The Ritz Carlton attracted by ritzy land offer

first_imgThe building consortium behind the project is Far East, a large Asian development company. The hotel, which will be based at Elizabeth Quay, is purportedly worth AUD $32 million and will cover 3200sqm, the West Australian reported. Planning Minister, John Day also said that the residential lot went for market rate, and that hotel went for a rate that would help facilitate a “world class hotel”. However, the Opposition’s Rita Saffioi has slammed the move, saying that the government’s focus should be on restoring money to education and that the land was going for a bargain basement price. Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett, said that the land would be sold for AUD $25 million as well as an undisclosed amount from the sale of 420 apartments.center_img The Australian Hotels Association disagreed, saying that Australians should look at the economic and social benefits of having another premium hotel rather than office block.  Source = ETB News: Tom Neale The Ritz Carlton Hotel Group has received approval from the Barnett government in Western Australia to build a hotel on prime Swan riverfront.last_img read more

PM Badgerys Creek airport to get big transport boost

first_imgThe rail corridor would be used to expedite the building of the South West rail link, which is being entirely funded by the state government.   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has foreshadowed that Australian and NSW governments will commit AUD $3.5 billion to upgrading transport links around the newly defined airport at Badgerys Creek. The package was released yesterday by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Transport Minister Warren Truss yesterday and consists entirely of road plans, The Guardian Australia reported. Nevertheless, a spokesperson from the Australian Department of Infrastructure told The Guardian Australia that allowance would be made for a rail link in the design of Badgerys Creek. A “potential rail corridor” is only mentioned in passing in the plans but no money, timelines or specific routes are detailed. In terms of the road plans, an upgrade to the Northern Road to a minimum of four lanes from Narellan to the M4 motorway. However, the upgrades are expected to create 4000 jobs and be 80 per cent funded by the Commonwealth, Mr Abbott said. Mr Abbott has ruled out deviation from the Commonwealth’s existing airport plan.  The Labor Opposition transport spokesperson, Anthony Albanese, said that the road plans would not work without complementary rail infrastructure. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale There will also be a new north-east motorway between the North Road and the M7 motorway, while other local roads will be upgraded.last_img read more

Travel South USA entices Aussies

first_imgGood old fashioned Southern hospitality was on full display at the Travel South USA workshop and sales mission, held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney last night.The evening focused on informing travel agents of the unique experiences available to tourists in the southern states of South USA, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee, presenting the best of the South’s music, cuisine, culture and hospitality.In a prelude to last night’s event, an exclusive reception with Travel South USA representatives was held at the Double Bay residence of the Consul General of the United States of America, Hugo Llorens, on Monday night, with a special performance from Southern born and bread musician, Damien Horne.Addressing his guests at the reception, Mr Llorens spoke about the increasing importance of the United States’ long-lasting relationship with Australia, noting that the Prime Minister Abbott’s recent visit to the States was of great significance to the bilateral relationship.“The USA’s focus on this region reflects a fundamental truth – like Australia, we are an Asia Pacific nation and have, in fact, been committed to this region since 1836 when the first US consul was appointed to Sydney, making it the oldest, continuous diplomatic establishment in the Asia Pacific” Mr Llorens said.The trade and investment relationship between the two countries remains robust and strong, reaching one trillion dollars in total trade and investment, with tourism a major part of that investment.US travel and tourism exports count for 34 percent of US exports to Australia and with the US ranking as the number one long haul destination for Australians, Aussies are travelling to and spending money in the USA in record numbers.“Aussies are big spenders, enjoying shopping, wining and dining, tours, visiting attractions and historical and cultural sites, attending concerts and plays and they continue to spend more than ever before, with a record USD $6 billion dollars spent in 2013, a 12 percent increase on the previous year.”As one of the best performing origin countries, Australia has registered nine straight record years and with Qantas launching direct flights to Dallas Fort Worth in September, another record growth is forecast this year, expected to see visitor numbers to the Southern states increase significantly.“The entire travel South region has so much to offer to Australian travellers – from mountains to beaches, bayous to bustling cities, swamps to spas, alligators to antebellum mansions, South USA is abundant with unique, true American offerings in history, culture, cuisine and music.”Back row: Jennifer Littlejohn, Director of Marketing Tennessee Tourism, Geoffrey Hutton, C.E.O. Kent Marketing Sydney, Lisa Catron, National Sales Manager Memphis CVB, Kevin Langston, Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Georgia, Jonathan Lyons, Director of Public Relations Memphis CVB, Damian Horne, Singer/Songwriter Nashville, Lee Sentell, Director of Alabama Tourism, Liz Bittner, Executive Director Travel South USA.Front row: Kim Priez, Vice President of Tourism New Orleans CVB, Laurel Bennett, Director of Tourism Sales Nashville, Deana Ivey, Chief marketing Officer Nashville CVB, Mindy Shea, Director of Travel and tourism Industry Sales, Visit Savannah, Brandon Barnes, Director of International Sales Atlanta CVB, Carolyn Mears, Director of Sales Graceland/ Elvis Presley Enterprises.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

