Consumer confidence growing in region

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X Consumers in the Asia Pacific appear to be more confident in their economies, with a massive jump recorded in the recent MasterCard Consumer Confidence index.Looking ahead for the next six months the Asia Pacific region recorded a consumer index score of 66.3, nearly doubling the 38.7 score recorded in the middle of the year.  Additionally some 21 of the 24 markets surveyed achieved a positive score. “The global economy has started to stabilize in the second half of 2009; and conditions have improved especially fast in the Asia/Pacific region,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, MasterCard Worldwide Asia/Pacific Economic Advisor.“The latest findings of the overall robust rebound in consumer confidence in the region mirrors progress seen in the real economy. In some of the markets where consumer sentiments had fallen precipitously in 2008 and early 2009; their rebound has been equally sharp.”Mastercard says while it’s unlikely that economic recovery will be V-shaped, a heavy drop followed by rapid growth, it appears that consumer confidence is trending in a V-shaped rebound.Across the Asia Pacific and Middle East, the countries with the highest consumer confidence were Vietnam (90.3), Qatar (89.2), United Arab Emirates (86.1) and China (85).  The UAE Also saw the sharpest jump up as it only recorded a score of 29.6 last survey.MasterCard’s Consumer Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic, 50 being neutral, and is based on expectations in the market on the five areas Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life.last_img read more

U Chiang Mai Won Thailand Boutique Award 2010

first_imgSource = U Chiang Mai John Westoby, Chief Operating Officer of U Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce the recent award winning of U Chiang Mai for “Outstanding Award of Thailand boutique award 2010 in total experience category” for northern.Thailand Boutique Award 2010 is organized by Krungthai Card PCL collaborated and supported by Tourism Authority of Thailand, to encourage boutique hotels in Thailand to build high quality of service with creativity and effective management.Photos caption: H.E. Chumpol Silapa-archa, Minister Tourism and Sports, recently presented Outstanding Award of Thailand Boutique Award 2010 in Total Experience Category to Suchada Saengarun, GM of U Chiang Mai at Aksara Theatre King Power Complex.“This is our U Hotels & Resorts’ core brand pillar which is to reconnect, to allow guests to create their own unique experience within the location by providing a totally uncomplicated service and at the same time encouraging them to step into the local environment and experience the surrounding culture and heritage at their own pace.” said Mr. John Westoby, Chief Operating Officer of U Hotels & Resorts.last_img read more

Kamalaya Koh Samui is Awarded Destination Spa of The Year Asia

first_imgThis latest award follows on from Kamalaya’s success in 2011 winning three awards; including two awards for its cuisine voted winner of Best Conscious Cuisine at the 2011 Crystal Awards Asia Pacific in Singapore and named Spa Retreat of the Year and Spa Cuisine of the Year at the 7th Annual Asia Spa Awards in Hong Kong in November. Since opening in 2005, Kamalaya has won more than 22 awards. “It really is a great honour to win these awards.  Our vision has always been to inspire our guests and our team, and hopefully people everywhere, to live with greater health and harmony. Each award is a reminder of that vision, a confirmation that we are having an impact and a motivation for us to continue evolving and improving,” said John Stewart, Kamalaya Chairman and Co-founder. “We applaud our team as this is very much their success and it is wonderful to see their work and dedication acknowledged.” Kamalaya is located amid a lush, tropical landscape on the southern coast of Koh Samui, Thailand. The resort integrates healing practices and treatments from East and West, a beautiful natural environment, inspired healthy cuisine, customised programs and wellness retreats to offer a unique concept in personal wellbeing and holistic lifestyle possibilities. Source = Kamalaya Koh Samui Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa was honoured with the award for Destination Spa of the Year: Asia & Australasia at the World Spa awards hosted in London last night.The World Spa Awards took place at the Park Lane, Hilton after an expert panel of 7 international judges selected the finalists during a vigorous process including two site visits per application.  Kamalaya faced exceptional competition from across the world, and was shortlisted alongside three other finalists Chiva-Som International Health Resort, The Dheva Spa & Wellness Centre at The Mandarin Oriental, Chang Mai and Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat on the Gold Coast Australia.The awards included two categories across multiple territories allowing the best spa and hotel resorts to be recognised geographically. The two awards for Hotel Spa of the Year and Destination Spa of the Year were segregated into regions encompassing Asia & Australasia, America (North & South), Africa, Middle East & Africa as well as Europe. Following a visit from both an “official” judge and a “mystery” judge the final winners in each category were selected for best practice, excelling in client service with a well researched and comprehensive menu of treatments, high quality training and having a point of difference from the opposition through implementation of innovative ideas amongst other criteria.last_img read more

