TAT highlights Thailands Unbeatable Geographic AdvantageTAT highlights Thailands Unbeatable Geographic AdvantageThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has highlighted Thailand’s “unbeatable geographic location” at the heart of ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region” as a major reason why visitor arrivals will continue to grow strongly in the years ahead.Mr. Tanes Petsuwan (above picture), TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said: “Thailand has the best connections within the entire region. There are approximately 30 overland border checkpoints open for travel by international visitors with Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Malaysia, as well as four Friendship Bridges with Lao PDR., and one with Myanmar with more being planned.“The Asian Highway is growing rapidly and will provide extensive road connectivity beyond the neighbouring countries to both China and India. Rail travel is going to be the next generation of land transport infrastructure to emerge, with high-speed links now in the design and planning stage.”Mr. Tanes noted that Thailand’s international airports serve 135 scheduled and chartered airlines. Low-cost airlines from Vietnam, China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are boosting their frequencies to Bangkok as well as other popular tourism destinations; such as, Phuket and Chiang Mai.He added: “Phuket, Pattaya and Samui are now home to a number of cruise and yachting marinas. Ferry connectivity is growing with Malaysia and will grow in future with Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar.”To build on this expansion, TAT has launched a new “Experience Thailand and More” pocketbook, focusing on four key experiences that enhance its ASEAN Connectivity initiative with new destination combinations.These routes include:A Journey to ASEAN Ancient Kingdom’, to promote Northern Thailand as a linkage to the historic trails in the North of ASEAN‘ASEAN Peranakan and Nature Trail, which links the Andaman coastal cities while highlighting Phuket’s distinctive Peranakan culture and distinctive gastronomic scene‘Mekong Active Adventure Trail’ that combines the Northeast (Isan) with Cambodia. The trail showcases Buri Ram as the sports city and is ideal for travellers who love combining sports with adventure travel experiences‘ASEAN World-Class Culinary and Heritage Cities’ highlights culinary travel experiences in major and unique cities of Central Region provinces in Thailand, along with those in Malaysia, and Singapore. The route focuses on food culture, local cuisine, world-class restaurants and top things to do in the featured cities with Bangkok as the world’s gastronomic hubMr. Tanes added: “As the host of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, TAT has organised post-tours that also include a number of ASEAN Connectivity itineraries further strengthening TAT’s commitment to promote ASEAN as a single destination.”The ASEAN countries are collectively Thailand’s largest visitor source market in Asia. Thailand welcomed more than 9 million ASEAN visitors in 2017, with Malaysia being the largest market followed by Lao PDR. and Singapore.Mr. Tanes stressed that Chiang Mai is also benefitting from convenient air access. In 2017, more than 18,000 international flights utilised Chiang Mai International Airport. In December 2017, Qatar Airways’ launched a direct non-stop service from Doha to Chiang Mai.He said that Thailand crossed the 35 million visitor arrivals mark in 2017, and is anticipating tourism earnings from international tourists of 53 billion US dollars.For 2018, TAT has set a growth target of eight percent in tourism revenue from the international market, he said. Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand
Discovery Green Field of Lights Image courtesy Bruce Munro StudioField of Light – Albany, Western AustraliaThis year, as the world marks 100 years since the end of the Great War, Albany, Western Australia will pay tribute with a large scale light installation crafted by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro.The Field of Light: Avenue of Honour installation will glow with 16, 000 glass spheres planted along the Avenue of Honour at Mount Clarence in homage to the Anzacs who departed Albany’s shores over a century ago. The installation is expected to highlight the region’s extraordinary experiences to a national and international audience expected to drive an additional 28,500 visitors to Albany and Australia’s South West between October 2018 and April 2019.The City of Albany have worked with national tourism development consultants Distinctly Tourism Management to develop 3 new tours, celebrating Albany’s unique sense of place in the nation’s Anzac story including the location of Australia’s first documented Anzac Day Dawn Service at Mt Clarence.Experiences will include a Sunset Panorama Tour of Albany’s unique Anzac monuments, an option to include a visit to the award winning National Anzac Centre, and an inclusive dining and tour option for domestic and international visitors, specifically designed to partner with ITO’s.Distinctly Tourism Management Managing Director Karen Castiglioni said the City of Albany should be commended on embracing the opportunity to own and develop event-based tour products. “These products are supported by global booking systems and tourism industry distribution partnerships. The City of Albany has made a significant leap in connecting the region to new markets as a result of Field of Light: Avenue of Honour,” she said.Catrin Allsop, CEO of Australia’s South West said the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour offered a compelling reason to visit the historic and cultural highlights of Albany. “It provides the opportunity to explore the Great Southern’s natural attractions, food and wine trails and biodiversity hotspots in spring and the orca tour season in summer,” she said.FORM’s Executive Director Lynda Dorrington said the Albany installation would translate the notion of memorial into an ephemeral and emotional encounter, inviting viewers to engage with Albany’s unique sense of place.