Cruise industry shines at awards

first_imgTravel agents from Australia and New Zealand joined the cruise industry at the Hilton Sydney on Saturday night to recognise the top achievers for 2012.Hosted by television personality Deborah Hutton, the night marked the final awards night for the International Cruise Council Australasia before they officially change their name to CLIA Australasia.Speaking at the event, CLIA president and CEO Christine Duffy and ICCA chairman Gavin Smith highlighted the importance of travel agents in the rapid growth of the cruise industry in this region.“The local cruise industry continues to go from strength to strength and there is no question that the hard work of travel agents in Australia and New Zealand plays a large part in that growth,” Mr Smith said.Ms Duffy went on to praise the work of the ICCA and assured agents that the change to a global organisation made up of regional offices will further enhance the training and development currently offered in addition to assisting the industry in a more holistic way. Among the winners were Phil Hoffman Travel Glenelg who took out the Australian Cruise Agency of the Year category for the second time running with Phil Hoffman sending special thanks to his team who work “unbelievable hours” to achieve such success in promoting cruising.“To the ICCA and all the suppliers, a big thank you for what you do for this industry and for the training of our staff – that’s what makes it so great to be part of it,” Mr Hoffman said.APT director Geoff McGeary was awarded the Neil Frazer Award for an Outstanding Contribution by an Individual and thanked his supporters and staff over the past 50 years.Click here to view entire photo gallery.Cruise Agency of the Year – AustraliaGOLD: Phil Hoffmann Travel: Glenelg SASILVER: Our Vacation Centre: Gaven QLDBRONZE: Cruiseabout: Turramurra NSWCruise Consultant of the Year – AustraliaRobert Watson: Cruiseabout, Turramurra NSWRising Star – AustraliaEmma Blacklow: RACT Travelworld Collins St, Hobart TASAgency Promotion of the Year – AustraliaTravelrite International, Balwyn VIC “Film Festival at Sea”Network Promotion of the Year – Australasia        Mondo Travel (New Zealand) “Let’s talk cruising with Jackie”Neil Frazer AwardGeoff McGeary, APTCruise Agency of the Year – New ZealandGOLD: Cruiseabout: ParnellSILVER: Cruise Republic: AucklandBRONZE: Lets Cruise: AucklandCruise Consultant of the Year – New Zealand    Sarah Goldfinch: Cruise Republic, AucklandRising Star – New ZealandAndrew Lennox: Cruiseabout, WellingtonAgency Promotion of the Year – New Zealand        iCruise “September iCruise Month”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A. CLIA president and CEO Christine Duffy and ICCA chairman Gavin Smithlast_img read more

Air Pacific increases LA services secures aircraft funds

first_imgAir Pacific has announced it will increase its US services, upping the number of flights between Los Angeles and Nadi up from four to daily from December this year.As part of the airline’s rebranding to its 1958 name, Fiji Airways, the carrier will utilize its A330 aircraft on the route and introduce an eighth service in the market during peak periods.Air Pacific will introduce the first A330 on the LA service from 1 July, and will fly a mix of A330s and B747s from July till December before eventually solely operating A330s on the LAX and NAN service.  Air Pacific recently announced it had selected two major international aviation banks for European export credit finance for its three new A330-200 aircraft.The funds will be used on the airline’s agreement with Airbus and Rolls-Royce to purchase three new A330-300 Heavy Gross weight aircraft.New aircraft will replace Air Pacific’s current Boeing 747 fleet, with the first to be delivered from March 2013.As well as flying between Nadi and LA, the A330s will also be utilized on routes, Auckland to Nadi – starting 2 April 2013, Brisbane to Nadi – starting 21 April 2013 and Sydney to Nadi – starting 8 June 2013.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. Air Pacific to launch daily services to the US.last_img read more

Sydney waterfront hotels in foreign crosshairs

first_imgThe Ovolo Group, who bought the 1888 Hotel through property company CBRE group last weekend for AUD $33 million are also enquiring about buying the Blue Sydney, a hotel with prime waterfront views in Woolloomooloo. A number of foreign hotel groups including the Hong Kong based Ovolo Group are buying up Sydney’s waterfront hotels to strengthen their Australian presences. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale At one time, it was branded a W Hotel but the property has been on and off the market since Taj Group bought the hotel in late 2005 for AUD $36m, rebranding it the Blue Sydney.center_img 1888 was built by Michael Teplitsky and Darren Williams with design inspiration from Paul Fischmann, founder of 8Hotels. CBRE is currently marketing $200 million worth of hotel stock, particularly to interested Asian and Chinese buyers. last_img read more

