Creating authentic adventures for Aussies

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M Focusing on offering niche, off the beaten track itineraries in 2012, Adventure World has released its latest collection, First Footprints, expecting to boost agents’ sales by offering complex and diverse itineraries using their expertise for adventurous Aussie travellers.Boasting an increase of 18 per cent in sales year on year, the 30-year old wholesaler admitted since they were rated second as favourite wholesaler in an internal survey, it has only fuelled their position to follow emerging trends with the creation of First Footprints, and adding further investment to create specialist wholesale teams to assist with agent enquiries.The initial brochure, featuring 17 itineraries focusing on the South Pacific and her islands, incorporates New Caledonia, Paupa New Guinea, Atiu in the  Cook Islands, Mare, Lifou and Ouvea in the Loyatly Islands, Tanna, Pentecost, Malekua in Vanuatu, specifically leaving out Samoa due to saturation in the marketplace and ease of access and information for travellers. “Adventure World has been known to hand-pick diverse destinations that have paths less travelled.  We’re delighted to announce that the First Footprints collection continues this long standing tradition to offer authentic, environmental, cultural and rewarding holiday experiences,” Head of Product, Diane Moynihan said, adding that the collection was created due to customer demand.”These destinations are not commercially viable in tourism; they don’t have big hotel chains to throw money into tourism””These suggested itineraries are not for those seeking a fly and flop destination.”Other brochures in the collection to be released include the Philippines and a “different” New Zealand, according to General Manager, Marketing, Neil Rodgers.Currently ranking as the number one FIT wholesaler to Canada and Alaska, Mr Rodgers said their soon to be released 2012 brochure will feature a new Rocky Mountain region incorporating the ruggedness of Texas, bound by Qantas’ latest Dallas connection.”It’ll be the first time we offer cross boarder itineraries,” Mr Rodgers told e-Travel Blackboard.With strong forward bookings, Mr Rodgers said there is still a strong swing toward last-minute bookings as customers become wary about non-guaranteed Earlybird offerings.Visit www.adventureworld.com.au for more information. Back Row from Left: Richard Hankin – Solomon Islands NTO / Andrew Mulholland, Exec GM Adventure World / Rev Sione Pinomi, Kingdom of Tonga / Annalene Chacon; Trans Niugini Tours / Mereana Taruia, Cook Islands NTO/ Michael Woods ; PNG NTO / Di Moynihan ; Head of Product – Adventure World / Janet Sayer – Loyalty Islands New Caledonia NTOFront Row from Left:  Jamie Strickland, Head of Operations – Adventure World / Anne Morris – PNG NTO / Georgia Ditton – Vanuatu NTO / Richard Skewes – Niue NTO / Neil Rogers GM of Marketing, Adventure Worldlast_img read more

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Quake shakes Christchurch travel

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J This page will updated as more news comes to hand.Updated 5.23pmChristchurch Airport has reopened after two major earthquakes forced the airport to cease operations earlier today.Qantas has advised passengers that it has cancelled all flights today while Virgin Australia has assured passengers it will continue to operate services as scheduled.Jetstar has advised travellers that it will operate extra services on 24 December 2011 to assist passengers facing flight disruptions today.Updated 3.11pm Christchurch Airport has advised travellers that it will reopen its terminal from 5.30pm local time.Updated 2.00pm A 5.8 earthquake has struck Christchurch, New Zealand causing Christchurch International Airport to close after the city experienced major power outages.In a Tweet the airport said its building will remain closed until further notice as the building and runways are checked for damages.Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism said in an online update that no serious injuries have been reported as of yet and all major roads and bridges are still operational.“Power and water supplies are still operational over most of the city,” the update read.“The message from local tourism operators is that they are operating on a ‘safety first’ policy; so if they are open then it is safe for visitors.”A statement from Qantas read that the airline has diverted flights from Sydney to Christchurch to Wellington while flights QF45 and QF46 have been cancelled.Jetstar has also advised its passengers that its flights to the city have been temporarily suspended.Two flights en-route from Auckland to Christchurch – JQ249 and JQ251 – have been diverted to Auckland and Wellington respectively, the airline said in an online statement.The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued a warning to people residing in Dundee Beach and Nhulunbuy, Australia to be on cyclone watch.According to the warning there is a 50 percent change that a low pressure system in the Arafura Sea could become a cyclone by Christmas Eve.last_img read more