Vacation spending wending its way up survey

first_imgTheme park vacations are the most popular,according to the study Belying any suggestions that travelers were still tightening their belts when it came to planning for holidays, a new study has found that in fact most vacation budgets will increase in 2012.According to the Wyndham Hotel Group study, 70 per cent of travelers worldwide said they would spend the same amount or more on vacations this year as they did last year, with 35 per cent admitting to likely spending more. With deeper pockets, more than half (52%) of US travelers said they intended on spending any extra money on extending their vacations, while two-thirds (66%) of Chinese travelers confessed to doing likewise. Accommodation costs aside, American (37%), Canadian (36%) and Chinese (42%) travelers will spend the majority of their budgets on entertainment and excursions, while British (37%) and Brazilian (40%) travelers will opt to fork out more on dining and shopping.Common amongst all holidaymakers was the desire to visit a major theme park, with 43 per cent of travelers choosing this type of vacation above all else. Of those who were looking to cut back on spending, only 24 per cent said they would give up vacationing to do so, with US respondents placing the most importance on travel, putting it last on their list of items they would be willing to do without. The Wyndham survey polled over 5,600 adults in key cities throughout the United States, Brazil, Canada, China, and the United Kingdom. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Travel Partners joins ATAS

first_imgTravel Partners has joined the AFTA Tourism Accreditation Scheme (ATAS), adding further backing to the industry run accreditation scheme.The agreement means that Travel Partners accedes to the governance and standards set out by ATAS.Travel Partners managing director Jeff Hakim said ATAS provided the quality accreditation scheme that the travel industry was looking for and that all agents should adhere to a professional code of conduct.“This is very welcome news from this network and we look forward to working alongside Travel Partners in the months and years ahead” AFTA chief executive officer Jason Westbury said.“ATAS is the scheme for the travel agents of the future and Travel Partners will benefit from this differentiation ATAS brings in a de-regulated Australian travel industry”.Travel Partners is also looking for insurance for its members.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

Singapore Airlines named International Airline of the Year

first_imgSingapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ER. Image by Darren Koch via Wikimedia CommonsFor the fourth time in as many years Singapore Airlines this received the highly prestigious award of International Airline of the Year at the annual Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards in Melbourne.As judged by more than 50,000 Australians over the course of 2015, Singapore Airlines was presented the Customer Satisfaction Award for International Airline of the Year by CEO of Roy Morgan Research, Ms Michele Levine.Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President, Mr Tan Tiow Kor, thanked Roy Morgan Research and said it was incredibly humbling to receive the award for a fourth straight year.“We take great pride in the lengths we go to, to ensure we consistently maintain the highest quality of service,” Mr Tan said.“Being named International Airline of the Year is a testament to all of our staff, their efforts and dedication to achieving this success.“The Annual Roy Morgan Research Customer Satisfaction Awards are, quite rightfully, held in high regard and we feel very honoured to be recognised once again.“We are very proud of our longstanding commitment to Australia to ensure our customers are consistently provided with high quality services and products that allow them access to explore the world through our Singapore hub.“We have reinforced our commitment to the region this year with the announcement of a new service linking Canberra to Wellington and the world, additional services to Brisbane and the introduction of our new Premium Economy class to Melbourne.“Next year we will celebrate our 50th anniversary flying to Sydney and Perth, a milestone that we are incredibly proud of and we look forward to providing Australian’s with the highest quality of services to explore the world for another 50 years.”Since the Roy Morgan Research Customer Satisfaction awards were established in 2011, Singapore Airlines has been named International Airline of the year in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Fly Singapore AirlinesSource = Singapore Airlineslast_img read more

