Spain gets Singapore boost with MoU

first_imgPromoting Spain in the Asia-Pacific region Singapore Airlines and Spain Tourism Board have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), with the two parties promising to work closely together to boost tourist traffic to Spain. With the carrier now operating seven flights weekly from Singapore to Barcelona, Spain is becoming an increasingly important market for the airline and the Asia Pacific region, according to Singapore Airlines marketing senior vice president Tan Chik Quee. “This agreement underscores our confidence in the potential and allure of Spain, as well as our commitment to developing and promoting tourism from Southeast Asia and other parts of the Asia Pacific to Spain,” Mr Tan said. “With its rich culture and heritage, world-renowned cuisine, and the warmth and friendliness of its people, Spain is a very attractive destination for both business and leisure travellers.” Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore are considered key markets under the agreement, which has promised to commit funds to marketing and advertising campaigns, as well as familiarisation programmes. “The signing of this MOU means a lot to us since it’s the first of its kind signed by Singapore Airlines with a European destination to cover several target markets,” Spain Tourism Board director Angela Castano said. “We hope that it will encourage people from Southeast Asia and other parts of the Asia Pacific to travel to a destination where they can enjoy what they love most, culture, food and shopping.” As well as providing access to the Spanish cities of Bilbao, Madrid and Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona became Singapore Airlines’ gateway to its first South American destination, Brazil’s Sao Paulo. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

TAT in shock following death of Aus travel agent

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T The Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) are in “deep shock and regret” following the death of an Australian travel agent in Phuket. The victim, a West Australian travel agent was stabbed in the heart after a purse snatching while on a famil with ten other agents.The bag snatch attempt took place outside the woman’s hotel, the five-star Katathani Beach Resort at Kata Noi bay in Phuket, south of Patong, according to the Courier Mail. The two assailants fled the scene on a motorbike also leaving a second victim with a slashed arm. The Group’s public relations manager Pongsak Kanittanon told e-Travel Blackboard that the tourist bureau considers agents its “closest friends” and will “try their best” to locate and arrest the two attackers. “This incident affected a group of travel agents who we consider our closest friends, who help us to promote the destinations in Thailand,” Mr Kanittanon told ETB News. “As a National Tourist Office, we will closely monitor this situation and raise this incident with the higher authority in Bangkok to make sure that something like this will not happen again.” Mr Kanittanon went on to send his deepest condolences to the family of the victim and prayed for the speedy recovery of the second agent injured during the incident. “We sincerely hope that the local authorities will try their best to arrest these two attackers and try to bring back the confidence and safety to Phuket.” The Australian Embassy is still in the process of contacting the victim’s family, while Australian honorary consul Larry Cunningham has visited and interviewed the other injured woman. The passing of the Australian travel agent has sent shockwaves through the entire island of Phuket and our travel industry. e-Travel Blackboard wishes to send its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, our thoughts are also with the group travelling on the famil.Out of respect for the victim’s family and friends, e-Travel Blackboard will not publish the agent’s name or agency details.last_img read more

Jetset Travelworld scares up a shonky

first_imgThe Jetset Travelworld Group has gleaned an infamous CHOICE shonky award for “sending consumer rights packing” in the 2012 Shonky Awards.CHOICE claimed their “shonky radar bleeped into overdrive” when it realised that “buried in its terms and conditions” the Jetset Travelworld Group including Travelworld, Harvey World Travel and Best Flights, required customers to waive chargeback rights.Chargeback is a service that allows you to apply to your credit card company to get your money back if goods or services you’ve paid for with your credit card aren’t provided.“These travel agents are shirking their duty to take responsibility for the actions or conditions of merchants with whom they do business and have a commercial relationship,” CHOICE said.In an update from the CHOICE website, NSW Fair Trading has asked the Jetset Travelworld Group to explain their contract terms and conditions regarding the clause demanding consumers waive their chargeback rights provided through credit and debit cards.CHOICE, the people’s watchdog, revealed the recipients of its annual awards for the shonkiest products and shoddiest services in Australia last month, naming brands such as Samsung, Cabcharge, Toblerone and Ticketek. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