“As a new generation of Australians and New Zealanders reflect on their national identities; art, as a modern iteration of memorial, will invite dialogue, immersive reflection and a celebration of the Armistice through themes of hope, peace and sacrifice,” she said.The installation was commissioned by independent, non-profit cultural organisation FORM with the City of Albany and made possible by funding from the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund and the State Government through Tourism Western Australia and Lotterywest and with support from Christine and Kerry Stokes AC. It will coincide with peak wildflower season and the conclusion of the Anzac Centenary commemorations, exhibiting from 4 October 2018 through to Anzac Day in April 2019.Source = Distinctly Tourism Management
Trinidad and Tobago’s popularity as a port of call continues to grow as the Princess Cruises announced its 2017-2018 Americas cruise calendar that includes sailings to the twin island Republic.The islands completed a successful 2015-2016 cruise season. Some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships added Trinidad and Tobago to their itineraries including the MSC Orchestra, with a capacity of over 2,000 passengers and the World Odyssey which functions as both a travelling university and residential home to over 700 undergraduate students. The Saga Sapphire and Seven Ocean Princess also made a return to Trinidad and Tobago’s waters.Keith Chin, CEO at the Tourism Development Company, Trinidad and Tobago, said, “As the amount of visiting ships grows in number, so too are the variety of on-shore activities and tours available for cruise passengers on both islands. Cruise ship passengers disembarking on our unique islands can enjoy live local entertainment, a variety of island and community tour options and free Wi-Fi, all in a safe and secure environment.”Caribbean cruises will offer several vacation packages in 2017-2018 and will launch a new 14-day Circle Caribbean itinerary out of Fort Lauderdale that includes stops in Trinidad and other Caribbean islands as well as a stop at the line’s private beach resort, Princess Cays.The Princess will also be returning with its seven-day Caribbean cruises with visits to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean regions on Regal Princess, while Crown Princess will alternate eight-day Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries and five-day getaways to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA) has announced ‘Let’s Connect’ as the theme for the year 2017. To connect better with its members and the partners, NIMA will soon be launching its android based mobile application ‘Let’s Connect’ Version 1.0 later in January.“NIMA always strives to add value for its members, and this mobile application is one such innovative step,” said Gajesh Girdhar, National Coordinator of NIMA.Maj Vikrant Gulani (Retd), Coordinator PR said that NIMA will be the first tourism trade association in the country to have come up with a mobile application for its members. It will, in its true sense take the MICE operators to a digital networking platform, he added.The official website of NIMA will also be re-launched with new look and additional features as per the information received through Gulani.
Seeing the potential of Grenada as a destination various airline such as Air Canada and American Airlines have announced additional flights in December to bring vacationers to the three-island destination.American Airlines is adding an additional flight to its schedule for Grenada departing Miami International Airport and arriving at Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport. “With this new frequency to Grenada, we further strengthen our Caribbean route network, which today includes more than 900 weekly flights to 36 destinations in the region. Grenada is an important market for American, and we look forward to starting this new seasonal flight helping us better meet customer demand,” said Alfredo Gonzalez, American’s Managing Director for the Caribbean.“This is great news for Pure Grenada as airlift is critical to the continued growth of our destination’s tourism industry,” noted CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher. “The U.S. and Canada represent two of our largest source markets and we are thrilled to see that our airline partners recognise that Grenada is trending upwards and validate our growth with additional airlift.”
Availpro and Fastbooking, a technology provider to the global hospitality industry, announced the integration of NewBook with its booking platform. The integration of these two systems allows holiday parks and hotels to seamlessly manage availability and rates to Availpro and Fastbooking through NewBook. Hoteliers can enjoy operational efficiency and control rate parity all through one system.“Connecting NewBook to the Availpro and Fastbooking platform allows our joint clients to broaden their online distribution strategy and balance their distribution mix. We are very pleased to be working with the team at NewBook who provide seamless support to our joint clients,” said Christine Tan, Managing Director, the Asia Pacific for Availpro and Fastbooking.“I believe it’s important for our clients to expand their funnel by using as many channels as possible and our recent integration with Availpro and Fastbooking has enabled our clients to access Metasearch, such as Google Hotel Ads, to further extend their reach,” said Brad Illich, Founder and CEO of NewBook.
