers.Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation Limited (MMPRC) have appointed TRAC Representations as the PR representative of Maldives in India, to strengthen trade relations and execute marketing initiatives by promoting Maldives as a destination for diverse segments of travellers. The key objective is to enhance Maldives as a favoured travel destination for leisure and business amongst the niche travellers, focus on trade push, media presence through digital and new age media.Commenting on being appointed as the official Marketing Representative for MMPRC, Rajeev Nangia, COO, TRAC Representations, said, “We are absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed with this appointment and privileged to be representing Maldives in India. Maldives has a lot to offer and is one of the top destinations for Indian travellers seeking experiential travel.”
MakeMyTrip Limited is targeting hotels in Tier II cities of India to give its hotel reservation business a boost confirmed a senior official. The official also confirmed that the company will invest in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, voice, chatbots amongst others to better its services and products. The official said that the company is eyeing on strengthening deals with hotels from South East Asian countries, the Middle East and European countries where Indians largely travel.Speaking on the occasion, Parikshit Choudhury, Chief Business Officer-India Hotels, Holidays and Alternate Accommodation said, “We will be investing in artificial intelligence, chatbots, voice and other technologies to grow the hotel reservation business. As per our study, only 15% of the hotel bookings are done online which shows there is a huge potential.” Choudhury confirmed that more than 60,000 hotel rooms are booked through the platform. He also confirmed that the company will offer GoStay certificates to budget accommodations to meet minimum quality criteria so that a guest can expect some uniformity in services.“As regards our overseas expansion plans, we are looking at countries where Indian travellers largely go such as South East Asian nations, Europe, Middle East and the like,” Choudhury said.In a recent equity research report on MakeMyTrip, Jefferies India said, “The Indian travel market remains a significant long-term growth opportunity with air travel still under-penetrated due to low-income levels and online booking of hotels and packages still much below global averages.”Jefferies stated that MakeMyTrip is the solid player in online travel booking sector with 60% market share in air tickets booking and more than 50% in hotel rooms bookings.
Home Sales Up 9% Year-Over-Year: RE/MAX November 18, 2011 428 Views Despite falling month-over-month, home sales crept forward by 9 percent year-over-year, according to a recent monthly housing report from “”RE/MAX””:http://www.remax.com/.[IMAGE]Home sales meanwhile declined 9.8 percent from September to October, even while sales prices fell 5.4 percent year-over-year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a bipolar trend that portrays the market as one slowly recovering from the financial crisis.””It appears that home sales are coming more closely in line with the levels we saw last year, which should hold up [COLUMN_BREAK]through the winter months,”” “”Margaret Kelly””:http://www.remax.com/national-corp/biographies/margaret_kelly.aspx, CEO for the company, said in a “”statement””:https://docs.google.com/a/dsnews.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=133b3d987922efdd&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3Dbe3741d10e%26view%3Datt%26th%3D133b3d987922efdd%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbRG9c6kXTG2ANYXzXUliN8To6NjiQ&pli=1.””While it’s good to see sales still running higher than last year, at some point we would like to see prices rising higher than the previous year, as well,”” she added.The report found home sales rising for the fourth conservative month on an annual basis, as foreclosures plummeted for the sixteenth consecutive month.RE/MAX also found home prices sliding by 5.4 percent from October last year. Median sales prices for sold homes hovered at $176,770, some 2 percent lower than figures for the same in September and 5.4 percent lower than those recorded in October last year.Eleven of the 53 metro areas surveyed by the company saw home prices leaping forward from last year, with Detroit skyrocketing by 11.5 percent, followed by Omaha at 10 percent, Orlando at 6.7 percent, Des Moines at 3.6 percent, and Houston at 2 percent.RE/MAX reported the average days on market as 95 for home sales, two more than a 93 average witnessed in September and four more than the average seen October. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Company News First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability Processing RE/MAX 2011-11-18 Ryan Schuette Share
in Data, Origination January 16, 2013 436 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Origination Points Refinance Service Providers 2013-01-16 Tory Barringer Mortgage Applications Rise for Second Week Share Mortgage applications continue to perk up after ending 2012 on a low note, according to data from the “”Mortgage Bankers Association’s””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.[IMAGE]The Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, increased 15.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted [COLUMN_BREAK]basis in the week ending January 11. On an unadjusted basis, the index was up 45 percent from the prior week.Purchase activity continued strong, with the Purchase Index rising 13 percent to its highest level since April 2011. The unadjusted Purchase Index ended the week 47 percent above the previous week’s reading and was 5 percent higher than the same week in 2012.The Refinance Index also increased, jumping up 15 percent from week to week. The refinance share of total mortgage activity remained unchanged at 82 percent, however.The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3 percent of total applications, MBA reports.The rise in applications accompanies no apparent change in interest rates. According to the association’s data, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with a conforming balance was 3.61 percent, flat from the previous week. However, points (including the origination fee) dropped to 0.38 percent from 0.41 percent previously, bringing the effective rate down.