Emirates boosts capacity to Milan with second daily A380

first_imgEmirates unveiled plans to increase capacity on the Dubai-Milan route with the deployment of a second daily A380.The migration from a Boeing 777-300ER to the iconic double decker represents a capacity increase of 1,834 seats per week between the two cities; enabling more A380 to A380 connections to and from key destinations in Australia, China, South Korea and South East Asia with just one stop in Dubai.Commencing 1st October 2016, Emirates flights EK91/92 will be operated by an Airbus A380 aircraft in a 3-class configuration with 14 Private Suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 401 comfortable seats in Economy Class.Passengers in all classes will enjoy access to free Wi-Fi and over 2500 channels of films, TV shows, music and games, with an impressive selection in Italian, through ice Digital Widescreen, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system.They will also experience the famed hospitality of the airline’s multi-cultural cabin crew, with Italian speakers on all flights to and from Italy, as well as fine Italian wines and regionally inspired cuisine prepared using the finest ingredients.What’s more, First and Business Class passengers can travel to and from the airport in style with Emirates complimentary Chauffeur-drive service as well as enjoy Emirates exclusive lounges.Once onboard, passengers in premium class seating receive a luxurious amenity kit featuring Italian-made Bvlgari products and can enjoy the Emirates Onboard Lounge; First Class passengers can also take advantage of the Emirates Shower Spa to prepare for their arrival. At Milan Malpensa, Emirates offers an arrivals lounge where premium passengers can freshen up before being driven to their final destination.Emirates’ flight EK91 departs from Dubai at 15:45hrs and arrives in Milan at 20:30hrs. The outbound flight EK92 departs from Milan at 22:20hrs and arrives in Dubai at 06:25hrs the following day.The airline currently operates three daily services between Dubai and Milan, as well as a daily flight from Milan to New York JFK. From the airport, Emirates also enables seamless rail connections to over 700 train stations across Italy through its partnership with Trenitalia.The links between Milan and Emirates extend far beyond the airline’s triple daily service. Emirates has been a proud sponsor of AC Milan since 2010, with the current shirt sponsorship contract in place until the end of the 2019/20 season.Through its SkyCargo division, Emirates also facilitates the import and export of key products, connecting Italian companies to the world. In 2015, Emirates transported 22,000 tonnes of cargo from Milan including cars, marble, food products like cheese and olive oil, pharmaceuticals, clothing and shoes bound for the UAE, India, Hong Kong, USA, Australia and Mexico. Fly EmiratesSource = Emirateslast_img read more

Voting now open for the 2017 NTIA nominees

first_imgInternational Convention CentreVoting now open for the 2017 NTIA nomineesThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) wishes to congratulate all 2017 NTIA nominees as voting officially opened at 9:00am (AEDT) today.There are two separate voting forms – one for travel agents to use when voting in the supplier categories and one for suppliers to use when voting in the travel agent categories.Participants may vote for up to 5 nominees in each category.The full list of nominees is available HEREThe voting forms are available HEREVoting will run until 5:00pm (AEST) Friday 31 March and industry will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the esteemed event when they go on sale early May.The winners will be announced at the NTIA Gala Dinner on Saturday 22 July at the spectacular new International Convention Centre Ballroom in Sydney. Source = AFTA – Australian Federation of Travel Agentslast_img read more