State plan to build WA tourism

first_imgNew State Government plan identifies key areas of opportunity for WA’s tourism sector. Image: Fotopedia The State Government has launched a new strategic plan, designed to boost Western Australia’s tourism numbers over the next decade.Unveiled this week, the State Government Strategy for Tourism in Western Australia 2020 report identifies seven key areas of opportunity to help WA’s tourism industry.Among the key areas of focus include business travel and growing the state’s share of the Asian market. Expecting the plan to contribute up to $12 billion to Western Australia’s economy by 2020, Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the new strategy recognises the need to build the destination’s Experience Extraordinary brand through “creative marketing campaigns” and new tourism infrastructure. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Hilton and Garuda join loyal forces

Hilton and Garuda join loyal forces

first_imgHilton Worldwide’s loyalty program, Hilton HHonours, and Garuda Indonesia, have announced a new partnership which will see members of both GarudaMiles and Hilton HHonours earn points across both loyalty programs when they stay at any hotel from the Hilton Worldwide Portfolio.Hilton HHonours sees Indonesia as a key, growing market within Asia and says it is constantly looking for new ways to reward its increasing number of Hilton HHonours members that travel to the region.Through the new partnership, members of both GarudaMiles and Hilton HHonours can earn ten HHonours Base Points, and one GarudaMiles mile for every US dollar spent during their stay at any property within the Hilton portfolio.“We are delighted to align ourselves with Hilton HHonours, and through this partnership we are giving our valued members even more ways to enjoy their travel experience, either in the air or on the ground,” Garuda Indonesia vice president customer relationship management Amelia Nasution said.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

helloworld Summit ends with big announcements

helloworld Summit ends with big announcements

first_imgDelegates were up bright and early this morning, back at the TSB Bank Arena in Wellington for the second and final day of the helloworld Owner Managers Summit 2015.Leadership was again at the forefront of the day’s presentations, beginning with Qantas Holidays and Viva! Holidays head of sales Fiona Dalton who revealed some exciting changes ahead for the brands.Calypso, the online sales and booking management application for agents, has been redeveloped and will be rolled out early next year.Ms Dalton described the new model, called Tango, as “intuitive, easy and fast” and said it will give agents more flexibility when constructing a holiday.Changes are also being made to the brands’ deposit guidelines; news that was well received by the conference delegates.“From tomorrow we will charge $55 per person for domestic and international bookings and bookings with The Cruise team that include land and air,” Ms Dalton said.“And if you cancel we will allow the deposit to go into suspense for six month with no additional fee.“This change will give you a streamlined, cost effective solution on deposits that recognises the value of our allotments and also the need to march in time with consumer feedback.”Consultant loyalty program TRIP is also being revamped.From tomorrow, the net value of all Ready Rooms bookings will be included in each month’s departed revenue.“We won’t pay in TRIP dollars but the value will count towards your TRIP tier targets and it means you and your teams will move up the tiers much, much faster,” Ms Dalton said.Ms Dalton concluded by announcing the location of next year’s Global Achievers event: Honolulu, Hawaii.Other presenters included Google industry head of travel Dougal McKenzie, Air New Zealand chief executive officer Christopher Luxon and AFL legend Paul Roos.helloworld chief executive designate Andrew Burnes closed the conference by sharing anecdotes from his beginnings in the travel industry, giving delegates an insight into the extensive experience he brings to the new role.“There are so many great things that I’ve heard about over the last couple of days, that this business has been doing, and there are so many fantastic things that it’s about to do…for all of you,” Mr Burnes said.“I look forward, very much, to being at the helm, together with a fantastic management team, of those developments.”Proving himself as a bit of a movie buff, Mr Burnes played a clip of Al Pacino’s famous ‘Inch by Inch’ speech from Any Given Sunday, before departing the stage with three famous words:“I’ll be back.”And finally, the announcement that everyone has been waiting for – helloworld head of branded network Julie Primmer announced next year’s Owner Managers Summit will be held in Singapore. helloworldSource = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