June 26, 2014 688 Views Bubble Fears Unwarranted with Homes Still 3% Undervalued Home Prices Home Values Housing Bubble Trulia 2014-06-26 Krista Franks Brock in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News While persistent price gains continue to dominate headlines, homes in a majority of major markets across the country remain slightly undervalued, quashing any concerns of a rising bubble, according to the latest data from Trulia.Nationally, homes remain undervalued by 3 percent compared with long-term fundamentals, according to Trulia’s Bubble Watch.Market-level data reveals 76 of the 100 largest metros remain undervalued, and most of the overvalued markets are less than 10 percent overvalued.”While the number of overvalued markets is rising, there remains little reason to worry about a new, widespread bubble forming,” said Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko.Just seven of the 100 largest metro markets are currently overvalued by more than 10 percent.Furthermore, Trulia points out even today’s most overvalued markets are nowhere near their bubble levels of overvaluation. For example, Orange County, California, the most overvalued market, is currently overvalued by 17 percent. This compares to 71 percent at the height of the bubble in 2006.Honolulu and Los Angeles tie for second place on Trulia’s list of overvalued markets. Homes in both metros are overvalued by 15 percent. However, in the first quarter of 2006, Honolulu homes were overvalued by 41 percent, and Los Angeles homes were overvalued by 79 percent, according to Trulia.The trend reads similarly down the list of top 10 overvalued markets, with the exception of Austin, Texas. Prices in Austin are currently overvalued by 13 percent, compared to just 8 percent at the height of the bubble. Trulia explains, “that’s because Austin (and Texas generally) avoided the worst of last decade’s bubble and bust.”Overall, Trulia expects national home prices to rise to a neutral level—neither undervalued nor overvalued—by the end of this year or the start of next year. Slowing price gains at the national level leave no concerns for a rising bubble, according to Trulia.Currently, three of the top five undervalued markets are in Ohio, with Akron and Cleveland topping the list with homes currently undervalued by 21 percent.Detroit, Michigan, and Dayton, Ohio, follow. Homes are undervalued by 19 percent and 16 percent, respectively, in these two markets. However, both markets are experiencing double-digit price gains, so Trulia does not expect them to linger on the most undervalued list for long.Trulia determines whether a market is overvalued or undervalued by comparing home prices to price-to-income ratio, price-to-rent ratio, and long-term price trends. Share
Mortgage Rates Lower Amid Economic Uncertainty Share Fixed Mortgage Rates Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey 2015-07-10 Staff Writer As the spring homebuying season comes to a close and Americans cope with the uncertain after effects of the Greek crisis on the economy, the U.S. Treasuries lowered average fixed mortgage rates down to 4.04 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) results.”Yields on Treasury securities declined this week in response to investor concerns about events in Greece and China,”said Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Mortgage rates fell as well, although not by as much as government bond yields.”With the Greece crisis still brewing and Treasury security yields falling, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending July 9, 2015. Last week, the rate averaged 4.08 percent and a year ago the 30-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent.Freddie Mac also reported that the 15-year FRM averaged 3.20 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.24 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.24 percent. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.99 percent. Meanwhile, the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.50 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.52 percent.”Overseas volatility is likely to persist for some time, providing some restraint on potential U.S. rate increases,” Becketti said. “In addition, the minutes of the June meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee suggest the Federal Reserve will proceed cautiously—monitoring events both overseas and in the U.S. to ascertain the appropriate moment to begin raising short-term interest rates. As a result, mortgage rates may remain in the neighborhood of 4 percent for a while.”The recent June Federal Open Market Committee meeting revealed that although economic activity is expanding moderately and job gains are increasing, the committee decided that the federal funds rate will remain the same at a target range of 0 to ¼ percent.“The Committee continues to judge that the first increase in the federal funds rate will be appropriate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term,” said Janet Yellen, FOMC chair. “At our meeting that ended today, the Committee concluded that these conditions have not yet been achieved. It remains the case that the Committee will determine the timing of the initial increase in the federal funds rate on a meeting-by-meeting basis, depending on its assessment of incoming economic information and its implications for the economic outlook.”The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also touched on the topic of interest rates this week. They recently released their Liberty Street Economics report titled “How Sensitive Is Housing Demand to Down Payment Requirements and Mortgage Rates?” that identified how small of a role mortgage rates play in terms of housing demand.”Our findings suggest that the strength of housing demand is strongly affected by fundamentals (household wealth and income) and also the quantity of available financing (especially for first-time home buyers),” the NY Fed Reserve said. “The price of available financing (that is, the mortgage rate) may play a less important role than commonly thought, although we emphasize that our stylized setting omits certain factors, such as payment-to-income constraints, that may in reality affect households’ ability to qualify for loans.”Click here to view Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. July 10, 2015 448 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Uncategorized
