Comments Share He argued that airlines could save fuel costs by flying passengers on fewer, larger flights.___11:45 a.m. (0945 GMT; 5:45 a.m. EDT)Airbus has announced a firm order for 60 single-aisle jets from leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services at the Paris Air Show, worth at least $6 billion at list prices.The U.S. leasing company is purchasing A320neo and A321neo jets, according to Airbus. The plane maker didn’t provide a breakdown of how many of each type of jet. The fuel-saving versions of the A320 family jets have been a big seller for Airbus in recent years.Customers routinely negotiate discounts off list prices. The deal was announced Monday, the first day of the Paris Air Show.___10:40 a.m. (0850 GMT; 4:50 a.m. EDT)Garuda Indonesia airline is on a buying spree at the Paris Air Show.Airbus announced Monday that the Indonesian flagship carrier signed a letter of intent for 30 wide-body A350 jets, which could serve routes from Jakarta or Bali to Europe. If confirmed, the order would be worth up to $9 billion at list prices, though airlines usually negotiate discounts.Earlier Monday, Boeing announced a tentative order by Garuda Indonesia for up to 60 jets.Asian carriers are expected to dominate global aircraft demand over the next two decades, with Boeing estimating that roughly two out of every five new planes will head to Asia. Some analysts view the program as risky, as Bombardier gambled billions to enter a new segment of the market. The CS100 and CS300 on display at the air show are designed to carry up to 149 people and are marketed as being 20 percent more fuel-efficient than the comparable Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family of aircraft.___2:25 p.m. (1225 GMT; 8:25 a.m. EDT)When a Greek F-16 fighter jet crashed into five NATO planes parked on a Spanish air base tarmac, U.S. Air Force Sgt. Greggory Swarz heard the deafening blast, spotted the giant firewall that resulted and sprinted straight toward the flames to pull out four French airmen.French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian decorated the 30-year-old Swarz on Monday with the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, for “putting your life at peril” to drag the four out of the inferno.The crash at Los Llanos base in January killed nine French airmen and two Greek pilots.At Monday’s ceremony at the Paris Air Show, four other U.S. airmen received France’s National Defense gold medals for their roles in the rescue: Sgt. Jonathan MacNeely, Sgt. Eli Gordon, Sgt. John Escalante and Cpl. Matthew Jeffers.___1:15 p.m. (1115 GMT; 7:15 a.m. EDT) ___10:15 a.m. (0815 GMT; 4:15 a.m. EDT)Airbus Defense and Space has flown an A400M military plane over thousands of viewers at the Paris Air Show, a month after a deadly crash that raised questions about the jet.The cargo plane landed safely after the demonstration flight at the Le Bourget airfield outside Paris on Monday — with French President Francois Hollande looking on. A French Rafale fighter jet also performed morning acrobatics.Airbus says three of the four engines on another A400M failed before it crashed near Seville, Spain, last month, killing four people.Five countries already have A400Ms, a costly and ambitious joint European project. Britain, Germany, Malaysia and Turkey grounded the plane after the crash, while France is only using it for urgent operations.___9:50 a.m. (0750 GMT; 3:50 a.m. EDT)Boeing has announced a tentative order from Indonesia’s Garuda airline for up to 60 jets at the opening of the Paris Air Show.The planemaker said Monday that Garuda signed a letter of intent to buy up to 30 its popular single-aisle 737 MAX and 30 of Boeing’s 787-9 jets. The 60 jets, if confirmed, would cost 10.8 billion dollars at list prices, though airlines usually negotiate discounts. Top Stories Top holiday drink recipes Boeing says Qatar Airways is buying 14 new 777 passenger and freighter jets worth up to $4.8 billion, as industry professionals gather at the Paris Air Show.The U.S. plane maker announced Monday that Qatar Airways ordered 10 of the 777-8X jets — a more fuel-efficient model of the 777 — and four 777 freighter jets.Customers routinely work out discounts off list prices.Qatar has been a major customer of rivals Boeing and Airbus in recent years.Boeing and Airbus are announcing a flurry of plane orders on Monday, the first day of the air show.___12:25 a.m. (1025 GMT; 6:25 a.m. EDT)Airbus says increasing the frequency of flights on major routes is “getting a little on the silly side” — and both travelers and airlines would be better off if larger aircraft were used instead of smaller planes flying more often.John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers, made his case for the move to bigger planes as he presented the European plane maker’s forecast for the next two decades at the Paris Air Show Monday. Airbus’ A380s are the largest passenger jets flying today.Airbus projects that 32,600 new planes worth a total of $4.9 trillion will be needed by 2034. Leahy projected the very large aircraft segment would grow to about 1,500 planes over that span, though smaller single-aisle planes are expected to be the biggest sellers at this year’s air show. LE BOURGET, France (AP) — 4:35 p.m. (1435 GMT; 10:35 a.m. EDT)Boeing and Airbus, look out — Bombardier’s new CSeries jet is taking to the skies, and hopes to take some of your business.Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace, the world’s third-largest maker of civilian commercial aircraft, held the world premiere of the single-aisle CSeries jet at the Paris Air Show on Monday.The successful flight above Le Bourget airfield was a long-awaited relief for the advanced-technology jet, which faced development delays and what the company called “an engine-related incident” on one of the aircraft during ground maintenance testing last year. Rival Airbus announced Monday that it has made a deal with Saudi Arabian Airlines to be the first airline to fly the Airbus A330-300 regional jet, redesigned for domestic and regional routes.Thousands of people streamed into the world’s oldest air show Monday from throughout the world’s $700 billion aerospace and defense industry.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision?
