NZ outPAICE corporate competition in Australia

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T The annual Pacific Area Incentives and Conference Expo (PAICE) was held in Auckland, with almost 200 buyers and more than 100 offshore event and incentive suppliers attending the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre.New Zealand is Australia’s largest business events market, attracting close to 45,000 convention and conference visitors and over 200,000 corporate arrivals for the year ending September 2012.Almost 40 Australian tourism operators visited PAICE 2012 at to showcase products, venues, hotels, activities and attractions to prospective New Zealand buyers.Business Events Australia was again a major sponsor of PAICE, supporting the continued growth of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) market from New Zealand to Australia.“PAICE is an important opportunity for the Australian industry to meet and do business with New Zealanders and we are delighted to have a strong contingent of Australian businesses participating in the event this year,” Business Events Australia general manager Penny Lion said.“New Zealand is one of our most important markets… the Australian contingency [spoke] to event planners and industry about recent developments in infrastructure and new products and experiences.”Attendees from Australia included Qantas Airways, Tangalooma Island Resort, BridgeClimb Sydney, Canberra Convention Bureau and Accor Pacific Qld. PAICE 2012 important to the success of NZ business events market in Australia.last_img read more

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Alitalia unveils new strategic plan

first_imgAlitalia have unveiled a new strategic plan in Rome overnight, stating it will provide unequivocal commitment to reinvent the airline in 2015.The airline will introduce new routes, new product and service standards, a new cost management strategy and new branding, to build a premium global airline representing the best of Italy.Alitalia Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, said that the Board have no doubt that the airline that was unveiled today will become once again a premium Italian airline recognised worldwide.“Our priority is to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. And to do that, we will change many things, starting with the way we work. We need to work as one united team to achieve this great common goal,” Mr di Montezemolo said.The key elements of the new business strategy include new plans in network, cooperation with Skyteam members, expanding the airline’s fleet, advanced guest services, and new brand material.The airline will introduce a new three-hub strategy in Italy, which will increase connectivity with partner airline hubs, and grow its long-haul flying network, whilst continuing to expand short and medium haul flying to maintain relevance to the Italian market.New routes will begin from Rome including Berlin, Dusseldorf, San Francisco, Mexico City, Santiago (Chile), Beijing and Seoul, with increased flights to New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Abu Dhabi.Alitalia will also add 13 weekly flights from Milan Malpensa, with daily services to Abu Dhabi, four flights a week to Shanghai, and additional flights to Tokyo.Alitalia is in the process of relocating 14 Airbus A320s to airberlin, and looking into options with Etihad Airways to acquire additional wide-body aircraft for Alitalia.The airline will start a new Customer Excellence Training Academy aiming to deliver skills to all customer-facing staff, while customers will experience new food service options and new-look lounges in Rome, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.Finally Alitalia will launch a new brand and visual identity, covering aircraft, uniforms and all other customer touch-points which aims to capture the essence of Italy. Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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Save up to 40 plus free breakfast at over 100 AccorHotels

first_imgSave up to 40% plus free breakfast at over 100 AccorHotelsRates from as low as $71 per nightAccorHotels’ famous Super Sale – one of the best online hotel sales in the world – is back again, offering discounts of up to 40% plus free breakfast for members of AccorHotels’ loyalty programs (Accor Plus and Le Club AccorHotels) and 30% with free breakfast for the general public when booking on www.accorhotels.comRates start from as low as $71 a night at Ibis Styles Eagle Hawke in Canberra, $125 at ibis Sydney World Square, $139 at Novotel Brisbane and $146 at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.The sale applies to selected hotels across Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, The Sebel, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis styles and ibis budget hotels across Australia.With over 100 hotels participating in the sale, holiday seekers can chase the sun in Cairns, Port Douglas or Palm Cove; choose to rug up by the fireplace in the heart of wine country in the Hunter or Barossa Valley, or enjoy a romantic city escape to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra or Perth – the choices are endless.The sale applies to bookings made online from 22-26 June 2015 for stays between 10 July–29 August 2015. Book Now AccorHotelsSource = AccorHotelslast_img read more

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American College Football heading to Sydney

first_img Destination NSWlearn more here Source = Destination NSW College Football Sydney CupAmerican College Football heading to SydneyAmerican Football is coming to Sydney with University of California set to play the University of Hawaii in the opening round of the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One College Football Championships.The match will be held at 2pm on Saturday, 27 August 2016 at ANZ Stadium and is anticipated to attract more than 15,000 domestic and international visitors to Sydney.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the American Football event would provide a fantastic day of entertainment, a huge live broadcast audience and a boost of $10 million to the NSW economy.“The University of California and the University of Hawaii have well recognised and established football programs which will ensure that this game delivers all the excitement and atmosphere of college football to Sydney,” Mr Ayres said.“Both Universities have enormous followings in the USA, and will see thousands of fans from across Australia and around the world travelling to NSW to watch this opening round game.“Sydney is globally recognised as a destination for world class sporting events having recently hosted the Opening Series of Major League Baseball along with football giants Manchester United, Juventus, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.“The NCAA’s decision to schedule a regular season game in Sydney highlights the continuing allure of the city to international sports looking to showcase their product on the world’s stage.”The game will be broadcast live in the United States and will be the only NCAA competition match that is played on that day maximising Sydney’s exposure.Tickets go on general sale via Ticketek from Monday December 7.last_img read more