Australias newest boutique hotel opens on Mollymook Beach

first_imgBannisters Hotels have expanded their portfolio by opening their new coastal boutique hotel — Bannisters Pavilion.The new boutique hotel offers 32 stylish guest rooms and 2 luxurious penthouse suites, with a stunning backdrop of Eucalyptus trees. The hotel is set back from Mitchell Parade and Beach Road, steps away from Mollymook Beach which is famous for its natural beauty, surf breaks, and unspoilt coastline.A highlight of Bannisters Pavilion is the expansive rooftop lined with sun beds, umbrellas, private lounge spaces, a bar-and-grill and spectacular suspended pool, providing the ideal coastal getaway.The rooftop is designed to allow guests to seamlessly move between the pool, bar-and-grill and lounge areas to take full advantage of the food & beverage options, available from noon.Food is inspired by Mediterranean, Southern Californian and Mexican cuisines, complemented by seasonal cocktails, craft beers and an Antipodean-focused wine list. The first menu is included below.Bannisters Pavilion is a collaboration between owner Peter Cosgrove, architect Tony Freeman (Molnar Freeman), interior designers Mia Ward (Wiwa Design), Romy Alwill (Alwill Interiors) and landscape designer William Dangar.The hotel secured a grant from Destination NSW to help with the quality of the fitout, seeing copper lights in the Rooftop Bar area, larger bathrooms in all of the rooms and a stunning double height lobby area with contemporary furniture and fittings.Situated just 100 metres from the beach, the design ethos focuses as much on the Eucalyptus trees as its stunning aqua backdrop. “Design inspiration was drawn from the natural beauty of the area and represents accent colours from both forest-and-sea,” said Romy Alwill.Bannisters Pavilion represents an extraordinary tourism project for Mollymook Beach and the NSW South Coast, a blossoming region only a three-hour drive from Sydney and two-and-a-half hours from Canberra.Telephone reservations have opened on (02) 4455 3044. Guest rooms start from AUD$255 and Penthouses AUD$398. Bannisters Pavilion Source = Bannisters Hotelslast_img read more

Watch Qantas new safety video

first_imgFriendly Australians and stunning destinations are the stars of a new Qantas safety video that showcases Australia as an amazing place to visit.Due to screen on hundreds of Qantas flights a day to a global audience of almost 30 million people a year, the short video features Australians from all walks of life talking passengers through the on-board safety instructions against the backdrop of locations across the country.The scenarios featured in the video include:An oxygen mask demonstration at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart;A life-jacket demonstration at Bondi Icebergs;A brace position demonstration during a yoga class on Hamilton Island;Counting rows to the exit on a Yarra Valley winery; andAn emergency slide demonstration at Josephine Falls in Queensland, among others.The video will be introduced across Qantas’ domestic and international fleet from February, as well as featuring on the airline’s online channels. While the video is first and foremost a safety communication, it will also form the basis of a new tourism campaign.Qantas and Tourism Australia will work together over the next 12 months to promote the locations featured and maximise the benefits for local tourism operators. In particular, Tourism Australia will lend its social media marketing power, helping the video reach millions of people globally.The campaign comes at a time when tourism is growing at the fastest rate since the Sydney Olympics, setting new records for visitor numbers and spending, with huge potential growth to come.Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the video was a unique platform to promote the local tourism industry and capture the confident-but-relaxed Aussie personality that visitors tend to fall in love with.“We’ve experimented with different settings for our safety videos over the years, but this time we saw an opportunity to celebrate Australia itself,” Mr Joyce said.“The result is something that we believe is really special and powerful, but warm, funny and down to earth at the same time, because it’s about everyday Australians.“We’re confident that it’s going to grab people’s attention and get them focused on the safety information that every Qantas customer needs to know.“It’s a video that people can really connect with, and there’s an opportunity to expand its reach by sharing it online and through social media – giving it a dual purpose as promotion for Australian tourism.“With the headwind of a lower dollar we have the potential to create a new tourism boom in this country. I’m proud that Qantas is leading the way, not just through our global marketing efforts but by adding flights and seats and expanding our partnerships with the world’s biggest airlines.” Fly QantasSource = Qantaslast_img read more