Vietjet signs deals worth USD 47 billion

first_imgVietjet signs deals worth USD 4.7 billionVietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company yesterday signed an agreement with CFM International – a joint venture of GE and Safran, in Washington on supporting 215 engines to power the airline’s fleet under the witnesses of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. The 12 year-long agreement which is valued at USD 3.58 billion includes other technical services, engines and components maintenance.Speaking at the signing ceremony, Vietjet’s President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said: “We are orienting our fleet to aircraft families and engines which are of efficient fuel consumption and environment friendly. The engines under today agreement will help us to save up to 15 percent of fuel consumption as well as to obtain other comprehensive services in technical support, maintenance and training. It is our great honor to be a partner of GE and CFM International. Thanks to this agreement, Vietjet’s fleet can enjoy new technical and technological advances which enhance our flight quality and operation reliability and reduce costs. We strongly believe that this agreement will promote economic and trade exchange between the two countries and create million jobs for the two peoples.”“We appreciate the high level of confidence this agreement shows in CFM and in our ability to support Vietjet over the long term,” said Gaël Méheust, President and CEO of CFM International.  “It has been an honor to be a part of the very dynamic and exciting team for the last six years.  It is a privilege to know that this very special relationship will continue for many more years to come.”On this occasion, Vietjet and GECAS under GE signed a Memorandum of Understanding in aircraft financing worth USD 1 billion. Accordingly, GECAS will support Vietjet to finance and/or purchase and enter intoleaseback arrangement of 10 aircraft ordered by Vietjet.Vietjet and Honeywell Aviation also inked an agreement on auxiliary power unit supply and technical maintenance to power the airline’s 98 airplanes. The agreement which is worth USD 180 million, is aimed to help Vietjet’s fleet be maintained under world leading standards. VietjetSource = Vietjetlast_img read more

Greek Tourism to rake in 41 billion investments

first_imgThe outlay in the tourism sector is said to be one of the key factors for Greek economic growth. Now they are set to attract 4.1 billion euros whereas projects budgeted at 3.2 billion euros are already in the pipeline.The submission of 250 project plans that are calculated at 900 euros to the economy ministry with the waiting list of other projects budgeted at 3.2 billion, seems like the southeast European country, Greece, has done the groundwork really good.This year more than 195 investment plans have been submitted to the ministry of tourism, out of which 125 concerns only hotels one tourist resort, five conference centres two golf courses, 10 ski resorts, three theme parks, 24 hot spring facilities and 25 mountain resorts.Income from the sector is believed to hit 14.5 billion euros in 2017, as per the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE). But for the tourism industry to continue its healthy course of growth it is essential for them to curate 5-7 billion euros over the next four yearsThe interest of major international players like TUI Group, Four Seasons, Marriott, and Wyndham, and others has helped Greece to improve its reputation in this sector.last_img read more

Third edition of Doha Triathlon set for February 2019

first_imgTriathletes, swimmers, cyclists and runners from the world over are invited to challenge themselves along a scenic course in the heart of Doha. Registration is now open for the third edition of Doha Triathlon taking place on February 8, 2019 and can be done online via addition to the full Olympic Triathlon, Sprint and Super Sprint distances, the event will feature an additional Super Sprint distance for beginners and an official duathlon race for children aged seven to 12. The event’s swimming and the transition will take place at the Museum of Islamic Art bay, followed by a cycling leg along the Doha Corniche, and a running course in the Museum of Islamic Art’s park.Qatar hosts close to 80 sporting events and world-class competitions across a multitude of sporting disciplines annually, with outdoor sports events. In the first quarter of 2019, the country’s line-up of outdoor sports events includes the Ooredoo Doha Marathon coming up in January, Doha Triathlon in February and Al Adaid Desert Challenge in March. Ooredoo Doha Marathon was in January. Doha Triathlon is organised by Tasama Sports Development in partnership with the Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation and the Museum of Islamic Art.last_img read more