Closing Rates, Time to Close Rise in August: Ellie Mae September 21, 2012 392 Views Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Refinance Service Providers 2012-09-21 Krista Franks Brock Closing rates and the time it takes to close on a residential mortgage increased in August, according to the most recent report from “”Ellie Mae””:http://www.elliemae.com/. [IMAGE]Ellie Mae estimates a closing rate of about 47.8 percent in August, up from 45.8 percent in July. The rate for purchase loans was 60.1 percent in August, up from 57.8 percent in July, marking the fourth consecutive increase. [COLUMN_BREAK]The closing rate for refinance loans decreased from 37.9 percent in July to 40.9 percent in August. The time it took to close a loan was 49 days in August, up just one day from July’s closing time. Refinance closings took a little longer than purchase closings in August, same as July. It took 51 days to close a refinance loan in August, up fom 48 days in July. Purchase loans took 47 days to close in August, the same length of time it took in July. Ellie Mae also reported that the 30-year not rates on closed loans decreased to 3.763 percent in August from 3.870 percent in July. The percentage of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) reached its lowest level since Ellie Mae began tracking them in August 2011. ARMs reached 2.7 percent in August. For the third straight month, the percentage of refinances with more than 95 percent loan-to-value ratio decreased, falling to 7.74 in August, which is “”a possible sign that HARP 2.0 continues to be cooling off,”” stated Jonathan Corr, COO of Ellie Mae. Share in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing
Trulia: 82 of Top 100 Metros Post 2012 Price Gains The year 2012 was a big year for certain markets as prices grew by leaps and bounds after seeing declines in 2011. [IMAGE] On Thursday, “”Trulia””:http://www.trulia.com/released a report revealing changes in asking prices in 2011 and 2012 among the 100 largest metros. After measuring improvements over the two years, Trulia ranked Las Vegas as the top turnaround market based on its recovery in asking prices. Over a one-year period ending in December 2011, Las Vegas saw an 11.2 percent decrease, but ended 2012 with a 16.3 percent year-over-year increase in asking prices in December 2012, making the metro’s improvement the most dramatic. Trulia also found nine out of the top 10 turnaround markets were located West and Southwest, and the top six saw double digit increases. The metro that ranked second for its recovery in asking prices was Seattle, where prices rose by 10.2 percent in 2012 compared to a 13.8 percent decline in 2011. Phoenix took the No. 3 spot even though it saw the biggest surge in asking prices in 2012. In Phoenix, prices improved by 26 percent compared to a 4.2 percent increase in 2011. [COLUMN_BREAK]Two California metros took the next two spots. Oakland and San Jose experienced double-digit increases of 12.7 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively, after seeing declines in 2011. Salt Lake City was No. 6 after experiencing a 14 percent year-over-year increase in December 2012.Atlanta was the only metro on the list that is not located West or Southwest. In Atlanta, prices grew by 9 percent in 2012 after falling by 9.9 percent in December 2011. The metros that took the last three spots on the top ten list were Sacramento, Fresno, and Tacoma. Asking prices in Sacramento improved by 9.5 percent in 2012 and decreased by 8.5 percent the year before. Fresno experienced a 9 percent gain in 2012 but saw an 8.7 percent decrease in 2011. In Tacoma, prices increased by 4 percent after a steep 13.7 percent drop in 2011. On a national level, Trulia found asking prices were up 5.1 percent in 2012, up from a 4.3 percent decrease in 2011. In 2011, only 12 out of 100 metros saw price increases compared to 82 in 2012. In addition, none of the 100 largest metros saw price declines greater than 10 percent in 2012 compared to 6 in 2011. “”The housing market enters 2013 with a running start,”” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a release. “”Price gains picked up steam in 2012, starting with modest increases early in the year and accelerating in the third and fourth quarter.””Trulia also compiled a ranking of changes in rent among the 25 largest rental markets. The list was based on year-over-year fluctuations in December 2012. The top five markets where rents rose the most during that period were Houston (16.2 percent), Oakland (12.6 percent), Miami (10.3 percent), Denver (8.1 percent), and Seattle (8 percent). Nationally, rents increased annually by 5.2 percent in 2012. January 3, 2013 452 Views Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Home Values Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Trulia 2013-01-03 Esther Cho in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Ben S. Bernanke Consumer spending Credit Standards Delinquency Demand Federal Reserve Home Sales Homebuilders Housing Supply Investment Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Payrolls Residential Construction Service Providers 2013-07-17 Mark Lieberman Fed,Beige Book Again Sees Modest to Moderate Growth Citing improvements in manufacturing, tourism, commercial and residential real estate and in the financial sector, the Federal Reserve Wednesday said the nation’s economy “”continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace”” from late May through early July. The assessment in the periodic “”Beige Book””:http://federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebook/files/Beigebook_20130717.pdf was tempered by “”mixed”” conditions in the agricultural sector and the absence of improvement in labor markets. “”Hiring,”” the Beige Book said, “”held steady or increased at a measured pace.””[IMAGE]While manufacturing was a bright spot in the economy, reported to be on the rise in all 12 Federal Reserve districts except Kansas City, “”persistent drought conditions”” affected farm output in regions from Kansas City to San Francisco and Dallas. On the other hand, “”extremely wet conditions delayed planting and even resulted in some farmers in the Richmond and Minneapolis Districts planting soybeans instead of corn,”” and “”excessive rains in the Richmond District also damaged the wheat crop in some areas.The Beige Book, formally the “”Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District,”” is issued eight times a year, about two weeks before each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve’s policy setting arm. The FOMC’s next meeting is scheduled for July 30-31.Residential real estate activity, according to the Beige Book, “”increased at a moderate to strong pace in most Districts”” and “”most Districts reported increases in home sales.””Home prices, the Beige Book said, “”increased throughout the majority of the reporting Districts,”” with Boston, New York, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas noting “”low or declining home inventories and upward pressures on home prices in some areas.”” Residential construction activity, the Beige Book said, “”also improved moderately across the Districts.””The report said “”commercial real estate market conditions continued to improve across most Districts with “”modest to moderate improvements in non-residential real estate activity in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. Dallas, the Beige Book said, “”reported strong growth in leasing activity for office and industrial space,”” and “”Boston and Richmond reported that commercial real estate conditions were holding steady or improving.””Banking conditions were also said to have improved during the report period, and the Beige Book said, “”some bankers in the Cleveland, Chicago, and Dallas Districts noted competitive pressures to reduce loan pricing.”” According to the report, “”bankers in the Philadelphia, Richmond, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Chicago Districts noted a shift toward new home mortgages and away from refinancing (which was led, in part, by increases in interest rates).””Here’s a brief district-by-district recap of the Wednesday’s Beige Book:Boston: “”Economic activity in the First [Boston] District continues to expand at a moderate pace … retailers, tourism contacts, manufacturers and consulting and advertising contacts all report modest increases in sales … most businesses├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ªContacts generally expect the recent trend of moderate growth to continue.””New York: “”Economic activity in the Second [New York] District … continued to expand moderately … Manufacturers indicate that input price pressures have abated … whereas service sector contacts report that they remain fairly widespread … labor market conditions continue to improve [COLUMN_BREAK]gradually├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ªcommercial and residential real estate markets have continued to firm throughout the region … bankers report mixed but generally steady loan demand … further declines in delinquency rates.””Philadelphia: Aggregate business activity in the Third [Philadelphia] District maintained an overall moderate pace of growth … auto sales accelerated to a strong rate of growth, lending firmed up to a modest rate of growth, and manufacturing activity appear to have grown slightly … growth rate of residential construction, existing home sales, and general services continued at a moderate pace.””Cleveland: The economy in the Fourth [Cleveland] District expanded at a moderate pace … manufacturing orders and production were steady or higher … the momentum … in residential construction since the beginning of the year has slowed, but activity remains above year-ago levels … hiring picked up in manufacturing and residential construction … wage pressures remain contained.”” Richmond: “”[Richmond] District economic activity strengthened moderately … manufacturing shipments and new orders increased … consumer spending firmed … demand rose for new residential mortgage lending … residential real estate sales and construction increased, with speculative building returning to some areas the effect of continued heavy rainfall on agriculture was mixed, slowing planting or damaging some crops while bolstering others.”” Atlanta: “”Reports from Sixth [Atlanta] District business contacts indicated that economic activity expanded at a modest pace … the outlook for the rest of the year remains optimistic … hospitality sector continued to experience strong demand … brokers and homebuilders reported increases in sales and prices, and declining home inventories … loan demand remained stable for residential real estate.””Chicago: “”Economic activity in the Seventh [Chicago] District expanded at a moderate pace … contacts remained cautiously optimistic … manufacturing production increased as did construction, led by continued improvement in the residential sector … credit conditions tightened moderately.””St. Louis: “”The economy of the Eighth [St. Louis] District has expanded at a moderate pace … residential real estate market conditions have continued to improve, and commercial real estate markets have also improved … total lending at a sample of small and midsized District banks increased from mid-March to mid-June.””Minneapolis: “”Ninth [Minneapolis] District economy showed signs of moderate growth … increased activity was noted in consumer spending, professional services, manufacturing and energy. Tourism-related activities slowed in May … commercial construction and real estate grew moderately fast, while residential construction and real estate grew at a robust pace.””Kansas City: “”Tenth [Kansas City] District economy grew modestly in June … expectations for future activity improved slightly … tourism and restaurant sales edged up, while retail and automobile sales were steady … manufacturers reported slowdowns in production and shipments … residential real estate activity continued to be strong, while commercial real estate activity marginally increased.””Dallas: “”Eleventh [Dallas] District economy generally expanded at a slightly stronger pace├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ªmanufacturing activity increased somewhat overall, with stronger reports from metals and petrochemical producers … retail sales were flat after rising in the previous six weeks … nonfinancial services firms noted a continued … housing sector continued to improve … drought continued to dampen the agricultural sector.””San Francisco: “”Economic activity in the Twelfth [San Francisco] District expanded at a modest pace … inflation was minimal … wage pressures were mostly muted … retail sales overall grew modestly … although demand for business and consumer services was mixed … demand for housing strengthened, and commercial real estate activity trended up further.””_Hear Mark Lieberman this Friday on P.O.T.U.S. Radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. Eastern._ Share in Data, Government July 17, 2013 476 Views
October 7, 2013 400 Views Share Higher interest rates continued to shrink the population of “”refinancible”” loans in August, but they may open the door for greater home equity loan activity, “”Lender Processing Services””:http://www.lpsvcs.com/Pages/default.aspx (LPS) reported in its August Mortgage Monitor.[IMAGE]According to LPS’ data, the monthly prepayment rate–historically a good indicator of refinance activity–has dipped more than 30 percent in the months since May, with mortgage interest rates climbing nearly 100 basis points in that same time.As a result of those shifts, the percentage of borrowers in loans with interest rates high enough for refinancing to make sense has dropped significantly, says Herb Blecher, SVP for the technology and analytics firm.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Over half of borrowers are now ‘out of the money’ with respect to refinancing,”” Blecher said. “”In December 2012, the population of potentially refinance-eligible borrowers stood at roughly 10 million. However, refinance activity during that time, along with rising interest rates, have shrunk that pool to just 5.7 million borrowers as of August.””At the same time, though, rising interest rates–combined with improvements in home prices over the last year–may “”wind up contributing to a new appetite for home equity loans,”” he added.””After bottoming out at the beginning of 2012, home prices are now at their highest levels since 2009, and borrowers who bought or refinanced within the last few years are quite likely to have accumulated additional equity in their homes,”” Blecher commented. Based upon an analysis of historical borrowing patterns and home value trends, LPS anticipates an increase in second-lien borrowing among borrowers who locked in at low rates and who want to tap into their equity without refinancing at a higher rate.In fact, if recent vintages follow the 2003 vintage, the number of first-lien mortgages that have a second lien on them could approach 50 percent by 2017, the company says. Mortgage Rate Hikes Drain Pool of ‘Refinancible’ Loans Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Equity Home Prices Investors Lender Processing Services Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Refinance Service Providers 2013-10-07 Tory Barringer in Data, Origination
