Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J In a bid to overturn a previous rejection, Virgin Blue Holdings Limited and Delta Airlines have submitted a joint antitrust immunity proposal to the US Department of Transportation (DoT), proposing to fly up to 21 trans-Pacific flights a week.Submitted late last week, Delta committed to fly up to seven flights between Australia and the US while Virgin Blue said its subsidiary V Australia would operate 14 weekly flights during peak season for at least two years, Ninemsn reported.While off-peak would see six weekly Delta trans-Pacific flights and up to 11 Virgin Blue weekly services. “Each party will operate a peak season schedule for at least six of the 12 months of the year, and may exercise commercial discretion in selecting the periods of peak demand,” the submission read.As part of what the carrier’s have described as a “historic level of trans-Pacific services”, safeguards have been outlined in the proposal to reduce flights if affected by external events.Included in the exceptions list are; natural disasters, terrorist attacks, pandemic, oil prices exceeding US$120 a barrel, the Dow Jones Industry Average falling below 9,000 points as well as the Australian stock market dropping below 4,000 points or the Australian dollar falling below 80 US cents. “Delta and the Virgin Blue Group envision that through co-ordination they will be able to achieve more efficient scheduling,” the proposal read.In September last year the US DoT rejected a preliminary ruling proposed by the airlines.
Aussie travellers bounced around the country over Easter, boosting domestic travel demand, although the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) warned it could only be for a short period of time.The Council’s managing director Felicia Mariani said operators in rural and regional Australia witnessed an increase in demand over the corresponding period last year, but have predicted the rise to “drop away quickly”. Factors such as the Australian dollar as well as airlines increasing fare fuel surcharges are likely to impact “the short lived” growth in tourism across Australia.“Airline carriers are currently undertaking a wholesale review of profitability that will inevitably put pressure on the affordability of air travel and have an impact on both the domestic and international tourism market,” Ms Mariani said. “These increases, along with the growing pressures on household budgets, are impacting on our domestic tourism market with little sign of relief anytime soon.”Further challenging regional tourism according to the Council’s head, is the estimated annual growth rate for domestic travel which was revised downward for 2011 to 0.3 percent and the softened figures in international arrivals.“This is particularly worrying for our regional tourism operators who are coming off the back of a very challenging two years.“Anecdotally we understand there is still a considerable amount of availability in the holiday period following the 5 day long weekend and visitors can find some great deals during that time.” Ms Mariani concluded that although the strong Aussie dollar has more travellers turning to overseas travel, “the cost of getting there are also increasing and Australia’s should consider the ease of access local tourism offers”.“We have a tourism experience on our doorstep that some people travel thousands of kilometres to enjoy.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Virgin Australia has announced a carbon-pricing surcharge in response to the EU tax and Australian carbon scheme.With the Australian carbon pricing scheme kicking off 1 July this year and starting at AU$23 per tonne of carbon, effective 1 March this year the carrier said the surcharge will apply on domestic Australian flights on and after 1 July this year.The carrier noted that the average increase per sector would be roughly AU$3.00 while flights 200 kilometers away could see a surcharge of more than AU$6.00.Meanwhile in response to the EU tax, which started on the 1 January, the carrier said its codeshare flights with Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi would see a surcharge of US$3.00 per passenger for all flights into and out of Europe for flights on and after 1 March this year.“The surcharge is applicable on flights into and out of EU countries only,” the carrier said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Although Superstorm Sandy caused over 18,000 flight cancellations across the United States, airlines have been praised for handling the disaster with common sense and improved management tactics.Airports across the north-east of the United States were empty following the trail of destruction left by Superstorm Sandy, with those destined to fly warned well ahead of time about cancellations the Associated Press reported.Airline staff were informed not to come into work, while airport closures discouraged the public from sleeping at the airport. Airlines also moved aircraft to unaffected airports, saving on damage costs and allowing for a quicker transition back to regular operations.“The last few major storms created such gridlock, and such bad will with their best customers, they just had to shift their behaviour,” Flyers Rights founder Kate Hanni said. “The flying public would rather have their flights pre-cancelled than be sleeping in Chicago on a cot.”The decision to cancel so many flights and shut-down operations was an arduous and intricate task which seems to have payed dividends for airlines, airports and customers alike. Airlines “were able to put the planes and the passengers out of harm’s way and ensure that people could stay home and not at the airport,” Airlines for America lobbying group spokesperson Victoria Day said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Airports were emptied pre-emptively in anticipation of Sandy. Image: morlinghaus