AKARYN Hotel Group introduces exclusive activities for Women Traveller

first_imgAKARYN Hotel Group introduces exclusive activities for Women TravellersAKARYN Hotel Group introduces exclusive activities for Women TravellersAKARYN Hotel Group, the innovative Thailand-based hospitality group specialising in boutique experiences, is offering unique stay, play and learn packages created especially for independent women travellers.Following the rise of the female traveller, four of AKARYN Hotel Group properties in Thailand are giving women the opportunity to enjoy an array of engaging experiences and learn new skills during a 4 Day, 3 Night stay known as the Deluxe Doyenne package.Upon arrival, female guests will enjoy the aroma of an evocative scent emanating from an oil burner or candle in their room as they savour a refreshing welcome drink and healthy snacks. Then on the second day of the stay, they can participate in an ‘Art of Hospitality’ course with an introduction to floral design led by a professional florist, along with lessons on how to make a selection of creative canapés and cocktails – skills they can put to good use when hosting a gathering or entertaining friends back home.On the third day, different activities are available at each of the participating properties:At akyra Beach Club Phuket, learn surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, or develop basic DJ skills with the resort’s resident DJ using a special smartphone app.At akyra Manor Chiang Mai, absorb the hotel’s design driven surroundings and pick up a brush to learn the art of painting from a local artist.At Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa, learn the basics of Thai massage, yoga or Thai boxing from experienced instructors.At Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa, visit the resort’s own organic farm, learn about Thai herbs and their benefits, then see how they are used at the Aleenta kitchen and Ayurah Spa.Meeting the needs of modern travellers has always been a priority for Akaryn Hotel Group. The company’s Founder and Managing Director, Anchalika Kijkanakorn, is a highly successful female Asian entrepreneur, and she makes it a priority to ensure hotel staff members are well trained to be responsive to female travellers.“Twenty years ago, independent females travellers were somewhat of an anomaly and certainly not the norm when compared to other demographics,” she says. “Today, women are not only an important guest segment, but they also create new trends for the industry while providing invaluable insights into hotel operations.”“With this new package we hope to make stays for women in some of Thailand’s most popular destinations more enjoyable and fulfilling than ever, while also giving them new skills to learn along the way.” she adds.Visit and for more information on AKARYN Hotel Group’s new Delexe Doyenne package, or contact E-mail: to make a booking.Source = Akaryn Hotel Grouplast_img read more

Quest Maribyrnong opening meets demand for premium accommodation

first_imgSource = Quest Apartment Hotels Quest MaribyrnongQuest Maribyrnong opening meets demand for premium accommodationDoors have officially opened at Quest Maribyrnong at 2 Wests Road, the fourth Quest Apartment Hotels’ property in Melbourne’s inner north-west, increasing the brand’s offering by 78 rooms.Strategically located, Quest Maribyrnong is well connected to the north-west’s commercial and industrial areas, such as Laverton, Altona and Brooklyn. The property also benefits from close proximity to a number of key drivers, including; Highpoint Shopping Centre, Footscray & Sunshine Hospitals, Victoria University and Melbourne Airport. The development of Quest Maribyrnong comes at an exciting period of growth within the City of Maribyrnong, with major projects including the Maribyrnong Defence Site, a 127-hectare redevelopment site expected to be large enough for 3,000-6,000 new homes, and the West Gate Tunnel, a $6 billion new tunnel from the West Gate Freeway to Maribyrnong.Quest Apartment Hotels General Manager – Growth, James Shields said the property will continue to create significant local job opportunities, with ongoing full-time, part-time and casual roles available.“The opening of Quest Maribyrnong, combined with the scheduled opening of four more Quest properties in the Melbourne metro area within the next seven months,ndemonstrates a continuation of Quest’s assertive growth strategy within Quest’s heartland, Melbourne,” said Mr Shields.“Local business is thriving in Maribyrnong, with more than 6500 businesses operating within the city. Construction accounts for 12.1 per cent of these businesses, which is a clear indicator of future growth.”Quest Maribyrnong franchisees Scott Orchard and Anand Sangwan, expressed their excitement about joining the Quest network.“Being part of such a prestigious organisation gives us great confidence in our new business. Quest’s reputation, paired with its extensive internal support systems, have set us up for success in the future,” said Mr Sangwan.“We are very confident in the strength of the Maribyrnong market. The Health Care and Manufacturing sectors are booming, providing jobs to locals as well as attracting business travellers. Quest Maribyrnong is well placed to provide much needed short andlong term accommodation in the area.”Quest Maribyrnong features 78 apartments – a mix of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments. The property is ideal for business travellers, colleagues or larger groups looking for a home away from home experience, with fully-equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, meeting and conference facilities, business lounge and on site gymnasium.The broad pipeline of 14 new property openings over the next 18 months across Australia, New Zealand and the UK, shows substantial growth for Quest. In addition to Maribyrnong, this includes properties in Epping, St Kilda Road, Notting Hill, Burwood East and NewQuay (VIC); South Perth foreshore (WA); Penrith and Orange (NSW); Quest on Manchester, Quest Tauranga Central, Quest on Tuam and Quest Mount Eden (NZ) and Liverpool (UK).For more information visit read more