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Condo prices are rising faster than single-family home prices, according to the Trulia Price Monitor, which observes asking prices on a monthly basis. Asking prices for condos rose 7.3 percent year-over-year in September, while asking prices for single-family homes rose 6.0 percent.Condo price gains outpaced single-family price gains in 18 of the largest 20 condo markets, according to Trulia.Seven of the 20 markets posted double-digit condo price gains over the year in September, including Miami (17 percent); Denver, Colorado (15.5 percent); West Palm Beach, Florida (15.2 percent); San Francisco (12.7 percent); Chicago (10.9 percent); Middlesex County, Massachusetts (10.4 percent); and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota-Wisconsin (10 percent).Overall asking prices increased in 92 of the largest 100 metros in the U.S., with several Southern metros taking the lead. In fact, five of the top 10 metros with the largest price gains over the year in September are located in the South. Miami topped the list with a 14 percent price gain.In four of the 10 metros posting the highest price gains in September, the price increase was lower than the annual price gain posted last September. For example, prices in Ventura County, California, rose 12.4 percent year-over-year in September, down from a 20.2 percent posted last September. Oakland, California; Detroit, Michigan; and Atlanta also fell into this category.Home prices rose 0.8 percent month-over-month in September, according to Trulia.Rents rose 6.5 percent over the year in September, similar to the pace of home prices. Apartment rents outpaced single-family rents—6.9 percent, in comparison to 5.2 percent. At the same time, vacancy rates for multi-family units are falling, while single-family vacancies “remain elevated,” according to Trulia.”Despite the multi-unit construction boom, the cost of living in these buildings is rising faster than in single-family homes—both for renters and buyers,” according to Trulia. Condo Price Gains Outpace Single-Family Price Growth Share October 13, 2014 454 Views Appreciation Home Prices Trulia 2014-10-13 Krista Franks Brock
in Data, Headlines, News FHFA Reports Declines in Mortgage Interest Rates for November FHFA Mortgage Interest Rates 2014-12-30 Seth Welborn December 30, 2014 448 Views Mortgage interest rates nationwide experienced declines from October to November, according to an index released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).The average interest rate for all mortgage loans in the U.S. was 4.01 percent in November, a decline of 10 basis points from 4.11 percent in October; for conventional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less, the average interest rate of 4.24 percent for November represented a decline of eight basis points from 4.32 in October.For all mortgage loans, the effective interest rate (which accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of a mortgage) for November was reported at 4.16 percent, a drop of 11 basis points from the figure of 4.27 percent reported for October.The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index for loans closed in late November declined by 11 basis points from October to November, down from 4.11 percent to an even 4.00 percent, FHFA reported.Despite the month-over-month declines in interest rates in November, the average loan amount for all mortgage loans in the U.S. increased by $8,600, from $285,000 in October up to $293,000 in November, according to FHFA. Share
Affordability, Buying Power Drop as Prices Rise Affordability First American Home Prices HOUSING 2017-03-27 Rachel Williams March 27, 2017 542 Views in Daily Dose, Data Share Housing affordability saw steep declines across the nation over the past year, with real house prices jumping 8.2 percent since January 2016, according to the Real House Price Index released by First American Financial Corporation on Monday.According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, though housing prices decreased slightly from December 2016 to January 2017—0.1 percent—over the year, they’ve significantly increased, lowering buying consumer buying power and affordability.“Real purchasing-power adjusted house prices declined 0.1 percent in January, as mortgage rates did not meaningfully change and income growth continued,” Fleming said. “Despite the monthly increase in affordability and continued strong wage growth, homes are less affordable across the country compared to a year ago.”Total consumer house-buying power dropped 2.3 percent year-over-year, while real house prices fell to 33.3 percent below their housing-boom peak from July 2006. Unadjusted, house prices rose by 5.7 percent over the year.According to Fleming, “on a year-over-year basis, real house prices increase in all the metropolitan areas tracked by First American.”Jacksonville, Florida, in particular saw a serious decrease in affordability, with a dip of 19.3 percent over the year. Other metro areas to see large increases in real home prices were Charlotte, North Carolina (14 percent); Milwaukee (14 percent); Denver (12.6 percent); and Tampa (12.4 percent). The cities with the smallest increases were Baltimore; Virginia Beach, Virginia; San Francisco; and Hartford Connecticut.On a state level, the biggest annual jumps were seen in New York, which saw a 13.4 percent increase in real home prices, Colorado (13.2 percent), Vermont (12.7 percent), Illinois (11.8 percent), and Maine (11.6 percent). The only two states to see a year-over-year decline were Mississippi and Connecticut.“Almost half of the markets we track saw double-digit affordability declines in January, compared with a year ago. The low inventory of homes for sale across much of the country is creating increased competition and setting the stage for a very robust sellers’ market this spring,” Fleming said. “While affordability is lower compared to a year ago, the level of affordability in most markets is still high by historical standards, which is why demand is expected to remain strong this spring.”First American will release its next Real House Price Index in April. To see the full index, visit FirstAm.com.