September 18, 2017 584 Views Lending Women in Housing 2017-09-18 Whitney Blessington Making homebuyers’ dreams a reality is the goal of every great lender, and in the past few years, how that goal is achieved has changed—influenced by laws, technology and an emerging homebuyer demographic. This is where many articles go down the path of discussing “millennials”, but in the spirit of this month’s issue, we’re here to highlight another trend: female homebuyers. According to the 2017 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, single women are buying more houses than single men today. While the majority of total homebuyers are married couples (66 percent), 17 percent were single females (compared to single men, who comprise seven percent of the total).So, why are more females buying homes? There’s much speculation and no clear answer (although, we have some ideas). What does it mean for lenders? It’s an exciting and positive change that every lender should pay attention to; it will help them adjust their strategies to fit the shift in buyers, and continue making homeownership a reality for every borrower.Empowerment and Departure from Tradition Women today are more empowered than ever before and have a more inherent self-sufficient mindset compared to previous generations. It exceeds well beyond the mortgage industry; there are more female entrepreneurs, professors and working professionals in the workforce and for the first time ever, a female was a primary candidate for the presidency of the United States. And while there’s still much work to be done before we reach true equality, we can’t ignore the progress we’ve made so far. In addition, tradition dictated that marriage preceded a home purchase, but today, there’s a change in that thought process. Analysis of data from the National Survey of Family Growth showed that of women born in the 40s, 25 percent were unmarried by the time they reached the age of 23. Conversely, the share of unmarried 23-year olds born in the 90s is 81 percent. Under this empowerment and departure from tradition lies a fundamental characteristic of women: the desire for stability and security and the tendency to be the familial caretaker. A home defines those characteristics.As lenders, appealing to homebuyers with a variety of characteristics requires an array of targeted approaches. This isn’t anything new; borrower segmentation has been around and used for a long time and successful lenders know to be responsibly mindful of current borrower dynamics because each one brings a unique mindset to home buying that must be understood and respected. Overall, homebuyers want to understand the process and have the best education available to help create a trusted and enjoyable experience. The difference today is the diversity of the segments. A larger share of female homebuyers means making changes in two key areas:Appealing to the Female Homebuyer Lenders must take into consideration how males and females approach a home purchase. Male borrowers have a tendency to prioritize the interest rate – they’re likely to be more analytical and process-driven. Female borrowers on the other hand will relate more to the aesthetics and emotional components of the purchase (security, stability and trust). That isn’t to say that the budget is less important for the female homebuyer, but the conversation and communication leading up to the final decision is going to be different. Each requires a unique approach from a marketing perspective. For example, women tend to trust each other more than traditional advertising and tend to use social media more often than males, specifically Facebook and Instagram. They’re also more likely to follow brands. As a marketing team, this is important to keep in mind. When it comes to the home search, females tend to find the house they like and then look into the budgetary requirements (whereas males prioritize the loan and then the home search). We looked at our own sample of data, and it showed that of total applications, a larger share of men (24.5 percent) get pre-approved before completing the mortgage application compared to females (15.6 percent).What it really all comes down to is communication and making sure that the borrower is comfortable with the process. If you’re not as intimidated, then you’re more likely to get further along in the process. That is the most important thing in our business and more diversity enables lenders to connect with borrowers in a more natural and easy way. Obviously, this is good for business, but as a whole, it makes the industry more approachable. Consider a business operating in a predominately Spanish-speaking area. Having employees who can communicate has a tremendously positive impact.Diversifying Your WorkforceIn 2001, Ford Motor Marketing reported that women influenced 80 percent of all car purchases and at that time, CNW Research (an automotive marketing research firm) found that “half of new car purchases are made by women, and 53 percent of used car sales can be attributed to women.” The growing female influence changed the automotive industry—in response to the increasing share of female car buyers, repair shots and dealerships began hiring more female technicians and service managers. Not because there was a demand to be treated differently, but because there was a need to adjust to the behavior styles of female customers, to make them feel comfortable when interacting with the sales representatives and mechanics. There was noticeable change in the operations of automotive retailers, with a greater emphasis on cleanliness and appearance, which lead to a better experience for the emerging customer segment. We’ve already established that more single women are buying homes and research from the Harvard Business Review shows that women make the decision in the purchases of 91 percent of homes. It only makes more sense to have mortgage professionals who can