MSC Cruises to build an unprecedented 11 new ships

first_imgMSC SeasideMSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, announced today that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of up to four over 200,000 GRT LNG-powered cruise ships.The additional four new ships, the first one of which would be delivered in 2022, will be based on an advanced new next-generation prototype and will form what will be known as the “World Class” of MSC Cruises ships.This major announcement was made at the Élysée Palace Paris, France, in the presence of the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, MSC Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Mr Gianluigi Aponte, and STX France’s CEO Mr Laurent Castaing.MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude. Spanning a horizon of over ten years, from 2014 through to 2026, a total of up to eleven next-generation ships are expected to be built.The new orders would reflect an additional €4 billion investment, bringing the total value of the Company’s 10-plus years investment plan to nearly €9 billion.Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, declared: “Today’s announcement is further proof that this industry presents significant opportunities for additional growth going forward for both our brand and product, as well as of our firm commitment to be best-positioned to capture them to the fullest. For this reason, our ten-plus year investment plan now encompasses up to eleven new MSC Cruises ships, coming into service between 2017 and 2026.“It is also a reflection of our constant commitment to innovation, as we partner with STX France to design yet again a completely new prototype – already the sixth in our history. In yet another industry-first, the new MSC Cruise World Class prototype will feature a record-breaking, futuristically-conceived design that will make the ship a truly unique place to be at sea, whilst maximizing the open air space available to guests.“Our long-standing focus on innovation will make the new prototype quite unlike anything currently existing in the cruise industry. It will be: the richest in amenities and features for all guests, including families,; cutting edge in design; feature the latest and best state-of-the-art smart technology at sea as well as use the most-advanced environmentally-friendly technology available. Moreover, it will be a ship for all seasons and for all regions.”The four ships provided under the LOI – two firm orders and two further options – will be delivered in 2022, 2024, 2025 and in 2026. They will feature a GRT in excess of 200,000 tonnes, more than 2,700 cabins and approx. 5,400 lower berths occupancy capacity.MSC Cruises’ investment plan includes current orders with STX France for two Meraviglia and two further Meraviglia-Plus Class ships as well as orders with Fincantieri shipyard in Italy for up to three next-generation Seaside Class ships. The €9 billion investment plan encompassed the recently completed €200 million Renaissance Programme with four of the current 12 of the Company’s fleet, already the most modern at sea within Europe, which was also carried out by Fincantieri. MSC CruisesSource = MSC Cruiseslast_img read more

Third Ramada Suites announced for Auckland

first_imgThird Ramada Suites announced for AucklandWyndham Hotel Group today announced its third Ramada Suites in Auckland – Ramada Suites Victoria Street West, Auckland – which will also be the company’s twelfth property in New Zealand.The hotel’s prime CBD location of 147 Victoria Street West is the site of the historically significant former Cambridge clothing factory, and is within walking distance of the waterfront district, the city’s famous Sky Tower, shopping centres, galleries, parks, SkyCity Casino and excellent restaurants and bars.Construction has begun and is slated to be complete late in 2018. With a mix of hotel and residential accommodation, the property will feature studios, executive suites and one-bedroom apartments, all with kitchen facilities and either harbour or city views featuring the Sky Tower.In Auckland, Ramada Victoria Street West is the third franchise agreement between Wyndham Hotel Group and local developer Safari Group. The 66-room Ramada Suites Albany, Auckland North Shore opened in March this year, and the 42-room Ramada Suites Auckland, Federal Street, opened in 2015. Once complete, Ramada Victoria Street West will be managed by BT Group, which also manages three other Wyndham Hotel Group properties in New Zealand.Safari Group Director Robert Neil said the company has been working with a conservation architect and Heritage New Zealand to appropriately retain the important historic appeal of the site.“Gaining the necessary approvals for our vision required hard work and thorough planning, and we believe the end result will be something that guests will value and the public will see as a respectful and attractive merging of historic and modern Auckland,” he said.During construction, the Cambridge factory’s heritage-listed Graham Street and Victoria Street West facades – which date back to 1901 – will be reinforced and retained, while the interior will be refitted and remodelled for office space. Internal architecture from the building will also feature in the new construction project.“Auckland continues to see strong growth and development thanks to rising visitor numbers,” commented Barry Robinson, Wyndham Hotel Group’s President and Managing Director, South East Asia and Pacific Rim.“This is driving increased interest from developers for globally known brands like Ramada and others offered by Wyndham Hotel Group, which are well positioned to meet the emerging needs of travellers in the region. New Zealand is a key region of focus for Wyndham Hotel Group and to help meet growing demand, we have established a strong partnership with the Safari Group which has opened four hotels opened throughout the country and two more in the pipeline.”Ramada Victoria Street West will participate in Wyndham Hotel Group’s award-winning, market-leading rewards program, Wyndham Rewards®. The world’s simplest, most generous hotel loyalty program, members earn a guaranteed 1,000 points with every qualified stay and can redeem a free night at more than 8,000 hotels worldwide for just 15,000 points per night or any of more than 17,000 vacation condos and homes for just 15,000 points per bedroom, per night.Source = Wyndham Hotel Grouplast_img read more