Status Update: Existing Home Sales in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News November 21, 2017 556 Views The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its Existing Home Sales report—discovering that October 2017 reported the strongest pace since June, but low supply continues to lead to fewer closings on an annual basis for the second month in a row.Amidst the ongoing narrative of supply shortages, the report found that total existing-home sales increased by 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October from 5.37 million in September.According to NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, this slight increase is attributed to job growth, which in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages—giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home.”While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year-ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated,” Yun said.Although the impact on housing from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still experienced in parts of Texas and Florida, Yun forecasts that sales should rebound.”The residual effects on sales from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still seen in parts of Texas and Florida,” Yun added. “However, sales should completely bounce back to their pre-storm levels by the end of the year, as demand for buying in these areas was very strong before the storms.”The report notes that the median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $247,000—representing a 5.5 percent increase from last year at $234,100. In addition, this price increase for October marks the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains, according to NAR.At the end of October, totally housing inventory decreased 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes for sale, and is now “10.4 percent lower than a year ago at 2.01 million, and has fallen year-over-year for 29 consecutive months.”Meanwhile, the report notes that unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace—a decline from 4.4 months a year ago.”Listings—especially those in the affordable price range—continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago, and even quicker in many areas where healthy job markets are driving sustained demand for buying,” said Yun. “With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions through the winter.”To view the full report, click here. Home Sales HOUSING Lawrence Yun mortgage NAR 2017-11-21 Nicole Casperson Share
Genworth LendingTree mortgage New Home Sales Prices reator.com sales 2019-03-29 Seth Welborn Share New Home Sales Data: Industry Reacts New home sales reached an 11-month high, according to data from the The U.S.Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In February 2019, new single family home sales were a ta seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, around 4.9 percent higher month over month and 0.6 percent higher year over year. Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist for LendingTree, noted the impact lower interest rates had.“Sales were the highest in 11 months as the benefits of lower interest rates start to become evident,” Kapfidze noted. “January sales were also revised higher, adding to the evidence that the housing slowdown from the second half of 2018 is ending.”Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance, noted the strong job market and its impact on housing in the past few months and even years.“Falling interest rates since late December 2018 have helped to stabilize housing demand, especially in the single-family housing market,” said Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “The tight labor market has created the fastest wage growth in almost 10 years, making it more attractive for workers to change jobs and boost housing demand associated with increased relocation rates.”According to Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale, this month’s data indicates a stronger market.“February pending home sales data showed weakness after a pick-up in January contract signings, but February new home sales data shows a stronger read of 667,000 new home sales, up 4.9 percent from January and also slightly above last year’s sales pace (0.6 percent),” Hale stated. “This trend supports the fact that lower mortgage rates have started to entice buyers this spring and foreshadows a potential strengthening of existing home sales in the months to come. Looking forward, orders should also help bolster builder confidence and boost new construction. A slight moderation in the median price due to an increase in the share of sales in the $200,000-$300,000 category is also a good sign.”Find the complete Census Bureau/HUD data here. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination March 29, 2019 961 Views
Fraud real estate 2019-06-28 Seth Welborn On Friday, the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud marked its launch with a press call, during which U.S. Senator Doug Jones alongside industry experts, including an affected victim of wire transfer, discussed the real estate wire fraud epidemic. Speakers included Jones, Cynthia Blair, Attorney and President of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), Rich Hopen, real estate professional and victim of real estate wire fraud, and Tom Linehan, EVP at BankUnited. According to the Coalition, real estate wire fraud is a sophisticated scam targeting individuals making wire transfer payments during the home buying process. FBI data reveals that 11,300 victims lost a combined $149 million due to real estate wire fraud in 2018 alone, representing a 166% increase in the total money lost compared to 2017.“One of my constituents in Alabama lost $250,000 to this scam,” Jones stated. “Another ost $12,000. Each and every dollar lost is so important to these homebuyers.”According to the FBI, only an estimated 12-15% of all fraud is reported, and the Coalition notes that the best way to combat these statistics is through educating the homebuyer. Homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, are the ones who are the most at risk of wire transfer fraud.“While its important to educate all consumers about the threat of wire transfer fraud, first-time homebuyers are especially vulnerable to this crime,” said Blair.Rich Hopen, a real estate professional, was a victim of real estate wire fraud. “Our $239,000 mortgage payoff was wired into a criminal’s account,” Hopen said. According to Hopen, education isn’t only necessary on the consumer side, but on the real estate professional side as well.“Most real estate professionals know of the problem, but they don’t understand how it occurs and what to do to prevent it,” Hopen stated. “Buyers and sellers are unaware of real estate wire fraud.”Learn more about the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud and what exactly real estate wire fraud is here. Wire Fraud’s Impact on Homebuyers in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News, Origination June 28, 2019 629 Views Share