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/201a7/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=132&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a238f441″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCVB) announced last week their successful hosting of several senior Indian corporate decision makers recent visit to the city.Nine corporate end-users from a range of Indian companies including Glaxo Smith Klein Consumer and Bharti Airtel Ltd were invited on a familiarisation hosted by the MCVB.“Almost three quarters of the Key Decision Makers on our familiarisation said they knew nothing about Melbourne before their visit” said MCVB chief executive Sandra Chipchase.“As a direct result of their familiarisation, all nine delegates have indicated that they have groups in mind for which they could recommend Melbourne”In a survey conducted after the famil, delegates said they were highly satisfied with the friendliness of Melbourne’s people, the value for money the city offered and the standard of service.They added that they thought Melbourne was a “very green and clean city”, had “beautiful venues in the city and around” and was a “superb place with superb people”.“It was also an opportunity for us to show our guests, first-hand, that despite some media reports, Melbourne really welcomes Indian visitors” said Chipchase.“This familiarisation presented quintessential Melbourne, but was specifically tailored to meet the Indian Incentive market’s needs. Chipchase said the success of the familiarisation further position’s Melbourne as a desired destination in the important and growing Indian incentive market.
Michael Hay, George Dingli , Tony Brazenell Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.V General Manager Peter Bailey of CATO announces that Michael Hay returns as a committee memberThe Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) members and special guests attended the annual Christmas dinner last night at the North Sydney Harbourview Hotel. Special announcements were made by General Manager Peter Bailey that Michael Hay has accepted to come back to CATO as a committee member replacing long time member Simon Hills.Two new members have also joined CATO: Gil McLachlan and Brendon Drake.Entertainment for the evening was none other than Kevin Millard from Interline Reservation Services who surprised guests with a few comedic tales which had the entire room laughing – definitely someone to have at your next Christmas party. Following the announcement made on e-Travel Blackboard 4 November 2010, Michael Hay and Tony Brazenell will be operating Chat Tours in Australia and New Zealand from 01 January 2011. George Dingli who set up the office 30 years ago will be returning back to his routes in Athens. Michael Hay then took the opportunity to present George Dingli of Chat Tours with a special gift and to thank him for his dedication to the industry and to CATO.It was clear that when George had the opportunity to speak, there was no stopping him as he thanked everyone for their support, faith and friendship. “I am very proud to say that I am leaving Chat Tours in excellent hands” Sounding husky while reminiscing his days and challenges in creating the company, guests and members of CATO applauded this successful individual. “I will be continuing working on Chat Tours out of Athens”. The Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) is an organisation whose members are Wholesalers or Tour Operators that combined promote every destination. If you are a Tour Wholesaler or Tour Operator looking to become a member of CATO, click here to see the benefits. www.cato.asn.au/html/membership.htm
Source = ETB News: NJ Garuda Indonesia has announced a shortage of runway capacity at Soekarno-Hatta Airport has forced the airline to postpone its flight service to London. As a result of the delay, the airline hopes to launch the direct Jakarta to London service from May 2014, with five times weekly non-stop flights between the two cities, departing Jakarta at 00.55 local time, arriving at London (Gatwick) at 8.30 local time and departing London at 10.00 location time and arriving in Jakarta at 06.15 local time the next day. “Consequently, the implementation of this flight with these conditions in this competitive world of air travel would have a serious effect on the operational and business requirements of this route,” a statement from the airline read. Meanwhile, this week the airline welcomed its second Boeing 777-300ER, which will be used to operate on the Jakarta to Jeddah route. In order for Garuda to make the flight to London, it would have to take off with a restricted weight of 329,365 kilograms, which would mean a reduction of 39 passengers and a loss of cargo per flight. Flights were initially planned to takeoff on 2 November 2013, however, the runway at Soekarno-Hatta Airport does not meet the required level of strength needed for the full capacity of a heavy duty commercial aircraft such as the Boeing 777-300ER. Limited runway capacity at Soekarno-HattaAirport delays London services.