Norwegian Cruise Line announces Norwegian Breakaway

first_imgNorwegian Cruise Line announces Norwegian BreakawayNorwegian Cruise Line announces Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Cruise Line today announced an update to the line’s 2018/2019 deployment, offering guests an exciting new opportunity to set sail from the Port of New Orleans to their dream Caribbean destinations on one of the line’s newest and largest ships. After returning from her summer  2018 season in the Baltic, the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Breakaway will reposition from the Big Apple to the Big Easy for her winter 2018/19 season and cruise to the Caribbean, visiting  ports of call including Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and the beautiful island destination of Harvest Caye, Belize. Harvest Caye offers a diverse, enriching experience highlighting the natural beauty and culture of Belize along with lush native landscaping, a swim up pool bar, luxury beach villas, private pool cabanas, thrilling aerial activities and water sports. The destination also features the first ever pier in Belize that allows guests to walk straight off the ship and into paradise. Norwegian Gem, a fan favorite Jewel-class ship, will now sail from New York City for the winter 2018/19 season.“Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest and newest ship from Norwegian to sail from New Orleans, and we are thrilled to bring our signature Breakaway-class ship to this important homeport,” said Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We want to provide more opportunities for our guests across the country to explore beautiful destinations and enjoy all of the spectacular features of our newest ships, along with the freedom and flexibility that only a Norwegian cruise can offer.”With theWith the overwhelming positive response to Norwegian Bliss’ deployment to the West Coast next year, Norwegian is providing guests another new departure port to experience Norwegian’s signature cruise vacation. By repositioning the 145,655 gross ton Norwegian Breakaway to New Orleans, Norwegian is offering a more convenient departure port along with a newer and larger ship for cruisers sailing from the Crescent City to explore. Norwegian Breakaway will delight cruisers of all ages, as she features a wide variety of accommodations, from Studios for the solo cruiser to the exclusive, all-suite luxurious enclave, The Haven by Norwegian®; more than 25 different dining venues; an exhilarating aqua park with five slides and a thrilling ropes course with zip lines and The Plank; signature Broadway entertainment including Rock of Ages and so much more. Norwegian Breakaway, which debuted in 2013, was the first ship in the line’s signature Breakaway class, and features The Waterfront, a quarter-mile promenade deck with waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment, along with 678 Ocean Place, a three-story complex at the heart of the ship where guests can enjoy nightlife, gaming and more. The ship will undergo a two-week dry dock next spring, and will receive a full refresh in public spaces, including new flooring, updated furniture, new décor and new carpeting in staterooms. Norwegian Breakaway will arrive in her new homeport of New Orleans on November 11, 2018 and will sail a variety of cruises to the Caribbean through April 7, 2019.“The Port of New Orleans values our close partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and appreciates the addition of Norwegian Breakaway to the cruise schedule next year. The passengers who begin and end their Norwegian Breakaway cruise from our historical city will experience Port NOLA’s commitment to high level service and the Crescent City’s vibrant energy,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO. “Our cruise business contributes significantly to the hospitality industry’s regional economic impact and we are pleased to welcome the largest ship we have ever accommodated.”The recently refurbished Norwegian Gem will remain in New York City and sail a series of cruises to the Caribbean, Canada & New England and the Bahamas & Florida.  She will share her Manhattan homeport with Norwegian Escape, which will reposition for summer 2018 for the first time since she was christened in 2015, sailing from New York City to Bermuda on seven-day cruises every Sunday beginning April 22, 2018. Norwegian Escape features entertainment from the Tony-award winning After Midnight and critically-acclaimed For the Record: The Brat Pack, along with a bevy of food and beverage concepts including the District Brewhouse featuring 25 beers on tap and including a selection of popular craft beers; the upscale food emporium, Food Republic; and The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine bar.Guests currently booked onboard Norwegian Gem from New Orleans will have their reservations protected and will be automatically moved to the new vessel and itinerary. Norwegian Breakaway’s new Caribbean itineraries from New Orleans will open for sale on October 24.To book a cruise aboard one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s signature ships, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.Source = Norwegian Cruise Linelast_img read more