Google maps to get offline search

first_imgGoogle recently announced that its hugely popular map app, Google Maps, will soon be available offline, along with its turn-by-turn navigation features.The offline features announced for Google Maps are mainly intended for ‘emerging markets’ where mobile internet connection is spotty, and data charges expensive, since navigation via GPS is independent of mobile networks. Google in the past had introduced offline rerouting during navigation which could reroute users even if they lose their internet connection. Now, the entire navigation will be available offline. The offline features will also come in handy for those users who are travelling to less connected spots, or for those who are searching for direction when travelling in underground metros or via flights.The offline search feature would let users to search for places and points of interest, with results including auto complete suggestions as well as reviews, contact numbers, opening hours and other necessary information.last_img read more

Vincent Darre

first_imgOTM 2017 has proved to be an excellent platform to meet a variety of business partners from different destinations. The response has been excellent and we have created good business opportunities. The quality of the show illustrates that OTM has gathered the right people at the right place.last_img

Road Trippers club a community of road trip enthusiasts around India

first_imgRoad Trippers Club is a non-profit passionately growing community of roadtrippers which is fuelled with the idea of enabling people to discover new places, people and experiences. It has chapters in eight cities — Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, and Hyderabad.Speaking exclusively to Travel News Digest, Ruchik Gandhi, Core Community Member, Road Trippers Club explained the brain storming behind the initiative, he commented, “Road Trippers Club (RTC) is a passionately, fast-growing community for people who like hitting the road, meeting new people and discovering new experiences. It is a community of beginners and enthusiasts who help each other in making road trips safer and more fun.”Explaining further, Gandhi added, “We have observed a growing tribe of people who may not know each other but come together for the common joy of travelling, road tripping, discovery and getting out of the city. RTC facilitates such people to come together and make the tribe bigger and catalyse the shifting idea of a weekend from 5 km radius to 500 km, from clubs in the cities to chai in the hills.Speaking about the Indian tourism sector, Gandhi quipped, “We feel that the Indian tourism sector is at its inflection point with more and more city dwellers wanting to live the weekend life. We see many of them who have cut down on their long expensive holiday plans and instead take shorter but more frequent getaways.”“More Indians are also opting for travel choices which are not bound to any itinerary,” he added. Gandhi said that places like Leh and Ladakh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are ideal locations for a perfect road trip in India.While concluding, Gandhi said, “Road trip to us is the most honest and grounded way of discovering places near us, meeting people and experiencing new.”last_img read more