Tradeweb Reaches Benchmark for TBAMBS Trades

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-04-16 Abby Gregory Share April 16, 2012 631 Views center_img Tradeweb Reaches Benchmark for TBA-MBS Trades Touting its unique platform, “”Tradeweb Markets LLC”” has announced that the company recently reached a new benchmark, with more than $1 trillion in mortgage securities risk offset through the use of its trading technology.[IMAGE] Tradeweb credits the company’s new “”round-robin”” functionality of its programs for its success in the to-be announced-mortgage-backed securities (TBA-MBS) market.Introducing the technology only 16 months ago, Tradeweb claims that the platform has “”significantly lowered the number of failed TBA mortgage pool trades by enabling institutional investors to electronically pair-off TBA mortgage pool transactions with dealers”” by replacing manual processing with an efficient solution that addresses “”round-robin”” fails.Tradeweb’s offerings seek to address the updated fails changes initiated by the “”Treasury Market Practices Group (TMPG)””, which took effect on February 1. Alterations to the TMPG’s standards included increased fines of up to 2 percent of the notational volume of failed TBA-MBS trades, and during February and[COLUMN_BREAK]March, the TMPG recorded record “”round-robin”” volumes of $122 billion and $159 billion respectively.In a company statement, Tradeweb noted that a lack of sufficient liquidity in the marketplace since 2009 has severely limited participants’ ability to sell mortgage pools, and Tradeweb cites the prevalence of “”failed deliveries”” that often created a “”chain of matched fails in a closed loop, known as a ’round-robin'”” as the catalyst behind the company’s decision to debut its new technology. Before the launch of its “”round-robin”” functionality, clients were burdened with “”assigning”” trades from dealer to dealer through a manual, time-consuming process.Commenting on the platform, Tradeweb’s client, “”BlackRock””, provided feedback, with managing director and head of rates trading, Colm Murtagh, noting, “”The ability to electronically pair-off TBA trades with dealers has brought significant efficiencies to reducing risk and mitigating the likelihood of failed trades in the mortgage marketplace. We are proud to have collaborated on an innovative solution that is helping address a systemic concern for market participants.””””Tradeweb has a long history of partnering with the industry to deliver innovative trading solutions that improve efficiency and workflow in global markets,”” added Billy Hult, President of Tradeweb. “”The accelerated success of the ’round-robin’ technology clearly demonstrates our leadership in electronic trading and commitment to improving the world’s largest institutional mortgage marketplace.””According to Tradeweb, TBA-MBS represents the majority of all institutional residential mortgage tradinG. Additionally, Tradeweb stated that 2012 monthly trading volumes have exceeded $2 trillion on the electronic multi-dealer-to-consumer platform.last_img read more

LPS Home Prices Increase 01 in September

first_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing November 27, 2012 371 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Investors Lender Processing Services Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-11-27 Krista Franks Brockcenter_img Home prices rose just slightly over the month of September, demonstrating a 0.1 percent increase from August, according to “”Lender Processing Services’ (LPS’)””: Home Price Index, which analyzes home prices in more than 15,500 ZIP codes each month. The September Home Price Index stands at $205,000, according to LPS. [IMAGE]The modest increase lines up with the latest “”S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index””:, which came in under economists’ expectations.While the 0.1 percent increase is slight, LPS does report more significant change on a yearly and year-to-date basis. Home prices have risen 3.6 percent from last September and 4.9 percent over the year thus far. [COLUMN_BREAK]States experiencing the largest increases in September include Arizona (1.1 percent), Washington, D.C. (1.1 percent), Georgia (0.8 percent), Delaware (0.7 percent), and Maryland (0.7 percent). States experiencing the greatest decreases in prices over the month include Massachusetts (-0.7 percent), Connecticut (-0.7 percent), Illinois (-0.6 percent), Vermont (-0.4 percent), and Rhode Island (-0.3 percent).With Arizona topping the list of states with the greatest monthly price increases, one of its metros, Phoenix, topped the list of metros with the greatest price increases, according to LPS’ data. Home prices in Phoenix rose 1.3 percent in September. Phoenix was followed by Ocean Pines, Maryland (1.1 percent), Sacramento, California (0.9 percent), Atlanta (0.8 percent), Baltimore (0.8 percent), Prescott, Arizona (0.8 percent). Metros with the greatest price declines in September include Bridgeport, Maryland (-0.9 percent), Worcester, Massachusetts (-0.7 percent), Norwich, Connecticut (-0.8 percent), Hartford, Connecticut (-0.8 percent), Torrington, Connecticut (-0.7 percent). While prices are showing improvement nationally, they remain 22.8 percent below their June 2006 peak of $265,000. LPS: Home Prices Increase 0.1% in Septemberlast_img read more