Avani Samui Invites Guests to Discover the Lesser Travelled Islands

first_imgAvani+ Samui Invites Guests to Discover the Lesser Travelled IslandsAvani+ Samui Invites Guests to Discover the Lesser Travelled Islands of Thailand’s Koh Samui for FreeStep aboard the new Avani+ Samui longtail fishing boat to experience Koh Samui’s untouched natural beauty. This experience allows guests to explore the gorgeous island paradise of Koh Madsum – and it’s our treat!The resort sits on Phang Ka Beach off the beaten track away from the hustle and bustle of the more populated tourist areas, ideal for those looking to escape and bliss out in peace. From its boutique, chic beachfront villas, guests are treated to stunning views of the sunset as well as outlying islands, which are popular day trip destinations for resorts all over Samui. While others have to start their tour with a drive guests at Avani+ Samui need only hop out of their private pool, onto the sand and into a longtail boat.Everyone staying at the Avani+ Samui will get to experience nature’s true beauty whilst island exploring. Having chosen a morning to climb aboard the longtail boat for its 10 AM daily departure, guests simply relax as they’re whisked over crystal clear waters, for a morning spent exploring Koh Madsum’s unspoilt beaches. Soaking in nature’s wonders, the adventures onboard are truly memorable and perfect for those hungry for a taste of tropical paradise. A 1 PM return ensures everyone is back just in time for lunch at Essence restaurant, where fresh local ingredients grace plates for a true taste of island life.The journey of discovery needn’t stop there, with endangered mangrove forests just a few minutes’ kayak away and the lush forests surrounding Na Muang Waterfall waiting to be explored by intrepid hikers. Meanwhile, additional longtail boat trips can be arranged for a full day of island hopping and snorkeling for guests who can’t get enough of life on the high seas.To book an island getaway at Avani+ Samui Resort, visit HERE or contact reservations by phone on +66 2 365 9110 or email:  reserveavani@avanihotels.comAbout Avani Hotels & ResortsLaunched in response to a growing global group of discerning world travellers whose priorities are service, style and value, Avani Hotels & Resorts is a contemporary, upbeat brand that delivers the perfect balance. With a focus on good sleep, effective social spaces, locally sourced sustenance and genuine service. Avani welcomes guests to over 20 properties in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Seychelles, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and Laos, with a pipeline of further openings in Australia, Asia, Indian Ocean and the Middle East.Avani is part of the DISCOVERY loyalty programme. Source = Avani+ Samuilast_img read more

Ramoji Film City promotes itself as a MICE destination

first_imgRamoji Film City provides a unique corporate rendezvous, where the carpet beneath one’s feet is over 2000 acres, and the ceiling – an unending vastness. Ramoji Film City is 30 kilometres (approx) away from Hyderabad City, a destination that truly inspires one to think different. A concept that is informal yet exclusive. Ramoji Film City also promotes itself as a MICE destination and provides all requirements to get a very different treatment, making them the most memorable one. So, be it a conference, a corporate get-together, a seminar, a training programme, a convention or a business meets, the awe-inspiring Ramoji Film City will bring the best out of it.The main aspects to Ramoji Film City are firstly, they cater to the requirements of the Film World, which includes regional, National, Hollywood and in-house productions. Secondly, they have tourism with an average of 4500+ visitors daily, who come to see Ramoji Film City. For these tourists there are planned tours with PR Personnel/Guides who conduct the Guided tours. They also have a massive food-court area with six food & beverage outlets only for the tourists. Last, but not the least they have our own hotels, ‘The Dolphin Group of Hotels’. The hotels, which come under this group, are Sitara and Tara. These hotels are situated in the Ramoji Film City premises.Sitara and Tara at Ramoji Film City have numerous residential conferences, seminars, training programmes, product launches, theme parties, weddings, receptions, etc. They also have additional out location like Mughal garden, sun fountain, majestic garden, amphi theatre.last_img read more

HE Dr Ahmed Albanna

first_imgOTM is a specialised tourism centric show where it concentrates on the travel and tourism industry as a whole. Looking at the OTM exhibition and the importance of the show, we participated in the exhibition last year as well. We look forward to participate in OTM’s future edition, where we will continue to showcase the tourism products and potential of the UAE.last_img