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Study reveals mobilefree travel doesnt fly with Aussie travellers

first_imgExpedia.com®, one of the world’s largest full service online travel sites, and Egencia®, the business travel brand of Expedia, Inc. have released the results of the Expedia®/Egencia Mobile Index, a global study of mobile-device-related behaviour and preferences among travellers conducted online across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific.The study, which solicited input from 9,642 travellers across 19 countries, finds whilst the majority of Australians have a smartphone (94%), how they use them when travelling differs in comparison to other nations around the world.One top finding is the perceived importance of the smartphone as a travel companion. Globally, a smartphone ranks as the single most indispensable item travellers carry with them when they travel, even ahead of a driver’s licence.Whereas, although nine in ten (91%) Australian travellers confirm they take their smartphone with them when on holiday, and a further 69% believe their mobile device is an important travel companion, the trusted toothbrush is still the most essential travel item (52%) for Australians, just ahead of a smartphone (49%).Mobile-free travel doesn’t flyDemonstrating the dependence travellers have on mobile devices, more than half (60%) of respondents globally say they would be unwilling to go on holiday without a mobile device, in line with the Australian finding (61%). Well over half (61%) of Aussies say they sleep with their device beside their bed when travelling (versus 63% globally).Whilst Aussies undoubtedly value their mobile device as a travel companion, they are not as mobile-dependent as other nations. Globally, 28% say they carry a rechargeable pack or spare battery as a back-up in case they lose battery when travelling.This rises to over 50% of people from Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. Australians, on the other hand, are happy to put the device away and recharge back at the hotel (58% versus global average of 40%) and only 12% carry a back-up charger.On average, a third (34%) of global travellers have purchased inflight Wi-Fi on a business trip, compared to only 20% of Australian business travellers. Australians are also less likely to feel the need to seek out free Wi-Fi (70% global average versus 53% Australian average).When it comes to checking in on work when travelling, Aussies are again less obsessive than other nations, with only two in five (42%) checking twice a day or more, compared with 53% globally.The relevance of mobile devices is tied to how the device improves the quality of travel itself for both business and leisure travellers – 63% of Australians say their mobile device and apps improve the quality of their holidays, compared to 67% globally.Kelly Cull, travel expert, Expedia.com.au, commented: “We know mobile devices have become helpful travel partners. From researching to booking, getting up-to-date flight details and checking-in to a hotel, to capturing and sharing travel experiences; they are with us every step of the way.“Mobile devices may be a requirement for business trips, however, business travel and connectivity is changing.  Various devices allow for a seamless experience with apps that enable users to be more productive and efficient. Travellers are using this to prioritise work-life balance and disconnect when possible” said Kyle Davis, Managing Director, Egencia Asia Pacific.Mobile etiquetteThe Expedia/Egencia Mobile Index revealed travellers are well attuned to mobile device etiquette, and find mobile faux pas to be highly offensive. Courteousness and noise consciousness continue to be particularly prized, as is privacy.Australians consider “making/taking calls while on speaker phone” to be the most offensive mobile behavior, cited by 54% of Australian travellers. “Playing music games or videos without headphones” infuriates 48% of people, while “texting or emailing while attending a seated performance” is offensive to 41% of Australians. Expedia.com®Source = Expedia.com®last_img read more

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World Expeditions Travel Group acquires NZs selfguided cycling tour

first_imgCycling Mt CookWorld Expeditions Travel Group acquires NZ’s self-guided cycling tour operatorIn a move designed to cement its position as a major player in the New Zealand cycle scene, Australia’s leading adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions Travel Group has acquired a majority shareholding in Trail Journeys, one of New Zealand’s best known self-guided cycle tour operators.Trail Journeys provides expert advice, a fleet of more than 400 quality bikes for hire, passengers’ luggage transfer, accommodation and transfer service, as well as storage services on the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and on the Clutha Gold Trail.With bases in Clyde and Middlemarch, at either end of New Zealand’s famous Otago Central Rail Trail, Trail Journeys is well resourced to grow the business as demand for this world-class cycling trail continues to increase.As part of the acquisition, World Expeditions has also become a shareholder in Trail Journeys Nelson, which offers guided and self-guided cycling tours from its bases in Nelson, Mapua and Kaiteriteri, paving the way for it to become the leading operator on the Tasman Great Taste Trail, which is fast emerging as the new “must do” cycle trip in New Zealand.According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, the acquisitions cement World Expeditions’ position as a leading provider of cycle journeys in New Zealand.“Trail Journeys are the ideal complement to our well established cycle brand, Adventure South, which runs fully-supported, guided cycling holidays primarily on the south island, from its base in Christchurch.”“New Zealand is a highly desirable destination for active travellers seeking an immersive experience,” Ms Badyari said.  “We are very excited to be offering a fun, affordable product to people keen to see the country’s stunning natural landscape via its network of cycle trails, enjoying quality accommodation, great food and wine along the way.”“Trail Journeys’ previous owners are the pioneers of self-guided options along these routes and they share a great synergy with World Expeditions in standards and philosophies,” Ms Badyari said.The World Expeditions Travel Group offers a range of guided and self-guided walking and cycling itineraries all across the globe, through brands including World Expeditions, UTracks, Great Canadian Trials, Tasmanian Expeditions and Australian Walking Holidays.More information at www.worldexpeditions.com or call 1300 720 000.Source = World Expeditions Travel Grouplast_img read more