More Banks Interested in Expanding Few Want to Sell

first_img November 30, 2012 432 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Asking Prices Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Regulation Service Providers 2012-11-30 Tory Barringer It seems more banks are eyeing the possibility of expansion in 2013, according to a survey sponsored by “”Crowe Horwath LLP””:[IMAGE]The “”2013 Bank Director & Crowe Horwath LLP M&A survey””: was completed by 224 CEOs, senior officers, and directors of banks across the country. An analysis of the survey will publish in the Q1 2013 issue of “”_Bank Director_””: magazine scheduled for release in January.According to the results, 57 percent of banks intend to make some form of acquisition in the next year, up from 52 percent in last year’s survey. Of those planning to acquire another institution, 45.5 percent are interested in buying a healthy bank, 20.6 percent are looking at branches, and 17.2 percent intend to buy a FDIC-assisted institution. About 9.9 percent said they intend to acquire a loan portfolio.Furthermore, many bankers expressed interest in acquisitions outside of their core banking franchises. Out of the banks that are looking at expanding, 28.8 percent said they intend to acquire a residential mortgage origination business in 2013. That comes as little surprise, _Bank Director_ says in a release.””Mortgage companies that weathered the financial crisis are in a relatively strong position, particularly those that specialize in refinance,”” the release says.That may be easier said than done, however. While more bankers are interested in making acquisitions, 88.9 percent have no intention of selling any aspect of their business. Of those willing to sell, most intend to part with branches or loan portfolios–only 2 percent intend to put their actual bank on the block.There are other barriers to expansion standing in the way, as well. The majority (61.7 percent) of respondents consider unrealistic price expectations one of the top three hurdles stopping their acquisitions. Asset quality is another major concern, with 58.6 percent of bankers saying they’re worried about the asset quality of their potential targets. The third-most cited barrier was limitations set by capital demands (34.4 percent).Pricing was also a major worrying point for sellers–of course, their concerns went in the other direction. Most potential sellers (71.1 percent) said the current pricing is just too low. Economic and regulatory uncertainty were the second- and third-most common responses. “”I think people aren’t as interested in selling as the pundits would say,”” said Rick Childs, director at Crowe Horwath. “”Yes, regulation is depressing, and banking is not as fun [as it used to be]. But I think these people are still committed to independence, not wanting to have your hometown bank owned by somebody else. There’s still a lot of pride in that.””Out of those who may be willing to sell, 20.8 percent said they would do so if the experience of leading the bank were no longer provided the same satisfaction. Regulation was another driver for potential sellers, with 19.8 percent saying the high cost of regulation would bring them to the market.center_img More Banks Interested in Expanding, Few Want to Sell Sharelast_img read more

Administration Announces Extension on Making Home Affordable

first_img Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Barack Obama HARP Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan Modification Service Providers 2013-05-30 Ashley Harris May 30, 2013 420 Views Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced Thursday that Treasury is extending the Making Home Affordable Program for another two years. The new expiration date is now set for December 31, 2015.The program offers help to homeowners through solutions including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), and the Second Lien Modification Program. As of March, an estimated 1.1 million struggling homeowners have received a permanent modification through HAMP. The move aligns with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) “”extension””: for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which was first announced in April.center_img in Government Administration Announces Extension on Making Home Affordablelast_img read more

Genworth Makes Additions to Senior Leadership

first_img Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-09-06 Carrie Bay “”Genworth Financial, Inc.””:, announced Wednesday that the company is strengthening the senior leadership team of its U.S. Mortgage Insurance (USMI) unit with the addition of two key executives. Paul Gomez was recently promoted to COO of USMI, and George Reichert was named chief information officer (CIO).[IMAGE]Gomez was formerly SVP for Genworth Financial’s U.S. Life Insurance Operations team in Richmond, Virginia. He and his senior personnel will focus on maximizing USMI’s operational effectiveness. Gomez is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.””This is an exciting time for USMI as we begin to plan for prudent growth,”” said Rohit Gupta, president and CEO of Genworth USMI. “”As we continue looking at how to best[COLUMN_BREAK]align our operations teams to achieve our loss mitigation goals and provide exceptional customer service, Paul’s experience with running large customer service teams and analytics will be key to our work.””Reichert most recently was CIO at Nortel Networks in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, where he leveraged his expertise to create and lead the vision for Nortel’s IT restructuring plan. He also led IT teams at Lenovo and DHL. Reichert graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Manhattan College in New York.””George is a results-driven leader with a proven ability to develop and execute IT strategy as well as motivate and empower people,”” Gupta commented. “”I’m pleased to have him on board to focus on how we can best leverage technology to drive the business forward and effectively manage change.””Genworth operates through three divisions: U.S. Life Insurance, which includes life insurance, long term care insurance, and fixed annuities; Global Mortgage Insurance, made up of the U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International Mortgage Insurance segments; and the Corporate and Other business unit, which includes the company’s International Protection and Runoff segments as well as its discontinued wealth management business. Genworth, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, traces its roots back to 1871 and became a public company in 2004. New,Genworth Makes Additions to Senior Leadershipcenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing September 6, 2013 413 Views last_img read more