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Virgin Australia is one year ahead of its goals, according to the company’s chief executive, with its Game Change Program transforming the airline faster than expected.Speaking at the carrier’s Annual General Meeting, chief executive John Borghetti said the three-year program had outperformed itself, pushing the airline one year ahead of schedule and enabling the carrier to improve its financial stance, despite a tough environment.According to the boss, within a year the carrier managed to surpass its target of 20 percent of domestic revenue from the corporate and government market, increased Velocity Frequent Flyer members from 2.5 million in financial year 2011 to 3.2 million this year.“The team has managed to transform the business at a faster pace than expected,” Mr Borghetti said. “This has enabled us to improve the financial performance of the business, despite a challenging environment, which included high fuel prices, subdued consumer spending and aggressive competition.”In the next phase of the program, the airline will implement a three-year business efficiency project to ensure it remain efficient as it grows, improve access with interline and codeshare agreements, enhance customer experience on-the-ground and in-the-air as well as maintain and enhance its “outstanding team”.Specifically, next month Virgin Australia will implement in-flight stored content Wi-Fi system, enabling customers to stream video and audio direct to their personal electronic devices.The carrier will also open ‘stage one’ of its flagship lounge at Sydney Domestic Airport. Click here for more Virgin Australia news.
travelmob chief executive and co-founder Turochas Fuad believes in the concept of collaborative consumption and has based his new online business on this model.This notion of collaborative consumption is based on the idea of sharing or renting access to products as opposed to actual ownership and is an enormously popular format for other online businesses, such as eBay and Craigslist.“travelmob is trying to organise the unorganised – anyone can rent out their space, anyone can rent out their excess properties but there’s really no platform complete platform out there to do that,” Mr Fuad said.The Asia-Pacific region is teeming with history, steeped in culture and rich with natural and man-made attractions – making it the perfect place to explore a more genuine travel experience.Guests are presented the opportunity to develop a genuine bond with their hosts, live like a local and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations.travelmob.com is a social marketplace where global travelling ‘guests’ can search and book accommodation owned by local ‘hosts’ in Asia Pacific (APAC).“The Asia Pacific region is the fastest growing travel market; combine that with the rise of new middle-income earners, budget airlines and increased access… and you have a very sweet spot there,” Mr Fuad told e-Travel Blackboard.“Our accommodation options offer guests a home-away-from-home, an escape from the regular static atmosphere and ultimately, value for money.”travelmob listings have grown by 526 percent since the company’s beginnings in July 2012 and recorded 16-fold growth in Australia; with the expectation to further grow their business down under in the future.“The majority of our travellers are intra-Asia Pacific travellers and we hope to capitalise on this burgeoning market, while helping to bring traffic to Australia.“We can try to build our own supply here and find partnerships to grow business in Australia,” Mr Fuad said.Looking to the future, travelmob has noticed that 50-60 percent of bookings occur within the same month of travel and there are plenty of unsold inventories available.“We’ve paired this impulsive planning with our unused accommodation, creating a last-minute opportunity.”An often forgotten element of travel is etiquette and travelmob provide a guide on their website for both guests and hosts to help guide communications, educate both parties and enhance the overall travel experience.“Travel is a bit more dynamic these days, communication is key and when you tie in the social media element with all of this, it comes full circle.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. “travelmob is trying to organise the unorganised”– CEO and co-founder Turochas Faud.