connect and relate with female homebuyers and that’s naturally going to be a female loan officer; someone who can simply communicate and share experiences with them and provide insights in a more relatable manner.Regardless, any lender should seek mortgage professionals with exemplary character, who are caring and competent and who are driven to achieve goals in their everyday approach. It’s also important to strike a balance of the strengths of everyone, whether male or female. Each person has their own unique dynamic and it’s important to consider those dynamics when professionals approach their duties in the mortgage industry.What this Means for the IndustryWe are excited to see this shift in the mortgage industry. A diverse workforce across all levels of the mortgage industry benefits us all. Each person performing to their strengths will make the entire team stronger, which strengthens the organizations from the ground up.Females bring a different skill set to the trade that is beneficial and the effect this has on borrower service is undeniable. Breaking down the barriers to entry to the industry is critical. Lenders have to help serve and treat everyone with the same excellent service no matter what and every adjustment, big or small, must be made to ensure that borrowers are provided with the best homebuying experience. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News, Origination Women: Influencing the Mortgage Industry
HOUSING Lynn Fisher MBA mortgage Mortgage Credit Availability Mortgage Credit Availability Index 2017-12-07 Nicole Casperson in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Mortgage Credit Loosens as Investors Step In December 7, 2017 753 Views Mortgage credit availability increased 0.8 percent to 182.4 in November, indicating loosening credit. The MBA’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) attributes this increase to a rise in investor offerings.Analyzing data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool, the MCAI gauges mortgage credit availability in a given month and over time—the index was benchmarked to a rating of 100 in March 2012.The MCAI tracks four component indices: Jumbo MCAI, Conventional MCAI, Government MCAI, and Conforming MCAI. The Government MCAI includes various government loan programs such as those from the Federal Housing Association (FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The other three indices track various non-governmental loans.The Jumbo MCAI experienced the greatest increase in availability over the month—up 3.8 percent. Following suit was the 2.8 increase in the Conventional MCAI, and the 1.8 percent increase in the Conforming MCAI. Meanwhile, the Government MCAI decreased from last month—down 0.7 percent.“Mortgage credit availability increased in November driven by a net increase in investor offerings. While the number of offerings for government backed programs (FHA/VA/USDA) declined modestly, conventional offerings increased more strongly over the month among both jumbo and conforming programs,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s VP of Research and Economics.The report notes that the Conventional, Government, Conforming, and Jumbo MCAIs are constructed using the same methodology as the Total MCAI and are designed to show relative credit risk and availability for their respective index.The MCAI takes into account factors such as credit score, loan type, and loan-to-value ratio. It is updated on a monthly basis. Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Disaster Bill Moves to President’s Desk June 4, 2019 301 Views Share On Monday, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R.2940, which provides $19.1 billion in recovery funds for disaster-affected areas including Puerto Rico. The House passed the bill after a 10-day recess, voting 354-58. As the Senate had already voted to pass the bill 85-8 on May 23, the bill will now move on to President Donald Trump for his sign-off.”We must work together quickly to pass a bill that addresses the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border and provides law enforcement agencies with the funding they need,” said top Appropriations Committee Republican Kay Granger of Texas on Fox News. “The stakes are high. There are serious—life or death—repercussions if the Congress does not act.”U.S. Reps. Randy Weber and Lizzie Fletcher introduced the Bipartisan Disaster Recovery Funding Act in May with support from 13 other co-sponsors from Texas, mostly from the Houston area, as well as supporters from other communities waiting on the funding, including Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, and Puerto Rico.The Act directs federal agencies to release the $16 billion in disaster funds Congress approved in early 2018 following Hurricane Harvey to different states and territories—including more than $4 billion to Texas—within 60 days.“After Harvey hit, I fought alongside the Texas delegation to secure additional funds for Harvey survivors,” said U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul. “Unfortunately, the agencies tasked with distributing these funds did not respond with the same urgency.”According to the Texas Tribune, Texas has already received billions of dollars for Harvey recovery, but each bucket of money is designated for a specific purpose. The $4.3 billion that Congress approved for Texas last February is part of a HUD grant program designed “to help cities, counties, and States recover from Presidentially declared disasters, especially in low-income areas.”The Five Star Conference will host its Disaster Preparedness Symposium on July 31 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Natural disasters impact investors, service providers, mortgage servicers, government agencies, legal professionals, lenders, property preservation companies, and—most importantly—homeowners. The 2019 Five Star Disaster Preparedness Symposium will include critical conversations on response, reaction and assistance, to ensure the industry is ready to lend the proper support the next time a natural disaster strikes. Congress Disaster Relief House of Representatives 2019-06-04 Seth Welborn