Ellie Mae Adds New Chief Information Officer

first_imgEllie Mae Adds New Chief Information Officer Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology January 27, 2012 410 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-01-27 Abby Gregory “”Ellie Mae””, one of the top providers of automation solutions for the residential mortgage industry, announced today that David Robins would be joining their team as chief information officer (CIO).[IMAGE]Robbins is the former chief technology officer (CTO) of “”NetApp, Inc.””, a provider of storage and data management solutions. According to the statement released by Ellie Mae, the newly created position at Ellie Mae will enable Robbins to design, manage and assure the reliability of Ellie Mae’s data center operations in support of the company’s expanding software as a service (SaaS) business model. Other responsibilities will include managing the company’s MIS, data security and technical operations. In November Ellie Mae announced their expansion of its technology and [COLUMN_BREAK]operations team in order to address growth and build next generation systems; this team is to be directed under the supervision of Robbins.In the six years spent at NetApp, Inc., the last four years were spent as CTO, where Robbins developed a program to demonstrate best practice deployments and business impacts of storage and data management capabilities, and a technology roadmap and adoption strategy for IT systems, networks and storage. From 2005 to 2008, as NetApp’s vice president of global infrastructure, he managed complex systems of highly integrated Tier 1 applications and custom Tier 2 and Tier 3 applications, networks, telephony, data centers and infrastructure. Within his 30-year career, Robbins has held a variety of managerial positions at “”Totality Corporation””, “”Electronic Data Systems””:, and “”Capgemini”” Jonathan Corr, the COO of Ellie Mae, commented in a press release from Ellie Mae, “”Ellie Mae has experienced a four-fold increase in its SaaS user base. As we transition from an enterprise solution to SaaS, the reliability of our system becomes paramount, and the role of CIO even more critical.”” Corr continued, “”David’s expertise will enable him to fast track out IT architecture and infrastructure transformations to accommodate the significant growth we are experiencing and to help deliver sustained client satisfaction. He is an excellent addition to the team.””last_img read more

Avison Young to Expand Operations in the Southeast

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-10-17 Abby Gregory Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Announcing an acquisition deal with “”Thomas Linderman Graham Inc.””:, a commercial real estate services company in Raleigh, North Carolina, Canada-based “”Avison Young””: is continuing its U.S. expansion. Through its purchase agreement with Thomas Linderman Graham, Avison Young will open two new offices in the state.[IMAGE]The deal, which is expected to close in approximately two weeks, will target the growth of Avison Young’s market and business-line coverage in the Southeast region. [COLUMN_BREAK]Additionally, Avison Young will gain 61 employees, as well as eight new company principals.John Linderman, president and COO of Thomas Linderman Graham; Rex Thomas, the company’s CEO; Jack Graham; Lee Clyburn; William Allen; Arnold Siegmund; Gina Ide; and Elizabeth Gates will become principals for Avison Young. Linderman is also set to act as managing director for Avison Young’s Raleigh office, and in his new role, Linderman will be responsible for overusing the development of the company’s presence throughout the state.””This latest expansion reflects the strong emphasis that Avison Young places on partnering with companies that employ a client-centric business approach in order to deliver the highest-quality service,”” stated Avison Young’s chairman and CEO, Mark E. Rose.””The Thomas Linderman Graham is team-driven and client-focused, and will help us grow our business throughout the important markets in North Carolina where many key clients – including strategic occupiers, users and global investors – are headquartered,”” Rose concluded.center_img October 17, 2012 491 Views Avison Young to Expand Operations in the Southeastlast_img read more