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Murder in the Maldives…

first_imgSource = STUBA.com Murder in the Maldives… It’s okay to embellish a hotel description , but outright lying will definitely lead to drama.center_img *  Tempting to name this hotel.  Pax were forced to sign a disclaimer  saying this would not be aired in a public forum…A disaster in the makingHoneymoon. Maldives. Trip of a lifetime. Trusted agent referred (more on the agent shortly), amazing website. Great reviews.  All boxes ticked. Lets go!The evolution of hotel ratings  Global standard ? Globally all over the place. Australia has one of the best systems, in some countries a single body manages them, the Maldives a 4-Star:“Everything you need and more: These notable lodgings offer a memorable luxury experience with high-end rooms, dining, amenities, style and service.”…and you decide it yourselves.Ever since social media democratised and aggregated our opinions, the hotel star system has lost its shine. Self moderation and error traps to catch out fake reviews are what we look for.Hotel descriptions are the least trustworthy source of information. They weren’t going to write and say the hotel on the other atoll were better…(See the footnote on what roomsXML/stuba did about hotel descriptions)The drama defined The website bathroom photograph appears was from another countryHotels can be “a little bit tired” – this one was on an IV drip in intensive carefour of the dimmest stars in the history of the galaxyplastic replacing palm fronds on hasty repairs that have lasted years too longDescription included “WTF” and “YHTBFKM”, no LOL or ROFLPax complained and were asked to sign a disclaimer, stating no more public complaining, a free upgrade, for which they were later asked $100… Silly manager. Put it on a hotel letterhead.How about the agent?Total superstar. They had done an impossible amount of ground work before the booking was made. They didn’t complain but wanted us to know about the dodgy description. So upset they felt they had let someone down. Faultless. We can’t undo a dodgy hotel experience from March but we will go above and beyond for those who maintain fairness, integrity and dignity – these are the agents we want to make look like rockstars.Five tips on choosing a hotel that really, you can know nothing about Check Tripadvisor and at least one other sourceJump to page 7 of reviewsIgnore the hotel’s own descriptionSee the same image for a number of reviewer profiles ? DodgyLook at the traveller photo archive, not the hotelsCan you expect better from your wholesalers? It’s the reason we changed the way we present property descriptions. There were just too many hotels on the beach in Bali… We are now using an algorithm that compiles and aggregates comments and scores to get an accurate, unbiased description of properties. Perfect? Probably not, but certainly better.www.roomsxml.com learn more about roomsXML.com herelast_img read more

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Korean Air Ranks First in Global Customer Satisfaction

first_imgKorean Air Ranks First in Global Customer SatisfactionKorean Air Ranks First in Global Customer Satisfaction for 15th consecutive yearKorean Air took first place in the air passenger transport service sector at the 2019 Global Customer Satisfaction Index (GCSI) awards, sponsored by Japan Management Association Consulting (JMAC). This is the 15th consecutive year Korean Air has topped the list.GCSI is an index, established by multi-cultural consulting group JMAC, to measure customer satisfaction levels. The group compiles and evaluates customer satisfaction factors, customer values and global competitiveness as criteria to select the best corporation each year.Korean Air’s continuous efforts to provide high quality airport and in-flight service, introduce eco-friendly aircraft and develop intensive global networks have been recognized as the best by the industry since 2005.Korean Air strives continuously to strengthen its customer service through network developments. In May 2018, Korean Air launched a joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines to offer customers world-class travel benefits in the trans-Pacific market. As a result of the partnership, Korean Air has expanded its codeshares with Delta to connect 290 cities in the U.S and more than 80 cities in Asia. The combined network and schedules provide customers with increased flight choices. Korean Air also launched new scheduled flights between Incheon and Boston in April 2019, offering more options  to customers travelling to the U.S.The successful cooperation has led to seamless services and enhanced customer benefits such as decreased transit time between the two airlines, co-location of lounges and check-in counters. The partnership resulted in 3% increase of passengers on American routes and 18% increase of passengers transferring at Incheon International Airport arriving from or heading to the U.S. compared with the previous year.Meanwhile, the airline has been constantly introducing new highly-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft, such as the Boeing 787-9 and Airbus 220-300. From 2021, Korean Air will introduce twenty Boeing 787-10s for the first time in Korea, in efforts to offer the utmost comfort for passengers.A Korean Air spokesperson said: “As a leading global airline, the top priorities for Korean Air, after safety, are to create value and satisfy our customers’ demands. We always strive for service excellence and will adapt to change to the benefit of our passengers.”About Korean AirKorean Air, established in 1969, is one of the world’s top 20 airlines carrying more than 26 million passengers in 2018. The airline operates over 460 flights per day to 126 cities in 44 countries on five continents; it has a modern fleet of 168 aircraft and employs over 20,000 professional employees. Korean Air’s core business includes passenger, cargo, aerospace, catering and in-flight sales. The airline’s main hub is at the Incheon (ICN) International Airport Terminal 2 which opened in 2018.Korean Air is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, which together with its 19 members annually welcomes 630 million passengers worldwide, on more than 14,500 daily flights, covering 1,150 destinations in 175 countries. The airline launched a joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines in the trans-Pacific market in May 2018.In 2019 Korean Air celebrates its 50th anniversary. With a vision to be a respected leader in the world airline community, Korean Air is dedicated to providing excellence in flight.Source = Korean Airlast_img read more