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China key for NZ TRENZ

first_imgTRENZ Media Conference TRENZ has returned to the Southern Lakes region of Queenstown in 2012, with a focus on the emerging Asian market of China, highlighting its future importance to New Zealand tourism. Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler addressed delegates at the official media conference at the Queenstown Events Centre, emphasising the difficult but definite need to grow Chinese travellers in NZ. “In terms of China, it’s not just about arrivals; it’s about getting them to stay longer,” he said. We’re focused about where we place our priorities and direct our marketing. There’s certainly no shortage of challenges to face when it comes to the Chinese marketplace.” Mr Bowler said that Australia, China and the United States were the most important markets for New Zealand tourism. “We can’t afford to lose traction with Australia, China is a key emerging market and the US is attracted by the film industry, such as the past Lord of the Rings movies and the upcoming Hobbit film series,” he added. “We’re also hoping for new air connections between the US and New Zealand within the next few months, with United Airlines.” Auckland Airport chief executive Simon Moutter outlined his ‘Ambition 2020’ strategy, stressing the influence and significance of the Asian marketplace. “Asia is our second biggest market today but will entrench by 2020, highlighting the rapid expansion in Asia due to the rising scale of middle-class travellers,” he said. “By 2020 Asia will make up 66 percent of the world’s middle-class population.” With continued risk and crisis within the European market and the US suffering economic detriment, focus will automatically switch to Asia. “As part of our ambition strategy, Asia will be the largest value market worth $2.75 billion by 2020, with the highest rate of value growth coming from China,” Mr. Moutter said. Auckland Airport general manager aeronautical business development Glenn Wedlock also added that as a destination New Zealand needs to step up and propose new initiatives. “We have to be offering something more tailored, competitive and educate our sellers if we’re going to compete in the China marketplace.”TRENZ is shaping up to be an informative and interesting event, with over 270 exhibitors, 10 percent of which are first-time attendees, more than 50 new products on show and over 300 buyers in participating. Kevin Bowler, Tourism New Zealand Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

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TA Virgin Australia sign 6 million MOU

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Targeting key Aussie markets, Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to spend up to $6 million on joint marketing activities over the next three years.Announced today, the joint campaign will focus on building the USA, New Zealand, UK, Continental Europe, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Singapore markets.The arrangement will include traditional and digital media marketing as well as joint events and sponsorship activities.For more information click back onto e-Travel Blackboard tomorrow.  last_img read more

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Crown Resorts win Australias Best Hotel Award and

first_imgSource = Crown Perth Crown Resorts has taken out the top honours at the 2013 International Hotel Awards for the Asia Pacific region with both Crown Towers Melbourne and Crown Metropol Perth celebrated as the country’s best. At a gala awards ceremony held last night at Kuala Lumpur’s Shangri- La Hotel, the luxurious Crown Towers was recipient of the prestigious ‘Australia’s Best Hotel’ award, cementing a reputation for outstanding accommodation offerings in Melbourne, while Crown Metropol Perth was named ‘Best Hotel Renovation for Australia’. The awards further Crown Resorts international acclaim as the hotels of choice for sophisticated travellers and are a testament to the group’s upstanding service and stylish accommodation offerings in both Melbourne and Perth.General Manager of Crown Towers, Melbourne Andrew Cairns accepted both awards on behalf of Crown Resorts, stating “This international recognition is a great step moving forward for Crown Resorts.” He continued, “We will continue to thrive and show our commitment to offering our guests the best ccommodation and truly memorable hotel experiences.”The International Hotel Awards are held annually to recognise the leaders in the hotel industry and hospitality across the globe. Divided into six regions, Africa, UK, Asia Pacific, Arabia, Americas and Europe, hundreds of properties submit their applications for the chance to receive international acclaim. It is an honour that both Crown Towers Melbourne and Crown Metropol Perth have been acknowledged as the region’s top properties in the competitive and prestigious awards.It is no surprise that Crown Towers has been recognised as the ‘Best Hotel in Australia’ with its continued dedication to luxury accommodation and five star facilities. Complete with private villas and luxurious suites, Crown Towers features superior craftsmanship, contrasting textures and a refreshing and inviting colour palette with an art-deco design throughout. The renowned Crystal Club exemplifies the Crown Towers experience with exceptional service, decadent food and beverage offerings and an extensive outdoor terrace where guests can take in the stunning views of Melbourne’s CBD. In late 2012, Crown Towers’ Crown Spa was unveiled following a $10 million refurbishment, complete with an Aqua Retreat, 17 lavish treatment rooms, two exclusive couples’ suites and a dedicated hair and beauty salon.Situated on the banks of the Swan River overlooking Perth city, Crown Metropol Perth offers modern and stylish accommodation for the discerning traveller. Each spacious guest room features natural light, high-tech entertainment facilities, plush furnishings and large living areas. Guests have access to the resort-style pool area, 24-hour casino and a theatre all within the hotel. Complete with ISIKA Spa’s deluxe spa treatment rooms, steam rooms, a hair and beauty salon, and fully equipped fitness centre, Crown Metropol Perth is unlike any accommodation offering currently in Western Australia. Crown Resorts are planning their expansion within the Western Australian capital city, with Crown Towers scheduled to open in 2016.last_img read more