Experts Voice Concern on Fed Policies

first_img Share May 8, 2013 426 Views A majority of real estate experts responding to a recent “”Zillow””: survey expressed some concern that the Federal Reserve’s current policies could lead to another housing bubble. [IMAGE]Only 4 percent of respondents are not at all worried about a bubble resulting from the Fed’s monetary “”policy””: that is keeping mortgage rates down. However, 48 percent see the Fed’s policies as “”a little risky,”” and the remaining 48 percent categorized the risk as “”moderate to high risk.”” “”How the Federal Reserve handles the eventual winding down of its policy of quantitative easing will be critical in determining if the current period of rapid appreciation is a benign bounce off the bottom or a more dangerous bubble being re-inflated,”” said Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. The more than 100 survey respondents expect home prices to continue their upward trajectory this year and over the next few years. However, the general consensus is that price increases will slow after the next year or so. [COLUMN_BREAK] Experts expect prices to end this year 5.4 percent higher than their level at the start of the year. After ending 2012 at $156,800, the median price would end this year at $165,280, according to this forecast. From 2015 through 2017, experts suggest a more modest rise per year of 3.5 to 3.7 percent. A cumulative rise of 22.3 percent is forecasted through 2017, according to Zillow’s survey. The accelerated appreciation over the next year is “”consistent with a market struggling to satisfy strong demand from buyers attracted by rock-bottom interest rates and improving economic conditions,”” Humphries said. However, as interest rates eventually move up from their current lows, price appreciation must slow or homes will “”look very expensive relative to people’s incomes as it gets more costly to finance a home,”” Humphries said. The Zillow survey, conducted by Pulsenomics, also inquired about whether the definition of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM) should include a minimum down payment. “”Contrary to concerns expressed by certain policymakers, only a small minority of our expert panelists believe that including a minimum down payment requirement in QRM would pose a threat to the housing recovery,”” said Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics. About 81 percent support the idea of a minimum down payment requirement, although a minority–about one-third–support a down payment requirement of 20 percent or more. in Datacenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Federal Reserve Home Prices Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers Zillow 2013-05-08 Krista Franks Brock Experts Voice Concern on Fed Policieslast_img read more

Veterans United Selects Encompass360 as Mortgage Management Solution

first_img Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Ellie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-05-29 Tory Barringer May 29, 2013 426 Views “”Ellie Mae””:, a California-based provider of enterprise level, on-demand automated solutions for the residential mortgage industry, announced that “”Veterans United””: has selected Encompass360 as its mortgage management solution.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]””We want to provide the best customer experience that a veteran or active military member will find anywhere,”” said Leigh Ann Wanserski, COO of Maryland-based Veterans United. “”When we look to bring in new partners, those decisions are always made with our customers as top priority. We absolutely have to ensure the home buying process will be faster and easier–that’s what we are hoping to see.””Veterans United chose Encompass360 after spending more than a year evaluating various loan origination systems.””Being selected by a discerning lender like Veterans United speaks volumes about the confidence they have in Ellie Mae and the advantages that our SaaS [software as a service] model combined with Success-Based Pricing bring to a business,”” said Jonathan Corr, president and COO of Ellie Mae. We’re always happy to be selected, but it is particularly gratifying when your software is being used to help veterans, who have given so much for their country.””center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Veterans United Selects Encompass360 as Mortgage Management Solutionlast_img read more

Credit Plus Expands Debt Verification Offerings

first_imgCredit Plus Expands Debt Verification Offerings in Data, Origination Share “”Credit Plus””:, a mortgage information company with headquarters in Maryland, announced it has expanded its Undisclosed Debt Verifications service to offer updates from all three credit bureaus.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]With the improved product, lenders can receive undisclosed debt verifications from one, two, or all three bureaus, gaining information about new tradelines, inquiries, secondary reissues, bankruptcies, late payments, and more–giving them a greater view of each applicant’s financial standing and assuring loans meet GSE purchase requirements.””Credit Plus prides itself on being at the forefront of the industry, delivering solutions that enable lenders to make sound lending decisions,”” said Greg Holmes, national director of sales and marketing for Credit Plus. “”Undisclosed Debt Verifications from all three bureaus, provide lenders with the information they need to help ensure they are in compliance with GSE requirements.””center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2014-01-13 Tory Barringer January 13, 2014 433 Views last_img read more