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Minister of Railways launches Clean My Coach service

first_imgThe Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched ‘Clean My Coach’ service with New Delhi/Northern Railway, Mumbai Central/Western Railway and Lucknow Junction/North Eastern Railway. Manoj Kumar Sinha, Minister of State for Railways was especially present on the occasion. On behalf of the Indian Railways, Chairman, Railway Board, A.K. Mital, Member Mechanical Hemant Kumar and other board members were present on the occasion. Several public representatives and senior officials from the sides of New Delhi/Northern Railway, Mumbai Central/Western Railway and Lucknow Junction /North Eastern Railway stations participated in the occasion.As per the scheme, for any cleaning requirement in the coach, the passenger sends an SMS on a mobile number 58888. Alternatively, the passenger can also use android app ‘Cleanmycoach Indian Railways’ or web page ‘cleanmycoach.com’ for logging the request. Apart from this, dustbins have been put in the non-AC coaches. At the launch, Prabhu harped on how it is the equal responsibility of the railway administration and citizens of the country to maintain cleanliness in and around railway premises. He further said that Indian Railways is on the fast track in the field of digitisation, cleanliness, passenger amenities, coach designs, mechanised laundries, on board services, social media etc. He assured more passenger friendly services in the near future for better travelling experience in trains.Speaking on the occasion, Manoj Sinha said that the Indian Railways has adopted Prime Minister’s ‘Swachh Bharat Campaign’ in a big way. He said that launching of ‘Clean My Coach’ Service itself fixes responsibility of onboard staff to ascertain cleanliness in trains. He said that Indian Railways who works as the team will leave no stone unturned to bring the railways to world standard.last_img read more

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October Pending Home Sales Reach 5Year High

first_img November 29, 2012 404 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) jumped 5.2 percent in October to 104.8, its highest level since March 2007, the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/pending-home-sales-rise-in-october-to-highest-level-in-over-five-years (NAR) reported Thursday. Economists had expected a smaller increase to 100.5.[IMAGE]The September index was revised up to 99.6 from the originally reported 99.5.On Wednesday, the Census Bureau and HUD “”reported jointly””:https://themreport.com/articles/new-home-sales-2012-11-28 new home sales–the equivalent of the PHSI–had declined an ever-so-slight 0.37 percent in October. Both reports measure contracts for the purchase of a home. The PHSI and new home sales report usually move in the same direction–each has increased in all but three months this year–but the magnitude and timing of the changes can vary. The movement in opposite directions in October suggests the PHSI was boosted by sales of foreclosed homes, which would mean continued struggles for homebuilders as buyers sift through foreclosed properties, which are counted as existing home sales.Year-over-year, the PHSI is up 13.2 percent, making October the 18th straight month of year-over-year increases.Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, explained the jump in the PHSI by suggesting buyers are responding to favorable market conditions, noting “”[w]e’ve had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we’re seeing more impact now from steady job creation, and rising consumer confidence about home buying now that home prices have clearly turned positive.””The PHSI does not distinguish distressed or short sale from other home sale transactions in the report.PHSI data are generally reflected in the report on existing home sales two months out, meaning the October PHSI points to stronger growth in completed homes sale transactions reported for December.Regionally, the October PHSI improved in two of the four Census regions, increasing 15.6 percent to 104.4 in the Midwest and 5.5 percent to 117.3 in the South. The index slipped 0.1 percent to 79.2 in the Northeast and fell 1.1 percent to 105.7 in the West. Year-over-year, the index is up in all four regions.The index is based on a large national sample, representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Home Sales HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Pending-Home Sales Processing Realtor Association Service Providers 2012-11-29 Mark Liebermancenter_img Share October Pending Home Sales Reach 5-Year Highlast_img read more

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Tight Inventory Steep Price Gains Begin to Wane

first_img Last year’s housing market was defined by two distinguishing factors: low inventory and rising prices; but both trends began to ease at the end of the year, according to the latest “”RE/MAX””:http://www.remax.com/ National Housing Report, which tracks Multiple Listing Services (MLS) data in 53 metros across the country. [IMAGE]””Although the national inventory situation remains tight, it appears to be trending in the right direction,”” RE/MAX reported. December marked the ninth month in a row in which the year-over-year inventory decline was smaller than the previous month. Inventory dripped 12 percent in December year-over-year, bringing national inventory to 5.9 months of supply, which “”nearly equal to the 6.0 supply that defines a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers,”” according to RE/MAX. However, a few markets remain largely unbalanced with significantly tighter inventories. San Francisco, California, holds 1.4 months of supply, followed by Denver, Colorado (2.7 months), Boston, [COLUMN_BREAK]Massachusetts (2.9 months), Los Angeles, California, (3.0 months), and San Diego, California 93.4 months). Tight inventory has contributed to the other major trend of 2013: rising home prices. December marked the 23rd straight month of home price gains on a yearly basis, according to RE/MAX. Home prices rose 11.9 percent nationally year-over-year in December. However, on a monthly basis, home prices declined 0.9 percent in December, according to RE/MAX data. Home price gains are widespread with 45 of the 52 metros RE/MAX tracks posting yearly increases in December and 17 reporting double-digit gains. The national median sales price in December was $185,400, according to RE/MAX. Home sales also increased steadily over the year last year, and homes spent less time on the market than the year before. Home prices have increased on a yearly basis for 29 of the past 30 months, according to RE/MAX, and in December 37 of the 52 metros observed experienced rising home sales. Home sales were up 0.7 percent over the year in December and 4.5 percent over the month. Home sales rose notably year-over-year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (30.3 percent), Trenton, New Jersey (20.9 percent), and Little Rock, Arkansas (20.6 percent). The average length of time a home sold in December spent on the market was 73 days, according to RE/MAX, up five days from November but down 11 days from December 2012. Time on market has remained below 90 days for 19 months as of December. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers RE/MAX Service Providers 2014-01-24 Krista Franks Brock in Data January 24, 2014 417 Views center_img Tight Inventory, Steep Price Gains Begin to Wane Sharelast_img read more