China has included an extensive selection of U.S. fruit, vegetable and tree nut products on its draft list of over 500 exports on which it may soon impose a 25% tariff – including many which the U.S. doesn’t export to China.The list was published on Saturday (June 16) by China’s State Council Customs Tariff Commission, in retaliation for the U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announcing tariffs on Chinese products.Both countries have announced 25% tariffs on US$50 billion of goods, although – at least initially – the duties will only apply to US$34 billion of goods, effective July 6.The tit-for-tat trade war could escalate even further, with Trump on Monday threatening a 10% tariff on US$200 billion of Chinese goods in response to Beijing’s retaliation.Included in China’s recently published draft list of 545 products that could be hit with the 25% duty next month are cherries, apples, walnuts, oranges and grapes. (A full list can be found below). Chinese market apple shortage leads to highest pri … Chinese companies have stopped buying U.S. agricul … Almonds, pistachios and pecans – the U.S.’s three leading tree nut exports to China – have not been included specifically on the draft list, although there is a product code that translates as ‘other types of fresh and died nuts’.These duties will may come in addition to the 15% rate that was applied to agricultural products at the beginning of April in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, although there has been no clarification by the Chinese Government on this matter.The full list of products [in Chinese] includes a large range of both fresh and dried fruits, vegetables and tree nuts:Potatoes, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, asparagus, eggplants, celery, mushrooms, spinach, chiles, peppers, olives, pumpkins, squash, bamboo shoots, beans, sweet potatoes, yams, coconuts, walnuts, chestnuts, betenuts, bananas, pineapples, avocados, pomegranates, mangoes, mangosteens, oranges, citrus, clementines, grapefruit, lemons, grapes, watermelons, honeydew, melons, papayas, apples, pears, sour cherries, cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, plums, blackberries, raspberries, kiwifruit, durians, persimmons, lychees, longans, rambutans, starfruits, dragon fruit, and wax apples.Related articles: Chinese tariffs to stunt market development for premium U.S. apple varietiesChinese tariffs to put U.S. cherry export growth under strainwww.freshfruitportal.com You might also be interested in This story is exclusive to Fresh Fruit Portal. If you would like to reproduce any elements of it on other sites or publications, please make a request to our editorial team at email@example.com Shoppers will pay the price as U.S.-China trade wa … Australian table grape season in China “outstandin … June 19 , 2018
The announcement also follows a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Australia and New Zealand to fight biosecurity threats, with groups like Hort Innovation seeking to “drive a new era in Australian biosecurity research”.The initiative is led by Australia’s Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) and New Zealand’s Better Border Biosecurity (B3NZ), focusing on biosecurity Research as well as development and extension efforts at pre-border, border and post-border stages.The initiative also aims to build capacity to support the future of plant biosecurity through education and training, and will establish professional development opportunities for postgraduate and post-doctoral students across the two countries.Hort Innovation CEO Matt Brand said Australia and New Zealand both prided themselves on their unique natural environments, high-quality produce and trusted international reputations.”And both Australia and New Zealand share a common goal of wanting to maintain this reputation and impede the destructive impact that the threat of pest and disease can have on our horticultural industries,” Brand said.”Our role as a Research and Development Corporation is to invest in, manage and evaluate research and other activities that deliver impact for our producers and the broader community.”This project is of national and international importance because not only are we at the forefront – working together across plant production systems to stamp out threats before they can establish and take root, we are also working with New Zealand industries and government to protect our growers from biosecurity threats to promote greater efficiencies across our R&D investments.”PBRI program director Dr. Jo Luck said the research and development partnership was helping to foster collaboration at an international level, sharing knowledge to avoid duplication of efforts for the benefits of Australia’s plant biosecurity.”This collaboration will be implemented via joint R&D projects and workshops supported by PBRI and B3 investors, and delivered by Australian and New Zealand researchers,” she said.”One of the key components of our success will be building biosecurity awareness and attitudes through stronger partnerships with industry and all levels of government.”Photo: PIRSA Just over a month after announcing funding to trial RapidAIM technology to fight fruit flies, the Australian Federal Government has put together a AUD$16.9 million (US$12.3 million) package to keep the pest at bay.In an announcement today, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the deal would assure Australia’s trading partners when produce comes from a fruit fly-free area.The country’s horticultural exports are worth around AUD$2.23 billion (US$1.63 billion) annually.”Fruit fly outbreaks cost the horticultural industry millions every year,” Minister Littleproud said. “If we take control of fruit fly we’ll get access to more premium markets and boost farm gate prices.”We’ve started a trial of smart-traps that’ll send farmers instant alerts if fruit fly is