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Virgin Australia disability outrage

first_imgMr Cawthorn said that it was unbelievable that a normally quality airline could not cater to passenger needs. When Mr Cawthorn found his seat was not suitable, he was relocated to a three row seat. However in this row, Mr Cawthorn’s unbendable leg was repeatedly hit by other passengers and the food trolley. He then was forced to stand near the toilet for three hours, which made his back and leg hurt. Sam Cawthorn, a former Young Australian of the Year, could not sit on a normal sit due to his fused leg and metal, prosthetic arm, News Corporation reported.  Virgin Australia has made a disabled man stand an overnight flight from Perth to Brisbane last Friday because he could fit in a normal seat. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealecenter_img “There were many other suitable seats to which the cabin supervisor did not permit a seat change.” Mr Cawthorn claims he then saw other suitable options in economy and business class but refused due to “airline policy” and he even offered to pay for an upgrade. A spokesperson for Virgin Australia said that it was not given any notice of his disability but it regrets any inconvenience caused.  “Having spoken in 12 countries regarding resilience, I’m shocked as to why one of Australia’s best airlines would possibly put any of their passengers in a position where there was no choice but to stand for the duration of time between take-off and landing,” Mr Cawthorn said.last_img read more

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AirAsia X announces strong Q2 operating stats

first_imgAirAsia X has announced a strong Q2 performance, with increases in capacity and passenger growth.During the second quarter of 2014, AirAsia X’s Available Seat Kilometres grew by 47 per cent year on year to 6.265 million which came from the launch of new routes to Nagoya, Japan.In terms of passenger traffic, the company recorded 5,036 million Revenue Passenger Kilometres, an increase of 44 per cent year on year, which resulted in a load fact or 80.1 per cent. On the cargo traffic side, AAX’s Freight-Tonne-KM (“FTK”) was 7.2% lower y-o-y, while cargo capacity in Available-Tonne-KM (“ATK”) increased by 27.9% y-o-y. Consequently, cargo load factor fell by 16.7 percentage points to 44.2%.The airline’s fleet has also expanded to 23 aircraft, with the delivery of a new leased A330-300.AAX has expanded to four new routes to date including Narita, Chongqing, Xian and Nagoya.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

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China Southern to fly Dreamliner to Perth

first_imgChina Southern has confirmed today that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner begin flying to Perth from April 1.The airline will also boost the number of flights to Melbourne and Brisbane as the airline focuses on increasing the Australian market share.Melbourne will commence a double-daily service to China Southern’s Guangzhou hub from July 1, increasing the current 10 flights a week, while Brisbane will have a daily service from June 23.The advanced Dreamliner jet will be replacing the current Airbus A330 on the thrice-weekly flights. The Boeing 787 offers passengers a substantially more enjoyable ride than any other commercial jet thanks to a number of aspects that contribute to reducing jetlag when you step off the plane. Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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Melbourne Club Conference scores with NT destination

