Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Australian flag-carrier Qantas Airways announced it will commence direct services from Sydney to Dallas’ Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in May 2011. Australian travellers will garner unprecedented access to a variety of cities spread across the United States with the implementation of the new services. Flights outbound from Sydney to DFW will also return to Sydney via Brisbane. DFW is also the primary hub of Qantas’ fellow oneworld alliance member, American Airlines, and according to Qantas CEO Allan Joyce the two carriers will seek to advance their commercial relationship in the future. “This new service will connect Qantas customers to one of the USA’s major hub airports, benefitting both business and leisure travellers. “Flying to DFW is an important step for Qantas as we expand and improve our international services,” he said. Operating a three-class Boeing 747 aircraft and a frequency of four return flights to DFW every week will help Qantas strengthen its ties with the United States. “Alongside our entry into DFW, Qantas and American Airlines intend to deepen their existing relationship and will be seeking regulatory approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and other relevant authorities for this expanded commercial relationship,” Mr Joyce said. Once an agreement on a new codeshare is reached between Qantas and American Airlines, thirteen new US destinations and three Mexican destinations will join the Qantas network allowing Qantas to codeshare to 51 destinations within the US, Canada and Mexico. Although Qantas is developing new services to Dallas, their direct Sydney to San Francisco (SFO) services will be discontinued on 14 May 2011.SFO will remain part of Qantas’ network as a codeshare destination. Qantas & American Airlines to codeshare
John Constable has been appointed to run STA Travel Group, replacing outgoing chief executive, Peter Liney.Effective today, Mr Constable will step into the head role as Mr Liney joins the company’s board as an adviser.Working with the student and youth travel company for up to six year, STA Travel Group board member Angelo van Tol wished Mr Constable “success” in his new role. “I would like to thank Peter for his contribution to the business look forward to working with him in his new position,” Ms van Tol said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J.
Yet another major industry accolade for MTA – Mobile Travel Agents with the company collecting the Travelport Pacific ’Top Achievers Award Australia – Home Based Business Growth’ award at the Travelport Australia conference at Ayers Rock last week.A highlight of the event was an inspiring keynote presentation given by MTA’s brand ambassador Jessica Watson who presentation of her own ‘Jessica Watson Story’ kept delegates enthralled.Her fellow speakers included Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner and Bob Ansett, both of whom delivered insightful ‘warts and all’ presentations into the factors and events that shaped both these Australian travel industry legends’ business careers.High spots of the overall conference included a “Sounds of Silence” dinner under the Red Centre stars and a sunrise breakfast tour of Ayers Rock.Source = MTA – Mobile Travel Agents
Two-thirds of the airline’s fleet to be affected. American Airlines (AA) plans to add seats to the majority of its fleet, which may lead to the need for more flight attendants.AA workers were informed of the airline’s plan during a ‘Town Hall’ meeting in Fort Worth, led by the executive team that will guide the airline following its merger with US Airways, WKYC reported.The carrier will add seats to its Boeing 737 and MD-80 jets, which account for approximately two-thirds of its current fleet, yet the number of seats to be added has not yet been determined.“We make adjustments when we think it helps match supply to demand but can still be competitive,” AA vice president of flight service Lauri Curtis said.“From where we stand today, we expect to add seats to the 737 and MD-80 fleets, but we haven’t yet determined the right number of seats, and as a result, the impact on revenue and cost.”One of those determinations is the need to hire additional cabin crew if seat numbers exceed 150.Federal safety requirements state the need for one flight attendant per 50 seats and currently AA’s Boeing 737 have 148-150 seats on-board – exceeding this amount would call for an extra attendant.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) today announced the launch of its new booking program IHG Business Rewards, a new addition to the IHG Rewards Club.IHG Business Rewards offers rewards for business bookings of guest rooms, meetings and other events at over 4,700 IHG hotels across the world.Members will only require one card for their IHG Rewards Club and IHG Business Rewards memberships, enabling them to view all of their earned points in one account.SVP Customer Loyalty Marketing IHG Susanna Freer Epstein said the new program is a “thank you” to members for their on-going business with, and loyalty to, the company.“By combining our regional business loyalty programmes into one, we are giving our members a smoother, more personal experience by leveraging the existing IHG Rewards Club loyalty platform and infrastructure, points engine and redemption partners,” Ms Epstein said.IHG Business Rewards bookings will contribute towards members achieving Gold or Platinum status within the program.Members will be able to redeem hotel stays, air travel, electronic goods and restaurant vouchers with their accumulated points and will have access to exclusive special offers and promotions.IHG Business rewards combines the best features of four regional rewards programs: Booker Rewards Club, BusinessClub/AGENT, Elite Diamond Club and IHG Meeting Rewards, to provide a seamless booking experience for members.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