Mortgage Network Recruits Sales Leader for Southeast Region

first_img Share in Headlines, News, Uncategorized October 17, 2014 447 Views Mortgage Network Recruits Sales Leader for Southeast Regioncenter_img Larry Gunnin, a mortgage industry veteran with more than three decades of experience, joined Mortgage Network Inc. as Southeast regional manager, the company announced.Gunnin’s long work history includes extensive experience recruiting loan officers, opening new branches, and generating billions of dollars in annual origination volume for high-performing sales operations.Throughout his career, Gunnin has worked at PennyMac, Academy Mortgage, and PrimeLending, among others. His longest stretch was spent at Countrywide Home Loans, where he led the company’s sales efforts in the South, including the opening of 32 branch offices and management of hundreds of officers, managers, and operations employees. During that time, his region was ranked top in the nation for eight consecutive years.As regional manager for Mortgage Network, he is now responsible for leading the company’s strategic growth in the southern part of the country by opening branches and recruiting professionals in areas where the firm doesn’t currently have a presence.”If you had to pick one person to grow a mortgage company in the southern part of the country, that person would have be Larry Gunnin,” said Brian Koss, EVP of Mortgage Network. “Not only does Larry have the experience, relationships and vision to expand our presence, he knows exactly what makes great teams work. His track record speaks for itself. We’re very fortunate to have him.” Mortgage Network Movers & Shakers 2014-10-17 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Is Home Price Appreciation Decelerating

first_img FHFA Home Price Appreciation Home Prices 2016-07-21 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Home prices have appreciated at a steady rate of around 6 percent for much of the last four years, and April was no exception at 5.9 percent, according to the FHFA’s House Price Index (HPI) for that month.However, FHFA’s supervisory economist, Andrew Leventis, said of April’s report that most economists expect price appreciation to decelerate to more normal rates in the future. According to FHFA’s May 2016 HPI report released Thursday, price appreciation slipped to a rate of 5.6 percent. While still high, it still means home prices appreciated at a rate in May that was 30 basis points lower than April. Has the price appreciation deceleration that Leventis referred to begun?Not necessarily, according to Leventis, but at the same time, he is taking note of what happened in April and May.“Two months don’t a trend make,” Leventis said.  “Still, it is hard to ignore the fact that price growth over the last two months has been slower than during any two month interval since early 2012.”May’s HPI, which looks at home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ended with a value of 234.3—up from 233.8 in April, according to FHFA. Over-the-month, home prices actually increased by 0.2 percent from April to May.In the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Existing-Home Sales Report for the month of June, which was released Thursday, the median existing-home price was $247,700.Existing-home sales increased by 1.1 percent in June up to an annual rate of 5.57 million and have increased for four straight months; however, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun wonders if they can keep up the pace.“Looking ahead, it’s unclear if this current sales pace can further accelerate as record high stock prices, near-record low mortgage rates and solid job gains face off against a dearth of homes available for sale and lofty home prices that keep advancing,” Yun said.Click here to view the FHFA’s entire House Price Index for May. Is Home Price Appreciation Decelerating?center_img July 21, 2016 614 Views Sharelast_img read more