detected.”The minister added the government was also investing in a national mapping program to track the movements of Queensland fruit fly, known as Qfly, in the summer.”The flies make their way south as it warms up and this will let growers know where they are and help us target where to release our sterile fruit flies,” he said.”We’re putting extension officers on the ground to help growers use the latest science. They’ll help farmers work through the latest R&D and put it to work in their orchards.”This package will help protect our [AUD]$12 billion (US$8.77 billion) horticultural industry and reassure our trading partners of the systems we have in place.”The program will address Qfly in the country’s eastern states and Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) in Western Australia. Australia: New project will boost capability to de … Australian table grape season in China “outstandin … November 19 , 2018 Tasmanian researcher investigates delicate balance … Aussie produce industry sets ambitious goals for s … You might also be interested in
In Sydney last night, Qantas and the Dallas and Fort Worth tourism boards hosted a night of Texan hospitality to update media on the latest developments in their Texan cities. Guests were treated to the tunes of Fort Worth-born singer and performer Austin Allsup, a finalist in the 11th Season of The Voice (USA) and currently on tour in Australia. Austin Allsup. Image: Katrina HoldenAs Phillip Jones, President and CEO of Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “Dallas is one of those undiscovered destinations in the US”. While many of us think of cowboys, hats and that TV Show, Dallas is one of the most fast-changing and progressive cities in the US with a thriving arts and culinary scene. “Dallas is home to the largest urban arts district in the USA. The district is flanked by the Klyde Warren Park which cost $110 million to build and is now one of the most popular places to visit,” said Jones. As Jones explains, Dallas is fortunate to have some 23 billionaires who live in the city and who want to give back to the community, just as the philanthropists behind the construction of Klyde Warren Park have. “Most people when they think of Texas don’t necessarily think of art but we want to change that perception,” said Jones. The Nasher Sculpture Centre, for instance, is the largest private collection of sculpture in the world. NorthPark, one of the top five shopping centres in the US, even houses an amazing collection of art amongst its retail shops.“You will pass Andy Warhol sketches on your way to the restrooms,” says Jones. Shopping here is tax-free for Australians.The good news for visitors is just how many of the city’s facilities are free to use.The Dallas Museum of Art has free entry – and you can catch a trolley there, which is also free as part of the city’s public transport system.Dallas is one of 12 cities in the CityPASS program where travellers gain significant discounts. The US$38 pass is valid for nine days. Tourists can visit attractions including the George W. Bush Library and Presidential Museum; the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens; Reunion Tower GeoDeck and the Sixth Floor Museum. Jones tells us that Australians are the number one international visitors to the Sixth Floor Museum, a brilliant interactive exhibit housed in the Book Depository Building that details the events leading up to and following the assassination of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 22 November, 1963. In 2019, another museum is set to open with the current construction underway on the 51,000 square feet Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. Currently, Jones tells us, there are 29 construction cranes on the go in the city. Among the new projects being built is the forthcoming US$108 million Virgin Hotel Dallas, due to open in 2019. The Statler Hotel and Residences, first opened in 1956 by Hilton has just undergone a $122 million renovation, in keeping with its mid-century design. It’s again managed by Hilton under their Curio Collection brand. Addressing stereotypes, Jones speaks of the city’s diverse community, made up of 40 per cent Latinos and Dallas having the fifth largest gay and lesbian population in the United States. “I think people who come to Dallas are pleasantly surprised by how progressive we are,” said Jones, who also reveals that some 64 per cent of Dallas dwellers voted for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election — and the rest for “the other guy”. Fort Worth. Image: Katrina HoldenNearby Fort Worth is also seeing growth and development but thankfully it sounds as though it will retain its unique charms. Robert L. Jameson, President and CEO of Visit Fort Worth says there are currently 35 hotel projects in some form of development, with most centred around Sundance Square and Downtown. While a visit to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards is a must, one imagines a contrast can be experienced by visiting Fort Worth’s new outlet mall that has just opened; or meandering the Ale Trail with a Brewery Passport; or visiting and touring the newly expanded TX Bourbon facility located on a historic golf course. To get to both Dallas and Fort Worth, Australians are well serviced by daily Qantas flights into DFW international airport. DFW now services 208 non-stop destinations. Travellers can take a fast commuter rail trip into the city for just US$2.50. Similarly by the end of 2018, Tex Rail will also whizz travellers into Fort Worth in 20 minutes for also US$2.50. AmericaDallasFort WorthqantasUSA
Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation The Arizona Cardinals are still the front runners to land Kevin Kolb, but the Philadelphia Eagles have some needs to fill prior to parting with the quarterback.Clark Judge of CBSSports.com believes the Cardinals will acquire Kolb when all is said and done, but that they will need to secure a backup first.In the end, I think the deal gets completed for all the right reasons: Arizona needs a quarterback, Philadelphia needs a cornerback and both teams are running out of time. But it’s not a slam dunk. Not yet it isn’t. The Eagles must feel good about their backup to Michael Vick before they make the next move. That will have to happen before this trade does. In addition to Kolb and Vick, rookie Mike Kafka is the only quarterback on the Eagles roster. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke