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Anantara announces its first property in Europe

first_imgAnantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, has announced the first Anantara hotel in Europe. Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort is slated to join the brand’s luxury portfolio in April 2017.The existing 280-room property, located in the Algarve in the south of Portugal, is currently operating as Tivoli Victoria and boasts views over the Arnold Palmer designed Oceânico golf course. The hotel is close to the ocean, marinas and the beaches of the Algarve, which is well known for its spacious, airy rooms and shady verandas, directly overlooking the golf course, and the cerulean blue swimming pools.Discerning travellers would be immersed in centuries-old Portuguese culture and traditions, with a wealth of local experiences, world-renowned Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine, and indigenous spa treatments drawing on healing traditions dating back to the Roman times. In advance of the spring rebrand, parts of the resort would receive a soft refurbishment, which would include the main lobby, the gym and the new children’s facilities.A new luxury Family Suite category would be launched, with capacity for up to four guests. For shared holidays with family and friends, most rooms are interconnecting. The rooftop, Two-Bedroom Anantara Suite would boast a huge terrace, with private dining area and its own Jacuzzi and sundeck.Guests can dine at the EMO Restaurant and terrace, where they would be able to enjoy the richly diverse local cuisine, infused with the spices and seasonings of Portugal’s overseas discoveries in the 16th century. Additional dining options include Sensorial and Bartini, with both restaurants offering Mediterranean fare and afternoon tea. For guests looking for Asian cuisine, they can enjoy sushi at the infinity pool and Vietnamese rolls in the Aqua Pop Up Bistro.The family-friendly ambience is to be designed by World Wide Kids Company and would begin on arrival with children’s own check in and welcome treats. Babies and toddlers would be pampered with their own dining area, personalised meal plans, play areas and activities.The spa would be rebranded to Anantara Spa and those with time would be able to relax while overlooking the endless, undulating golf greens. To complement the spa, guests can include yoga and Tai-Chi sessions in their holiday.Anantara Vilamoura would offer the perfect settings and venues for all types of events – from weddings to product launches and from intimate dinners to large scale conferences. The stand-alone Conference Centre has the capacity to welcome up to 800 people in its eight versatile rooms. Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotels, Anantara’s parent company, commented, “We are thrilled to announce our first Anantara in Europe, which is a real milestone for the brand. Since our recent expansion into both Europe and South America with the acquisition of Tivoli Hotels & Resorts, our strategy is to bring our existing brands into these new regions of operation and the launch of Anantara Vilamoura in Portugal is the first part of this plan.”last_img read more

Tourism Australia begins an integrated marketing campaign

first_imgLeveraging their recent successful campaign showcasing the country’s aquatic and coastal experiences, Tourism Australia has begun a fresh phase of its marketing initiatives across the television, digital and print platforms. At the helm of the campaign is a Television Commercial (TVC) which features a montage of stunning locales, scenic coastline and incredible tourism experiences down under.The TVC showcases the Great Barrier Reef, Kangaroo Island, Great Ocean Road, Sydney Harbour Bridge and much more with the visuals highlighting the beauty and natural landscape of Australia. The commercial is all set to be rolled out across 30 television channels including English entertainment, infotainment, lifestyle, news and select Hindi general entertainment channels.In addition to television, high impact advertisements will be also featured in the print space in collaboration with key distribution partners, including SOTC, Mercury Travels, TUI, Flightshop, D Pauls, Kulin Kumar Holidays, among others. Another major focus of the campaign will be on digital, consisting of regular display ads and content, with aspirational destination imagery and creative renditions, all inviting travel enthusiasts to book a holiday to Australia.Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager – India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, “Our latest campaign showcasing Australia’s aquatic and coastal scenery has truly captured the attention of the Indian traveller and reaffirmed our research indications that international visitors enjoy our aquatic or coastal environments in some way– from snorkeling to simply going to the beach. In our upcoming marketing activities, we will leverage uniquely Australian experiences to entice more travellers to choose Australia as their next holiday destination.”For the year ended (YE) December 2016, Australia welcomed 259,900 Indian visitors, recording a growth of 11% over 2015, making India the ninth largest inbound market for Australia. For YE September 2016, Indian visitors contributed over A$ 1.15 billion to the Australian economy which was an increase of seven percent over the previous year. Indians spent over 14 million visitor nights in Australia for YE September 2016, an increase of seven percent over the same period the previous year.last_img read more

Western Australia promotes itself as an allround destination for the Indian market

first_imgPeople from India are flocking to Western Australia (WA) with the State’s attracting more visitors from the market than ever before. The destination has seen a 38% growth in Indian visitors from 2015-17. More than 27,000 Indians have visited Western Australia in 2017, 56% of those visiting Western Australia in 2017 were repeated visitors to Australia.Speaking exclusively to Travel News Digest, Paul Papalia, Minister of Tourism, Western Australia talked about the new initiatives WA is undertaking to lure the potential Indian travel market.Papalia said, “India is one of the important markets in the world, it’s the fastest growing aviation market. We are closest to India and we have a lot of shared heritage, we have a lot of reason for deeper engagement for Western Australia and India.” “We have appointed a trade representative in our Mumbai office and we will also engage in various promotional activities to raise awareness in India, one of the parts of the campaign will be promotion of first ever test cricket match between India and Australia at our new Optus Stadium in Perth and it a good opportunity to tell people in India about other tourism products Western Australia has to offer,” averred Papalia.The Minister is also holding key meetings with and delivering business cases to six Indian airlines in a bid to attract a direct service between India and Perth. He said, “We have met various travel trade in Mumbai to promote the destination, we have met various airlines to discuss direct flight services from Mumbai to Perth. Apart from that, we are talking to India education sector as well for the students who are looking for higher studies opportunity in Western Australia.” Papalia confirmed that activities to do and see around Perth, Fremantle and Rottnest Island will also be showcased in India through visiting sports media, social media influencers and media content partnerships during the historic Perth test. Speaking about the Indian travellers, Papalia said, “Indian market is maturing and Indian travellers know what they exactly want from a destination. If people are looking for access to night stay, a good hiking destination, excellent culinary experience and safe environment, Western Australia offers everything travellers are looking for.”“Our extraordinary State has much to offer Indian travellers, whether they’re visiting for business, education or leisure,” he said. WA is also targeting the potential India wedding market, he quipped, “We are also targeting the Indian wedding market, we have quality hotels to serve the Indian wedding market. Western Australia is a perfect place to host weddings and for the people who are looking for a unique wedding experience Western Australia is the place.”last_img read more

12th UNWTOPATA Forum focuses on Tourism Trends and Outlook

first_imgThe World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the People’s Government of Guilin, China held the 12th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook recently. The theme for this year’s edition was ‘The Future of Tourism: Road to 2030’, aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).“Digital advances provide opportunities to tourism in order to enhance inclusiveness, community empowerment and efficient resource management to achieve the SDGs. Yet to do so, we need to better understand where tourism is heading so we can adopt the adequate policies and business strategies,” said Shanzhong Zhu, Executive Director, UNWTO at the event.The 12th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook drew more than 220 experts from 22 countries, among which representatives from National Tourism Administrations, National Tourism Organisations, tourism businesses and academics. With the longstanding collaboration of the Hong-Kong Polytechnic University, the Forum has become over the last 12 years a reference platform on global and regional tourism trends.Dr Ian Yeoman, travel and tourism futurologist, delivered the keynote speech on the future of tourism, highlighting the importance of societal behaviours towards a sustainable future and the distribution of wealth generated by tourism, as main drivers of change.Furthermore, topics covered at the Forum included how digital advances and data can be used to support sustainable tourism for development. Presentations were made by Google, TripAdvisor, Vynn Capital, STR, the European Travel Commission as well as research and policymakers from across different countries in Asia and the Pacific. The Forum concluded by emphasising the need for transformation and seize the opportunities brought by innovation and technology to move sustainability to the next level.last_img read more

Alain St Ange and Doris Woerfel appointed as the President and CEO

first_imgThe African Tourism Board (ATB) was founded in 2018 at the WTM in London and launched at WTM Africa in Cape Town in April 2019. In cooperation with our public and private sector members, ATB aims to develop tourism responsively not only to and from but also within Africa and to unite countries on the African continent to declare Africa as one tourist destination.African Tourism Board has appointed Seychellois Alain St. Ange as the new President of the African Tourism Board.“When I took up the position of President of the African Tourism Board, this brought the world of African Tourism together as I received calls from so many tourism ministers and heads of tourism-related bodies from across Africa, and it clearly showed the importance of tourism for the continent,” said St Ange.He continued saying, “Even the Seychelles President, Danny Faure, sent words of congratulations after I assumed my role as President of the African Tourism Board, as did the island’s former President James Michel. For Seychelles, the importance of tourism as the industry respected as the pillar of the economy, is known and accepted. But Seychelles is no different to the rest of Africa because a buoyant tourism industry can only help consolidate the economies of so many countries on the continent.”Based in South Africa, the African Tourism Board is forming an initial group of directors to work with the newly appointed President Alain St. Ange, a former Tourism Minister in Seychelles.“We are now planning the next meeting where together we can look at the challenges we are facing and share success stories and learning,” he informed.The newly-appointed CEO of the African Tourism Board, Doris Woerfel, who is based in Pretoria, South Africa, sees huge potential for Africa from China and is already concentrating to build a broad membership base in Africa for ATB. She is now moving to contact industry players across Africa to plan the next meeting which will probably be held in August of this year.Doris Woerfel, CEO African Tourism Board said, “I am thrilled to have been appointed as the CEO of the African Tourism Board and I’m excited about many of the things we’ll be working on shortly. My main objective as the newly-appointed CEO of the ATB is to bring my network and our expertise and knowledge to support the successful implementation and future operation of the organisation not only for our members but also for the benefit of Africa and its people.”Over the past decades, African tourist destinations, especially cultural destinations, such as the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage sites – great Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Mapungubwe – have missed out on the opportunities of international visitors and travellers to Africa due to a massive lack of physical and human infrastructure,” she continued.According to the newly-appointed CEO, there is no doubt that there is a great need for an organisation like the African Tourism Board on the African continent – a Tourism Board that unites all countries on the continent into one tourist destination.The African Tourism Board aims to contribute to developing tourism further, not only in those countries with no tourism industry but also in those with a highly-developed and sophisticated tourism sector.After the launch in Cape Town, the name ‘African Tourism Board’ remains the brand of two independent entities working as one brand – the African Tourism Board Association and the African Tourism Board Marketing Corporation.The African Tourism Board Association is an entity based in Africa – mainly for the public sector – run and operated by Africans and for Africa.The African Tourism Board Marketing Cooperation is expanding on opportunities for marketing, public relations, development and investments, branding, and promoting and establishing niche markets.last_img read more

Zillow Homebuyers Setting Unrealistic Expectations

first_img A new survey from “”Zillow””:http://www.zillow.com/ reveals that prospective homebuyers may have an overly optimistic view when it comes to their expectations related to property appreciation and housing value. In the website’s recent poll, more than 42 percent of those that plan on purchasing a home in the near future said they anticipated a 7 percent annual increase in their property value during their ownership period. [IMAGE]The survey examined 177 individuals that predicted they would buy a home within the next three years, and while most of the targets Zillow polled seemed to have an appropriate understanding of the multiple aspects of mortgage loans, there were also some significant discrepancies recorded. Most notably, the unrealistic annual percentage of expected property appreciation was extremely elevated. In a normal market, for example, a rise in home value of 2 to 5 percent per year is the status quo, far below the 7 percent rise in value aspiring homeowners are counting on.[COLUMN_BREAK]Areas indicating a lack of homebuyer knowledge and education included issues related to mortgage insurance and general confusion about the appraisal process. Forty-one percent of those participating in the survey reported that they believed purchasing private mortgage insurance was mandatory no matter the downpayment amount; when, in fact, lenders normally only require PMI if the downpayment is below 20 percent. Additionally, 56 percent of people polled thought that appraisals establish if a home is in good condition; however, that role is assumed by a home inspection, as opposed to appraisals. Another portion of the home buying process that borrowers found confusing was confirmation of official ownership. Around 50 percent of those surveyed believed that they own their him upon signing the contract for the house, and many seemed to misunderstand the closing process that ensues following contract completion. Overall, 65 percent of respondents rang in correct answers roughly 50 percent of the survey queries. Speaking out on the general findings from Zillow’s survey, the company’s chief economist San Humphries, said, “”It’s troubling that we’re still in the midst of one of the worst housing recessions in history, and yet prospective buyers continue to have such high expectations for home value appreciation.””Continuing his commentary, Humphries stated, “”It’s great that buyers seem to have a fairly solid grasp of the home-buying process, but … over-estimation of the appreciation potential will lead many to buy real estate when the time in which they plan to live in the house may make renting a better strategy.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Zillow: Homebuyers Setting Unrealistic Expectations Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Insurance Processing Service Providers Valuation Zillow 2011-11-02 Abby Gregorycenter_img November 2, 2011 412 Views Sharelast_img read more

Group Dont Blame Appraisers for Housing Conditions

first_img in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share Group: Don’t Blame Appraisers for Housing Conditions January 17, 2012 460 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Appraisals Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Existing-Home Sales Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Home Sales Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers 2012-01-17 Ryan Schuette Enough is enough, the “”Appraisal Institute””:http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/ said Tuesday, defending the role of appraisers in a statement and two separate guidelines.[IMAGE]The trade group came out swinging on behalf of appraisers and appraisal management companies, arguing their independence and professionalism in a down market that consistently sees analysts, Realtors, and bankers on the offensive.””The fact is that appraisers are undertaking the same thorough research and thoughtful analysis that they always have in order to continue producing reliable, credible opinions of value,”” “”Sara Stephens””:http://www.realtor.org/, president of the Appraisal Institute, said in the statement. Her message for Realtors, homebuilders, and anyone reading: “”Don’t shoot the messenger.””The statements and guidelines pointed to appraisers as independent observers hard at work for lenders, not buyers or [COLUMN_BREAK]sellers, reaffirming their sense of judgment, market analysis, and roles in the housing industry.””Qualified, competent appraisers are capable of using their experience and education to determine when ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and how ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô to use distressed sales as comparables,”” she added.One of the guidelines took pains to clarify that lenders, buyers, and sellers should not assign bad grades to appraisals with values that fail to meet expectations or assume that higher-than-expected values assure “”correctness”” or quality.The Appraisal Institute stood up for appraisers at a time when many continue to publicly criticize their roles in scuttled home sales, purchases, and mortgage applications.In past interviews, Walter Molony, a spokesperson for the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/, attributed declines in existing-home sales ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô those sales that still need closing ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô to low-balling appraisals.He said last fall that existing-home sales could push anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent higher, if not for the appraisals.GSEs “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ reopened the debate in early September when the two jointly “”released””:https://themreport.com/articles/new-appraisal-standards-worry-industry-insiders-2011-09-01 new appraisal standards to streamline the process, replacing sometimes discretionary appraisal criteria with alpha-numeric and abbreviations.For its part, the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ recently “”published””:https://themreport.com/articles/cfpb-unveils-mortgage-examination-procedures-2012-01-12 mortgage origination examination procedures that task regulators with making sure that appraisers stay independent of originators.Stephens cited a “”firewall”” that exists between the two professional fields in a supporting document.last_img read more

FHFA Prices Continue Upward Trend in November

first_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing January 23, 2013 423 Views Consistent with most industry indices, the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) reported continued gains in its most recent “”House Price Index.””:http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/24914/MonthlyHPI12313Final.pdf The current index is 15.2 percent lower than the national peak reached in April 2007. [IMAGE]On a seasonally adjusted basis, prices increased 0.6 percent from October to November. This rate matches the previous month’s revised index, which was revised from a 0.5 percent increase to a 0.6 percent increase.The FHFA has not reported a decline in monthly home prices since January 2012, leaving the build-up of price [COLUMN_BREAK]changes over the past 12 months much more accelerated relative to the monthly rate. National home prices have increased 5.6 percent over the 12-month period ending in November, according to FHFA’s calculations. As is always the case, the price index varied from region to region. The Mountain division (consisting of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico) experienced a 2.1 percent increase over the month, the highest of any of the nine Census regions. The East North Central division (made up by Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) experienced the greatest price drop over the month, reporting a decline of 1 percent. The nearby East South Central division (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama) was the only other region to register a price decline for the month. The division experienced a 0.4 percent decline. All regions posted price increases year-over-year in November, with the Mountain division recording the highest annual price improvement (14.8 percent).The lowest year-over-year increase took place in the Middle Atlantic division (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), which recorded a 0.5 percent increase.center_img FHFA: Prices Continue Upward Trend in November Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FHFA Home Prices Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-01-23 Krista Franks Brocklast_img read more

Mortgage Credit Availability Increases in May

first_img Credit Availability Credit Standards FHA Mortgage Bankers Association 2014-06-05 Tory Barringer Mortgage Credit Availability Increases in May in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Origination Mortgage credit access opened up slightly in May, according to a market report released Thursday.The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a monthly gauge of credit access based on metrics and underwriting criteria from more than 85 lenders, increased 1.14 percent from April to May, reading 115.1 in the latest measure.The index was benchmarked at 100 in March 2012. It have read roughly 800 if the tracking measure had existed in 2007, MBA says.According to the group, May’s gain came “partially as a result of a slight increase in the availability of jumbo loans” as well as “the action by some investors to lower credit score requirements on FHA [Federal Housing Administration] loans.”Meanwhile, the agency itself unveiled plans in May to expand credit access for borrowers with lower credit scores while offering counseling to reduce risk.The topic of credit availability has drawn debate from all sides. In early May, both the Federal Reserve and the Urban Institute found relatively few lenders have made moves to expand their standards on the low end. Researchers at the institute assert any reported decline in lending criteria is due to a market shift between GSE loans and those backed by FHA.At the same time, critics of the current call to open up lending say the environment remains too risky.In its latest National Mortgage Risk Index, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) reported a record high in the share of loans at risk of default in the event of an economic crisis, arguing that Qualified Mortgage requirements—particularly those related to debt-to-income ratios—have done little to mitigate risk, especially seeing as how GSE and FHA loans have a temporary exemption.”None of the agencies are compensating in a substantial way for the high risk that is entailed with loans that have high DTI ratios,” said Stephen Oliner, resident scholar at AEI, in a press call at the time.center_img June 5, 2014 493 Views Sharelast_img read more

Falling Mortgage Rates Not Enough to Lure New Homebuyers

first_img Demand Mortgage Rates Redfin 2014-11-14 Scott_Morgan Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Despite the fact that 30-year fixed mortgage rates dipped below 4 percent in October, the number of buyers looking to tour homes cooled off.At the same time, the rate drop triggered a hefty increase in signings last month, according to Redfin, which released its latest look at homebuying activity on Friday.Redfin’s monthly report showed that the number of clients requesting tours with the company was down 1.6 percent from September.However, the first sub-4 percent rates since June 2013 sparked a late-month spike of 11 percent in signed offers.This uptick belies a nation of patient buyers who seized the opportunity to make a great deal, the company says.”Clients who had been casually house hunting amped up their searches and got under contract to lock in the low rates,” said Tuniscia Okeke, a Redfin agent in Baltimore. “These are opportunistic buyers who don’t necessarily need to move, but have been waiting for the right deal to come along.”Even with late jump, signed offers were essentially flat in October, Redfin reported. One year prior, signed offers were up 7.4 percent compared to September 2013.While the jury’s still out on November, Redfin is nevertheless seeing a flip of October’s trend so far this month—a surge in tour requests accompanied by a drop in offers. For the first week or so of November, Redfin agents reported a 4.4 percent upswing in tour requests and a 2.5 drop in signed offers.The latter is not necessarily cause for concern, as such a swell of buyers made offers immediately following the rate drop late last month.”Time will tell,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist, “whether the early strength in tours holds through the month, and ultimately results in higher offers as well.”One month earlier, Richardson was more optimistic in her view of what the end of the year would bring. September’s offers and tour requests were both up over August, which, she suggested, could “hold steady through November before the seasonal slowdown in home searches over the holiday.”If November’s numbers do hold up, Richardson’s hopes would usher in good news as the new year sets in.center_img November 14, 2014 433 Views Falling Mortgage Rates Not Enough to Lure New Homebuyerslast_img read more

HUD Requests Comments on Revised Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application

FDIC Examines Changes in ReverseMortgage Regulations

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Share August 27, 2015 699 Views FDIC Examines Changes in Reverse-Mortgage Regulationscenter_img Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Reverse Mortgage 2015-08-27 Staff Writer Recent updates to reverse mortgage rules places borrowers’ well-being first and helps with unanticipated issues, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Summer 2015 newsletter released Thursday.Senior citizen homeowners looking to obtain a reverse mortgage loan, which allows them to borrow against a portion of the equity in their house, are often unaware of the problems they may encounter when taking out this type of loan, the FDIC noted. The reverse mortgage allows the lender to pay the borrower money requested without repayment until the borrower no longer lives in the home.”While a reverse mortgage can be used to supplement monthly income, obtain lump-sum cash or otherwise help a senior citizen ‘age in place,’ some borrowers may face unintended obstacles and consequences, especially if they no longer have the ability to pay taxes or property insurance,” said Richard Schwartz, FDIC counsel.”Borrowers may face unintended obstacles and consequences, especially if they no longer have the ability to pay taxes or property insurance.”According to the FDIC, recent HUD regulation protects surviving spouses after death of a reverse mortgage borrower. Previously, within HUD’s most popular reverse mortgage program, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), non-borrowing spouses that are not on the loan could not remain in the property after the borrower passes. However, new regulation allows non-borrowing, surviving spouses to remain in the home pending certain conditions are met. These changes apply to reverse mortgage loans in which the borrowing spouse applied for a reverse mortgage before August 2014.”Many borrowers who opted to exclude the younger spouse from the loan in order to qualify for a HECM did so with the hope that when the younger occupant became 62 they could refinance and add the spouse,” said Andrea Riche, an FDIC program manager who oversees reverse mortgage issues. “But when home prices nationwide dropped in 2007 and 2008, the possibility of refinancing into another HECM was eliminated. And if the borrowing spouse passed away, HUD or the private lender became entitled to take possession of the home and the surviving spouse was almost always evicted. But now, HUD provides a mechanism for an eligible non-borrowing spouse to stay in the home.”In an additional effort to help senior citizen borrowers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a warning to consumers about the misleading effects of reverse mortgage advertisements in June 2015.The Bureau released results of a focus group study on reverse mortgage advertisements and found that many participants were left confused about the product.“As older consumers consider reverse mortgage loans to tap into their home equity, they need to be careful of those late night TV ads that seem too good to be true,” said Richard Cordray, CFPB director. “It is important that advertisements do not downplay the terms and risks of reverse mortgages or confuse prospective borrowers.”The study found that after viewing the ads, consumers did not understand that reverse mortgages were actual loans. Instead, they were left under the false impression that reverse mortgages are a government-issued program that helps consumers stay in their home for the rest of their lives.The CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Warning:A reverse mortgage is a home loan, not a government benefit: Consumers need to know that reverse mortgages have fees and compounding interest that must be repaid, just like other home loans.Reverse mortgage ads do not always tell the whole story: Reverse mortgage ads do not always tell the whole story, such as that a consumer can lose ownership of their home.Without a good plan, a consumer could outlive the loan money: Consumers should have a financial plan in place that accounts for a long life.last_img read more

ATR Rule Sends Borrower Claims Packing

first_imgATR Rule Sends Borrower Claims Packing Ability to Repay CFPB Fitch Ratings Mortgage Servicers 2016-04-18 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing Borrower claims appear to be fleeing the housing market two years after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) introduced the Ability to Repay (ATR) rule for mortgage servicers.A report from Fitch Ratings found that major U.S. residential mortgage servicers have yet to see any borrower claims since the ATR rule went into effect in January 2014, but this nonexistent claims trend could soon come to an end as certain non-Qualified Mortgage (QM) loans becoming more prevalent in the market.Under the ATR rule, lenders must do their due diligence in ensuring a borrower has the financial wherewithal to repay the loan over time. A new compensation structure for loan originators also eliminates any incentives that might encourage lenders to push people into loans with higher interest rates than they qualify, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in January 2014 when the rule was rolled out.Addressing the new mortgage servicing rules, Cordray said, “In short our rules mean simply that mortgage servicers must now do their jobs.”He continued, “It may seem silly that we need rules to tell servicers to answer the phone; not to lose people’s paperwork; to tell borrowers how much they owe. It might also seem silly that we need a rule telling lenders they must pay attention to whether borrowers will be able to repay the money that is lent to them. But we have lived through the financial crisis. We have seen with our own eyes the grave dysfunctions in the mortgage market. There was an embarrassingly long list of things that should have happened but never seemed to happen. Our new rules are aimed at setting things right again.”Fitch said that the drop in borrower claims to date was expected in the industry. “Most loans (including all GSE-eligible loans) meet the definition of a QM and receive safe harbor protection from the ATR rule. In the non-agency sector, few non-QM loans have been securitized to date,” the report stated.Of the more than 10,000 loans included in Fitch-rated newly originated mortgage pools since the start of 2014, only 14 have been classified as non-QM and are thus vulnerable to ATR claims, according to Fitch.”Of the small fraction of loans not eligible for safe harbor, the combination of tight underwriting and a supportive economic environment has kept default rates low,” the report said.Since the start of 2014, only three loans are currently more than 60 days delinquent in the newly originated Fitch-rated mortgage pools.Since Fitch expects ATR claims to generally only occur after a default, “lower credit quality or non-appendix Q non-QM loans having a higher default risk may have a higher probability of a successful claim. Fitch is likely to apply increased loss expectations for these loans. Non-QM origination volume for these products, while still limited today, appears to be growing and could become more common in the future,” the report noted.center_img April 18, 2016 628 Views Sharelast_img read more

OpenClose and MCT Announce Integration

first_img January 27, 2017 664 Views Share Loan origination system (LOS) provider OpenClose and mortgage hedge advisory and secondary marketing technology firm Mortgage Capital Trading, Inc. (MCT) have announced the development of “an integration that eliminates manual intervention and streamlines the delivery of loan data to maximize hedging for lenders,” according to a joint news release from the companies.The process works by automatically analyzing data obtained from loans which are originated using OpenClose’s LOS system and sending that data directly to MCT. The release notes that the data can be updated every fifteen minutes, providing a seamless data acquisition process which is faster and more accurate than current processes.“We worked diligently with the team at OpenClose to develop this connectivity between their LOS and our proprietary HALO hedging model, which now facilitates a much smoother, quicker way for us to obtain locked loan information from our mutual customers,” stated MCT Chief Administration Officer Chris Anderson. “We are continuing to expand our integration partner network in order to provide the best service and support for our lender clients.”The process reduces the lender’s exposure to risk by shortening the time frame in which the lender can respond to rate shifts, which are more likely to occur over longer periods of time. The system has received positive feedback thus far.“This integration saves my staff valuable time and transfers our data quickly and securely, ensuring that my hedge positions are always optimized,” stated Dan Beam, SVP of capital markets at Firstrust Bank. OpenClose and MCT Announce Integrationcenter_img Lenders Mortgage Rates 2017-01-27 Timothy McNally in Data, Headlines, News, Technologylast_img read more

TG Global one of New Zealands largest apple gro

first_img T&G Global, one of New Zealand’s largest apple grower-exporters, says market conditions this year have been slightly better for the country’s fruit than the previous season, despite some challenges in certain countries.Overall the company has experienced a 10% increase in total production over 2017, largely driven by its proprietary apples Envy and Jazz.Staples like Braeburn are flat along with Pacific Queen and Pacific Rose, while Royal Gala is down due to seasonal growing conditions.Darren Drury, T&G’s executive general manager for pipfruit, says while the 2017 frost event across the EU impacted volumes, the market velocity has been good with stronger prices achieved across most varieties in most EU countries.“With the drop in EU production, including French, Italian and U.K. apples, we have seen less EU fruit shipped to Asia and very little overhang of crop, giving New Zealand fruit a better platform,” he said.”Again, sales values and demand have been steady across Asia. The U.K. has been equally steady with values and sales going according to plan.”The U.S. has been more of a challenge this year due to a large volume of small-sized fruit from domestic crops contributing to a flat market for apples in the traditional New Zealand import window.”Growth in China, challenges in TaiwanThe New Zealand apple industry remains buoyant with a 10% increase in production in 2018 over 2017, Darren said. August 20 , 2018 India pushes back U.S. apple tariff rise date … You might also be interested in “The T&G proprietary varieties continue to grow at faster rates with both JAZZ and Envy significantly up on 2017 volumes,” he said.“We have been very encouraged at the continued growth in Vietnam including a significant launch at retail. Envy, in particular, has been a star performer in Vietnam, but we are excited at the prospect for JAZZ as the volumes continue to grow.”China is also a growth story with 2018 seeing significant increases in Envy and JAZZ volume with a heavy focus on brand development and deepening the distribution channel. Taiwan has been impacted by Chilean and South African Fuji but Indonesia has had good demand for apples despite their quota causing imbalances at end of selling season from August to October.” Darren says the Middle East and Thailand have been slower starting than usual but are picking up well now. “Malaysia is also steadier than previous years and retail is increasingly strong. Singapore and Hong Kong sales are steady for T&G thanks to mainly retail programmes with good Envy growth,” he said.U.S. tariffs and Northern Hemisphere heatwaveOn the potential opportunities presented through increased tariffs for U.S. fruit to China, Darren said T&G has no plans to extend its season. He explained it would prefer to focus on delivering New Zealand fruit in a window that doesn’t clash with Northern Hemisphere supply, including Chinese apples.“We are also pleased at the growth in volume to the Japanese market with the primary focus on JAZZ and strengthening the retail programs that have been put in place through volume and brand/promotional support. This growth is despite a challenging market access protocols,” he said.“The focus for the balance of the New Zealand export season is to ensure we maintain a strong presence across key markets and continue to support customers with greater marketing investment, sampling demos, retail multi packs etcetera to build brand presence with consumers.”The Northern Hemisphere has had an unusually hot period as a pre-cursor to their harvest period and our focus will be to ensure we have sold through our key varieties in a timely manner.”last_img read more

TR4 confirmed in Colombia as country declares nat

first_img TR4 confirmed in Colombia as country declares “nat … You might also be interested in From the pages of Produce Business UKThere’s no denying food waste is a massive issue for our planet. Roughly one-third of the food produced globally for human consumption, which amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tons, gets lost or wasted every year, according to Food and Agriculture Organization numbers from the United Nations.The food that is wasted amounts to roughly US$680 billion (bn) in industrialized countries and US$310bn in developing countries, with fruit and vegetables plus roots and tubers having the highest wastage rates of any food industry.When it comes to minimizing this level of waste in the U.K. fresh produce industry, FareShare is one of the leading lights and the country’s biggest charity in terms of fighting hunger and food waste. And Jo Dyson, FareShare’s head of food, utilized her presentation at this year’s London Produce Show and Conference to urge delegates to do more to ensure surplus fruit and vegetables aren’t just thrown away, but given to people who really need them.Making the point that food waste is a “business cost” and that U.K. growers lose money from throwing too much of their product away, Dyson says 10 million tons of food and drink is wasted in the U.K. every year. This, she says, has a value of around £20bn. Interestingly, 270,000 tons of this waste is still edible when it’s binned, and this could make a staggering 650 million meals.“In the U.K. media, there’s a lot on how retailers are guilty of food waste and this is true to an extent, but most of the food waste occurs in the home or on a farm,” says Dyson.”Growers, in particular, need to be more aware that the food they give away has enormous value. It really can feed some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”Making food waste reduction a part of your brandThis value, according to FareShare, is reflected in the fact that for every £1 you invest in driving down food waste, it will create a net benefit of £14.According to data from FMCG giant Unilever, 33% of adults would buy a product from a brand because they believe it is doing social or environmental good.That equates to a €966bn (£817bn) untapped opportunity, given that the size of the marketing for sustainable goods is €2.5tr (£2.1tr). And Dyson says brands that become pioneers in lowering food waste not only will build a better reputation among consumers, but also “create more profitable businesses.”Lowering food waste was the most important issue among U.K. shoppers, according to recent FareShare data, when considering supporting a brand.FareShare works with various retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, taking their food waste and redistributing it to charities, who then feed people who are struggling to get by. June 26 , 2019 Mexican avocados: WTO to mediate after Costa Rican …center_img “There’s 8.4m people in the U.K. who struggle to afford a meal,” Dyson explains. “There are also 3 million children at risk of hunger over the summer holidays. We work with charities and retailers to ensure the waste that’s still perfectly fine for consumption can really make a difference.” Following Tesco’s positive progress  Dyson says there have been really positive steps over recent years that suggest the U.K. retail industry is finally starting to take food waste seriously. She pointed to the shining example set by Tesco, one of several major businesses to sign up to the Courtauld Commitment 2025, a voluntary agreement to cut food waste by 20% within a decade.Tesco has slashed the amount of food going to waste from its operations by nearly a fifth, after introducing new measures to distribute surplus to staff and charity groups. The U.K.’s biggest supermarket recently announced that 44,297 tons of food went to waste in 2018/19, a fall of 17%, with the figure amounting to 0.45% of its sales.Tesco said it was now 81% of the way towards its target that no food safe for human consumption goes to waste, though it had planned to reach the target by May last year. Its chief executive, Dave Lewis, has urged other businesses to be held accountable and release their food waste data publicly like his own company has done.Growing waste awarenessDyson says the success of the U.K.’s biggest supermarket in “combating waste” means others will “naturally follow its example.” Despite this positive backdrop, Dyson admits many business people still don’t understand the scale of the problem or really understand what food waste looks like.“People don’t know what waste is,” says Dyson. “If you deal with processing bananas, for example, the skin isn’t edible waste, but if you throw the whole banana away, the weight of skin in a whole banana is counted as edible waste. The devil is in the detail, and there are so many different ways for businesses to lower their waste level by being clever.“Lots of companies don’t know where their waste goes either. Most of it goes to aerobic digestion, but they should know that and look to gain more knowledge so they can run the best possible business when it comes to sustainability.”She says businesses also must involve people on the ground more effectively, and that getting waste reduction in your CSR plan is one thing, but actually mobilizing growers to embed this in their day-to-day production is a different matter entirely.“More must be done to embed laborers and workers in the process as you will be more successful with reducing waste if they feel part of the mission,” she added.Some of the biggest barriers to getting a waste reduction plan off the ground, according to Dyson, include: “added costs for further distribution, cost of processing, cost of time and labor to organize surplus food, and the fact stock is short-dated or lower quality.” But Dyson says these are all things that get easier with time and that each is worth persevering with in the long run.FareShare recently secured a £1.9m grant from the U.K. government’s DEFRA and the Food Waste Reduction Fund. This means it can redistribute an additional 18 million meals to charities, and Dyson urged delegates at the London Produce Show to support FareShare over the coming years.She concluded: “Without their current supply of FareShare food, one in five charities would close down. We feed nearly one million people every week, so it’s crucial we work with as many fruit and vegetable producers as possible to ensure their waste is improving the planet.”Thankfully, more and more are realizing that combating food waste is a necessary business cost.” U.S.: Michigan Apple Committee funds new research … Wonderful expects new seedless lemon brand to be a … last_img read more