Paragliding sideways – it all went wrong

Paragliding sideways – it all went wrong

first_imgSource = roomsXML.com roomsXML – More Suppliers, Hot Deals www.roomsxml.com learn more about roomsXML.com here Paragliding sideways – it all went wrongAfter so many wonderful peak experiences, the way of the world said one had to be bad, really badThroughout 2017, roomsXML’s national BDM Sasha Luckey completed her yoga teacher training, including a 2 week immersion in Northern India. She shares some thoughts on the real India.Good and bad, life is what we experience when we travelI chose to stay back from the paragliding excursion that day. I was two weeks of three into a busy schedule and was teaching a portion of my first-class to my fellow students as part of our assessment. We chose to sleep in, lounge around and have a late breakfast, writing out our lesson plans in the open air looking out over the Himalayas. It was one of the most beautiful and peaceful days I can ever remember.It could not have been more contrasted to the experience a couple of my classmates had. Please note this is not my experience but my understanding of what took place that afternoon.In the morning a group of budding yoga teachers had strapped in tandem with experienced paragliders and taken that literal leap of faith and sour in the thermals. This town is renowned for incredible currents that can take experience paragliders from mountain to mountain with a camp overnight before taking off again in the morning. This can go on for days on end. At the moment of the jump off the mountain, all of the trust is in the local guide.A true peak experience in the highlands of India.Two of the girls landed not too far from the local town, farewelled their instructors and walked in to get lunch and relive their amazing adventure. They finished their coffees and started wandering up the main road and look down a small alleyway.Two of their instructors, who they just jumped off the mountain with, were literally bashing a young boy with stones. One of the instructors looked up with a rock in hand and made eye contact with one of the girls. A look of animal rage piercing the distance. The girls were petrified, unsure if the boy is still alive. As obvious Westerners, witnessing something that maybe they shouldn’t have, they just bolted and ran the couple of kilometres back to the camp.Classes were suspended, poor ladies were traumatised with what they’d seen. A reliable source later informed us that this was a retaliation of a stabbing that occurred the previous evening during the clash of two groups of men. Not the usual occurrence in an otherwise peaceful town.  It seems possible that the lucrative hang gliding business may have been targeted for cash. It’s an exclusive contract, and the way business works in India, it would have cost something to get, and exclusivity would allow for the charging of a premium. Particularly when you convert it to RupesAmazingly, the paragliders arrived back at the hotel that evening to attempt to sell DVDs and souvenirs of the day. Whilst none of the guys who came to the hotel were involved in the stoning, the inference was they were aware of it and the owners of the hotel said this sort of behaviour was absolutely inappropriate.Even more astounding was the paragliders response; an offensive gesture and abuse. At that point the owners of the hotel made it clear that this company would never be used again or recommended again by that resort which is the prime choice for the Westerners who can afford to paragliders. They just lost their $500 day US contract. That’s enormous money up there.I’m grateful I didn’t have this experience. But in a strange but simple way, given the amount of experiences that as a group we had during our journey, some of them had to be bad. In India that’s mostly bad belly, having some money stolen, feeling like you’ve been ripped off to later work out it was $2.50. But you seldom feel unsafe. I’ve never seen violence before. But it’s part of life.  India does not hide anything; everything, good or otherwise is on display to be seen.Life is what we experience when we travel.last_img read more