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Summer Season Starts with Rising Home Sales Inventory

first_img Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply RE/MAX 2014-07-18 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News July 18, 2014 548 Views Summer Season Starts with Rising Home Sales, Inventorycenter_img Home sales in June rose 4.5 percent over the month prior, climbing closer to 2013 numbers than any other month so far this year.In its monthly National Housing Report, RE/MAX observed another month-to-month climb in transaction levels, marking the fourth straight month of increases following a poor showing at the start of the year. All 52 surveyed metros reported monthly gains.While sales figures remain down nearly 2 percent compared to June 2013, the company says the year-over-year difference is the smallest one recorded year-to-date.”The trend may have started late, but 2014 appears to be following a traditional seasonal sales pattern,” RE/MAX said.Inventory also ticked up slightly for the third straight month, nudging up 0.3 percent from May. Compared to the same time last year, supply was down 4.2 percent, slightly worse than May’s decline of 4.1 percent.The low level of inventory and high level of demand brought the number of days the average home was listed on the market to 62, four days less than in May and three days less than a year ago. It was the 25th consecutive month in which the average market time came in below 90 days.Still, with sales going on at their current pace, the stock of inventory improved when measured in months, climbing to 4.1 months supply from 3.8 in May and 3.9 last year. RE/MAX considers a six-month supply to be a balanced market between buyers and sellers.”The increasing inventory of homes for sale is having a positive impact, despite some lingering challenges with lending standards, so the recovery remains in place,” said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. “If the overall economy improves, history has shown that housing is likely to stay in line with long-standing seasonal trends.”Meanwhile, home prices continued to slide up, gaining 9.6 percent over the last 12 months to a median $210,000. Of the 52 areas surveyed, RE/MAX reported higher sales prices in 41, with eight seeing double-digit increases. Sharelast_img read more

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Mortgage Applications See Slight Decrease

first_img The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 2.7 percent decrease in mortgage application volume from a week earlier in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 8.The latest week-over-week decrease in the Market Composite Index (which tracks volume of mortgage loan applications and includes separate components for refinances and purchase loans) is seasonally adjusted; unadjusted, the Index saw a 3 percent week-over-week decline.The Refinance Index and the Purchase Index both fell to their lowest levels in months. The Refinance Index dropped 4 percent from the previous week to its lowest level since May, and the seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index saw a 1 percent week-to-week decline down to its lowest level since February.Unadjusted, the Purchase Index dropped by 2 percent from the previous week and was down 10 percent from the same week at this time last year.The Government Purchase Index, seasonally adjusted, dropped 1 percent from the previous week, which pushed it down to the lowest it has been in seven years.Refinance share decreased by 1 percentage point week-over-week, from 55 percent to 54 percent, while the percentage of total mortgage applications for the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was flat 8 percent. August 13, 2014 592 Views Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Purchase Loans Refinance 2014-08-13 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Originationcenter_img Mortgage Applications See Slight Decrease Sharelast_img read more

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Will a Lack of Wage Growth Hamper Affordability This Spring