first_imgThe AFL’S Melbourne Football Club took its inaugural Commercial Partner Conference to Alice Springs in late May.  Forty delegates participated in the two day event which incorporated a golf day welcome, business workshops and sessions at the Alice Springs Convention Centre.  An exclusive dinner at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station and front row seats at the Melbourne versus Port Adelaide game played at the Alice Springs Traeger Park ground topped off the experience.A bonus surprise activity saw the group decked out in New Balance attire to undertake an exclusive training session with Melbourne Football Club (MFC) coach, Paul Roos.Conference attendees comprised senior management of the MFC and a number of the Club’s corporate partners. These included AHG, China Southern Airlines, Haymes Paint, IG, BioCeuticals, Hertz, Tyrrell’s Wines, The Duke, Victor Sports, Akambo, New Balance and New Age Caravans. Speakers at the conference included MFC CEO Peter Jackson and Tourism NT CEO, Tony Mayell.Tourism NT is a Platinum Plus partner of the MFC, as part of a three year sponsorship.   The Club’s high-end membership base of more than 35,000 supporters and its prestigious Melbourne Business Community group provide an ideal target market for the NT, from both a leisure tourism and a Business Events sector perspective.The MFC’s Chief Commercial Officer, George de Crespigny, spoke glowingly about the event.  “The conference in Alice Springs was a huge success”, he said.  “Everything about the location is unique, so not only does it provide a great platform for new thinking and concept development, but it also delivers a very enjoyable personal experience.”The conference programme was designed to raise awareness of both the NT and the MFC’s brand strategies, to strengthen the overall MFC sponsor platform and also enhance the partners understanding of AFL economics and corporate culture.  Activities stimulated beneficial B2B networking amongst the influential corporate partner delegates.  These included a highly successful ‘speed-dating’ style session which encouraged cross-marketing and potential development of new partnerships.The conference also enabled interaction with the local Alice Springs business community and provided insights into the impressive capability and capacity of Alice Springs as a Business Events destination.  A social programme highlight was a visit to the Overlanders Steakhouse to toast a fond farewell to the recently-retired two-litre Darwin Stubby bottle, which has been a quirky feature of the NT since 1957.Source = Northern Territory Convention Bureaulast_img read more

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roomsXML Nominated for World Travel Awards

first_imgroomsXML Nominated for World Travel AwardsroomsXML has been nominated for the prestigious “World Travel Awards” under the section of “Asia’s Leading Hotel Bookings Solutions Provider”.roomsXML’s Mark Luckey says “Thanks to support from our global agents we have been nominated for a hotly contested section.“I think our agent centric approach, where we are purely a wholesaler, is gaining more traction as something of importance for agents. There’s so many companies now muddying their message by being wholesale and retail; agents appreciate our dedicated approach.”World Travel Awards celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade with a television audience of 300 million spread across 200 countries.To vote for roomsXML, click here connect with roomsXML hereSource = ETB Travel Newslast_img read more

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The Solomon Islands enjoys successful start to 2016

first_imgThe Solomon Islands enjoys successful start to 2016The Solomon Islands tourism industry has enjoyed one of its best ever starts to a year with combined international visitor arrivals for the two month period January and February 2016 increasing by more than 23 per cent.Official Solomon Islands government statistics released this week show 3,362 international visitor arrivals for the period reached 3,362, a 23.4 per cent increase over the 2,724 total achieved for the same period in 2015.Double digit growth was achieved in all the destination’s top four source markets – Australia, the US, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.Australian visitation – up again by 23.9 per cent from 1,090 to 1,351 – represented 40.1 per cent of total arrivals.US arrivals however constituted the biggest increase for the period with the 275 figure recorded in 2016 marking a 41 per cent increase over the 195 total achieved in 2015.Papua New Guinea visitor arrivals grew by 12.4 per cent from 169 to 240 while New Zealand figures too rose by 10.6 per cent from 169 to 187.Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto said the national tourism office was heavily focused on taking the message as far and wide as possible in 2016.A hands-on Tuamoto has personally led a tourism mission to Papua New Guinea and attended SIVB road shows in Australia while marketing manager, Freda Unusi and senior marketing officers have participated at several key tourism EXPOs and travel industry events taking place in New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan and Korea in recent months.“There’s no doubt about it, this is a fantastic start to 2016 and the efforts we have gone to across 2015 and in 2106, hand in hand with our industry partners, and our adherence to a highly strategic, long range marketing plan are beginning to pay dividends,” Mr Tuamoto said.“This year while we will continue to maintain strong profile in our key source markets we are also taking the message further afield with plans to raise profile in Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe.”The NTO’s long range strategy includes the recent appointment of a Germany-based representative to assist with UK and continental Europe promotional activity with strong focus on promoting the destination’s niche tourism offerings and in particular diving, culture and bird watching.US activity too has been bolstered with the appointment of a PR/marketing company which is already proactively planning visits by senior US travel writers and representing the NTO at several key dive-oriented events.The US representative is also expected to play a key role in drawing further attention to next year’s significant 75th anniversary of the Guadalcanal campaign and the related connection with US president, John F.Kennedy who fought in the Solomon Islands during WWII. Visit Solomon Islandsbook your RJ flights hereSource = Solomon Islands Tourismlast_img read more