Goldman Sachs Earnings Suffer the Aftershocks of RMBS Settlement

first_img Share January 20, 2016 618 Views Earnings Statement Goldman Sachs Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Settlement 2016-01-20 Staff Writer As expected, fourth quarter earnings for Goldman Sachs took a huge blow as a result of last week’s announced settlement for $5.1 billion to resolve claims of mortgage-backed securities fraud. The investment banking firm’s Q4 2015 net earnings totaled $765 million, approximately one-third of the $2.17 billion net earnings reported for the prior-year quarter, according to the firm’s Q4 and full year 2015 earnings statement released Wednesday.Goldman Sachs’ net earnings for the full year of 2015 were $6.08 billion, down from $8.48 billion in 2014. Earnings per common share were reported at $12.14 for 2015, having been reduced by $6.53 due to the RMBS settlement.Despite the substantial decline in net earnings and earnings per common share, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein characterized the results as “solid.”“We are pleased that our diversified business mix allowed us to deliver solid results in a year characterized by uneven global economic activity,” Blankfein said. “Looking ahead, we believe our strong global client franchise leaves us well positioned to generate superior returns over the long term.”“Looking ahead, we believe our strong global client franchise leaves us well positioned to generate superior returns over the long term.”Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEOThe settlement, announced on Friday, January 15, concluded an investigation by the Presidential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group of the U.S. Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (RMBS Working Group) relating to Goldman Sachs’ securitization, underwriting and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007. The fraud allegations were brought about by the U.S. Department of Justice, the New York and Illinois Attorneys General, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Federal Home Loan Banks of Chicago and Seattle. As part of the settlement, Goldman Sachs admitted no wrongdoing and no executives from the firm will be prosecuted.Goldman Sachs paid significantly more in non-compensation expenses for both Q4 and the full year 2015 as a result of the settlement. For the full year, non-compensation expenses rose by 30 percent up to $12.36 billion due to the higher net provisions for mortgage-related litigation and regulatory matters in 2015 than in 2014 ($4.01 billion compared to $754 million), according to the firm’s announcement. Non-compensation expenses for Q4 2015 were $4.14 billion, which was a 64 percent increase from the year-ago quarter and a 68 percent leap from Q3—again due to higher net provisions for mortgage-related litigation and regulatory matters. In both cases, the increases were partially offset by lower depreciation and amortization expenses.U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) blasted the settlement, calling it a “farce” on herFacebook page earlier this week.“In the 2008 financial crisis, we lost trillions in wealth and millions of people lost their homes and their jobs because of Wall Street recklessness,” Warren wrote. “Today, Goldman Sachs announced it will pay $5.1 billion for its role in precipitating the economic collapse by misleading investors about the quality of the junk mortgage securities they peddled. Seven years later. No admission of guilt. No individuals are going to jail. A payment that’s barely a fraction of the billions investors lost—and the trillions our economy lost—because of this fraud. And over half of it could be tax deductible! That’s not justice–it’s a white flag of surrender.”Click here to see Goldman Sachs’ entire Q4 and full year 2015 earnings statement.center_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination, Secondary Market Goldman Sachs’ Earnings Suffer the Aftershocks of RMBS Settlementlast_img read more

Mortgage Apps Continue to Climb

first_img The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey on Wednesday, covering the week ending November 10, 2017. Mortgage applications were trending positive yet again, up 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous week. An an unadjusted basis, that number would be 2 percent week-over-week. It’s worth noting, however, that the week’s results do not include an adjustment to account for the Veterans’ Day holiday.One data point that stands out in this week’s report is that the average contract interest rate for both 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are both sitting at their highest levels since March 2017. Fifteen-year FRMs jumped from 3.51 percent to 3.54, and 5/1 ARMs increased from 3.33 percent to 3.41 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs, however, held fast at 4.05 percent.Here’s a look at some of the other numbers for the week.The Refinance Index increased 6 percent from the previous week, reaching its highest level since October 2017.The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 0.4 percent week-over-week.The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent. This puts it 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago.The refinance share of mortgage activity hit 51.3 percent of total applications, the highest level since September 2017. Last week it was at 49.0 percent.On the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) front, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.2 percent, compared to 10.6 the previous week. VA share of total applications saw a negligible bump, increasing to 10.1 percent from 10.0 percent. The USDA share of total applications held steady at 0.7 percent.The MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey examines more than 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, with respondents including mortgage banks, commercial banks, and thrifts. contract interest rates FHA loans Interest rates MBA mortgage survey USDA loan VA VA loan Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey 2017-11-15 David Wharton Mortgage Apps Continue to Climb Sharecenter_img November 15, 2017 664 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, journal, News, Originationlast_img read more