Jamaica generates 146 billion in tourism earnings in the first six months

first_imgDuring the first six months of the 2017 calendar year, Jamaica generated $1.46 billion in tourism earnings, recording a 7.5% growth over the corresponding period in 2016.In addition, the country welcomed 2,165,330 visitors up to the end of June this year, which was 3.9% higher than the corresponding period in 2016. The figures included 1,186,646 stopover visitors and 978,684 cruise passengers.Tourism Minister of Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett, while announcing these figures, said a record 104,098 stopover visitors arrived during the first two weeks of July, representing 14.9% increase over the corresponding period last year.The Minister said these out-turns indicated that the industry was, at the end of June, ahead of the government’s projected growth targets, aimed at increasing visitor arrivals to five million and generating $5 billion in five years.Bartlett said the cumulative out-turns for 2016 and the year-to-date indicated that “we really would be looking at a 5.5% increase and $1.6 billion (in) earnings, which would be a little over an eight percent increase in earnings over the previous year.”Of note, he said the industry’s growth averaged between eight and 11% for the first three months of the 2017/18 fiscal year, from April to June.last_img read more

Loan Production Profits Up at Independent Lenders

first_imgLoan Production, Profits Up at Independent Lenders Profits at independent mortgage banks nationwide jumped from the first quarter to the second as loan production spiked, according to a trend report from business advisory firm Richey May & Co.Richey May’s second-quarter report, released Monday, shows loan production among independent mortgage bankers climbed 50 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q2, marking the first increase of the past three quarters. The biggest improvement was recorded in home purchase volumes, which were up 62 percent compared to a 20 percent increase in refinancing.”Independent mortgage bankers’ unit volume, expenses and margins were very close to those they experienced in the third quarter of 2013,” said Keith May, managing director of advisory services at Richey May. “However, pre-tax profits in the second quarter of 2014 were much higher than in the third quarter of 2013. This is probably because third quarter 2013 was in the middle of a declining market, whereas [the] second quarter of this year was in an improving market.”As production rose, so did profits, Richey May reported. According to the company’s survey, independent mortgage bankers boosted profits by an average 57 basis points, with some seeing up to 100 basis points in improved pre-tax profits compared to the first quarter.With unfunded lock pipelines on the rise—climbing 38 percent over the previous quarter—improved conditions are expected to continue in the months ahead.”The increase in unfunded lock pipelines suggests that we can expect to see similar, if not more improved, production in the third quarter of 2014 as well,” said Kenneth Richey, managing partner at Richey May.Richey May’s findings jibe with the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), which found mortgage banks earned a net profit of $954 per mortgage originated in the second quarter, with average production volume coming up more than $100 million over the first quarter to $378 million.As well as independent mortgage banks, MBA’s quarterly data also includes mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks.While the second quarter looked good in terms of percentages, production and profits were both coming off low level from the first quarter. At that time, Richey May reported an 18 percent quarterly decline in production levels, while MBA reported average losses of nearly $200 per loan. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News, Origination September 8, 2014 453 Views center_img Mortgage Bankers Association Profits Purchase Loans Refinance Richey May 2014-09-08 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Millennials Desire Homeownership But …

first_img The latest data from Zillow displays disparities among various socio-economical demographics and analyzes its effects for these groups. The millennial generation has a strong desire for homeownership, but due to affordability and other factors, Zillow data shows that young adults are renting for longer periods of time before buying their first home. In recent years, more millennials are finding themselves forgoing their dream and moving in with their parents in an effort to save money. The amount of younger millennials ages 18-25 living at home has decreased from 55.5 percent to 54.2 percent since 2012. However, the number of older millennials ages 26-34 who are living at their parents’ home has increased from 12.9 percent to 14.5 percent. The increase in home values have deterred aspiring homebuyers from purchasing a home due to stagnant socio-economic growth. Over the last 20 years, home values in the metro areas with the most social mobility have soared, which makes it difficult for low-income people to afford living in the very places where they could most easily achieve socio-economic growth.The affordability issue in housing has affected millions of potential homeowners, many of which cite is one of the reasons why they cannot purchase a home. Affordability is even worse for those with low incomes, even if they are living in the cheapest homes available in their market. Nationally, the bottom third income earners spend twice as much of their income on mortgage payments than the top third. Homeowners making incomes in the bottom third would need to spend more than half of that income in the more expensive markets to afford the monthly payment on the cheapest homes. Homes most likely to face foreclosure during the housing crisis were normally the cheapest homes on the market, forcing families into rental properties while rebuilding their finances during a period that experienced the highest rent appreciation on record.Dr. Svenja Gudell, Chief Economist for Zillow, and other experts plan  to delve into the various demographical factors that determine the fate of potential homebuyers at the 2017 Zillow Economic Forum on January 11 in Washington, D.C. “Our research on housing has unlocked issues that are closely linked to broader social and economic problems in the U.S.—such as poor access to credit, weak income growth, and social mobility,” she said. “This forum brings together some of the greatest minds in economic policy and research to explore the troubling disparities in economic opportunity. We will focus on how different generational, racial, and socio-economic groups are affected, specifically in their access to housing and homeownership. I look forward to a discussion that gets to the heart of the issues that we at Zillow spend so much time thinking about.” Millennials Desire Homeownership, But … January 3, 2017 886 Views in Data, Headlines, Newscenter_img Affordability Low Income Millennials Zillow 2017-01-03 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

The Key to Sustained Housing Growth

first_img Share Increasing the affordability of housing will be key to ensuring healthy, sustained growth of the industry according to the latest quarterly report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).The report, which looks at metropolitan median area prices and affordability for Q4 2018 indicated that while inventory increased and metro market prices rose at a slower pace during the period total existing home sales decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted 5.18 million in Q4 down from 5.2 million in Q3 2018. On a year over year basis, home sales fell 7.4 percent from 5.59 million during the same period in 2017.Home prices for single-family homes increased in 92 percent of NAR’s measured markets in Q4 with 163 of the 178 metros showing sales price gains in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago. However, the report indicated 14 metro areas experiencing double-digit increases, down from 18 in the third quarter.“Home prices continued to rise in the vast majority of markets but with inventory steadily increasing, home prices are, on average, rising at a slower and healthier pace,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR.The inventory also increased during the quarter with 1.55 million existing homes available for sale compared with 1.46 million at the end of Q4 2017, showing an increase of 6.2 percent. The average supply during the quarter was four months, up from 3.5 months during the same period in 2017.Despite these increases, Yun said that housing affordability would be the “key to sustained healthy growth in the housing market” in the near- to long-term. “Housing starts fell far short of historically normal levels, with only 9.6 million new housing units added in the past decade; compared to 15 to 16 million that would have been needed to meet our growing population and 20 million new job additions,” Yun said.Looking at the most and least expensive housing markets of the quarter, the report indicated that four of the five most expensive markets were in California with median existing single-family price ranging from $1.2 million to $626,000. The only non-California market on this list was Urban Honolulu, Hawaii, where median home prices stood at $812,900.The five cheapest housing markets were Decatur, Illinois, $89,300; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, $97,200; Cumberland, Maryland, $109,100; Elmira, New York, $111,400; and Erie, Pennsylvania, $113,300.Click here to read the full report. Construction Starts Home Prices Home Sales homes HOUSING Housing Market Inventory NAR 2019-02-12 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img February 12, 2019 1,616 Views The Key to Sustained Housing Growthlast_img read more

National Mortgage Lender to Open New Regional Office

first_img May 1, 2019 493 Views Banking texas 2019-05-01 Mike Albanese in Featured, News National Mortgage Lender to Open New Regional Officecenter_img Planet Home Lending, LLC, a national mortgage lender and servicer, opened a regional office in Irving, Texas.As the company’s first Regional Operating Center (ROC), the 25,000-square-foot facility accommodates about 130 employees, and offers space to expand to house more employees.The ROC has five conference and training rooms, in addition to access to a large-scale meeting and conference center.Employees and departments previously based in Dallas have moved to the new office. This includes legal and enterprise risk management, credit policy, origination support service, national operations, human resources, IT, project management and servicing.  “As Planet Home Lending grows, we can tap into Dallas’ significant mortgage industry talent pool. It’s also a central meeting location for our executives and leadership, who are based in multiple states,” said Suzy Lindblom, Executive Vice President, National Operations. “The ROC gives us additional leverage in assisting our clients in Planet Home Lending’s national footprint.”Dallas is an enhancement to our already remarkable sites, like Meriden, Connecticut; Tampa, Florida; Columbia, Maryland; and Rochester and Melville, New York. The Dallas site supports our talented local mortgage processors as well as sales professionals in our regional offices and our national retention retail hubs.”Since 2017, Planet Home Lending has grown its employee base by 22% to support growth in the company’s retail footprint and the expansion of its correspondent and sub-servicing businesses. Sharelast_img read more