From the end of this week, travellers can expect to pay an AUD $25 international surcharge for outbound travel on Fridays and Saturdays on all routes across the Emirates-Qantas network, except Singapore, Thailand and Kuala Lumpur. Furthermore, passengers flying economy and business on Sydney to Honolulu flights on specific dates will be required to pay an AUD $50 surcharge while passengers on flights between Australia and Hong Kong, Sydney and Shanghai and Sydney and Manila will incur an AUD $25 surcharge. Passengers flying economy to the Middle East, North Africa, Britain and Europe from 19 June to 28 June, 21 August to 6 September and 12 December to 23 December, will be charged the “Q surcharge”. This latest introduction of applying a surcharge to peak periods is among a number of changes Qantas has been making as it faces challenges from increasing competition, having recently cancelled senior and child concessions. The weekend surcharge will come into effect this Friday 16 May and is in addition to Qantas’ peak period surcharges of up to $200 on some international routes on certain days, in order to allow the airline to charge more without having to change seasonal fare structure, The Australian reported. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich
Global Aviation Services Delta, Air France announce year-round service from Nice to JFKJoint venture partners Delta Air Lines and Air France will offer year-round nonstop service between Nice Côte d’Azur Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.The flight is the only service to link the French Riviera region to the United States nonstop and previously ran for 10 months each year, with a temporary stop between the end of January and the start of the summer season in March.Operated daily by Delta in conjunction with Air France, the flight will continue four times a week throughout the winter season. Delta will use a 245-seat Boeing 767-400 aircraft on services between Nice and New York through December and a 210-seat Boeing 767-300 aircraft from January to March 2016.“We have transported more than 2 million passengers between Nice and the United States since 1991 and are delighted to respond to customer demand by extending this popular flight throughout the winter,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Around 20 percent of passengers are flying to Nice on business and a year-round service will help support local industry both here and in the surrounding region.”Patrick Alexandre, EVP Commercial, Sales & Alliances at Air France-KLM added: “The extension of the nonstop Nice-New York flight, now operated all year round by our partner Delta Air Lines, is a further illustration of Air France-KLM’s desire to expand its presence, together with its partners, on the French Riviera. The leading airline group in Nice, Air France-KLM, in cooperation with Delta, is reaffirming its leadership in the region in a sustainable manner. Highly committed to promoting France abroad, especially Nice, Air France KLM and its partner Delta carried 120,000 American passengers to and from Nice in 2014, representing 320 per day!”The Nice-New York flight supports a number of high-profile events in the Côte d’Azur region, including the Cannes Film Festival, of which Air France is official airline, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Nice Jazz Festival.Passengers flying in Delta’s business class cabin, Delta One, enjoy a full range of premium products for a comfortable, relaxed, and productive in-flight experience. These include fully flat-bed seats in a 1x2x1 configuration with Westin Heavenly Inflight Bedding from Westin Hotels & Resorts. Delta offers fine dining on board with five-course chef-inspired menus accompanied by wines selected by Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson.The Nice-New York-JFK flight is operated as part of the joint venture with Delta, Air France-KLM and Alitalia. With more than 250 daily trans-Atlantic flights operated by the four airline partners and a fleet of 129 aircraft, this partnership provides customers with the benefits of a vast route network offering more frequencies, competitive fares and harmonized services across the Atlantic. This industry-leading JV represents nearly 25 percent of total trans-Atlantic capacity. Fly Air France Fly Delta Airlines Source = Delta Airlines & Air France
From Runway to RunwayFrom Runway to RunwaySome new young fashion models line up on the runway at London City to celebrate the launch of new British Airways flights to the catwalk runways of Milan.The first of the double-daily flights took off this week from the heart of London straight to the heart of Italy’s fashion capitalTo celebrate the inaugural flight three models from Model Students, posed on the runway at London City with a British Airways Embraer 190 aircraft and the iconic Canary Wharf backdrop, hoping one day to walk the fashion runways of Milan.Model Students represents bright, confident young models from across the UK. Founded at The University of Nottingham in 2010, Model Students nurture their models to look good through a healthy attitude towards body image.Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager customer and commercial, said: “As our new service links two of the greatest fashion cities in the world it was fitting to ask these young models to help us celebrate the launch of flights to Milan.“This is a very exciting new route for us as it will appeal to both business and leisure customers. The flights compliment the British Airways Heathrow service, offering our customers more choice with well-timed flights to Linate, Milan’s most central airport.”Bernard Lavelle, Sales Director at London City Airport, said: “Milan and London share financial hub status and cultural importance as global centres for fashion and design, with British Airways’ service between London City and Milan Linate playing an important role in connecting the two, for passengers travelling for business or pleasure. “With our close proximity to central London and quick check in and arrivals, passengers will find that choosing London City Airport to fly can offer the fastest and most convenient way from Canary Wharf to the Italian Stock Exchange or St Paul’s Cathedral to Milan’s Duomo.”All flights will operate on modern Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating so every customer can have an aisle or window seat.Basic each way fares from London City and Stansted to Milan from £59 are available to book on www.ba.comCustomers flying in Euro Traveller benefit from allocated seats, a generous hand-baggage allowance and loyalty points which can be used to buy food and drink on board flights or towards other tripsClub Europe customers receive complimentary food and drinks on board, a generous free baggage allowance and free seat selection and on-line check-in.Italian airline Meridiana, who currently codeshare on the British Airways services between Linate and Heathrow, will in future also codeshare on the new service from London City. British Airwaysbook flights hereSource = British Airways
Samui Asia Music FestivalTAT announces first-ever Samui Asia Music FestivalThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with Ko Samui Municipality and event management company IMC Live Group are pleased to announce the staging of the first ever ‘Samui Asia Music Festival’ on 18 and 19 August, 2018.The two-day weekend festival will feature music acts from around Asia and local Thai artists, and cover different genres; such as, rock, metal, the blues and ballads. The line-up includes Malaysian alternative rock band Estranged, Singapore house band Shirlyn + The UnXpected, Hong Kong rock metal band Qiu Hong, Chinese funk group Jumpin’ Candy and, from Thailand, rock band Potato and singer Tai Tanawut.The picturesque, tropical island setting for the ‘Samui Asia Music Festival 2018’ is Phru Chaweng on the northeastern shores of Ko Samui. Admission is free.Mr. Noppadon Pakprot, TAT Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing, said: “The inaugural Samui Asia Music Festival has all the makings of a great Asian music experience. TAT is proud to be involved in the organisation and support yet another world-class event in Thailand, and one which is expected to further broaden Ko Samui’s appeal to Thai and international visitors alike.”The ‘Samui Asia Music Festival’ sits perfectly with the Amazing Thailand ‘Open to the New Shades’ communication concept that encourages visitors to experience Thailand both from new and existing perspectives.Along with the awesome music line-up, the ‘Samui Asia Music Festival 2018’ will offer festival goers plenty of choice in food and drinks at the Festival’s market. It is all part of what promises to be a fun, exciting and vibrant festive spectacle.For more details on the ‘Samui Asia Music Festival 2018’ please contact the TAT Ko Samui Office on Tel. +66 (077) 420 504; +66 (077) 420 721 or Email email@example.comSource = Tourism Authority of Thailand
Final nights to see the lightsFinal nights to see the lightsThe curtain will close tomorrow evening on Vivid Sydney, after an incredible 23 days and nights of Light, Music and Ideas.Vivid Sydney has captured the attention of all ages and if you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, make sure it’s on your agenda for tonight or tomorrow evening.This year, Vivid Sydney celebrated its 10th anniversary as the largest festival of Light, Music and Ideas in the world and is now the largest festival in Australia. Colour, community, creativity and technology combined at nine sensational precincts, masterful musicians took to stages in music venues large and small, and curious minds tackled future-shaping topics at forums and workshops throughout the city.Organisers are reminding people to plan their trip for the festival’s final nights and for those visiting The Rocks, Circular Quay and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, a one-way walking route will be in place.Details of events for the final days of the festival program are available via www.vividsydney.com.au or on the official Vivid Sydney app.Source = Destination NSW
The shares of India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), the only public sector undertaking under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism began trading under the trade-for-trade segment on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) from December, 30 2016. The company stock at the time of debut was priced at Rs 229 and settled at Rs 211.Further to this, the stock on the same day touched an intraday high of Rs 234 and a low of Rs. 210.20 on NSE. In terms of volume, a total of 1,22,798 shares of the company were traded on NSE. On BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange), where ITDC is already listed, the stock settled at Rs 212.8, with an increase of 0.24% from the previous close.ITDC has informed BSE that the listing of equity shares of ITDC in NSE has been approved via letter dated December 28, 2016 and the equity shares shall be listed and admitted to dealings on NSE from December 30, 2016.Commenting on the development Pradip Kumar Das, Director-Finance, ITDC, said, “It’s a matter of great pride for us to be listed in India’s largest Stock Exchange (NSE) and World’s third largest stock exchange in terms of transactions. ITDC has been a valuable proposition for investors on BSE and we are sure that it would continue its legacy on NSE as well.”
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has won the First Prize in the category of ‘TV Cinema Spot’ at the international ‘Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019’. The awards were received by Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary Tourism at ITB Berlin.The following promotional films/television commercials produced by the Ministry as part of its Incredible India 2.0 Campaign received the awards:Yogi of the RacetrackThe Reincarnation of Mr and Mrs JonesSanctuary in ParisMaharani of ManhattanThe Masala Master ChefThe Golden City Gate Tourism multi-media Awards are given annually in various categories related to the tourism and hospitality sectors. The ‘Golden City Gate’ is a creative multi-media international competition for countries, cities, regions and hotels. The entries received for the awards were judged by an international jury comprising film and tourism experts. The annual award ceremony takes place at ITB Berlin.The Ministry of Tourism has launched the Incredible India 2.0 Campaign in September 2017. The 2.0 Campaign marks a shift from generic promotions across the world to market specific promotional plans and content creation. Thematic creatives on different niche tourism products have been produced and are being used in the campaign, to cater to diverse consumer interests. These include the above television commercials on yoga, wellness, wildlife, luxury and cuisine, which have been very well received by all over the world, registering about 155 million views on social media. The commercials have been produced in English with a voice-over in nine international languages, viz. German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic.
November 29, 2012 421 Views Capital Economics: Recovery is ‘The Real Deal’ Share Despite a number of potentially damaging headwinds, the ongoing housing recovery will remain sustainable for the foreseeable future, analysts for “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/ say in a recently released report.[IMAGE]The housing industry’s rapid rebound took many experts by surprise–even the researchers who authored the report admit they “”have been slightly taken aback”” by the recovery’s speed. However, they point to several major indicators that show the current upturn is more than a temporary blip or a false recovery. Sustained rises in demand, home prices, homebuilding activity, and new and existing-home sales all demonstrate that the market is seeing a lasting recovery, they say. They also forecast further price growth of 5 percent in each of 2013 and 2014.What’s more, even as prices rise, valuation and affordability–“”the cornerstone on which the improvement in housing is being built””–remain very favorable.The major threats to the market at this juncture, the analysts say, are the potential for a new American recession (brought on by complications from the fiscal cliff and the potential of a partial euro-zone break-up) and the risk that properties in the shadow inventory will flood the market and drive prices down.As far as the economy is concerned, Capital Economics’ working assumption is that Washington will avoid throwing the country into another downturn. Beyond that, the firm notes that trade links between the United States and Europe are relatively small, and the financial links aren’t significant enough to tip the country back into recession should the euro-zone see problems.Turning to the shadow inventory, analysts estimate that the backlog of homes at risk of coming onto the market may be as large as 3.8 million (1.5 times the number of properties actually for sale). If those homes were allowed on the market too rapidly, supply would balloon and disrupt the price recovery–but they don’t expect that to happen.””The signing of the $25bn foreclosure settlement has not led to a wave of foreclosures hitting the market,”” the economists write. “”With foreclosure timelines still protracted, and banks wary of the effects that a glut of supply would have on the recovery, we anticipate a continued trickle of homes from the shadow inventory, rather than a flood.””Of bigger concern is the recovery’s dependence on investors and cash buyers. According to Capital Economics, “”[m]ortgage-dependent buyers have made next to no contribution to the improvement in housing market demand,”” mostly because of tight credit. Instead, it’s been buyers and investors–who are less dependent on mortgage finance–who have driven much of the recovery so far.The problem, though, is that investment buying won’t last as discounts start fading. According to data from Zillow, the availability of deeply discounted foreclosures has been dropping sharply in states most targeted by investment buyers. While the trickle of properties from the shadow inventory will keep some bargains on the market, cheap, high-yielding homes are disappearing.In fact, the analysts note, some of the most popular investment cities (such as Phoenix) are quickly becoming “”no-go”” areas for institutional buyers as the local markets recover. Even though the number of “”overheating”” cities is fairly small, there is a lesson to take away from those markets.””What should be clear from all this is that the housing recovery cannot be driven by investors indefinitely,”” the report says. “”The very recovery that investors are driving will eventually price them out of the market.””In order to keep the market healthy, credit conditions are going to have to loosen so the current heightened demand can actually make an impact. According to a recent survey released by the Federal Reserve, one of the biggest factors keeping today’s credit market tight is the risk of put-back requests from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, as the economy shows improvement and mortgage delinquency continues to fall, Capital Economics anticipates put-back risk will fade.””All in all, if we are right that the economy will continue growing, it’s reasonable to expect lenders to loosen the reins somewhat. The upshot is that we think mortgage-dependent buyers will gradually play an increasing role in the housing market recovery,”” the report says.””The bottom line is that the US housing recovery is sustainable. The key point is that the fundamentals of housing valuations and affordability are very favourable, reflecting a market that has adjusted.”” in Data, Origination, Secondary Market Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Existing-Home Sales Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Home Prices Home Sales Home Values Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Service Providers 2012-11-29 Tory Barringer
October 4, 2013 490 Views Mortgage lending remains tight compared to historical norms, and lending could tighten even further as the government takes steps to lessen its role in the market, according to a recent report by “”Moody’s Analytics””:http://www.moodysanalytics.com/ and the “”Urban Institute””:http://www.urban.org/. [IMAGE]While the report concedes “”underwriting does not appear overly tight in terms of debt-to-income or loan-to-value ratios,”” the report’s authors said the credit scores required to obtain a mortgage loan today are abnormally high. Not only is the average credit score of a GSE-backed loan today about 50 points higher than that of a GSE loan pre-crisis, but also the researchers pointed out, ,””Households with high scores today earned them during a tough economic period with high unemployment, weak stock prices, and declining house values.””[COLUMN_BREAK]””In contrast, households had a much easier time obtaining high credit scores in the late 1990s and the early 2000s,”” they said. On the other hand, current debt-to-income ratios average between 35 and 45 percent, just slightly higher than the 30 percent average of pre-crisis days, according to the report. Loan-to-value ratios today average between 85 and 90 percent, again just slightly higher than pre-crisis average of 75 to 80 percent. Looking ahead, the researchers say, “”Some impending moves by Fannie and Freddie and possibly the FHA will tighten the credit box further.”” For example, the GSEs are increasing their down payment requirement from 3 percent to 5 percent and reducing the loan amounts they will accept. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is likely take similar measures, according to the report. “”Reducing Fannie and Freddie’s outsize role in the mortgage market is ultimately desirable, but will significantly tighten the credit box and impair the housing and economic recoveries if private mortgage lenders are not able to fill the void when that contraction occurs,”” the report said. “”[I]t will clearly be important for policymakers to ensure that as they curb government lending they shrink its market share, not the size of the market,”” the analysts stated. Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Credit Standards Fannie Mae FHA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Moody’s Analytics Service Providers 2013-10-04 Krista Franks Brock in Data, Origination Tight Credit May Cinch Further as Government Agencies Scale Back
As both current homeowners and potential homebuyers are settling more into their prospective communities, turning to federally-insured credit unions for their mortgage and banking needs has become a viable option.On Monday the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) released its 2017 Q1 call report data, which reports growth all across the board for federally insured credit unions. Dan Berger, the President and CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) attributes the overall growth first and foremost to growing membership, which rose 4.2 percent, over 4.3 million more members than were registered a year ago. “The figures show that credit unions’ consistent commitment to providing excellent products and member service is being recognized by members,” said Berger. “Credit unions are maintaining healthy growth by focusing on their members’ needs and concerns. Credit unions succeed when their members succeed–this quarterly report is just more proof of that.” And succeed they did, as the NAFCU saw a steady climb in all of its reported data. Assets were up 7.8 percent to $1.34 trillion, $0.1 trillion more than last year, and lending climbed to $885 billion from $800 billion (10.6 percent). Member business lending also rose to 68.9 billion (15.3 percent). Deposits, or shares, grew 8.3 percent to $1.14 trillion from $1.05 trillion, and the loan-to-share ratio for the industry increased 1.7 percent from a year prior to 77.7 percent. Net income of the credit union also was up 2.6 percent in comparison with first quarter 2016, totaling $9.4 billion annualized. Finally, net worth appreciated 6.9 percent to $143.1 billion from $133.8 billion a year ago. Berger is looking forward to continuing this growth going into the second quarter of 2017. If member growth remains on the rise, and the credit unions’ members remain happy, there’s no reason why their reported numbers can’t continue to climb. Q1 Reports Bode Well for National Credit Unions in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Federally Insured Credit Unions NAFCU National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions NCUA Quarterly Earnings 2017-06-05 Staff Writer June 5, 2017 619 Views Share
LGBT Equality & Diversity in Focus at Fannie Mae AMDC American Mortgage Diversity Council Fannie Mae NAGLREP 2018-06-26 David Wharton On Tuesday, June 26, Fannie Mae hosted a roundtable at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., fostering a discussion of initiatives and legislation promoting diversity and equality within the housing industry for LGBT individuals.The event was moderated by Bill Fahey, VP, Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Fannie Mae, who oversaw a wide-ranging roundtable discussion that included insights from Charmaine Brown, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Fannie Mae; Derek Templeton, Executive Director of the American Mortgage Diversity Council; and Peter Nguyen, Director of the D.C. chapter of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP). (Brown also serves as Vice Chair of the AMDC, partnering with Chair Kathy Cummings of Bank of America.)”The AMDC appreciates the opportunity to be involved in today’s event,” Templeton said. “We look forward to continuing to work with Fannie Mae and NAGLREP to ensure that all Americans have equal access to homeownership, regardless of race, religion, or orientation.”Templeton discussed the mission and purpose of the AMDC, which works to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the mortgage industry. In order to further those goals, the AMDC strives to develop and provide tools and strategies to create an understanding and appreciation of individual differences in thought, experience, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, style, sexual orientation and gender identity and to move business practices forward to embrace diversity and inclusion as essential to innovation and optimal business results.Templeton also provided an update on the AMDC’s series of LGBT Town Hall events. The AMDC has so far hosted four of these events—in Dallas, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles—which are designed to bring together servicers and local LGBT community groups for a day of discussion regarding issues affecting the LGBT community, from perspectives of both homeownership and workplace inclusion. The AMDC Town Halls will culminate in the creation of a white paper report that will be circulated to thought leaders across the country, including mortgage industry leaders, housing policy experts, and participating LGBT organizations.NAGLREP’s Peter Nguyen presented an update on various diversity initiatives, including a legislative update on H.R. 1447, the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017. This bill would amend the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to add sexual orientation and gender identity as classes protected against discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing.The roundtable discussion also touched on other relevant topics such as the state of the housing market when it comes to fair housing and equal-opportunity employment for LGBT individuals, the challenges of LGBT homelessness, and how Fannie Mae can work with groups like the AMDC and NAGLREP to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion for the LGBT community.To view the AMDC’s webinars, including their most recent “Understanding the Effects of Implicit Bias” presentation, hosted by AMDC Vice Chair Charmaine Brown, click here. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, journal, News, Origination, Servicing June 26, 2018 966 Views Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination A Snapshot of the National Housing Market The national home purchase market remained strong by the end of the first quarter of 2018 as recent credit easing efforts by the government agencies, especially Fannie Mae, supported the boom, according to the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI’s) latest quarterly National Housing Market Indicators (NHMI) data released on Monday July 2.The NHMI measure the size of the residential home purchase market by combining data from several sources and covers sales since the fourth quarter of 2012.According to the NHMI data, 6.35 million home sales transactions were reported at the end of the first quarter, up 3.5 percent from the same period a year ago. However, AEI reported a slowing down in the growth rate, contributed largely by a lack of housing supply. “Although there continues to be very strong demand, the supply doesn’t seem to be expanding in sufficient amount to drive the annualized home sales more rapidly,” said Edward Pinto, Co-Director, Center of Housing Market and Finance at AEI, while presenting the findings of the NHMI.The current increase in sales marked the 14th consecutive quarter of such increases despite a 7.3 percent year-over-year jump in FHFA’s national house price index in Q12018, the NHMI data indicated.Looking at originations by the agencies, the NHMI data indicated that credit easing is likely to become capitalized in price in a market like this one, where the supply is constricted. “While FHA, Fannie, Freddie, and the VA have all been pro-cyclically supporting the boom through credit easing, Fannie’s recent credit easing efforts have been breathtaking,” AEI said.Credit easing also indicates a higher mortgage risk, with the study’s National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) increasing from already elevated levels a year ago. The index which has now risen at more than 2 percent year-over-year for FHA loans was slightly higher for first-time buyers than for repeat buyers. “For 2018 we expect continued easing for first-time buyers and FHA, helping fuel accelerating house price growth for entry-level homes,” Pinto said. “Entry-level homes will be less affordable and first-time buyers will be faced with a higher risk of default.”Looking at the share of mortgage for first-time buyers, AEI found that the agency first-time buyer mortgage share index at the end of Q1 was slightly below its series high during the same period last year. The index stood at 60 percent down from 60.2 percent a year ago, but up from 56.8 percent four years ago. “We can only expect modest increases or even a slight decrease moving ahead in 2018,” Pinto said.An interesting trend indicated on the NHMI was the increasing competition between Fannie and FHA for first-time buyers, which according to Pinto was a worrying trend. “Over the last nine months, Freddie has largely resisted this trend, but will likely eventually have to compete as well,” Pinto said. July 2, 2018 865 Views Agencies American Enterprise Institute Credit Easing Credit Risk Fannie Mae FHA First-Time Buyers Freddie Mac homes Housing Market Housing Supply loans VA 2018-07-02 Radhika Ojha Share
Canada Home Prices Homebuyers homeowners HOUSING Millennials tariff tariff wars USA valueinsured 2018-12-10 Radhika Ojha The Impact of Trade Wars December 10, 2018 2,601 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News How will the international trade wars affect the local housing market? According to a ValueInsured survey of homebuyers, Americans have a strong opinion on this question. The survey found that while 56 percent of the respondents believed that trade wars could affect the housing market, 44 percent said that they wouldn’t.Among those who believed that trade wars would impact the housing market, 29 percent homebuyers said that this problem would lead to a rise in construction costs and drive up home prices, while 27 percent believed trade wars would hurt the economy and drive down home buying demand as well as prices.However, the largest number of respondents, 44 percent, said that trade wars would have little or no effect on home prices or demand.The survey also asked homeowners about the impact, if any, that the trade wars would have on housing. Homeowners, the survey revealed, tend to believe that the intensifying trade wars would drive up home prices. This notion was particularly popular among younger and urban homeowners, the survey said.Among this group, 42 percent believed trade wars would drive up home prices, while 23 percent said that they could hurt homebuyer demand. Generation-wise too, while 44 percent of millennial homebuyers believed that trade wars would drive up construction costs and home prices, this generation was equally divided between those who believed prices would be driven down and those who thought that the effect of trade wars would be minimum at 28 percent each.”In contrast, homeowners over age 65 are more than twice as likely (64 percent) to believe home-buying demand and home prices are not affected by trade wars,” the survey said.However, ValueInsured said that this generation cohort could be wrong. Citing a recent article by the Washington Post, the survey said that the trade wars had put a nearly 21 percent tariff on lumber imported from Canada, which provides one-third of the construction lumber in the U.S., the lumber prices had risen 15 percent. Share
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