first_img Affordability Employment February Employment Summary Jobs Wage Growth 2016-03-04 Seth Welborn Will a Lack of Wage Growth Hamper Affordability This Spring? in Daily Dose, Headlines, News The much-anticipated February 2016 Employment Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released on Friday showed a mixed bag in the U.S. labor market. While February’s job gains were solid at 242,000 and the labor force participation rate shot up to a 15-month high, a noticeable weakness in the labor market is wage growth.Amid all the positives in the February employment summary, however, the average hourly earnings for all employees declined by 3 cents down to $25.35 after an increase of 12 cents in January. The average workweek also declined in February by 0.2 hours down to approximately 34.4 hours. The lack of wage growth combined with house price appreciation has caused some concenrs as far as affordability in the housing market, according to Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan.“On the housing front, builders continue to hire more workers, but at a steadily slowing pace since last November, suggesting little relief to one factor underlying extremely tight inventories,” Duncan said. “Our forecast of a more modest gain in home sales this year reflects our concern of declining housing affordability from income growth that is trailing home price appreciation. Today’s jobs report is consistent with our view of an affordability-constrained housing expansion.”“Our forecast of a more modest gain in home sales this year reflects our concern of declining housing affordability from income growth that is trailing home price appreciation.”Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug DuncanThe labor force participation rate, which last year plummeted to its lowest level since the 1970s, climbed to 62.9 percent in February from January’s rate of 62.7 percent with the addition of about 555,000 to the workforce over-the-month. In the last three months, approximately 1.5 million people have been added to the labor force. Also, the employment-to-population ratio jumped up to 59.8 percent, its highest level since April 2009. The unemployment rate remained unchanged over-the-month in February at 4.9 percent, its lowest level in eight years.February’s job additions (242,000) were well above the market expectations of 190,000. February’s gains combined with upward revisions to the December and January figures (to 271,000 and 152,000, respectively), compute to an average monthly job gain of 228,000 over the three month period from December, January, and February.“The February jobs report, which shows strong payroll gains and upward revisions to the prior two months, is in line with recent improving economic data and financial market conditions and should continue to calm recession fears,” Duncan said. “Another point in the positive column is the third consecutive rise in the labor force participation rate—a welcome trend unseen since late 2006. In the negative column, average hourly earnings and the average workweek each pulled back following encouraging improvements in the prior month.”The positives contained in the employment summary for February has analysts predicting that the Fed is on track to raise short-term interest rates in the summer.“This was a mixed report with positives in the overall jobs figure for February, upward revisions to prior months, and another strong month for labor force entrants,” said NAFCU chief economist Curt Long. “The participation rate climbed again and is up one-half percentage point since September. But the wage figure was disappointing, particularly coming after a strong month in January. With that said, once inflation is considered, 2.2 percent wage growth is not terrible, and as the labor market continues to tighten we should see that figure climb. As for the Fed, this was a decent report but not one that would hold anybody’s feet to the fire to raise rates later this month. We expect the Fed to hold in March with an eye toward a rate hike in June.”More charts and analysis on the February nonfarm payroll employment numbers https://t.co/g1NChl6Lxc #JobsReport #BLSdata— BLS-Labor Statistics (@BLS_gov) March 4, 2016Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics, said, “Overall, it’s clear that labor market conditions are still strong. The lack of a more marked pick-up in wage growth is the only missing element. But as far as the Fed is concerned, it is already seeing a clear acceleration in core price inflation, so it can’t delay raising interest rates for much longer. A June rate hike is coming.”Realtor.com chief economist Jonathan Smoke said he believes the February employment summary bodes well for the homebuying market this spring.“February’s employment situation report should strengthen consumer confidence.  Additionally, the strong pace of job creation should lead to continued positive household formation,” Smoke said.  “Combined with substantial pent-up demand for home purchases, we remain confident we will see the strongest spring buying season in a decade.”Click here to see the entire February 2016 Employment Summary from the BLS.center_img Share March 4, 2016 834 Views last_img read more

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MERSCORP Holdings Debuts MERS eNote Solutions Powered by eOriginal

first_img MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and eOriginal, Inc. has launched a new solution offering that will enable originators to accelerate entry into the digital mortgage ecosystem. MERS eNote Solutions, part of the MERS eSuite, will enable the creation, execution, registration, and management of the electronic promissory note, or eNote, to mortgage originators across the industry.“MERSCORP Holdings is proud to provide technology-based solutions that add value to our members’ bottom line,” said Brendon Weiss, MERSCORP Holdings COO. “Our members identified several gaps that need to be addressed to increase eNote adoption, and this new solution fills a significant need for originators seeking to leverage existing vendor relationships.”MERSCORP Holdings, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, is the owner and operator of the MERS eRegistry, the national mortgage registry and legal system of record for identifying the controller (holder) and location (custodian) of the authoritative copy of registered eNotes. Interest in the production of eNotes continues to grow as consumers and lenders recognize the value of moving toward a more streamlined, electronic process. With more than 5,000-member organizations, MERSCORP Holdings is central to the growth of digital mortgages, and the new service provides a turn-key solution to those members who are driving toward a paperless process.“This solution will enable thousands of originators to realize the benefits of a digitally executed promissory note at the closing table. The eNote is the most important document of a digital closing because it is critical for the funding of electronic mortgages by investors,” said eOriginal SVP and General Manager of Digital Mortgage, Simon Moir. “MERSCORP Holdings, as the operator of the MERS eRegistry, has been instrumental to the advancement of digital mortgage. We are proud to have eOriginal’s technology power the MERS eNote Solutions.”An industry pioneer and recently named to HousingWire’s 2018 HW TECH100, eOriginal delivers a fully digital mortgage and supports every type of digital closing strategy. By creating a “digital original,” eOriginal guarantees trusted transactions of digital financial assets. Major financial institutions, leading law firms and credit ratings agencies have validated and rely on eOriginal as a trusted partner with the greatest depth of digital transaction management expertise to navigate and advise on industry best practices.MERSCORP Holdings has been a trusted service provider to the mortgage industry for 21 years. To learn more about MERS eNote Solutions, click here. Share April 4, 2018 715 Views Company News e-notes eOriginal MERS eNote Solutions MERSCORP Holdings 2018-04-04 David Whartoncenter_img in Data, Headlines, journal, News, Technology MERSCORP Holdings Debuts MERS eNote Solutions, Powered by eOriginallast_img read more