Walmart disappointed by UKs blocked AsdaSain

first_img Walmart “disappointed” by U.K.’s blocked Asda-Sain … U.K.: Asda overtakes Sainsbury’s as second-largest … “Grocery retailers do not have a great record of treating their suppliers well,” the committee’s chair Neil Parish was quoted as saying.“My committee is holding this session to investigate how the biggest potential shake-up of the grocery market in recent years could affect British farmers and suppliers, as well as consumers.”In May, U.K.-based non-profit cooperative Banana Link said the proposed deal was “not good news” for fruit growers.www.freshfruitportal.com A British parliamentary committee will question the CEOs of the U.K.’s second- and third-largest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s and Asda, ahead of their proposed tie-up, Reuters reported.In April, Sainsbury’s announced a 7.3 billion pound deal to buy Asda, the U.K.-based subsidiary of U.S.-based Walmart. If it goes ahead, the combined giant will overtake Tesco as Britain’s biggest supermarket group.The competition regulator has started a preliminary probe into the deal ahead of a formal investigation, while on Wednesday MPs from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said that they would also gather evidence on it, according to Reuters.center_img June 14 , 2018 You might also be interested inlast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Comments   Share   As unfair as that may be for Fitzgerald, it’s not as ifanyone is ignoring his greatness. The receiver had ninecatches for 149 yards in Sunday’s 23-20 win over theSeahawks, bringing his season totals to 80 receptions and1,411 yards to go with eight touchdowns. That Fitzgeraldhas done this with shaky QB play (his nine receptions cameon 18 total targets Sunday) makes it all even moreimpressive.“What a warrior he is,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhuntsaid. “So glad that, obviously, Larry is with us, what hebrings to the team; he just makes big plays.”Of Fitzgerald’s nine receptions, all but one came in thesecond half, and his three for 46 yards in overtime helpedsetup the game-winning kick. “I’m just fortunate John gave me an opportunity to make aplay and contribute down the stretch,” Fitzgerald said.Yeah, Larry is fortunate the Cardinals gave him a chance.Or, perhaps, the Cardinals are fortunate to have a playerof Fitzgerald’s caliber on the roster.“Larry Fitzgerald,” defensive lineman Darnell Dockettmused, “I’m glad to have him on my team.”Even with the big numbers, Arizona had plenty of chancesto get No. 11 the ball early and failed. Skelton blamedhimself for a couple of overthrows, and Whisenhunt saidhis star could have “had a monster day.” Don’t tell the Seahawks Fitzgerald’s day wasn’t monstrous.“He’s as good as you can get at this game, and he showedit,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, acknowledging thathe can’t help but marvel at some of the things Fitzgeraldcan do on the field.But that’s just it with Fitzgerald, since he may be theonly player who could make amazing catches on the way tohaving a stat line like the one he posted in Sunday’s winstill feel like he could have done more.“I was upset that I didn’t make the one on the sidelinebefore regulation ended, that’s the one I was pissed offabout,” Fitzgerald said of a pass that would have gone fora first down but, in reality, was a pass few would havecome down with. “I wanted to make sure I came back andtried to redeem myself and put our team in a goodposition.”Pick a superlative — any superlative — and chances areit will describe Fitzgerald and his impact on theCardinals. Whisenhunt praised his receiver’s work ethicand leadership abilities, and anyone who watches the guyplay knows where he ranks among the NFL’s greats. “He made some unbelievable catches that only a couple guyson this Earth can make,” Seahawks cornerback RichardSherman said. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation That could work.Or, maybe, the best way to describe what Fitzgerald didSunday – and, really, his entire career – was how Skeltondid after the game.“It’s Larry being Larry,” he said. “He’s done it all yearand his whole career. “It’s just awesome having him out there.”center_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Larry Fitzgerald reached out with his right arm, grabbedthe football and fell to the ground. The reception, which was good for 12 yards, wasFitzgerald’s last of the season, his ninth of the day and,arguably, one of the coolest catches you’ll ever see.Not that his second one-handed grab of the day impressedhis teammates.“We come to expect that from Larry,” quarterback JohnSkelton said. “It’s almost like it’s not even a shockeranymore because he does it so often.” What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

The Arizona Cardinals are worth a lot of money B

first_imgThe Arizona Cardinals are worth a lot of money.But in NFL terms, their value is actually near the bottom of the list.According to Forbes, the Cardinals’ team value sits at $1 billion.With a 2013 revenue of $266 million and an operating income of $43 million, the team is fairly profitable.The report notes the St. Louis Rams are the least-valuable team in football, valued at a paltry $930 million. The Dallas Cowboys, who top the list, are valued at $3.2 billion. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   last_img read more