Singapore Airlines to launch nonstop Los Angeles services

Singapore Airlines to launch nonstop Los Angeles services

first_imgAirbus A350-900ULRSingapore Airlines to launch non-stop Los Angeles servicesNon-stop Singapore-Los Angeles flights to be operated 10 times per weekNon-stop Singapore-San Francisco services to increase from 7 to 10 flights per weekSingapore Airlines (SIA) will launch non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft in November. In addition, SIA will step up existing daily non-stop Singapore-San Francisco services to 10 times per week. Together with the earlier announced non-stop Singapore-New York services, SIA will link Singapore and the US with 27 weekly non-stop flights by the end of 2018.Flight SQ38 from Singapore to Los Angeles will commence on 2 November 2018. The route will initially be served three times per week, departing Singapore on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Daily operations will commence from 9 November 2018 after an additional A350-900ULR aircraft enters service. From 7 December 2018, a further three services per week will be added as SQ36, lifting total non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles to 10 times per week.With the introduction of non-stop services between Singapore and Los Angeles, SIA’s existing one-stop service to Los Angeles via Seoul will cease after 30 November 2018. Singapore-Seoul frequency will be maintained at four flights per day with the introduction of a new Singapore-Seoul return flight from 1 December 2018, operating as flight SQ612. Together with SIA’s current daily one stop service to Los Angeles via Tokyo, Los Angeles will be served 17 times per week.SIA will also be increasing frequency on the existing Singapore-San Francisco route with three more weekly flights, with effect from 28 November 2018. The three additional services will operate as SQ34, departing every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday to San Francisco and will complement existing daily SQ32 non-stop services. Together with SIA’s current daily one-stop service to San Francisco via Hong Kong, San Francisco will also be served 17 times per week.“Our US services have always been popular with our customers and we are pleased to be able to provide even more travel options with the launch of non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles, and an increase in frequency on the existing non-stop Singapore-San Francisco route,” said Singapore Airlines CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.“Together with our non-stop flights between Singapore and New York that will launch in October, SIA will redefine the convenience of travelling between Singapore and the United States, delivering on our promise to constantly enhance the travel experience of our customers.”SIA will be the first airline in the world to operate the A350-900ULR, with seven on firm order with Airbus. This ultra-long-range aircraft will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats. SIA’s existing A350-900s feature a three-class layout with 42 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy Class and 187 Economy Class seats.Singapore Airlines currently has 21 A350-900s in its fleet, with 46 more on order including the seven ULR variants. The first A350-900ULR is due for delivery in September, enabling the launch in October of the world’s longest non-stop flights, between Singapore and New York (Newark).Singapore Airlines currently operates 40 flights per week to the US cities of Houston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the new flights, total US frequency will increase to 53 per week by December.Source = Singapore Airlineslast_img read more

Trafalgars Drought Relief Doggy Donation

Trafalgars Drought Relief Doggy Donation

first_imgTrafalgar’s Drought Relief Doggy DonationTrafalgar’s Drought Relief Doggy DonationOn Tuesday, Trafalgar took to Tamworth to transport over 1.3 tonnes of donated dog food to aid drought stricken farmers and their working dogs as well as buying 14 palettes of cattle and animal feed from community suppliers, collectively totalling a value of $20,000.Awareness surrounding the damage the drought has caused farmers is widespread, however not too many people are aware of the repercussions for families with several working dogs, in some cases: farmers are having to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their animals – which moved CEO of Trafalgar Gavin Tollman profoundly, who pledged a denotation of $10,000 personally to help farmers take care of their pets and working dogs as well as feed their livestock. All the cattle and sheep feed, nuts and mineral blocks were all purchased from local suppliers in Tamworth, to help sustain these local businesses as well.70% of NSW and QLD is still affected by severe drought and the Trafalgar team experienced this first hand as Managing Director of Trafalgar, Matthew Cameron-Smith along with eight team members ventured to Tamworth. As transporting the supplies to the farmers was logistically tricky, having one of the brand new Trafalgar coaches that’s ready to take guests across Australia for its inaugural domestic trips in January 2019 was vital to get the 1.3 tonnes of dog food from Sydney to Tamworth, with the help of non-for-profit organisation Rescue Resource.Rescue Resource Operations Manager – Jessica Jamison said “We were thrilled to partner with Trafalgar to support their farmers appeal by collecting donated dog food for the working dogs of Tamworth. Transport of such a large and heavy donation has always been our biggest challenge to get it out to the regional areas and Trafalgar just took care of it!”Non-for-profit organisation Doing it For The Farmers, connected Trafalgar with 14 farming families most in need of assistance over the festive season. Founder of Doing it For Our Famers – Sue-Ellen Wilkin expressed “Trafalgar’s much needed drought relief gift was received with open arms by 14 badly affected farming families, including 14 pallets of fodder and over a tonne of dog-food. We could not be more grateful and wish our new city friends a very Merry Christmas.”The Trafalgar team treated the farming families to a BBQ breakfast and spoke to these farmers to really understand the issues being faced and how this initiative help ease the financial burden for them over the Christmas period.Managing Director of Trafalgar – Matthew Cameron Smith commented: “This has been an incredibly humbling experience, to see first-hand the difference this will make to these families over the festive season was truly touching. We were honoured to meet these extraordinary families who are doing it tough through this JoinTrafalgar initiative, ensuring we’re giving back and sustaining every place we go and supporting our rural and regional tourist economy. Our industry has a real role to play to assist these struggling communities.”Source = Trafalgarlast_img read more