“We’re seeing a positive change in our visitor mix – away from group shopping tours towards a more independent, higher spending Chinese visitor, enjoying higher quality visitor experiences,” Mr O’Sullivan said. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale Tourists from China and the UK, US were the biggest contributors to the AUD $28.9 billion spent in Australia in 2013, offsetting drops in spending from Japanese and Korean tourists. Chinese visitors spent AUD $4.8 billion in 2013, up 16 per cent since new laws came in October cracking down on cut price shopping tours. Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said that Australia was witnessing a changing demographic of tourist visiting. The tourism industry is lobbying hard for the Abbott government to commit more money to promoting Australia overseas before the budget is handed down on May 13. Chinese visitors coming to Australia are wealthier than ever before and are now Australia’s most lucrative visitors. “Increases in independent travelling visitors means more Australian tourism businesses are getting to welcome Chinese, as they go farther and experience more of our country.” The latest international visitor survey shows a fall of 4 per cent in the numbers of Chinese tourists to Australia but an increase of 17 per cent of the amount each tourist spent, The Age reported.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises announces new grand voyageRegent Seven Seas Cruises announces new grand voyageLuxurious all-inclusive cruise line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, has enhanced its circumnavigating of Australia itinerary aboard the recently refurbished Seven Seas Mariner®.Now part of their ‘Grand Voyages’ collection, the 36-night itinerary departs Sydney on 15th December 2018 aboard the intimate, all-suite and all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner®. Grand Voyages allow extra time for leisurely exploration of one particular region and spend more time at each port with many overnight stays and extra amenities.Bespoke amenities include one night’s accommodation and dinner in a luxury hotel pre-cruise, phone time in each suite, unlimited laundry services, a commemorative gift, an exclusive ashore New Year’s Eve party in Bali and an exclusive shore side experience. Guests will also enjoy the benefits of all-inclusive cruising, with unlimited shore excursions, meals in specialty restaurants, premium fine wines and beverages, in-suite mini bar replenished daily, open bars and lounges, unlimited WiFi and pre-paid gratuities.Visit a wealth of diverse destinations ranging from sophisticated capital cities to tropical islands and idyllic beaches to wine country, culturally-significant indigenous locations and 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Beyond Australia, the cruise will also visit Papua New Guinea and the remote island of Komodo in Indonesia, famed for its rare dragons.“Our new Grand Voyage will give local travellers a unique opportunity to experience our country’s diverse destinations with up to 64 shore excursions included in the fare. From the sails of the iconic Opera House to the balmy beaches of Broome and the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. And then further south the rugged coastlines and rare wildlife of Kangaroo Island and a chance to experience the sophistication of Melbourne,” said Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Mr Steve Odell.Deluxe Veranda Suites start from AU$33,120 per person twin share.About Regent Seven Seas CruisesCelebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the world’s most inclusive luxury experience with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 450 destinations around the world. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is currently undergoing a US$125 million fleetwide refurbishment that will elevate the level of elegance found throughout the fleet to the standard set by Seven Seas Explorer, which entered service on July 20, 2016, and has since been recognised as the most luxurious ship ever built™. The cruise line’s next industry game-changing ship Seven Seas Splendor will launch in 2020. A leader in luxury cruising, the line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, , highly personalised service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, gratuities, ground transfers and one-night, pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in Concierge-level suites and higher.To book a cruise with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, please call 1300 455 200 (AU) or 0800 625 692 (NZ), visit www.rssc.com or contact your preferred Travel Agent.Source = Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Emirates implements new strategy designed to support customer needsEmirates is implementing a new strategy in Australia to provide a continued superior level of customer service and adapt to market changes. The changes will come into effect from April and will see the creation of new roles with greater responsibility in order to best serve their customer’s needs.“Emirates has been a major player in the Australian market for over 20 years. This kind of longevity is achieved by having the right strategy and team in operation, who are best placed to implement them,” said Barry Brown, Emirates Divisional Vice President for Australasia. “We’ve made these changes keeping in mind what’s most important to our business which is our people. The people who work in our offices, the people who fly our aircraft and the people who trust us to get them safely and seamlessly where they need to go,” said Mr Brown.As part of the new strategy, Emirates will close its Melbourne ticketing office as well as its Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide Town Offices, with sales executives working remotely. However, Emirates will continue to provide a superior customer service with new focus areas for teams based on customer needs.“The changes we’re implementing will see our team expand their skillsets and take on greater responsibility so that they can better meet our customers’ needs, focus on the areas that matter most to our business and remain professionally challenged. We remain committed to the Australian market and will be working closely with each office to ensure that this transition period is as seamless as possible,” said Mr Brown.The Emirates Group employs around 5,600 team members across Australia, and last financial year the airline directly contributed over AUD$790 million to the Australian economy by purchasing goods and services such as fuel, ground handling and inflight catering services. Emirates also supports hundreds of Australian businesses through the provision of crew accommodation and meal services, and products from food and wine companies to augment its inflight offerings.Since the commencement of services in 1996, Emirates has carried more than 36 million passengers while investing over $97 million in Australian arts, community and sports sponsorships.Over the years, Emirates has grown from three weekly flights between Dubai and Melbourne, before expanding to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, now operating thousands of flights each year.For more information on Emirates, including how to book flights, visit emirates.com/au, contact your local travel agent or call Emirates on 1300 303 777.Source = Emirates