The EverShrinking Pool of Refinance Candidates

first_img in Daily Dose, News, Origination The data shows that the mortgage rates of most current homeowners are low enough to where refinancing would not make financial sense.  But what about those homeowners with higher mortgage rates?Many of those high-interest rate borrowers may not have an incentive to refinance their mortgages either, according to CoreLogic’s September 2016 MarketPulse released Wednesday.As of May 2016, approximately 41 percent of residential mortgages representing 31 percent of outstanding unpaid principal balance (UPB) had mortgage rates of greater than 4.38 percent, which is approximately 100 basis points higher than the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been for the last few months, according to CoreLogic. That 41 percent breaks down to 18 percent with rates between 4.38 and 5 percent and 23 percent with rates higher than 5 percent.The serious delinquency rate (90 days or more overdue or in foreclosure) tends to be higher for homeowners with higher interest rates. The average serious delinquency rate nationwide for all mortgages is 2.9 percent, according to the latest CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report; for mortgages with rates between 5 and 6, the serious delinquency rate jumps to 4 percent; for mortgages with rates between 6 and 7 percent, the serious delinquency rate jumps up to about 7 percent; and approximately 12 percent of mortgages with rates higher than 7 percent are in serious delinquency (four times the national average).“This explains why a portion of these borrowers haven’t refinanced,” CoreLogic Principal Economist Molly Boesel said. “They are behind on their payments and most likely wouldn’t be able to qualify for a new mortgage.”The number of “in the money” borrowers for whom refinancing would make sense shrinks even further when credit score is figured in. When a borrower’s mortgage becomes 30 days or more past due, it adversely affects that borrower’s credit. And the share of mortgages that has ever been 30 days or more past due, or the “ever-30” rate, also climbs higher along with higher mortgage rates. Approximately half of mortgages with rates of 7 percent or higher have been 30 or more days delinquent at some point.When ever-30 borrowers and loans held in private securities (not owned by the government and therefore are not eligible for FHFA’s Home Affordable Refinance Program) are removed from the pool, the share of “in the money” borrowers with rates higher than 5 percent shrinks to 13 percent (representing only 7 percent of UPB).Further reducing the incentive for high-interest rate borrowers to refinance is the comparatively low UPB for those borrowers. CoreLogic’s data shows that the average UPB on loans got lower as rates climbed. Mortgage loans with rates of up to 5 percent averaged close to $200,000 in UPB; by comparison, those loans with rates of 7 percent or higher had an average of approximately $53,000 in UPB.“Without considering credit impairments or investor type, we found a large share of mortgages that appeared to be ripe for refinancing, with 23 percent of outstanding first mortgages having rates above 5 percent,” Boesel said. “Once removing loans that are seriously delinquent, have ever ben delinquent, or are in private mortgage pools, the share of mortgages above 5 percent fell to 13 percent. Of this remaining group, average loan balances tended to be small, indicating that while mortgage rates are near historic lows, there may not be many borrowers left who have the incentive or are eligible to refinance.”Borrowers with mortgages owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may still have an incentive to refinance. The Federal Housing Finance Agency estimated in its Q2 Refinance Report that there are still more than 323,000 U.S. borrowers  eligible for HARP who have a financial incentive to refinance, as of the first quarter of 2016. FHFA said these borrowers meet the basic HARP eligibility requirements: have a remaining balance of $50,000 or more on their mortgage, have a remaining term on their loan of greater than 10 years, and their mortgage interest rate is at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates.”Click here to view the entire CoreLogic September 2016 MarketPulse. September 28, 2016 610 Views CoreLogic High Interest Rate Borrowers Mortgage Refinances 2016-09-28 Seth Welborncenter_img The Ever-Shrinking Pool of Refinance Candidates Sharelast_img read more

Ocwen Awarded Top Servicing Performance Rating from Fannie Mae

first_img Ocwen Financial Corporation, a financial services holding company based in West Palm Beach, Florida, has announced that the company was named a Fannie Mae Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards (STAR) Performer for 2017. The STAR Program recognition is reserved for top performing servicers within one or more of three STAR Performer categories: general servicing, solution delivery, and timeline management. For the 2017 STAR Program year, Ocwen received a STAR Performer for general servicing, solution delivery, and timeline management.“We are extremely proud to receive the STAR award from Fannie Mae across all three categories,” said Scott Anderson, EVP and Chief Servicing Officer of Ocwen. “This recognition is another proof point of our team members’ high standards, accountability, and commitment to service excellence as well as the company’s focus on continuous improvement in our systems and processes.”The STAR Program is based on a continuous improvement model designed to consistently “raise the bar.” STAR Performers are identified using operational assessment results based on Servicer Capability Model ratings across each key functional area, including a review of relevant people strategies, processes, and applicable metrics.According to Fannie Mae’s official website for the program, the STAR Program is a performance management and recognition program based on a consistently applied framework to clearly define industry standards and leading practices. The program seeks to align servicer performance with Fannie Mae’s goals, provide a consistent methodology for measuring servicer performance, reduce Fannie Mae’s credit losses by setting targets/expectations, understand and communicate leading practices across the servicing community, and identify and recognize our highest performing servicers. in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, journal, News, Servicing Company News Fannie Mae Fannie Mae Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards Fannie Mae STAR Ocwen Ocwen Financial Corporation STAR program 2018-04-26 David Wharton April 26, 2018 580 Views center_img Ocwen Awarded Top Servicing Performance Rating from Fannie Mae Sharelast_img read more

Homebuyers Get HyperCautious About Mortgage Rates

first_img January 31, 2019 1,004 Views The housing market is seeing some stability after getting a late boost towards the end of 2018 from lower mortgage rates and slowing home price growth, according to Freddie Mac’s January Forecast. Mortgage rates especially remain a focus for homebuyers.According to the Freddie Mac forecast, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages began to let up at the end of the year, after climbing for several months, averaging 4.6 percent in 2018 and dropping to a nine-month low of 4.45 percent in early January.“Despite the weakening of the housing market in 2018, early 2019 data signals a possible turnaround for the year to come,” said Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac. “This recent uptick in activity proves that homebuyers are very sensitive to changing interest rates and will likely respond positively if mortgage rates remain below five percent.”While rates saw a slight uptick towards the end of January, ending the month at 4.46 percent, Freddie Mac expects them to average below the 5 percent mark at 4.7 percent in 2019 before increasing to 4.9 percent in 2020.Though home sales have seen a sluggish start to the year, Freddie Mac projected them to regain momentum increasing to 6.09 million in 2019 and 6.14 million by 2020. The report indicated that the surge would mostly come from growth in existing home sales while “new home sales are expected to remain almost flat,” in 2019.Another factor that is likely to give homebuyers a reason to smile, according to Freddie Mac, is home prices. The report indicated that after increasing for years, home prices have finally begun to cool with the rate of growth slowing down. It projects home prices to increase by 4.1 percent and 2.7 percent in 2019 and 2020 respectively.Looking at the immediate spring buying season, Khater said that softening house price appreciation along with the increasing inventory of homes on the market and historically low mortgage rates “should give a boost to the spring homebuying season.”In terms of mortgage loans, the forecast said that single-family loan origination was expected to increase 2.1 percent to $1.68 trillion in 2019 with the volume remaining steady at this number in 2020.  It also revised its projections for the refinance share of originations upward to 27 percent in 2019 and 24 percent in 2020 due to the easing of mortgage rates at the end of 2018. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Freddie Mac Home HOUSING loan mortgage rate Origination Sam Khater 2019-01-31 Radhika Ojhacenter_img Homebuyers Get Hyper-Cautious About Mortgage Rates Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Rates Climb Higher

first_img Share Mortgage Rates Climb Higher April 18, 2019 690 Views Fixed rate mortgages rose for the third-consecutive week, according to Wednesday’s Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS).“After dropping dramatically in late March, mortgage rates have modestly increased since then. While this week marks the third-consecutive week of rises, purchase activity reached a nine-year high—indicative of a strong spring homebuying season,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) declined to 4.06% in March, compared to 4.28 percent last week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage last month averaged 3.5%, which was down from the previously reported figure of 3.71%.The 30-year FRM rose to 4.17% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 18—a small increase from the prior week’s 4.1%. The 30-year FRM averaged 4.47 percent this time last year.The 15-year FRM increased from 3.60% to 3.62% with an average 0.5 point. Both figures are lower than the 3.94% reported a year ago at this time.Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) continues to surpass last year’s rate of 3.6%. The PMMS reported the ARM averaged 3.78% with an average 0.3 point this week, which is a small decrease from 3.80% the week prior.Khater said last month that he expects “mortgage rates to remain low, in line with the low 10-year treasury yields, boosting homebuyer demand in the next few months.”Fluctuating mortgage rates aren’t scaring away homebuyers, as mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 1% last week from the previous week and were 7% higher than a year ago, according to CNBC. Purchase applications reached their highest level since April 2010.CNBC also speculated that rates are rising due to concerns of economies overseas. center_img in Daily Dose, journal, Servicing 15-year Fixed Rate Mortgage 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac 2019-04-18 Mike Albaneselast_img read more

Australia ups efforts against Queensland fruit fly

first_img Australia ups efforts against Queensland fruit fly … AUS: Proposed Great Barrier Reef regulations ‘igno … Water flowing through the lower pipes is charged by the soil’s stable temperature. The heated (or cooled) water is pumped through the pipes installed in the root zone, where the heat (or cold) is discharged.”These results highlight the many benefits of root zone cooling in modern agriculture including enhanced plant growth, improved quality, shorter growing cycles, greater growth uniformity as well as energy savings compared with traditional greenhouse cooling systems,” said Dr Sharon Devir, Roots CEO.”Cooling the roots of lettuce plants in summer not only significantly increases crop yield but also reduces the growing cycle duration and increase yield uniformity. These benefits together could help farmers plan for increased annual crop production and, therefore, increased income.”He said this latest pilot complements a previous trial reported in July where the RZTO technology was used in collaboration with NFT technologies created by Teshuva Agricultural Projects to cool the nutrient temperature of hydroponically grown lettuce. The results are consistent with previous open field lettuce cooling experiments, he said.”Our RZTO systems are versatile and can be used to cool the roots of crops in open fields, grow bags, hydroponic and in soil,” he said, adding the technology has so far been also effective in stabilizing the plant roots of basil, apricots and medicinal cannabis.”We are the only company in the world with a commercial root cooling technology. We are therefore optimistic about our ability to generate increased sales, as the results of these pilots conducted in areas that experience weather extremes are analysed by farmers in various markets.”Headline photo: You might also be interested in Australian table grape season in China “outstandin …center_img An Australian company says its root-zone cooling technology has resulted in a huge increase in greenhouse lettuce yields and faster growing times.Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX: ROO) carried out a pilot trial of its proprietary RZTO cooling technology at its research site in central Israel over the summer.It found that cooled lettuces had an average fresh weight of 502g compared to an average weight of 216g for non-cooled plants – marking a 132% increase.It also said this was achieved in 27 days, compared to seed manufacturer data showing a normal growing cycle range of 30-50 days.Using the hybrid ground source heat exchange version of Roots’ RZTO system, lettuce roots were cooled to remain relatively stable around 24ºC despite air temperatures in the greenhouse frequently topping 34ºC. In comparison, roots of control plantings fluctuated between 28ºC – 34ºC.The technology involves a closed-loop system of pipes. The lower part are coils installed at a depth where soil temperature is stable and not affected by weather extremes, and the upper part in the target crop’s root zone just below the soil surface. Australia expecting best quality almond crop in a … September 25 , 2018 last_img read more

IMAGE Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

first_imgIMAGE: Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay Marriott International’s new Winter Getaway sale is offering up to 25% off accommodation at a range of hotels and resorts across the Pacific, including Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia and Samoa. Book before 2 July, 2017 to enjoy daily rates from as little as AUD$109, valid for stays between 19 May and 8 October 2017.The sale spans 26 Marriott properties with deals including, but not limited to:Courtyard by Marriott Sydney-North Ryde – starting from AUD$109 per nightSheraton Samoa Beach Resort – starting from AUD$192 per nightSheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island, Fiji – starting from AUD$200 per nightSheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa – starting from AUD$210 per nightPier One Sydney Harbour – Autograph Collection – starting from AUD$249 per nightThe newly-opened Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay starting from AUD$290 per nightTo book visit or hotelsMarriottPier One Sydney HarbourSheratonlast_img read more

cruiseCunardQE2Queen Elizabeth

first_imgcruiseCunardQE2Queen Elizabeth Cunard’s luxury cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth, is honouring the cruise line’s longest serving ocean liner by celebrating the 50th anniversary of QE2 with a special 17-night sailing from Southampton in England on Friday 8 September 2017 to Venice’s iconic canals, Mount Etna in Sicily and Corfu.“This Mediterranean cruise is perfectly timed to pay tribute to QE2’s launch and naming by HRH Queen Elizabeth II 50 years ago,” said Angus Struthers, Vice President, Cunard.“When QE2 came into service in the 1960s, many critics said she wouldn’t last a decade in the age of the jet but her unique design as a dual-purpose ship meant that she was versatile enough to operate both as a transatlantic liner and a cruise ship.“Given how famous and loved she was, we felt this was a great opportunity to pay tribute to this Cunarder’s remarkable life onboard our newest ship, Queen Elizabeth; herself designed to offer a perfect luxury cruise holiday.”Celebrations focus on five special theme days, each of which will be accompanied by QE2-inspired menus, talks from special guests, historical snippets in the daily programme, past-passenger gatherings and QE2 quizzes.Themes include Moving in Royal Circles which looks back at the unique and special bond between QE2 and the Royal Family; The Falklands which acknowledges the ship’s service as a troop ship in the 1982 conflict; Triumph of a Great Tradition examining the QE2’s remarkable career achievements and the long history of Cunard ‘firsts’, and World Flagship in tribute to QE2’s 26 world cruises that made her an icon in cities across the globe.Celebrations culminate on QE2 Day – 20 September 2017 – exactly 50 years since the ship was launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Events will include a QE2 ball, and a historical retrospective of the ship’s service life to be hosted in Queen Elizabeth’s 850 seat Royal Court Theatre.QE2 – Credit: Chris Frame and Rachelle Crosslast_img read more