Landmark Tourism Australia Virgin Australia agreement provides AUD 50M boost for Australian

Landmark Tourism Australia Virgin Australia agreement provides AUD 50M boost for Australian

first_imgTourism Australia and Virgin Australia have announced their intent to renew their ongoing relationship which will see the two parties jointly spend AUD 50 million over the next five years promoting Australia to leisure and business travellers in key international markets.The new deal represents the largest ever commercial arrangement Tourism Australia has entered into with an airline partner and builds on a successful existing three year arrangement with Virgin Australia.Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said the new agreement will provide valuable support for Tourism Australia’s global campaigns and marketing activities, as well as some of the industry’s most important trade and business events.“Building strong and sustainable relationships with our airline partners have become a key plank in our growth strategy and nowhere has this approach been more productive than in our evolving partnership with Virgin Australia, particularly some of the great recent work we have been doing together in the United States.“At AUD 50 million this is a very significant deal in financial terms and also in its scope, covering marketing campaigns, trade and business events as well as media hosting,” he said.As one of Australia’s largest airlines, with a network of 47 domestic destinations and more than 450 destinations worldwide, Virgin Australia plays an important role in facilitating the travel of international visitors to and around Australia.Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti said, “Virgin Australia recognises the importance of working closely with Tourism Australia to promote this great country to the world. This renewed deal demonstrates a significant increase in our investment and commitment to inbound tourism.“In recent years we have captured the attention of international audiences through major campaigns and tourism initiatives including ‘Someday’ and ‘Restaurant Australia’, the largest campaign ever run by Tourism Australia in the United States.“Virgin Australia is fortunate to have four of the best airline partners in the world – Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines – all of whom are invested in supporting Australia’s growth as a business and leisure destination. We look forward to working closely with our partners and Tourism Australia to market Australia on the world stage in innovative and powerful ways,” Borghetti said.The primary marketing focus of the deal will be the United States, Australia’s fourth largest inbound market, currently worth more than AUD 2.6 billion in annual tourism expenditure and predicted to grow up to AUD 5.5 billion by 2020.In addition, the agreement will cover targeted support for Tourism Australia’s premier trade and business events program, including continued support of Australia’s largest tourism and trade events, Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) and Dreamtime. Virgin Australia will also host travel for international and domestic influential visitors such as media, delegates and business and trade decision makers.last_img read more

Boeing and Tata announce a joint venture to manufacture aerostructures

Boeing and Tata announce a joint venture to manufacture aerostructures

first_imgBoeing and Tata Advanced Systems have announced a joint venture (JV), which would manufacture aerostructures for aircraft and collaborate on integrated systems development opportunities in India.The JV would initially create a manufacturing centre of excellence to produce aerostructures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter and to compete for additional manufacturing work packages across Boeing platforms, both commercial and defence. Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems plans to grow the JV partnership in the future with a focus on opportunities to collaborate on development and selling of integrated systems.“This partnership will capitalise on India’s industrial capability, innovation and talent to contribute to Boeing’s long-term competitiveness and position us for future growth in the global marketplace,” said Chris Chadwick, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “It is a demonstration of our commitment to further accelerate our partnership with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”“This agreement to establish a JV will propel the growth of the Indian aerospace sector by leveraging the world-class competencies of TASL and its supplier eco-system, as well as provide access to India’s world-class manufacturing capability, skilled talent and competitive cost structures,” said S. Ramadorai, Chairman, Tata Advanced Systems.“Over the last 12 months, we have doubled our sourcing from India and are committed to continue that journey,” said Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India. “Our commitment was demonstrated by Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney’s presence at the recently concluded aerospace Innovation Summit in New Delhi and this JV is a clear example of Boeing’s long-term commitment to Make in India.”last_img read more