A country of history, beaches and amazing natural beauty, Portugal is one of Europe’s gems.Portugal shares the Iberian peninsula at the south-western tip of Europe with Spain. Geographically and culturally somewhat isolated from its neighbour, Portugal has a rich, unique culture, lively cities and beautiful countryside. Although it was once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, the end of dictatorship and introduction of Democracy in 1974, as well as its incorporation into the European Union in 1986, has meant significantly increased prosperity. It may now be one of the best value destinations on the Continent. This is because the country offers outstanding landscape diversity, due to its North-South disposition along the western shore of the Iberian peninsula. You can travel in a single day from green mountains in the North, covered with vines and all varieties of trees to rocky mountains, with spectacular slopes and falls in the Centre, to a near-desert landscape in the Alentejo region and finally to the glamorous beach holidays destination Algarve. The climate, combined with investments in the golfing infrastructure in recent years, has also turned the country into a golfing haven. Portugal was recently named “Best Golf Destination 2008″ by readers of Golfers Today, an English publication. Fourteen of Portugal’s courses are rated in the top 100 best in Europe. If you want a condensed view of European landscapes, culture and way of life, Portugal might very well fit the bill. As well as sedate golfing, Portugal is THE epicentre of the finest surfing in Europe, its pristine beaches during autumn/winter time attracting surfers with the massive waves rolling off the mighty Atlantic.Especially popular with tourists from Northern European countries such as England, Germany, Holland, Norway and Sweden, Portugal’s great draw is the same as it has been for over 40 years, a country blessed with a magnificent coastline, warm climate and some of the most majestic beaches in the world.If you are into visiting beautiful monuments and enjoy remarkable views, then Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto are the top three places, and all of them are well worth a visit. But don’t overlook Viana do Castelo, Braga, Guimarães, Coimbra, Tomar, Aveiro, Amarante, Bragança, Chaves, Lamego, Viseu, Vila Real, Lagos, Silves, Évora, Angra as they also have wonderful monuments and places of interest. Although in Portugal most of the monuments in existence are somewhat neglected from a tourist point of view, one can easily find very old romanic churches, some with almost 900 years and still quite unchanged from that time. Old monasteries like Alcobaça or luxurious palaces like Mafra (one of the biggest palaces in Europe) or Queluz are not to be missed either. In most of these places you will have no queues.The most popular beaches are in the Algarve, which has stunning coastlines and gobs of natural beauty. The water along the southern coast tends to be warmer and calmer than the water along the west coast, which is definitely Atlantic and doesn’t benefit of the Gulf Stream. For surfing, or just playing in the surf there are great beaches all along the west coast, near Lisbon and Peniche. Don’t forget also some of the almost deserted beaches along the Costa Vicentina, in Alentejo.For nightlife Lisbon, Porto and Albufeira, Algarve are the best choices as you have major places of entertainment.If you want to spend your holidays in the countryside, you might want to visit Viana do Castelo, Chaves, Miranda do Douro, Douro Valley, Lamego, Tomar, Leiria, Castelo Branco, Guarda, Portalegre, Évora, Elvas or even Viseu.And even if you wish to observe wild life in its natural state, Madeira and Azores Islands are places to remember, not forgetting of course the Natural Reserve of Peneda-Gerês, the Douro Valley and Serra da Estrela.Some of the most popular beaches are (from north to south):– Espinho, near Oporto, in Costa Verde/Green Coast, northern region.– Figueira da Foz, near Coimbra, in Silver Coast/Costa de Prata, central region. Peniche– Praia das Maçãs and Praia Grande[Sintra], Carcavelos and Estoril[Cascais], near Lisbon, in the Costa de Lisboa.– Zambujeira do Mar, in the Alentejo region/Costa Alentejana e Vicentina.– Salema, Praia da Rocha, Praia da Oura, Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman´s beach), Praia de São Rafael, Praia do Castelo in the Algarve. Hit the road in Portugal with STUBA Thanks to Wikitravel.org for the tips ! Source = STUBA.com
An air strip will soon be connecting the Bekal Fort in Kerala. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) has almost been finalised by the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) for the construction of the airstrip.A meeting between the stakeholders and the Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC) is awaited. The government has already granted administrative sanction and allocated Rs 35 crore for the first phase of the project proposed in Uduma panchayat. The airstrip will occupy as much as 120 acres, which will come up close to the notified area, of which 40 acres are already in the possession of the government and BRDC.The airstrip will benefit the six resorts that have come up at Bekal to attract upmarket holiday makers. Airlines can directly operate to Bekal or can offer air connectivity from international airports in the state.This strategic move comes at a time when K M Muhammed Anil, Managing Director, BRDC, is gearing up to market the destination with the backing of the Kerala Tourism Department. The government is also aiding BRDC in creating the necessary infrastructure to cater to the rising tourist inflow in Bekal.
Avid Bengali travellers can now enjoy distinctive curated itineraries with Thomas Cook (India) Ltd’s recently launched exclusive international packages-‘Sharod Shubheccha’.With this launch, Thomas Cook will incorporate a unique festive spirit into its tours exclusively for its Durga Puja tours.Tapping the important markets for the Durga Puja holidays Kolkata and West Bengal, as also Bhubaneshwar and Orissa have been earmarked, accounting for 10% of the overall leisure travel business. Customers are booking their holidays two months in advance, resulting in an uptake of 27% in bookings year-on-year.Thomas Cook has introduced special packages to some of the top favourite international destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Egypt, China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Macau, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, UK and others. Prices start from Rs 35000 onwards (per person on twin share basis) giving more than one reason to Bengali travellers to celebrate an auspicious occasion in a foreign locale.Commenting on the Durga Puja special packages Rajeev D Kale, President & Country Head – Leisure Travel & MICE, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “Durga Puja is one of the most significant festive occasions and is widely celebrated in West Bengal. Marked by grand celebrations, the nine-day festive extravaganza is one of the biggest holiday seasons in the state. Keeping in mind the strong support received from our discerning Bengali travellers, also considering their evolving preferences and demands, we at Thomas Cook India have designed special packages at exciting price points, to enable Bengali travellers celebrate their favourite festival at their dream destinations- with their loved ones.”