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Club Med Deal Club Med Bali Exclusive Travel Agent Rates

first_imgClub Med Deal | Club Med Bali Exclusive Travel Agent RatesClub Med Deal | Club Med Bali Exclusive Travel Agent RatesClub Med is offering travel agents a massive 60% off public rates for the opportunity to experience the modern beach-side resort, Club Med Bali. The amazing last-minute Agent Rates include 60% off Deluxe Rooms, bringing the total all-inclusive package down to as little as $165 per person, per night, and 50% off Club Rooms from $147 per person, per night.Get in quick! The limited rate must be booked between now and 26 January, 2018 and is for travel between 23 December and 26 January, 2018. The Agent Rates can only be utilised by registered travel agents and are subject to availability.Included in the price is Club Med’s infamous premium all-inclusive package; accommodation, open bar, gourmet all-day dining and snacking, activities to suit everyone, Kids Clubs, nightly entertainment and world-class service. There is no minimum night stay so agents can enjoy the laid-back luxury of Club Med Bali, experience a Deluxe Room for upsell opportunities, and absorb the surrounding culture and beauty of Bali.The offer includes up to 60% off the already reduced price for children and agents are encouraged to bring along their family to experience the award-winning Kids Clubs, pioneered by Club Med over 60 years ago. Club Med Bali’s package includes Mini Club (4 to 10 year olds) and Junior Club (11 to 17 years old), while the unique Baby Club Med (4 to 23 months) and Petit Club Med (2 to 3 years) and additional private babysitting services are available for an additional fee.About Club Med BaliClub Med Bali is a sanctuary for families and friends on the shores of Nusa Dua, set between fields of rice paddies and temples, with masses of space to unwind. Little ones can fly on the trapeze and play about in the splash pool with new friends, while adults can explore nearby temples or be pampered in the Spa by MANDARA*.Embrace local culture with Club Med’s traditional Balinese must-try experiences including Bahasa language lessons, Balinese ceremonies as well as arts and crafts*. For those with a passion for action, there’s surfing lessons* and white water rafting* or wind down with a walk through the resort’s botanical track. The contemporary design of the resort, inspired by local culture, is the perfect place to rejuvenate your body and soul.Deluxe Rooms – With a beautiful blend of Balinese culture and modernity, the Deluxe Rooms offer generous living space and comfort. Deluxe rooms are recently renovated and include full equipped, spacious and luxurious bathrooms and conveniently located ground floor terrace with modern, comfortable furnishings.Club Rooms – Warm wooden furnishings, gentle lighting, a comfortable bed and views over the gardens. This Balinese-style room is perfect for couples and families (with an interconnecting room) and the ability to upgrade to a Balcony.Suites are also available and agents are encouraged to request a room inspection when visiting.Terms and conditions: Prices advertised is accessible until 26 January, 2018 for departures between 23 December – 26 January, 2018 in a Club and Deluxe Room at Club Med Bali. Rate can be booked 90 days in advance and blackout dates may apply. Offer not valid for group travel or in conjunction with any other offer. Local transfers not included in price but available at extra cost. Valid for new bookings by Australian and New Zealand registered travel agents only, subject to quota per date of departure and to removal without notice once reached. Please note that Club Med respects local legislation regarding the minimum age required for serving alcohol. Where there is an * refers to where extra cost is applicable.For bookings and enquiries, please contact your local Sales Manager for an application form.Further information:DEC PR | clubmed@decpr.com.au | +61 2 8014 5033Business Development Managers’ contact detailsName State Email address Work MobileErin Smith WA/SA Erin.Smith@clubmed.com 0411 079 777Adam Ferraro VIC/TAS Adam.Ferraro@clubmed.com 0411 749 710Jodie Weeks QLD/NT Jodie.Weeks@clubmed.com 0411 100 944Luke Skarbek NSW/ACT Luke.Skarbek@clubmed.com 0411 100 921Brendon King NSW/ACT Brendon.King@clubmed.com 0411 100 926About Club MedClub Med provides amazing holiday experiences, made easy, in the world’s most beautiful destinations. With over 70 premium and luxury all-inclusive sun and snow resorts located in some of the most beautiful places on earth, Club Med resorts blend seamlessly with their environment, drawing inspiration from the local culture and nature to immerse guests in the destination.Since 1950, Club Med has been dedicated to providing guests with amazing new experiences that make for an unforgettable holiday – from the rejuvenating to the exhilarating, and everything in-between. Each resort offers a vast selection of opportunities to try something new, immerse in local culture, revive body and mind, and give back to the local community and environment.Club Med holidays are a truly hassle-free experience, with premium all-inclusive packages and a wide range of innovative services – giving guests more time to spend doing what they love.For more information, visit www.clubmedta.com.au, www.clubmed.com.au or follow Club Med at:• Travel agent Facebook /ClubMedforTravelAgents• Instagram @clubmed• Facebook /ClubMedAustralia• Twitter @ClubMed_Au Source = Club Medlast_img read more