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Technology Companies Announce Partnership

first_img in Headlines, News June 6, 2019 280 Views Two technology companies in the housing industry announced a partnership. LenderClose has integrated Simplifile, which functions as an electronic liaison between lenders and county recording offices.Simplifile has deployed its e-recording platform in 50% of all U.S. recording jurisdictions and plans to help the remaining 50% realize e-recording benefits in 2019.Because the Iowa-based LenderClose platform provides API connections to every vendor it takes to manage a mortgage or HELOC loan, the combination of the two platforms further streamlines the lending staff experience.The integration is a continuation of LenderClose’s strategy to provide lenders a single point of access to the housing industry’s top vendors to holistically digitize the loan cycle. LenderClose also recently integrated with MeridianLink’s LoansPQ loan origination platform.“We cannot afford to lose sight of the borrower experience,” said LenderClose COO Ben Rempe. “That’s why we have placed such a high priority on putting the right technology and integrations into the hands of lending staff. When they are empowered to exceed expectations, the borrower experience is automatically improved.”Through LenderClose, lending staff access a suite of property data reports and services—from flood certification and valuation products to title reports and e-recording. The result is a vastly accelerated underwriting process, an increasingly essential capability for all lenders. With one vendor, one integration and one invoice, lending teams realize multiple points of efficiency.The pairing of LenderClose and the Utah-based Simplifile allows lenders nationwide to upload county recordable documents, such as mortgages, trust deeds, releases and more, to the LenderClose platform without having to toggle between providers and accounts. Every LenderClose user will have access to e-recording and will remain inside the LenderClose platform as they engage directly with county recorders.“Vendor collaboration is critical for the continued digital transformation of the lending industry,” said Paul Clifford, Simplifile Founder and President. “We’re fortunate to have found an excellent match in the leadership of LenderClose. Bringing our two platforms together has been very smooth and iterative. We have a strong feedback loop in place, and look forward to taking our users’ suggestions for making the experience of accessing both platforms from a single access point even better.”“Our old process required us to mail mortgages to county offices nationwide, with a check in every package. It took us 5 to 7 business days to record a mortgage or file a release,” said Becky Beard, AVP of Mortgage Operations at Deere Employees Credit Union. “Now, we upload our documents to the LenderClose platform and the county e-records it the next business day, sometimes within hours or even minutes.  Once recorded, we’re able to retrieve a copy of the documents, complete with county stamps.”“Legacy lenders can’t wait a minute longer to digitize,” said Omar Jordan, CEO of LenderClose. “It’s surprising how many lenders continue to rely on postal services, or even hand-delivery of documents, when the industry has access to fast, secure technology. By integrating with as many technology vendors as possible, we make it even easier for lenders to evolve their processes to new, exciting ways of serving digital consumers – and to close more loans while they’re at it.” Sharecenter_img Merger technology 2019-06-06 Mike Albanese Technology Companies Announce Partnershiplast_img read more

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You might also be interested in

first_img You might also be interested in September 25 , 2018 The New Zealand apple and stonefruit industry members at the heart of the legal action against the Minister of Primary Industries (MPI) have welcomed the announcement that it will release more than 20,000 fruit plants from containment.In June MPI seized plants from five nurseries as a precaution following a March audit which uncovered incomplete and incorrect record keeping at U.S. facility, Clean Plant Centre Northwest, from which they were imported.MPI has formally advised the industry group members of its decision to release 20,000 apple plants and 400 stonefruit plants, along with proposed individual testing plans for stonefruit cultivars.The communications confirm that tests conducted on all apple (Malus) plants have come back clear, with no signs of any pests or diseases detectable on the plant materials.These plants have been effectively released from containment and industry members will be able to deal with them like any other trees in their orchards or nurseries.Some stonefruit plants (Prunus) will remain in containment and is subject to further testing. Such testing will occur over the course of the 2018-19 summer. MPI says the testing program should be complete by June 2019.Industry member and owner of McGrath Nurseries, Andy McGrath said: “We are encouraged by MPI’s announcement today and the release of the apple plants and plant materials. We feel this has vindicated the position we have taken since the very beginning of this issue. “This is the first step towards rectifying the unlawful actions imposed by MPI, but there is still some way to go before orchardists and nurseries are able to return to normal commercial production.”He said MPI was being “overly strict” by keeping the remaining stonefruit plants in containment.”We will be addressing this directly with MPI in a meeting later this week,” he said.“We recognise stonefruit have a different risk profile, but we are very optimistic that the tests will not reveal any cause for concern.”Reaccreditation for U.S.-based facility?McGrath has recently returned from a visit to the U.S.-based Clean Plant Centre Northwest. The facility has supplied New Zealand orchards and nurseries with new plant varieties for over 30 years but recently had its accreditation withdrawn by MPI.In McGrath’s opinion, the CPCNW facility is willing to consider reaccreditation and provided encouraging comments regarding the required process.A meeting between MPI and industry members to discuss the potential reaccreditation of the CPCNW facility is scheduled for later this week.McGrath holds some hope that MPI may be able to take a “reasonable approach to discussions, repair their relationship with CPCNW, and set a clear plan in place towards reaccreditation.” Zespri operating revenue exceeds NZ$3B for first t … center_img NZ: Seasonal labor shortage declared for Bay of Pl … NZ: Zespri in nationwide sales trials of red kiwif … NZ horticultural export value grows to NZ$5.5B …last_img read more