Jordan makes an archaeological discovery

Jordan makes an archaeological discovery

first_imgAn ancient tomb has been unearthed in Jordan in the northern town of Beit Ras during an excavation project to expand a local sanitation network. The tomb includes a cave with two burial chambers. The larger chamber contains a basalt stone rock-cut tomb decorated with raised etchings of two lion heads and with several human bones enclosed. This tomb is made unique by the oil frescoes decorating the walls of the chamber that portrays human figures, horses and other mythological scenes, some of which have partly eroded but remain intact for the most part giving a great insight into the burial rites of the past. The second chamber contains two more rock-cut tombs without any artifacts.These frescoes include paintings of grape vines which represent the social and agricultural life widespread during Classical antiquity thought to most likely belong in the Hellenistic period/ Early Roman period. The inscriptions and some artifacts found in the tomb are being analysed to give a more accurate time-frame of when this tomb was built and for whom it was built.Her Excellency Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab, following a visit to the site, confirmed that the Department of Antiquities would continue to excavate, expand and prepare the site for future visitors. Furthermore, Her Excellency confirmed that due to the tomb’s archaeological value, the site has been closed off to visitors and on-lookers to protect the archaeological integrity of the tomb as more tests are being run to discover more information about its significance.Dr. Munther Jamhawi, Director General for the Department of Antiquities pointed out the fact that the city of Beit Ras is one of the ancient Hellenistic/Roman Decapolis League cities which was known during that time as Capitolias. The city was also mentioned in Arabic poetry as a unique location that included a theatre dated back to the second century and the remains of a Byzantine Church whose architectural styles were later used during the Islamic era and specifically during the early Umayyad period.last_img read more

Turkish Airlines introduces eXPhone service for inflight communication

Turkish Airlines introduces eXPhone service for inflight communication

first_imgTurkish Airlines has introduced its new in-flight mobile connectivity, ‘eXPhone’ for an uninterrupted communication on board.As an extension of Wi-Fi and live TV availability on its Boeing B777 and Airbus A330 aircrafts, Turkish Airlines would offer mobile internet connectivity by eXPhone to its guests from April 2017.By using this service, passengers will be able to send text messages (excluding voice messages), check their e-mails and browse the internet with their own mobile phones. Provided that the ‘Data Roaming’ mode is activated on their mobile phones, the eXPhone service will run automatically and can be used till the flight is ready for landing.The eXPhone service, offered in close cooperation with Panasonic/AeroMobile, has successfully been tested on board during a flight with the participations of relevant authorities, via one of their cabin attendant’s mobile phone.The eXPhone service will be billed by the passenger’s mobile phone operators and the prices will vary depending on their individual roaming contracts.last_img read more

Mortgage Applications Top Off at 41 MBA

Mortgage Applications Top Off at 41 MBA

first_img in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Mortgage Applications Top Off at 4.1%: MBA December 14, 2011 433 Views Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgage Lenders & Servicers Loan-to-Value Ratio Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Processing Service Providers 2011-12-14 Ryan Schuettecenter_img Mortgage application volume leapt to 4.1 percent from the week before on the strength of a boom in refinance applications, according to the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default (MBA).[IMAGE]The trade group released its data in a Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week.The MBA’s Market Composite Index noted a 4.2-percent increase on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before, with 9.3 percent for the Refinance Index and 8.2 percent in declines for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index.Figures for the unadjusted Purchase Index meanwhile [COLUMN_BREAK]declined by 11.8 percent, compared with numbers from the past week. The four-week moving average for the Market Index crept forward by 0.65 percent while it moved forward by 0.69 percent for the Refinance Index.The MBA said that the refinance share of mortgage activity surged forward by 79.7 percent, up from 76 percent from the week before.””This is the highest refinance share since this year,”” the trade group said, adding that the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity deflated from 5.7 percent to 5.6 percent of total applications last week.Purchase applications fell in all loan categories over November, as mortgages more than $729,000 leapt forward by 1.9 percent in total applications from last month. Loan applications between $150,000 and $300,000 fell 8.9 percent, with those in the range of $150,000 and $300,000 declining 8.6 percent.The MBA said that applications for loans between $625,000 and $729,000 fell 20.2 percent.Contract interest rates for mortgages fell on average, with rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration hitting rock bottom this year. Sharelast_img read more