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Netherlands Tourism expects a 30 rise in Indian travellers in 2016

first_imgThe Netherlands Board of Tourism and Convention (NBTC) in association with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Jet Airways recently hosted the Holland Club Meeting in New Delhi followed by Mumbai.Carola van Rijn, Project Manager, NBTC informed that with direct connectivity fuelling in demand from Delhi and Mumbai, the tourism board is optimistic of registering a 30% increase in Indian travellers in 2016.She elaborated, “Last year 100,000 Indian visitors travelled to Netherlands and this year we are hopeful of a 30% increase over the previous year. Currently, Delhi and Mumbai are key target markets for NBTC due to direct flight connectivity. Leisure (groups and FIT) dominates travel from India to Netherlands and we see a huge interest among the MICE agents in India. The average length of stay is two nights from India.”Wilco Sweijen, Director-Aviation Marketing, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol added, “As Jet Airways shifted its base from Brussels to Amsterdam, there are two direct flights between Delhi and Amsterdam and one non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Mumbai. In the first six months of this year, we have noticed a 60% jump in Indian arrivals. By the year end, we expect 400,000 travellers flying between India and Netherlands.”In 2016, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol witnessed nine percent growth in business in the first 10 months of this year.last_img read more

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Punjab a musical extravaganza

first_imgPunjab, the birthplace of Sikhism and an Indian region bordering Pakistan is a place where village and modern life harmonises with each other through music and dance.Source: BBClast_img

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Interest Rates Rise to Open New Year

first_imgInterest Rates Rise to Open New Year January 2, 2014 407 Views Mortgage rates began 2014 with a round of increases, kicking off a trend many experts believe will continue through the rest of the year.[IMAGE]””Freddie Mac’s””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.53 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending January 2, up from the last week of 2013, when it averaged 4.48 percent. A year ago, the 30-year FRM was at 3.34 percent.The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.55 percent (0.7 point), climbing from 3.52 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also saw an increase, rising to 3.05 percent (0.4 point) from 3.00 percent. The 1-year ARM was flat at 2.56 percent (0.5 point).Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, cited three major factors behind the week’s increases: rising “”consumer confidence””:https://themreport.com/articles/us-consumer-confidence-bounces-back-2013-12-31 as reported by the Conference Board, a strong showing for home prices in the most recent “”S&P/Case-Shiller Indices””:https://themreport.com/articles/home-prices-jump-136-in-october-2013-12-31, and a slight gain in “”pending home sales””:https://themreport.com/articles/pending-home-sales-steady-in-november-2013-12-31 for November–all of which served as “”signs of a stronger economic recovery,”” he said.Meanwhile, finance site “”Bankrate.com””:http://www.bankrate.com/ reported on the findings in its weekly survey, putting the 30-year fixed at 4.69 percent–up 6 basis points–with the 15-year fixed at 3.73 percent–up 3 points. The 5/1 ARM was up to 3.52 percent, nearly 10 basis points up, Bankrate reported.””Mortgage rates finished 2013 more than a full percentage point higher than where they began,”” Bankrate said in a release. “”While mortgage rates are still below September’s high point of the year, they did finish 2013 near the upper end of this year’s range.”” Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bankrate Confidence Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Pending-Home Sales S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices Service Providers 2014-01-02 Tory Barringercenter_img in Data, Origination Sharelast_img read more

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Is a December Rate Hike Off the Table