As a strategy to grow cross-nation multi-destination tourism, Jamaica has announced to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mexico.Previously a MoU with Cuba was signed last May as part of a wider collaboration between the three countries and the Dominican Republic to boost marketing activity and encourage airlines to offer multi-stop routes within the region.“With bigger aircraft and larger capacity, it’s attractive to airlines to be able to make multiple stops,” Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett said that the island nation hoped to finalise the deal next month.Bartlett claimed that Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic account for 70% of all international visitors to the region, making it an attractive area for tour operators. “Airlines already do it a bit in the eastern Caribbean but now we want to offer it in the western Caribbean,” he added.He also stated that neighbours such as the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Haiti and Turks and Caicos could join the agreement in the future which can be beneficial to all.
Higher asking prices drove off foreign homebuyers and investors over the last year, with real estate firm citing a 10 percent decline in foreign interest for the U.S. housing market.[IMAGE]Releasing its International House Hunter Report Thursday, “”Trulia””:http://www.trulia.com/ found that asking prices rose 0.3 percent year-over-year, nixing helpful influence from still-falling home prices.The housing bust attracted a number of foreign and cash buyers interested in low prices and the safe haven of U.S. real estate investment.””Foreigners attracted to real estate bargains get turned off when prices increase,”” “”Jed Kolko””:http://www.trulia.com/about/people/jed-kolko, chief economist with Trulia, said in a statement. “”Investors want to buy when prices are at their bottom, but they’ll start to lose interest when prices rise 15 percent, as they have in Miami and Phoenix. Demand by people looking to scoop up bargains can dry up quickly when prices rise.””[COLUMN_BREAK]The decline in overseas buyer and investor activity ran steep year-over-year. In Miami, a traditionally popular area among foreign buyers, international house hunters fell from 16.3 percent in June last year to 15.7 percent this year.Other places in Florida likewise saw dips in their overseas buyer activity. Fort Lauderdale observed a drop from 14.2 percent last year to 12.9 percent this year, while West Palm Beach saw declines that ran from 12.2 percent to 10.3 percent.Los Angeles, another hub of foreign buyer activity, came in just behind Miami for year-over-year declines in international house hunters, slumping from 13.4 percent last year to 13.7 percent this year.Other areas saw a climb in activity. House-hunting activity picked up in tourist destination Orlando, increasing from 10.7 percent to 10.8 percent. The Trulia report made a nod to the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, a helpful influence on housing activity that kept Treasury yields and interest rates for mortgage loans correspondingly low this year.””Although Europe’s financial troubles have been a global economic threat, the Eurozone crisis had a silver lining for U.S. housing in 2011 as Europeans looked to American real estate as a safer investment,”” Kolko added.””Last year, the share of searches from Greece, Spain and Italy increased, bucking the international trend. Now, however, the foreign search share is declining even from those Eurozone crisis countries,”” he said. July 27, 2012 428 Views in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing As Asking Prices Rise, Foreign Buyer Activity Falls Agents & Brokers Asking Prices Confidence Debt Crisis Euro European Union First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage For-Sale Homes Home Prices Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers Treasury Yields 2012-07-27 Ryan Schuette Share
“”FHFA””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ issued a notice Wednesday to warn of the controversial use of eminent domain recently proposed in San Bernardino County. [IMAGE]In San Bernardino County, officials are considering the use of eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages. The mortgages would be taken at fair market value, and then restructured into new loans with terms reflecting the current market. Chicago and Berkeley are also exploring the proposed use of eminent domain.[COLUMN_BREAK]In the notice, which was sent to the Federal Register, FHFA stated it had “”significant concerns about the use of eminent domain to revise existing financial contracts and the alteration of the value of Enterprise or Bank securities holdings.””FHFA said that in relation to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the use of an eminent domain program could result in a cost to taxpayers. FHFA also stated it had significant concerns regarding a “”chilling effect on the extension of credit to borrowers seeking to become homeowners and on investors that support thehousing market.””As conservator for the GSEs and as a regulator for Federal Home Loan Banks, FHFA stated it may need to take action “”to avoid a risk to safe and sound operations and to avoid taxpayer expense.””Along with concerns, the agency also raised several questions, including the constitutionality of the proposed use of eminent domain; the effects on holders of existing securities; and the impact on millions of negotiated and performing mortgage contracts. FHFA said it is accepting input on topic through its Office of General Counsel no later than September 7, 2012. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing FHFA Processing 2012-08-09 Esther Cho August 9, 2012 445 Views Share FHFA Pushes Back on Eminent Domain Policy in California
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing May 22, 2013 397 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing RE/MAX Service Providers 2013-05-22 Tory Barringer Share RE/MAX Creates Luxury Listings Website “”RE/MAX””:http://www.remax.com/ announced the launch of the “”RE/MAX Collection””:http://www.theremaxcollection.com/, a new luxury resource website offering high-end U.S. listings.[IMAGE]The site features a clean, simple look, marked by a distinctive onyx and silver logo. Beyond that, it focuses on homebuyers and sellers’ needs with simple search functions, breathtaking photography, and easy navigation. The program also provides RE/MAX luxury [COLUMN_BREAK]specialists with exclusive training and marketing tools that allow them to deliver premier service to their clients.””The unparalleled tools and resources available to our clients confirms our dedication to customer service and allows for an exclusive experience,”” said Mike Reagan, SVP of RE/MAX Business Alliances. “”Visitors to The RE/MAX Collection website can easily find local RE/MAX agents who have the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist training, as well as fine homes and luxury properties.””In addition to launching the website, RE/MAX named Anne Miller, an experienced and respected luxury real estate expert, as brand manager of the RE/MAX Collection. Miller comes to her position with a well-rounded background in real estate and luxury development, including the grand opening and marketing of Spire Denver and the Four Seasons in downtown Denver.””I am thrilled with the opportunity to work for the industry’s leading real estate brand,”” she said. “”RE/MAX has been successful because of its high level of service. My job is to help deliver a powerful marketing program that complements RE/MAX agents’ commitment to excellence.””