Zillow Statistics Show Upticks Across Lending Sector

Zillow Statistics Show Upticks Across Lending Sector

first_imgZillow: Statistics Show Upticks Across Lending Sector Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Refinance Service Providers Zillow 2012-03-13 Carrie Bay Share March 13, 2012 432 Views center_img Economic releases in recent days have signaled positive movement, albeit gradual, toward a strengthening economy. The rosier outlook has led mortgage interest rates higher. [IMAGE]The 30-year fixed-mortgage rate on “”Zillow Mortgage Marketplace””:http://www.zillow.com/mortgage/ came in at 3.74 percent, up five basis points from 3.69 percent at the same time last week. The 30-year rate hovered between 3.67 and 3.73 percent for the majority of the week, rising to the published reading of 3.74 percent early Tuesday morning. [COLUMN_BREAK]Zillow’s real-time mortgage rates are based on thousands of mortgage quotes submitted daily to anonymous borrowers on the company’s marketplace site. Zillow’s numbers are not marketing rates or a weekly survey, but instead reflect the most recent changes in the market.The rate for a 15-year fixed-mortgage registered 2.99 percent, up from 2.95 percent one week earlier, while the rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is now 2.68 percent, rising from 2.65 percent reported last week. Experts say conditions are primed for mortgage rates to continue to rise in the coming weeks and months. “”With each piece of positive economic news, we will likely give up a little ground,”” Michael Kraus of Total Mortgage Services noted in his “”Tuesday blog post””:http://www.totalmortgage.com/blog/mortgage-rates/current-mortgage-rates-for-tuesday-march-13-2012/16066. “”Certainly there will be times that rates will fall, but I think the long term trend will be for rates to increase, at least into the summer.””Zillow provides visitors to its site with state-specific mortgage rates should they want to get local. Visit “”Zillow.com/Mortgage-Rates””:http://www.zillow.com/mortgage-rates for additional details. in Data, Originationlast_img read more

Former PNC Mortgage President Elected to Freddie Mac Board

Former PNC Mortgage President Elected to Freddie Mac Board

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Saiyid T. Naqvi, former PNC Mortgage president and CEO, has been elected as a director on “”Freddie Mac’s””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ board, the company announced.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Naqvi led PNC Mortgage Corporation of America between 1995 and 2001, when PNC Financial Services Group sold off its mortgage business. He returned in 2009 to supervise the bank’s integration of National City Mortgage and to head the newly constituted PNC Mortgage. There, he was responsible for the management of the company’s $121 billion portfolio and its national network of 91 retail mortgage offices.He has also served on the corporate boards of Genworth Financial and Hanover Capital Mortgage Holdings.””Sy is a significant and timely addition to the Freddie Mac Board of Directors,”” said Christopher S. Lynch, Freddie Mac’s non-executive chairman. “”He has a national reputation as a seasoned financial executive with proven leadership experience and detailed knowledge of mortgage and consumer financial operations.””Sy brings to the board a deep background in risk and operational management that will help ensure Freddie Mac continues its important work in keeping the U.S. mortgage market strong,”” he added. Share New,Former PNC Mortgage President Elected to Freddie Mac Boardcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-08-09 Tory Barringer August 9, 2013 431 Views last_img read more

New Counsel Joins Baker Donelson Team

New Counsel Joins Baker Donelson Team

first_img March 12, 2014 513 Views in Headlines, News, Servicing Baker Donelson, a law firm with practices in a wide range of fields, announced the addition of Amanda Berry to its Orlando office.Serving as of counsel, Berry will defend mortgage lenders, servicers, and investors in consumer finance litigation. She has a particularly focus on matters related to lender liability defense, fair debt and collections practices claims, regulatory and compliance issues, and title-related issues.Working in Orlando, Berry joins a team of more than 80 litigators with extensive courtroom experience in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts, all serving the mortgage lending and servicing industry. New Counsel Joins Baker Donelson Teamcenter_img Share Baker Donelson Movers & Shakers 2014-03-12 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Stewart Unveils Refined Brand to Support Strategic Growth Initiatives