first_img November 9, 2016 542 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Donald Trump Federal Funds Target Rate Federal Reserve 2016-11-09 Seth Welborn The election of Donald Trump as president could mean that a heretofore widely forecasted rate hike by the Federal Reserve in December might not happen.The consensus following the release of the October employment situation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was that a rate hike will take place at the Federal Open Market Committee’s December 14 meeting. While some in the industry still believe it could happen, others are not so sure, largely due to volatility in financial markets both overseas and in the U.S.Mark Zandi, Chief Economist with Moody’s Analytics, said that Trump’s plans for tax cuts and for renegotiating foreign trade agreements “raises the odds that the Fed will not move in December,” according to Reuters. Zandi’s team at Moody’s believes that possible immigration reform by Trump and could drive inflation up, which in turn would prompt aggressive moves by the Fed on interest rates—which could lead to a recession.“Uncertainty tends to drives investors toward safe bets, such as US bonds, which pushes down mortgage rates and makes borrowing cheaper,” Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin said. “This happened during Brexit as the world looked to a stable U.S. economy for safe harbor, but there’s an important difference between Brexit and a Trump victory: the US economy now looks less safe because we don’t know Trump’s policies toward trade. This is actually pushed bond yields higher this morning as investors hold off on purchasing U.S. bonds. At the same time, mortgage rates are falling because investors are seeing safe yields in U.S. mortgage backed securities, reflecting their confidence in the relative safety of the U.S. housing market. Furthermore, the Fed is likely to delay a December rate hike because of global economic turmoil.”Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York, told Reuters, “His tax cuts could open up a huge increase in the budget deficit and his trade sanctions could interrupt world trade. This could put us in a recession.”Not everyone believes that a December rate hike is out of the question, however.“It looks as though rates will fall, but the market moves today are already indicating that financial markets are pondering that the Trump effect could be positive for the economy,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said. “We have almost five weeks before the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which will give the market plenty of time to digest the potential outcomes. While the market is now indicating a reduced probability of a short-term rate hike at that meeting, the Fed has repeatedly indicated that they would be data-driven in their decision. So, if markets calm down and November employment data look solid on December 2, a rate hike could still happen.”Rick Sharga, Chief Marketing Officer with Ten-X, stated, “I don’t believe that there will be any significant changes to interest rates, at least in the near term, since the underlying fundamentals that have led us into a low interest rate environment haven’t changed. Interest rates are driven more by U.S. Treasury yields, which will continue to be impacted by the amount of foreign capital pouring in as investors look for safe havens from the volatility of foreign markets. Longer term, it’s likely that we’ll see the Fed raise rates in December, and probably two or three times next year. That, and Trump’s desire to bring private capital back into the mortgage market in a meaningful way, will likely cause a modest increase in interest rates over time.”center_img Share Is a December Rate Hike Off the Table?last_img read more

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Popularity in Luxury Housing on the Rise

first_img Per the latest data reported by Trulia, 51.1 percent of listings at the end of 2016 were for luxury homes. In addition, the average value in luxury homes has increased to 5.6 in the nation’s top 100 metros in 2016 with only two cites seeing a decline in the luxury category (Houston at -1.5 percent and San Francisco at -0.5 percent).During the last five-years home values in the U.S. have doubled from 2 percent to 4 percent or 500,000 from 1 million in metro areas. Data shows that West Palm Beach, Florida, has the most luxury homes in the country, with nearly 70 percent of the value in the housing market coming from luxury homes. The city that makes up 50 percent of the largest starter and trade in luxury housing in America is Tacoma, Washington.Trulia also reported that other hot markets for luxury homes, such as Aspen Colorado, have seen their luxury market grow 1 percent to 5.5 million, year-over-year from January 2016 to January 2017.Comparatively, the luxury housing market in the Hampton has spiked from 11.8 percent to 2,1 million during that same period. However, Colorado Springs have been proven to the largest inventory of premium homes on the market.  On average, each property is 3,056 square ft. compared to Detroit’s median of almost half that with 1,645 square feet.Finally, the most expensive property in the United State currently located in Bel-Air, California valued at 250 million and consist of 12 bedrooms and 6,898 square feet.To view the full luxury homes info-graphic, click here. in Data, Headlines, News Share February 16, 2017 680 Views center_img Bel-Air california Colorado Springs Hampton themreport Trulia 2017-02-16 Staff Writer Popularity in Luxury Housing on the Riselast_img read more

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EarlyStage Mortgage Delinquency Falls to Lowest Since 2000