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Ben S. Bernanke Federal Reserve Investors Janet Yellen Lenders & Servicers Politics Senate Banking Committee Service Providers 2014-01-06 Tory Barringer January 6, 2014 442 Views Share Fed,Yellen Confirmed as Fed Chair as Senate Returns in Government The “”United States Senate””:http://www.senate.gov/index.htm voted Monday to confirm Janet Yellen as chair of the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ following Ben Bernanke’s departure at the end of January. She will be the first woman to take the job in the Fed’s history.[IMAGE]According to “”reports””:http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/janet-yellen-confirmed-as-next-fed-chief/2014/01/06/14b38582-76f2-11e3-8963-b4b654bcc9b2_story.html, Yellen’s nomination passed in a vote of 56-26.Like her predecessor, Yellen seems to favor the strategy of keeping monetary policies loose as the economy works to get back on its feet–a position her opponents have criticized.[COLUMN_BREAK]””I have deep concerns about the long-term effects of pursuing [current] policies,”” said “”Sen. Chuck Grassley””:http://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=47926 (R-Iowa) in a statement released Monday. “”Historical evidence suggests that failing to rein in easy money policies on a timely basis risks fueling an economic bubble or even hyperinflation.””Grassley added that while the Fed’s recent strategy has benefited the stock market, the rest of the country has yet to see major improvements, noting that “”the Fed has a dismal record at being able to produce sustainable job creation through expansionary monetary policy.””Still, she’s not without her supporters. Speaking at her “”nomination hearing””:http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Newsroom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=57be8f3b-b898-e474-6dc4-9f896f4d6676 before the Senate Banking Committee in November, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) pointed to her “”extensive and impressive career in public service and academia”” as proof of her qualifications.””We need [Yellen’s] expertise at the helm of the Fed as our nation continues to recover from the Great Recession, completes Wall Street Reform rulemakings, and continues to enhance the stability of our financial sector,”” he said at the time. “”I am excited to cast my vote to confirm her as the first woman to serve as Chair of the Federal Reserve.””
Trends Indicate Recovering (Not Bubbling) Home Market in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Market trends across the United States indicate a recovering real estate market—but not a bubble—according to the latest Home Value Forecast from Pro Teck Valuation Services. According to the forecast, the housing economy is in healthy rebound, so much so that even the markets showing the greatest appreciation are not near 2006 figures, when the market was at its historical peak.Pro Teck’s conclusion is decidedly more optimistic than other forecasts released in recent weeks. Earlier in July, FICO reported that 56 percent of U.S. lenders fear another bubble is forming. “While every market is different, and every neighborhood is different,” said Pro Teck CEO Tom O’Grady, “we see positive trends now being the norm instead of the exception.”Pro Teck’s conclusion validates reports by other industry organizations, such as Trulia, which predicted in March that the housing economy would stagger back to stable footing without creating a bubble.One of the positive trends Pro Teck sees is the recovery of market values in states such as Florida, where processing foreclosure properties through a long judicial process had delayed recovery time. Now that foreclosures from a few years ago are concluding, the markets in judicial states are opening back up and more homes are being listed for sale. This, said O’Grady, is an important ingredient when it comes to market performance and growth. Active listings in any market, he said, have dramatically affect that market’s dynamics—fewer listings indicate more competition that results in home price appreciation.Still, Florida is home to three of the worst-performing markets in the country: Lakeland, Tallahassee, and Tampa. “Although many of the indicators in the bottom ten are trending positive, we are still seeing more than six months of inventory in all but one market and high foreclosure ratios,” O’Grady said. “Until those indicators improve, those areas are likely to see weaker housing conditions for the coming months.”Florida’s unenviable company at the bottom includes metros in Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia/Maryland and Ohio/Pennsylvania.According to Pro Teck, listings in three of the top 20 markets (Hawaii, Texas, and California) have dropped by more than 60 percent year-over-year, leading to the most rapid growth in the U.S. But while the forecast is positive for the next three to five years in these areas, these markets will not sustain the recent their recovery pace, and a bubble will not form.”The big difference this time around is that mortgage credit is much tighter due to increased regulation and the zero down, pick-a-pay, stated income, type of exotic mortgages that created the last bubble are no longer an option,” O’Grady said.According to the report, seven of the top 10 performing markets are in California, where they have been since last year and show no signs of taking a back seat to anywhere else anytime soon. “California is leading MRI, active listings, active price change percent, and sales-to-list price ratios,” O’Grady said. “These hot markets are leading to very attractive prices for sellers.” The other three markets in the top 10 were in Texas (Houston and Lubbock) and Seattle. FICO Forecast Home Values Housing Bubble Pro Teck Valuation Services Trulia 2014-07-17 Scott_Morgan July 17, 2014 469 Views Share