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Virtuoso has announced two key promotions in its A

first_imgVirtuoso has announced two key promotions in its APAC team. Evan Pierce and Cristina Magni have both been promoted to Regional Director roles, in recognition of their success in growing the Virtuoso network and driving member engagement over the past three years. Evan will relocate to Singapore in the Regional Director, Asia role, to lead the Asia team in Virtuoso’s expansion into China, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Cristina will remain in Sydney as Regional Director, Australia and New Zealand, where she will continue to drive the ongoing success and growth of the member network.“Virtuoso has witnessed strong performance in the Asia Pacific region over the past 5 years and Virtuoso has made the commitment to reward this success by further investment in our in-market resources,” said Michael Londregan, Virtuoso APAC Managing Director. “The local team has been instrumental in growing our business by working with members to ensure Virtuoso programs deliver competitive advantages for their clients.“In 2017 we saw more than 20% growth in our regional network, much of which was the result of existing members growing their business through expansion, acquisition and efficiencies.“Evan and Cristina have been instrumental in these results and their development to Regional Director roles will ensure Virtuoso is well placed to expand further in 2019.“Asia is a newer market for Virtuoso with unlimited potential and Evan will lead our ongoing expansion with a key focus on the development of our existing members and the targeted expansion into the complex China market.“Cristina will continue the management of our member programs in Australia and New Zealand where we expect significant performance growth in what must be described as both a contested and commoditising landscape.“As a team, Virtuoso Asia Pacific is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead and to supporting our members in continuing to be the best in the business.” IMAGE:L-R Evan Pierce, Cristina Magni and Michael Londregan appointmentsVirtuosolast_img read more

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Travelport has unveiled IBM Travel Manager an ind

first_imgTravelport has unveiled IBM Travel Manager, an industry-first AI platform designed to help businesses manage corporate travel spend, and delivered via the IBM Cloud, using IBM Watson capabilities.The new platform features advanced artificial intelligence, and provides cognitive computing, predictive data analytics using “what-if” type scenarios, and integrated travel and expense data to help travel management teams, procurement category managers, business units, finance and human resource departments optimize their travel program, control spend and enhance the end-traveler experience.IBM Travel Manager gives users complete, unified access to previous siloed information, which, when combined with travel data from the Travelport global distribution system (GDS), is then used to create real-time predictive analytics recommending how adjustments in travel booking behavior patterns can positively impact a company’s travel budget. Travelport says:With annual global business travel spend estimated to reach a record $1.2 trillion this year, as projected by the Global Business Travel Association, corporate travel managers continue to look for new ways to reduce costs. Currently for businesses to get a full picture of travel patterns a travel manager might have to sift through data silos from travel agencies, cards, expense systems and suppliers for end-to-end visibility of spend and compliance across all travel subcategories but this is usually undertaken in a historical view rather than in real time.IBM Travel Manager features an interactive and intuitive dashboard that offers end-to-end visibility of travel spending, the ability to create alerts and notifications, predictive and pre-defined spending trend analysis, and natural language understanding to analyze text and uncover insights from structured and unstructured data. The product is expected to be commercially available to customers, through both IBM and Travelport. corporate travelIBMIBM Travel ManagerTravelportlast_img read more

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New Qantas research commissioned late last year i

first_imgNew Qantas research, commissioned late last year in conjunction with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre, is using focus groups and customer surveys (as they step off the direct London to Perth services) to capture their experience, suggestions and feedback on the perfect wishlist for comfy future long haul travel.Health and wellness are the top trends coming through all research, with a strong focus on mindfulness and “separation of experience” at different stages of a long-haul flight.The top five most frequent suggestions from customers for Project Sunrise:Provide “sense of separation” experiences where passengers can be social but then “zone out” with either virtual reality relaxation zones, audio mindfulness experiences, or through the broader inflight entertainment.Spaces to do gentle exercise/stretches, promoting circulation and comfort.Wireless, noise cancelling headsets.Innovative cabin designs across the entire aircraft, considering both seat and non-seat spaces to focus on a broad range of traveller needs including comfort, sleep, dining, entertainment and state of mind.An inflight cafe offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including wine, fresh juices, herbal teas and tisanes and mocktails along with snacks including dips with vegetable sticks as well as “treat foods”.CEO Qantas International Alison Webster said the new research is showing increased interest towards physical wellbeing, state of mind and personal time and space.“Customer feedback from the Perth to London flight has exceeded expectations, especially in relation to the time saved by skipping the traditional stopover and going direct to their destination,” said Ms Webster.“The engagement and enthusiasm we’re seeing from this research highlights how passionate our customers are to be a part of the evolution of ultra-long-haul travel.”“Our job now is to determine where the most demand is and create this cabin in a way that makes it both affordable for customers and commercially viable for the airline. Everything is on the table and we are excited about what innovations may come from this research.”David Caon said Project Sunrise is pushing not just the boundaries of distance, but also product innovation.“Customers are sharing some incredibly imaginative ideas, which is an exciting challenge and helps us to think outside of the box to redefine the ultra-long-haul experience,” he said.“Bringing some of these concepts to life will involve an entire rethink around how to be clever about use of all cabin space and what is practically possible but it may well involve incorporating design elements never before seen on commercial aircraft.”The same research will also be used by Qantas Director of Food, Beverage and Service, Neil Perry, to create the future onboard dining experience.Qantas is expected to make an announcement around Project Sunrise later in 2019, including which aircraft type it would operate, with both the Boeing 777X and the Airbus A350 under consideration.The airline launched a partnership with Charles Perkins Centre 12 months ago to use scientific research to help shape the customer experience of these long-haul services. Many initiatives have been introduced on the current direct Perth – London flights, which currently has the highest customer service rating of any flight on the global Qantas network. airlineslong haulqantasresearchlast_img read more

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