first_img Share Mortgage delinquency rates were down in the month March, according to CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics, and data-enabled solutions provider. In their monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, nationally March showed 4.4 percent of mortgages in some stage of delinquency, meaning 30 or more days past due, including foreclosure. This is an overall 0.8 percentage point decline compared to 2016’s March numbers when overall delinquency rates were 5.2 percentSimilar to the delinquency rate, the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process was 0.8 percent compared to March 2016 when it was 1 percent. Down from March 2016’s 2.7 percent, mortgages 90 days or more past due, known as the serious delinquency rate, was 2.1 percent, the lowest level since November 2007.“Dropping delinquency and foreclosure rates reflect the beneficial impact of stringent post-crisis underwriting standards as well as better fundamentals such as higher employment, household formation and home price gains,” said Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic. “Looking ahead, we expect these positive trends to continue as the industry shifts its focus toward solving supply shortages and looming affordability crises in an increasing number of markets.”On the opposite end of the spectrum, early-stage delinquencies, or 30-59 days past due, fell to 1.7 percent in March 2017, down from March 2016’s 1.9 percent. According to CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft, this is the lowest rate for early-stage mortgages of any month since January 2000.Mortgages that were 60-89 days past due in March 2017 was 0.59 percent, a hair down from 0.63 percent in March 2016.CoreLogic analyzes transition rates due to the volatile nature of early-stage delinquencies. They found that the share of transitioned mortgages from current to 30-days past due was 0.6 percent in March 2017, only a 0.1 percent decline from March 2016—lowest for any month since January 2000. For comparison, in January 2007 before in the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2 percent peaking in November 2008 at 2 percent. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Early-Stage Mortgage Delinquency Falls to Lowest Since 2000center_img Mortgage Delinquencies 2017-06-13 Brianna Gilpin June 13, 2017 538 Views last_img read more

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MCT Moves to Secure Sensitive Borrower Data

first_img November 9, 2018 590 Views Notable is that MCT recently implemented multi-factor authentication security protocols into its MCTlive! capital markets software, requiring multiple methods to verify a user’s identity for logins and transactions. In July of 2017, MCT officially rolled out its award-winning BAM platform, in part, to migrate sensitive borrower data contained in bid tapes off of email to a centralized, secure platform. MCT Moves to Secure Sensitive Borrower Data Historically, only a handful of non-identifying data points were used to determine loan pricing in the secondary market. However, the advent of Community Reinvestment Act requirements and spec pay-ups combined with the rapid adoption of delivery via bid tapes resulted in the full property address being disclosed to bidders in the majority of transactions executed over the last several years. Company officials at MCT say that the geocode-enabled conversion process has already begun with investors; addresses will be completely removed from all MCT bid tapes by 2019. MCT Mortgage Capital Trading 2018-11-09 David Wharton While clear contract terms typically govern borrower data usage for the whole loan buyer and seller, they generally fail to address the non-buying bidders, according to a review of MCT’s lender clients. This can be a sensitive area for some parties, in particular for EPO (early pay off) and servicing pre-payments, as refinancing terms do not take into account safeguards for borrower loan data during the bidding process.center_img “Concealing borrower addresses for whole loan bids is the most recent step that MCT is taking to heighten data security while protecting borrowers and lenders,” said Phil Rasori, COO and Head Trader at MCT. “We estimate that upwards of 90 percent of all secondary marketing transactions expose borrower addresses to non-buying bidders. The only investor that should eventually see the property address is the one that wins the loan. MCT’s proprietary BAM Geocoder enables investors to price LMI-CRA incentives without the address.” Rasori added, “Ensuring that our systems and processes are as secure as possible is always of the highest importance. We are confident that this new level of protection will become the standard in the near future, and we’re proud to lead the industry in this direction.” Share in Data, Headlines, journal, News, Secondary Market, Technology Mortgage Capital Trading, Inc. (MCT), a San Diego-based mortgage hedge advisory and secondary marketing software firm, announced that it is incorporating the company’s patent-pending geocoding technology into its Bid Auction Manager (BAM) whole loan trading platform in order to shield borrower addresses from being shared with non-buying entities throughout the whole loan bidding process.last_img read more

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Tackling Affordable Housing Needs

first_img Share Tackling Affordable Housing Needs Tech giant Microsoft recently announced an investment of $500 million in affordable housing in the Seattle area. Making the announcement, Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft said that as a company Microsoft, which is headquartered in the neighboring city of Redmond, was very focused for the past 15 years on the health of the region and had “pursued this by focusing on two issues above all else—education and transportation.”Smith said that the changing times have made the company think about expanding their focus to include “the affordability of housing.”To understand the problem of affordable housing in the region, Microsoft partnered with Zillow and the Boston Consulting Group to analyze the need to preserve existing and create new affordable housing units for low- and middle-income households in the Puget Sound region that is comprised of Seattle and nine other surrounding cities, including Redmond.The analysis found that nurses, police, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and teachers were among the many people who were challenged to afford a home in the Puget Sound region. Watch the video below to see what this group of people had to say about affordable housing options:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> in Daily Dose, Featured, Newscenter_img January 18, 2019 852 Views Affordable Housing HOUSING Investment Microsoft Seattle 2019-01-18 Radhika Ojhalast_img read more

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