in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Share January 3, 2015 508 Views Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio took a huge downward turn in November, while the mortgage giant’s Book of Business inched upward, according to Fannie Mae’s November 2014 Monthly Summary.The balance of the gross mortgage portfolio dropped from $436 billion in October down to $424 billion in November, marking the 52nd time in the last 53 months Fannie Mae’s portfolio declined month-over-month. With the exception of December 2012, when the portfolio grew in value at a compound annualized rate of 1 percent, the value of the portfolio has declined every month since June 2010. At the end of that month four and a half years ago, the portfolio’s value was almost $818 billion.Year-to-date for the first 11 months of 2014, the gross mortgage portfolio has declined by an average compound annualized rate of 14.7 percent. November’s decline of 28.9 percent marked the fourth-largest month-over-month decline the portfolio has experienced since the conservatorship began in September 2008. In January 2010, it declined by 44.8 percent; and in back-to-back months in July and August 2013, it declined by 29.6 percent and 32.4 percent, respectively.Meanwhile, Fannie Mae’s Book of Business increased in November at a compound annualized rate of 0.7 percent up to $3.12 trillion, marking only the second time in the last 12 months the Book of Business has increased month-over-month. Year-to-date, the Book of Business has declined at an average compound annual rate of 1.5 percent.Also in November, the serious delinquency rate on Fannie Mae’s conventional single-family mortgage loans declined by one basis point from October down to 1.91 percent. November marked the 36th month in a row the serious delinquency rate declined at least one basis point month-over-month; the last time the rate did not decline was when it held steady at 4.0 percent from October to November 2011.The value of Fannie Mae’s mortgage-backed securities and other guarantees totaled $2.791 trillion in November, representing an annualized compound rate month-over-month decline of 1.0 percent after experiencing an increase in three of the previous four months. Year-to-date for the period ending November 30, 2014, MBS and other guarantees for Fannie Mae has declined at an average compound annualized rate of 0.5 percent.Fannie Mae completed 7,417 loan modifications in November, down from 9,540 completed in October. Year-to-date for the period ending November 30, 2014, Fannie Mae has completed 113,872 loan mods. Delinquency Fannie Mae Loan Modifications Mortgage-Backed Securities 2015-01-03 Seth Welborn New Acquisitions Drive Up Business at Fannie
May 28, 2015 617 Views JPMorgan Chase’s RMBS Settlement of $500 Million Approved With Pension Funds Share in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Bear Stearns JPMorgan Chase Mortgage-Backed Securities Pension Funds 2015-05-28 Seth Welborn A federal judge has approved JPMorgan Chase’s $500 million settlement with four pension funds over the sale of faulty mortgage-backed securities by Wall Street investment firm Bear Stearns before the financial crisis, according to media reports.JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, acquired Bear Stearns in March 2008 at a stock-only price of $236 million, or $2 per share. In their lawsuit, the pension funds accused Bear Stearns of selling $17.6 billion worth of toxic mortgage-backed securities to them in the run-up to the crisis.The terms of the settlement were approved by Judge Laura Taylor Swain in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (in Manhattan). In addition to the $500 million, reports said Swain also approved the plan of allocation and $81 million in attorney fees, calling the settlement “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” According to the terms of the settlement, the defendants were not required to admit any fault or wrongdoing.Pension funds to which the settlement money will be allocated are the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (MissPERS), the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund, the Police and Retirement System of Detroit, and the State of Oregon, according to reports.The group of pension funds accused Bear Stearns of offering documents that contained “false” and “misleading” statements as to the quality of the securities in question. The group claimed in its original complaint that Bear Stearns made “untrue statements” and “omissions” in the documents and that the securities were “far riskier than represented.” Court documents said the complaint included 22 offerings from 64,000 underlying mortgage loans from about 500 originators.A spokesman for JPMorgan Chase declined to comment on the settlement when reached by email. A spokesperson for MissPERS referred MReport to the Mississippi Attorney General’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In 2012, the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, estimated that the Bear Stearns acquisition had cost the bank about $10 billion in losses over the previous four years.Legal troubles have mounted for JP Morgan Chase in the last two years regarding sales of mortgage-backed securities prior to the housing crisis. In November 2013, the bank agreed to a then-record $13 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve allegations misleading investors in the sales of MBS (nine months later, Bank of America broke the record by agreeing to a $16.65 billion settlement with the DOJ to resolve similar claims). Overall in 2013, JPMorgan Chase paid about $23 billion in settlements over its mortgage lending practices.The pension funds involved in the JPMorgan Chase settlement have settled with other firms over alleged MBS fraud. In February, three financial institutions (Citigroup Global Markets, Goldman Sachs, and UBS Securities) settled with the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund for $235 million to resolve allegations of fraud on the part of the underwriters involving MBS sold to Residential Capital, an affiliate of the New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund. In September 2014, investment firm Morgan Stanley settled for $95 million with MissPERS to resolve claims that the firm misled investors as to the quality of RMBS it sold before the financial crisis.