Stewart Unveils Refined Brand to Support Strategic Growth Initiatives

first_img in Headlines, News, Servicing Share Stewart Information Services Corp., recently announced the launch of a refined brand to support the company’s strategic growth plans and efforts to communicate its focus on operating in the true spirit of partnership.“At Stewart, we believe lasting relationships drive long-term success. And to that end, we never stop working to build relationships with our customers,” said Matt Morris, CEO, Stewart. “Our refined brand focuses on simplifying the way we communicate about Stewart and the way we do business, and sets the stage to support us through our next phase of growth.”According to the company, the refresh aligns its services under two key brands, Stewart and Stewart Title.All core title business lines will now be branded under Stewart Title. Services aligned under the Stewart Title brand include residential, commercial, and international through Stewart Title direct-issuing offices, as well as Stewart Title Agency Services supporting the organization’s network of Stewart Trusted Providers.“Our refreshed, new look mirrors where we are taking our company and the services we provide to customers by aligning our core service offerings under the same brand umbrellas,” said John Arcidiacono, chief marketing officer, Stewart. “Our new brand is clean and concise, so our customers can easily understand who we are and how we can help them through the partnerships we build. This is reflected in our new tagline Real partners. Real possibilities. and is our brand promise – central to how Stewart approaches business.”As Stewart continues to diversify its offerings in the financial services space, the Stewart brand will be able to support this growth. Business units aligned under Stewart include Stewart Lender Services, Stewart Insurance and Risk Management (previously known as Stewart Specialty Insurance Services), and corporate headquarters. Stewart Unveils Refined Brand to Support Strategic Growth Initiativescenter_img October 7, 2015 503 Views Refined Brand Stewart Information Services Corp Strategic Growth Initiatives 2015-10-07 Staff Writerlast_img read more

What Drove the Surge in FirstTime Buyer Share

What Drove the Surge in FirstTime Buyer Share

first_img First-time buyer volume surged 15 percent in May and the first-time buyer share of home purchase loans continued to climb as well, according to a Tuesday report from the American Enterprise Institute.The agency’s First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share Index (FBMSI) found that in May, first-time buyers accounted for 59.1 percent of primary owner-occupied home purchase mortgages with a government guarantee. This is up from last May’s share of 58.7 percent.Also according to the report, first-time buyer share has been trending higher on a year-over-year basis, pushed up by improvements in the labor market, riskier mortgage lending, continuing low mortgage rates, and a growing number of buyers who lost a home to a foreclosure or short sale more than three years ago.“These factors, combined with a 44-month-long seller’s market for existing homes as reported by the National Association of Realtors, have been driving up home prices faster than income,” the report stated.Also, the number of primary owner-occupied purchase mortgages going to first-time buyers in May totaled an estimated 137,000, up 15 percent from May 2015.  May marked the 13th month of the past 14 months with year-over-year double-digit increases in first-time buyer volume.The Combined FBMSI (which measures the share of first-time buyers for both government-guaranteed and private-sector mortgages) grew slightly, to 53.2 percent, up from 52.9 percent last May.“The 2016 spring buying season continues to be exceptionally strong for first-time buyers, as both purchase loan share and volume once again hit series’ highs for the month of May,” said Edward Pinto, co-director of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk.  “Increasing demand pressure against a constrained supply continue to drive real home prices higher. While bullish in the short-medium term, long term prospects point to a painful mean reversion down the road.”“First-time buyer activity has been on a steep uptrend so far this year,” said Stephen Oliner, co-director of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk. “All signs point to a robust spring and summer homebuying season.” What Drove the Surge in First-Time Buyer Share? Share June 21, 2016 578 Views center_img AEI International First-Time Homebuyer Share First-Time Homebuyers 2016-06-21 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more