CroatiaHvartourists

first_imgCroatiaHvartourists The Mayor of the popular Croatian holiday island of Hvar has had enough of disrespectful tourists – and he’s pointing the finger largely at you, young British holidaymakers!The newly-elected mayor, Rikardo Novak, had promised a clean up, and last month he aired his tourist gripes to local media:“They are vomiting in town, urinating on every corner, walking without T-shirts … crawling around, unconscious.” On the weekend, signs saying ‘Save Your Money and Enjoy Hvar’ were erected around the town, depicting unacceptable behaviour and fines for each transgression, including:Not wearing a top – €500Walking around in swimsuits – €600Drinking in public – €700 euros.Watch Euro News video!last_img read more

AAT Kings has added five last minute Easter break

first_imgAAT Kings has added five last minute Easter break deals on some of its most popular itineraries across Australia and New Zealand:Taste of Southern Australia, 16 – 26 April 2019 – was $4530pp now $3975pp. Save up to $555 per person.Great Ocean Road & Kangaroo Island, 20 – 26 April 2019 – was $2995pp now $2750pp. Save up to $245 per person.Outback Adventure,16 – 30 April 2019 – was $6475pp now $5725pp. Save up to $750 per person.Perfect Tasmania, 26 April – 7 May 2019 was $5380pp now $4750pp. Save up to $630 per person.IMAGE: Kangaroo Island SA Admirals Archlast_img read more

What an MLB source said about the Dbacks trade h

first_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals placed veteran linebacker JoeyPorteron the injured reserve list, ending his season and likelyhis two-year stay in the desert.To fill Porter’s roster spot, linebacker Brandon Williamswas elevated from the practice squad. Porter originally signed a three-year deal with theCardinals in March of 2010 with a reputation as one of theleague’s most accomplished pass rushers. In 2010, Porter played in 14 games, registering 50 totaltackles and 5 quarterback sacks, which tied for the 2nd-most on the team. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’center_img Porter’s season was cut short by a knee injury in 2011,and he had just 16 total tackles and 1 sack in 6 games.The 13-year veteran is ranked 29th in league history with98 career quarterback sacks.Williams, who replaces Porter on the roster, signed to theCardinals practice squad on November 22, after spendingthe 2010 season with the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas selectedWilliams out of Texas Tech in the 4th round of the 2010NFL Draft. Williams will wear uniform #59. Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals will pass five million in attendance at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday against the Houston Texans.One lucky fan will be selected at the game to represent all of the fans. Team president Michael Bidwell will greet the winner upon entry and award he or she with two lower bowl tickets for 2014, as well as other prizes.This game will mark the team’s 80th consecutive sellout at University of Phoenix Stadium, which is each game since the venue opened in 2006. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more