eMortgages technology 2016-08-26 Seth Welborn Share August 26, 2016 683 Views What is the Industry’s Hangup with eMortgages? Federal housing regulators would like the industry to adopt eMortgages—which are mortgages in which critical loan documentation (specifically the promissory note, or eNote) is created, executed, registered, transferred and ultimately stored electronically—as the industry standard.But according to a joint outreach survey conducted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with industry stakeholders on state of the industry adoption, it may take a while.The GSEs, under the direction of their regulator, FHFA, as part of the 2016 scorecard, are charged with working together to identify, assess, and implement strategies (where appropriate) to improve the industry’s ability to deliver eMortgages. In the survey, the GSEs asked 130 stakeholders, including lenders, technology solution providers, servicers, title/settlement agents, warehouse banks, and servicers, on perceived obstacles to the industry’s adoption of eMortgages as a standard.The survey cited several factors that are driving the demand for eMortgages, which include: borrower expectations of faster, better, and more reliable service; a desire for more efficient processes and costs savings during the loan origination process, shorter timeframes from origination to sale into the secondary market resulting in greater liquidity; reducing interest rate risk and hedging costs; potential for reduced costs for warehouse lines; reduced cost for eNote certification and storage due to faster loan funding; and a reduction in the delays of loss mitigation activities.Despite the demand for eMortgages, which have been around since the 1990s, the industry has been hesitant to adopt them as the standard for a variety of reasons.“We found that eMortgage adoption continues to gain traction with lenders; however, the adoption has been slow due to various factors,” the GSEs stated in the report. “Ultimately, the survey showed that lenders are willing to spearhead the process while warehouse banks, servicers, and title/settlement partners will adopt when requested by lender partners.”According to the GSEs, concerns across the industry on the adoption of eMortgages include: acceptance by a limited number of investors; warehouse line availability; lack of readiness on the part of key stakeholders such as servicers, document providers, custodians, title/settlement agents); the complexity of implementation; inadequate return on investment based on industry volumes; lack of uniform adoption of eNotorization and eRecording; resource/financial constraints, and GSE policy alignment.Among lenders, one of the chief concerns was a lack of warehouse lenders, with one lender commenting that “Only a few warehouse lenders allow eNotes resulting in an added hurdle…the warehouse lenders will delay as long as possible since this changes their revenue model.” A lack of investor outlets was cited as another concern from lenders, with one lender noting, “Lack of other investors and possible execution outlets limit the correspondents. In addition, the fear is what if an investor will not buy the loan. How do you unwind and sell with limited outlets?” A lack of business partners was also a concern for lenders, with the comments ranging from “Custodians are not ready for eNotes” to “Technology required is developing at different paces. Must keep vendors on track with overall initiative.”Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) reported that there are 338,000 eNotes in their eRegistry as of February 2015, and the number continues to grow. According to the survey, there are approximately 50 lenders/investors integrated with the MERS registry and more than 200 companies closing eNotes. Will more lenders and investors get on board as time goes by?Click here to view the entire survey. in Daily Dose, News, Origination, Technology
November 3, 2016 572 Views Fannie Mae Takes Earnings Report as Positive Earnings Fannie Mae Profits 2016-11-03 ScottMorgan1 Share Fannie Mae reported net income of $3.2 billion, comprehensive income of $3 billion, and a positive net worth of $4.2 billion for the third quarter. That means that Fannie Mae expects to pay the U.S. Department of Treasury a $3 billion dividend in December.Net revenues were up for the GSE. In Q3 net revenues were $5.6 billion. In Q2, they were $5.5 billion. Similarly, net interest income rose from $5.3 billion to $5.4 billion for the third quarter.Fannie Mae’s Q3 net income of $3.2 billion was an increase from Q2’s net income of $2.9 billion and from Q3 2015’s net income of $2.2 billion. Overall, Fannie Mae took the report as positive news, which it has not often been able to do in recent years.“Today’s results reflect the strength of our business and our commitment to delivering innovations that make the mortgage process better for lenders,” said Timothy Mayopoulos, president and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae. “We have partnered with lenders to develop new solutions that meet their most important needs. We will continue to innovate so that we can help customers create a faster, safer, and, ultimately, fully digitized mortgage experience for borrowers.”Net fair value losses were down. In Q3 they were $491 million, compared with $1.7 billion in Q2. Fannie Mae attributed the Q3 losses mainly to losses on Connecticut Avenue Securities debt.Credit-related income was also down in Q3. Fannie Mae reported $563 million in credit-related income in the third quarter, compared with $1.5 billion in Q2. Fannie Mae attributed this to an increase in home prices, including distressed property valuations.Single-family net income was $1.9 billion in Q3, driven primarily by guaranty fee income and credit-related income. This was also a drop. In Q2, the total was $2.7 billion. Single-family guaranty fee income remained at $3.3 billion for Q3.Fannie Mae’s solid Q3 report came two days after Freddie Mac announced a net income of $2.3 billion for Q3, more than double its Q2 net income of $993 million.Click here to view Fannie Mae’s complete Q3 earnings report. in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market