Tenth year’s a charm for KLCCMore than 1500 New Zealanders went to Malaysia to do business in the first half of this year – many to attend global forums for their sector in Kuala Lumpur.The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) has had a busy first half of 2015, with 661 events involving a total of 778,414 delegates and producing an economic impact contribution of RM264 million (around NZ$97.57 million).With 25 major events still scheduled for the remainder of 2015, KLCC is expecting a further 420,000 people. This number excludes banquets, entertainment activities and short-lead corporate meetings.Alan Pryor, the general manager of KLCC, says the Centre’s success over the past decade can be put down to a combination of fantastic staff and a loyal client base.“We are fortunate to have clients such as BookFest, HOMEDEC, PIKOM PC Fair, ARCHiDEX, Star Education Fair and Asia Oil & Gas Conference who have all made consecutive appearances or hosted every event edition with us since 2005,” he says. Kuala Lumpur Convention CentreSource = Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Aussie’s place more importance on material possessions than insuranceNew research commissioned by global assistance provider, Allianz Global Assistance, has found just 10 per cent of Australian travellers consider travel insurance to be a holiday essential.The research found that when it comes to must-have travel items, Aussie travellers place more importance on material possessions than insurance including, money (37 per cent), clothing (24 per cent), toiletries (15 per cent) and a credit card (12 per cent).Worryingly, the research also found that over half of those surveyed, did not take out travel insurance for their last overseas trip (51 per cent).Allianz Global Assistance Chief Market Manager, Damien Arthur said, “Our data shows that for many consumers, travel insurance is an afterthought and is often booked as late as the day before departure. In some cases, travellers choose not to purchase it at all, running the gauntlet and leaving themselves open to potentially disastrous consequences.“Issues such as delayed flights, lost luggage, medical treatment or repatriation could have a huge impact your holiday, with the costs for each varying drastically from country to country if you’re not covered. In reality, travel insurance is the one essential item you can’t live without.“In 2015, the average price of a travel insurance policy was $114.75*. This is an extremely small price to pay when you consider the consequences of being caught in an unfortunate situation without cover.”In the US, the most popular destination for Australian travellers in 2015, over 62 per cent of claims made were for medical reasons, but without insurance, common injuries can incur some of the highest medical costs in the world. Allianz Global AssistanceSource = Allianz Global Assistance
Best Western partners with roomsXMLroomsXML partners with global powerhouse in distribution partnershipBest Western Hotels & Resorts has announced a distribution partnership with roomsXML.Tajinder Singh, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Best Western Hotels & Resorts said “We’re pleased to partner with roomsXML, providing them with ready access to over 4,100 hotels around the world. roomsXML meets our business needs and aspirations as we look to grow our footprint across the region, and we are confident they will help us be successful in our mission moving forward.”The Best Western group now encompasses 7 brands in its portfolio of over 4,100 hotels:Stylish and modern “Best Western Plus”High standard and refined “Best Western Premier”The timely, comfortable and more traditional “Best Western”“Vib” – stylish and urban boutique properties“Glo” – aimed at the hip traveller which is anything but traditional“Executive residency” offering a great mix of hotel and homeThe best western “Premier Collection” – Luxury BoutiqueMark Luckey, MD roomsXML Pacific says “It’s a great opportunity for both companies. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes implementing ISO standards and achieving the MSE 2 from Standards & Poor. Companies like Best Western want a reliable, solid and transparent partner capable of high volumes of trade. We deliver locally and internationally. “Prakash Bang, Managing Director, roomsXML said, “We are excited to formalise our relationship with Best Western. Product development and innovation is the key to keep us ahead in this highly competitive segment. We believe this focus has led Best Western Hotels & Resorts to choose us as a preferred direct distribution partner, bringing incredible value to our travel agent partners, who will gain from seamless access to the company’s global portfolio of 4,100 hotels.” learn more about roomsXML.com hereSource = roomsXML.com
Don’t miss the chance to fly to more funDon’t miss the chance to fly to more fun with Cebu Pacific’s crazy seat saleMissed the last Cebu Pacific’s flash sale?Mark your calendar to book your next holiday to the Philippines with Cebu Pacific’s crazy seat sale, starting from as low as SGD99.From 24 – 27 March 2019 (or until seats last), Cebu Pacific will be holding a seat sale from Singapore to 5 exciting destinations in the Philippines: Manila, Cebu, Clark, Davao and Iloilo. Seats to Clark, Davao and Iloilo starts from SGD99 and seats to Cebu and Manila starts from SGD109.Tickets bought during the sale are valid for travel from 1 May to 30 September 2019.Check out some of the must-see attractions and activities at each of these destinations below!Cebu: Visit Kawasan Falls!A lesser known gem to Boracay, Cebu actually boasts some of the best islands in the Philippines.When you are in Cebu, be sure to check out Kawasan Falls, where a stunning waterfall awaits with perfect turquoise water for a relaxing swim!Nearest Airport: Mactan-Cebu International AirportHow to get there: During this seat sale, Cebu Pacific flies daily from Singapore to Cebu directly for as low as SGD 109. From here, travellers can connect to other top destinations in the Philippines such as El Nido. Click HERE to learn more.Davao: Try white-water rafting!Lounging by the beach is not your thing? Then head to Davao, the Philippines’ capital for adventure.Paddle your way down the rapids of Davao Crocodile ParkTry your hand at White Water Rafting against the rapids and boulders at Davao Crocodile Park – don’t worry, a guide will keep you safe! After you dry off, you can take a walk around the park and visit its renowned crocodiles.Nearest Airport: Francisco Bangoy International AirportHow to get there: During this sale, Cebu Pacific flies four times a day from Singapore to Davao for as low as SGD 99, and travellers can choose between transiting in Cebu or Manila. Click HERE to learn more.Iloilo: Marvel at the Miag-ao Church!Known for its colonial architecture and Spanish history, Iloilo houses several buildings steeped in Filipino history, including the Miag-ao Church. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been through the Spanish Revolution, World War Two and an earthquake. Having been rebuilt thrice, the church has become a living symbol of the life and culture of the Miagao people from centuries ago.Discover the ancient lives and culture of the Miag-ao people at Miag-ao ChurchNearest Airport: Iloilo International AirportHow to get there: During this sale, Cebu Pacific flies two times a day from Singapore to Iloilo, through Manila for as low as SGD 99. ClickHERE to learn more.Manila: Catch the sunset at Manila Bay!If you are more of a city traveller, why not experience Manila, the capital of the Philippines? When you feel like taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, head on to Manila Bay just across the Metro to enjoy a free but stunning sunset view from the platform of the Bay.In addition, with Cebu Pacific’s extensive flight network, travellers can also easily extend the trip to experience Philippines’ tropical islands like the beautiful Boracay and Palawan by flying through Manila.Nearest Airport: Ninoy Aquino International AirportHow to get there: During this sale, Cebu Pacific flies up to six times a day from Singapore to Manila for as low as SGD 109. Click HERE to learn more.Clark: Relax at Puning Hot Spring!With the upcoming school holidays in June and September, now is the perfect time for to plan for a getaway for the family, and Clark has plenty of fun for everyone. Spend some quality family time at Puning Hot Spring and Sand Spa, a hot spring resort located at the foot of Mt. Pinatubo, a 1485-metre high volcano with amazing views. Melt all your worries and stress away while bonding with your kids!Nearest Airport: Clark International AirportHow to get there: During this sale, Cebu Pacific flies two times a day from Singapore to Clark directly, for as low as SGD 99. Click HERE to learn more.With direct flight connections and the ongoing seat sale, there is no better time to plan your next summer getaway to the land of more fun! Source = Cebu Pacific
Cox & Kings Ltd has launched a chain of exciting holiday options for discerning travellers belonging to different age groups. Flexihol Holidays include Romantic Getaways, customised holidays to Europe, Far East, Australia & New Zealand, Africa, the Middle East and America. Customised holidays to exotic islands, rail Europe holidays and instant holidays for short-durations are also available.The customised holiday’s options are rail holidays which are basically the scenic tours by train and travel to beautiful locations in Europe, China, Japan, and Canada, etc. Then is self- drive holiday which gives you a chance to relax and explore the countryside and nature, driving at your own pace in countries like New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Europe, U.S. etc. Next is the cruise vacation where exotic places like Mediterranean, Alaska, Bahamas etc. in the unparalleled comfort of a 5-star cruise liner can be discovered. Next is the coach tours which give multi-lingual travellers on pre-planned escorted tours to Europe, U.S., Scandinavia, Canada, Turkey etc. Next is the safari Holidays where the thrills of nature & wild-life with a close encounter on an African Safari can be enjoyed.Apartment stay is also available where people can enjoy the comfort of luxury apartments. Private journey is also available to Explore, dine, shop at your own pace in Europe, USA, South Africa, China etc., driven by a professional chauffeur. Adventure tour is like Trekking, Cycling, Sailing, Expedition Off the beaten track. City breaks which set off on a quick short city break in cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Singapore, and Bangkok etc. Island hideaways are which unwind people without the restrictions of time and spaces in Mauritius, Maldives, and Seychelles.
Japanese airline All Nippon Airways will bring a little Star Wars to the skies by decorating a new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft in R2D2 robot livery.The airline said it will introduce an “R2D2 jet,” a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner painted in white and blue stripes like the trusty, chirping Star Wars droid, with the Star Wars logo in black on the aircraft’s fuselage.The airline informed that “the jet is scheduled to fly on international routes this autumn.”The airline apparently appreciates the droid, saying on its website that R2D2 is “highly loyal and whenever he faces challenge he comes up with an original idea to succeed the mission.”The new aircraft are part of ANA’s strategy to “enhance its international presence”.“Although it is a lofty goal, we hope that like Star Wars, ANA will become well known and loved across all borders and generations,” said Takashi Shiki, an ANA Executive Vice President.“We’re proud of the innovative R2-D2 design, and we look forward to witnessing the first-ever flight of a passenger aircraft featuring a Star Wars character,” said Kayleen Walters, Vice President, Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd.
The Globus family of brands has unveiled a number of vacations, which include new getaways, travel styles and great savings on vacation prices for as much as 25%.Cosmos would continue to focus on growing by reaching out to travellers who are seeking the real experiences with a balance of included sightseeing and free time on their own to personalise their vacation experience, whether to Europe, Asia, North or South America.Targeted towards travellers who value international travel experiences, Cosmos is suitable for travellers who would prefer sampling local cuisine instead of seeking Indian fare in overseas destinations. These patrons represent a new breed of savvy travel enthusiasts who appreciate more immersive experiences.Cosmos is offering huge savings for 2017 and revealed its collection of nine vacations under $1000 that include accommodation at smart hotels, touring by deluxe coaches, sightseeing with local guides and services of a professionally trained tour director, breakfast and some additional meals.The list features:– British Panorama – 6 days priced from US$999*– Lisbon, Seville & Madrid – 9 days priced from US$999*– Best of the Netherlands- 7 days priced from US$999*– Highlights of the Canyonlands – 7 days priced from US$999*– Prague, Vienna & Budapest – 9 days priced from US$999*– Irish Explorer – 9 days priced from US$999*– Highlights of Morocco – 10 days priced from US$999*– Costa Rica Escape – 8 days priced from US$999*– Grand Tour of Turkey- 13 days priced from US$999**All of the above prices are land or land and cruise-onlyCosmos’ 2017 list additionally includes exciting new destinations like Vietnam, China, Japan, Mexico and Cuba that would particularly interest their Indian guests.Globus, which is known for its first class travel is providing a choice of vacation destinations in 82 countries throughout Europe, North & South America, Asia including China and Japan and Australia & New Zealand. The travel styles of Globus range from the multi-country Panoramas to the in-depth Regional Discovery vacations and from all-inclusive river cruises to independent travel vacations.For 2017, the Globus family of brands would continue to focus on value. “Our vacations appeal to the evolved traveller and are distinctly different from what any other tour operator is offering in India. Our choice of itineraries, destinations, travel styles, the length of stay, travel dates and prices is unmatched and we will continue to focus on providing value to our travellers and that would mean the best experience at the least cost possible,” said Varesh Chopra, Regional Director– South Asia and the Middle East.He encourages selling partners to look out for a host of incredible new benefits also including fully paid FAM and industry discount opportunities for 2017.
Here in the coastal city of Shanghai one can witness a radical spin on the “Made in China” label thanks mainly due to the creativity of Neri and Hu Design.Source: BBC
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Share September 22, 2011 376 Views Veros and JVI Rolling Out New Product VeroINSIGHT has lift off, with “”Veros Real Estate Solutions””:http://www.veros.com/ and “”JVI Solutions LLC””:http://www.jvisolutions.com/ recently announcing the arrival of the new, collaborative product. Targeting property condition reports and regulation compliance, the company’s latest technology launch is good news for those conducting collateral evaluations.[IMAGE]The VeroINSIGHT platform is capable of consistently cataloging all aspects of a property’s current condition and its general marketability, while also providing quality control via the adaptation of the Uniform Appraisal Dataset. UAD’s rating system focuses on finite aspects of the condition and valuation of a property, and users of Veros’ and JVI’s new program will have gain greater access to UAD coding that tracks a piece of [COLUMN_BREAK]real estate at a specified point in time.Lenders, insurers, and other market stakeholders can utilize VeroINSIGHT to gather enhanced verification of property examinations, get external or internal inspection information, and better determination of a property’s market value. All reports generated through the new platform will be completed by a field service inspector, effectively filling the gap when a full appraisal or broker price opinion is not necessary.Commenting on the new program, Veros’ director of valuation initiatives William E. King, said, “”The partnership between Veros and JVI creates an exclusive advantage through VeroINSIGHT for those who are concerned about their existing processes holding up in an audit against the Interagency Appraisal & Evaluation Guidelines. By benchmarking decisions on a ratings system established by government-sponsored enterprises, VeroINSIGHT clients have a deeper level of confidence knowing their vendors are speaking the same language as regulators and investors.””Both Veros and JVI define the key benefits of VeroINSIGHT as greater ratings and definitions of condition and quality, better UAD compliance, no integration requirements, and the ability to pair the program with AVMs. Ron Nation, JVI’s CEO, echoed King’s positive statements, saying, “”Veros’ widespread real estate experience coupled with JVI’s established nationwide inspection product line will only strengthen the quality and accuracy of the service we provide together.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-09-22 Abby Gregory
Agents & Brokers Ally Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Citigroup Court Ruling HUD Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Principal Reduction Service Providers Wells Fargo 2013-02-21 Krista Franks Brock A year after the nation’s largest mortgage servicers reached a monumental “”settlement””:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/robo-signing-settlement-finalized-2012-02-09 with 49 state’s attorneys general and several federal agencies, the five servicers have reportedly provided assistance in the amount of $45.83 billion to 550,000 homeowners, according to the “”Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight””:https://www.mortgageoversight.com/. [IMAGE]The independent settlement monitor released his third progress “”report””:https://www.mortgageoversight.com/reports/ongoing-implementation/ since the agreement Thursday. With the release of the report, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan specifically touted the efforts made through principal reductions. “”We have already surpassed our initial expectations, and the settlement is a testament to the fact that large scale principal reduction can be used as an important tool in our efforts to prevent foreclosures without incurring negative results,”” Donovan said. The greatest portion of the total $45.83 billion distributed since the settlement went to “”relief to support home ownership.”” About $24.7 billion went to these efforts. Short sales made up another significant portion of servicers’ efforts, totaling $19.5 billion. [COLUMN_BREAK]First-lien modifications totaled $6.04 billion, and active trials in progress currently stand at $3.49 billion. Refinance relieve totaled $2.209 billion, and forgiveness of pre-March forbearance reached $1.37 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2012, servicers doled out $23.9 billion in consumer relief to 276,413 homeowners. A little more than 33,000 homeowners received first-lien modifications amounting to about $3.86 billion in principal forgiveness. Another nearly 120,000 homeowners received second-lien modifications or extinguishments, totaling $8.76 billion. Relief through short sales in the fourth quarter totaled $6.41 billion and went out to 55,580 homeowners. In addition to observing the consumer relief efforts of the five servicers (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial) in the settlement, the monitor accepts consumer and professional complaints through his website. He has received 5,700 complaints from consumers across all states. For the first six months, the monitor received about 550 complaints per month. Since November, complaints have averaged about 830 per month. “”This may be the result of greater awareness of my office, the result of persistent servicing issues, or both,”” the monitor stated in his report. Common consumer complaints include issues with loan modifications, changes in single points of contact (SPOCs) or lack of follow-up by a SPOC, requests for the same documentation to be submitted multiple times, and “”questionable or undocumented fees.”” Complaints from professionals also often pertain to loan modifications and customer service issues, according to the monitor. Monitor: Servicers Have Paid $46B in Relief Since National Mortgage Settlement in Servicing Share February 21, 2013 445 Views
Credit Availability Tightens as Lenders Limit Offerings Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Credit Availability Credit Standards Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Qualified Mortgage Service Providers 2013-12-10 Tory Barringer After experiencing a small bump in October, mortgage credit availability reversed course in November as lenders ceased offering certain easy-credit products.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The “”Mortgage Bankers Association’s””:http://www.mortgagebankers.org/default.htm (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) slipped 1.2 percent to settle at 110.2 in November, wiping out the 0.7 percent gain recorded a month prior. A decline in the index indicates that lending standards are tightening; the index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.According to MBA, the drop comes from the discontinuation of a “”significant number”” of loan programs for loan-to-value ratios of more than 95 percent and programs for borrowers with low-to-mid range FICO scores. Investors also continued to pull back from products featuring terms longer than 30 years and interest-only programs as the mortgage industry prepares for the arrival of January’s new regulations.Those decreases were partly offset by investors increasing cash-out offerings to well-qualified borrowers, MBA reported. in Origination December 10, 2013 416 Views Share
Share January 17, 2017 509 Views in Daily Dose, News, Origination Is This the Season for Homebuying? Homebuying 2017-01-17 Seth Welborn According to a recent report from NerdWallet, Q1 may prove to be a successful period for lenders, even despite rising mortgage rates.According to the report’s writers Daniel Tonkovich and Emily Starbuck Crone, early 2017 is primed to be a good time for buyers and, as a result, for mortgage lenders ready to serve them.“While winter homebuyers generally encounter a lower inventory,” Tonkovich and Crone wrote, “a September 2016 NerdWallet study found that they have the advantage of less competition. Additionally, the study showed that home prices in January are typically the lowest they’ll be all year.”NerdWallet analyzed two years of Realtor.com data for 50 of the nation’s most populated metros. It found home sales prices were 8.45 percent lower in January and February than in the more popular buying months of June, July, and August.Add in the expected rise in interest rates, and buyers may be even more motivated to buy early.“After hitting historic lows, mortgage rates started rising in fall 2016” Tonkovich and Crone wrote. “This year, economists expect additional rate increases, which means higher monthly payments for future homeowners.”According to Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, a better-than-average fall 2016 market also lends itself to lower prices than normal in the coming months.““[Home] prices are likely to increase even more than you typically see in spring because of low levels of inventory and because we didn’t see the normal weakness we see in fall,” Smoke said.Smoke said the inventory-to-sales ratio should also make winter a great time to buy–especially when compared to the summer season.“You basically face almost half of the competition with almost the same amount of inventory in the market,” Smoke said. “This potentially means fewer homes with multiple bidders and more room for negotiating with sellers.NerdWallet’s analysis backed this up, too. In January 2015 and 2016, actual sales price came in at around $7,000 less than the initial listing price, indicating more negotiating and more flexibility on the part of sellers.
Since the housing crash and recession of 2008, some metro areas have fully recovered while others are still lagging behind the housing recovery. With help from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency’s Home Price Index, HSH.com put together a quarterly report on the top and bottom 10 metros that have recovered the most and the least respectively.Though the metros in the top 10 have not changed since last quarter, all of them moved further above “boom time” peaks for home prices, which tightens their hold on their prospective positions. The bottom 10 markets also have not changed, but two notable moves in the category were that of the Las Vegas metro area, which relinquished its position as the metro with the greatest gap between peak time and now yet to recover to Bakersfield, California. Though prices continue to improve steadily over the U.S., Camden, New Jersey’s distance to its former high point 10 years ago, has grown this quarter, moving it further down the list.Five metro areas joined the “fully recovered” group, including Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin; Montgomery-Bucks-Chester counties, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; San Diego-Carlsbad, California; and Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan. Returning again after recovering and then falling back in the first quarter of 2016, the Akron, Ohio metro area is back in the group where home prices are achieving new highs.The “nearly recovered” group, likely to be next in line to hit “fully recovered” in the next quarter or so, includes the Tacoma-Lakewood, Washington and Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio metro areas. Though the El Paso, Texas and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California areas were close, they need to see prices rise by more than two percentage points to be included in the “nearly recovered” group.Even though many markets have yet to come close to their boom-year price peaks, according to HSH.com, they have seen significant price recoveries since hitting their bottom values. They predict that home prices in areas like Las Vegas may have been inflated to such a degree that their “normal” value may still be well below their previous price peak. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Federal Housing and Finance Agency Fully recovered HSH.com 2017-06-05 Brianna Gilpin Is Your Metro Fully Recovered? Five Added to List Share June 5, 2017 591 Views
Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held its third hearing Tuesday entitled “Sustainable Housing Finance, Part III,” to further assess views and perspectives on the need to enact a comprehensive housing finance reform.During the meeting, the panel provided the Subcommittee with views and perspectives on the need to enact comprehensive housing finance reform, the legal, statutory or regulatory impediments to the return of private capital to the housing finance system, and what factors and metrics Congress should consider to reform the housing finance system.“We’ve heard from those who finance purchases of homes, we’ve heard from those who build homes, and those who help sellers and buyers meet for that buyers slice of the American Dream,” said U.S. House Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) and Chairman on the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee during his opening remarks.Duffy continued, “We recognized that a home purchase is one of the biggest and most important decisions a person makes, and making sure we have a system that actually works for all Americans is incredibly important because we’ve seen when things go wrong, back in 2008, it doesn’t only impact those who purchase a home, it wrecks havoc on the whole economy.”U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-Florida) said the federal involvement in housing is litigated on the idea that it is not only helpful, but it is necessary.“For example, a working-class family scrapping to get by, we ask ourselves, how are we helping them?” Ross questioned during the hearing. “What’s striking to me is that we don’t ask a different question, how are we hurting them?”Other members of the subcommittee had different views, as U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California) said, “We are going to need government agencies to provide the guarantee—if we are going to have 30-year fixed mortgages for low-income families.”Sherman continued, “I understand the jurisdiction of this panel is on the housing finance side but our purpose is to make sure homes are affordable and people who have their nest egg invested in homes don’t see that wiped out.”The panelists included Peter Wallison, Senior Fellow and Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics, Dr. Michael Lea, Cardiff Consulting Services, Alanna McCargo, Co-director, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute, and The Honorable Theodore “Ted” Tozer, Senior Fellow, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute.As the Subcommittee recognizes that Americans need a housing policy that is sustainable over time, not one that causes endless boom-bust cycles in real estate that harm the economy, panelist McCargo said, “One clear lesson from recent years is that the country needs one solid, interconnected housing finance system that serves all people and protects taxpayers.”During Wallison’s testimony, he outlined five reasons why he believes the GSEs have impeded the growth of homeownership. One of those reasons included his belief that the enterprises and other housing policies increase housing prices and makes homes less affordable.“The best and most effective housing finance reform would be to completely eliminate the government’s role in housing finance, and to let private capital and the private sector operate the housing finance system,” Wallison said. “There is nothing about the way the government has managed the housing finance system for the last 50 years that would remotely recommend a continuing government role.”Additionally, Tozer also emphasized a safe and sound housing finance system that should support the overall reduction of the public capital footprint as more private capital re-enters the system at different points in the primary and secondary mortgage markets.However, according to Dr. Zandi it is not plausible to completely rid of the current system, but revise it instead.“Perhaps the least disruptive approach to GSE reform would be for the GSEs to be simply recapitalized and then reprivatized,” Zandi stated during his testimony. “Since Fannie and Freddie were remarkably profitable prior to the crisis, and have consistently been in the black in recent years, the logic for this proposal is that we can simply return to the system that prevailed prior to the crisis.” Establishing a Sustainable Mortgage Market HOUSING Housing Finance Reform mortgage 2017-11-07 Nicole Casperson November 7, 2017 595 Views
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on Tuesday titled “Should Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be Designated as Systemically Important Financial Institutions?” Witnesses included Alex J. Pollock, Distinguished Senior Fellow, R Street Institute; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum; and The Honorable Susan M. Wachter, Sussman Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.In his opening statement, Committee Chairman Mike Crapo discussed the importance of reevaluating the GSE’s place in the mortgage market, noting FHFA Director Mark Calabria’s push to end the conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie.“In recent weeks, FHFA Director Mark Calabria has repeatedly stated, quoting President Kennedy, that ‘the time to repair the roof is not in the middle of a downpour but when the sun is shining,’” said Crapo in his opening statement. “I agree with this sentiment. We have a key opportunity right now, while the sun shines on our economy and mortgage markets are healthy, to put our housing finance system on a durable, sustainable course that can withstand any market cycle.”According to Crapo, Fannie and Freddie are too big to fail, and “hold far less capital, and are far more leveraged, than any other currently-designated SIFI.”The witnesses each answered the question, “are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac systematically important?” According to Pollock, they are. However, he notes that Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) should designate Fannie and Freddie as SIFIs.“That would be consistent with the clear provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act,” Pollock stated. “In my opinion, the country needs Fannie and Freddie to be integrated into the efforts to understand and deal with systemic risk. Without including Fannie and Freddie, these efforts are woefully incomplete.”Holtz-Eakin echoed Crapo’s statement on the GSEs, stating that “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to be risky, too-big-to-fail institutions,” and notes Fannie and Freddie’s tentative SIFI status.“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were put into conservatorship because they were deemed too big to fail, the very concept that underpinned the creation of the SIFI designation,” said Holtz-Eakin. “Thus, we would automatically expect the GSEs released from conservatorship to be considered SIFIs.”While Holtz-Eakin and Pollock suggest a SIFI designation, Wachter suggests be designated as Systemically Important Financial Market Utilities (SIFMUs).“I believe a SIFMU designation is the correct designation because the GSEs provide a structuralfoundation to the secondary mortgage market,” said Wachter. “The GSEs are characterized by the considerations established for the SIFMU designation—that is, the aggregate value of transactions processed by the financial market utility, the aggregate exposure of the financial market utility, the relationship, interdependencies, or other interactions of the financial market utility, and the effect that the failure of or a disruption to the financial market utility would have on critical markets, financial institutions, or the broader financial system. All four of these characterize the GSEs.”View the hearing here. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Fannie Mae Freddie Mac SIFI 2019-06-25 Seth Welborn Fannie and Freddie as Systemically Important Financial Institutions Share June 25, 2019 1,724 Views