Comments Share COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A New York-bound Turkish Airlines plane carrying 292 passengers made an emergency landing Thursday at Copenhagen’s international airport after an old camera bag, possibly forgotten by a passenger, caused a bomb scare.Police spokesman Christian Olsgaard said the discovery led to bomb-sniffing dogs and army bomb experts to comb the aircraft. Olsgaard said a bag with an old camera, “possibly forgotten by an earlier passenger,” had not been spotted during cleaning and that the plane was expected to resume its flight soon. Top Stories The discovery prompted the pilot on the aircraft that was en route from Istanbul to New York, to land in Copenhagen where it taxied to a remote corner.Dr. Ali Genc, a spokesman for Turkish Airlines, said there the Boeing 777 plane had been diverted to Copenhagen “as a precautionary measure following a possible security alert.” He said all passengers and cabin crew were safely evacuated to the terminal building.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies A Turkish Airlines plane is seen in Copenhagen Airport, Denmark, Thursday, June 25, 2015 . Danish police says a New York-bound Turkish Airlines plane made an emergency landing at Copenhagen’s international airport after an old camera bag, possibly forgotten by a passenger, caused a bomb scare. (Kenneth Meyer/Polfoto via AP) DENMARK OUTn
California Tourism are surfing the golden wave to quickly becoming the most popular destination for Australian travellers to the USA, taking the crown as the number one international market to Los Angeles. Already reporting double digit growth in 2011, following a record year in 2010, California Tourism Manager, Australia, Tristan Freedman said he was confident Australians would surpass last year’s arrivals beating Japan for the number two international spot. A strong 24-delegate contingent of Californian VIP’s hosted B2B sessions for trade product and marketing managers in the Hunter Valley this week as part of their annual sales mission, which also included partners from New Zealand and interstate.Some 350 travel agents are expected to attend tonight’s “California Happy Hour” in Sydney, co-sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.Delegates from California included San DiegoRed and White FleetBeverly Hills Conference & Visitors BureauNorth Lake Tahoe Visitor BureausVail ResortsSeaWorld Parks & EntertainmentCityPASSSanta Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau & Film Commission Hyatt Hotels & ResortsLA INC. Los Angeles Visitors and Convention BureauHertz AustraliaDisneyland Resort in California Napa Valley Destination CouncilUniversal Studios HollywoodAnaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention BureauVisit Newport BeachOpen Top Sightseeing of San FranciscoCheck out the full album and tag yourself on our facebook page Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J As tourism heads towards reaching the one billion milestone this year, UNWTO has asked the industry to stimulate further demand by “advancing travel facilitation”.In a recent statement from the Organisation, it stressed that while the tourism grew by 4.4 percent last year on 2010 to 980 million and is well on its way to reaching one billion travellers, countries can help aid tourism growth through improvements in visa processes and applications as well as improving visa issuances. “Travel facilitation is closely interlinked with tourism development and can be key in boosting demand,” UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai said.“This area is of particular relevance in a moment in which governments are looking to stimulate economic growth but cannot make major use of fiscal incentives or public investment.”For the full year this year, UNWTO has forecasted travel will continue growing but at a slower rate than 2011.Arrivals are expected to pick up by three to four percent by the end of this year compared to the prior 12 months, with Asia leading the growth followed by the Pacific and Africa.The Americas and Europe are also expected to pick up two to four percent in travel this year while the Middle East will see recovery between zero to five percent. Meanwhile last year tourism hit new records with the 4.4 percent growth, a record achieved despite major political tension in the Middle East as well as natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand. “International tourism hit new records in 2011 despite the challenging conditions,” Mr Rifai continued. “For a sector directly responsible for 5% of the world’s GDP, 6% of total exports and employing one out of every 12 people in advanced and emerging economies alike these results are encouraging, coming as they do at a time in which we urgently need levers to stimulate growth and job creation.”
Source = Likuliku Lagoon Resort (L to R) Tony Whitton, owner of Likuliku Lagoon Resort; Sala Rasari, Resort Manager; Daniel Anania from Pure Fiji, and Tulia Seru, exec housekeeper Likuliku Lagoon Resort has been awarded “Best Luxury Accommodation” in the annual AON Fiji Tourism Awards for Excellence announced last week.Group GM of Likuliku, Steve Anstey said, “We are delighted to be recognised once again on a local level by our industry peers. Being a 100 per cent Fijian-owned resort with strong ties to local community and country, we are particularly proud to receive this award given our mandate to ensure that guests who visit Likuliku experience quintessential Fiji in all its forms.”Likuliku was also recently named in the 30th Anniversary edition of the prestigious USA magazine “Islands” as one of its Top 20 World’s Greatest Escapes – the only Fijian resort to be listed and also received the honour of being featured on the front cover.The resort has also been the recipient of Australia’s Luxury Travel Magazine annual Gold List Award for “Best Overseas Resort” in 2010 and 2011 and is vying for the award again in 2012.Since opening in 2007, Likuliku has welcomed nearly 90,000 guests from all over the world and has also welcomed back over 1,500 return guests with some couples up to their 10th stay. The clearly dominant factor in the success of the guest experience at Likuliku has been the staff, whilst a unique approach to cuisine has set new benchmarks in Fiji dining. Executive Chef Ihaka Perimandates that the majority of his ingredients are locally produced and procured – including from the Resort’s own garden, ensuring not only absolute freshness, but a connection to the Fijian culture through the variety of cross-cultural indigenous ingredients combined with an innovative, modern and unique South Pacific style. Situated in the Mamanuca group of islands in west Fiji, Likuliku Lagoon Resort is located 25km/16miles from Nadi International Airport. Guests can arrive at Likuliku by helicopter, seaplane, private speedboat, or fast catamaran transfer.There are 45 bures, all air conditioned and offering mesmerising views of the coral lagoon and ocean, with the over-water bures suspended over the magnificent Lagoon’s reef edge. The beating heart of the resort is the Central Facility housing the magnificent Fijian canoe house designed reception, signature restaurant, guest lounge, boutique and main bar. Guests can relax in the horizon-edge pool, rejuvenate in the gym or spa or watch the sun set at Masima Island Bar in the middle of the Lagoon in a very special piece of paradise.Prices start from AUD$425*per person per night inclusive of all meals and non-motorised activities. Stay seven nights and receive free return helicopter transfers for two*.*approx rates only – check daily FOREX rates. Conditions apply.Whatever the season, Honeymooners staying a minimum of five nights will receive a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne upon arrival and a one hour Serenity Couples Massage.
Source = Greater Sydney Tourism Awards The Greater Sydney Tourism Awards Gala Dinner was held on the 19th July at the Doltone House, Sylvania Waters, where 37 finalists eagerly awaited the announcement the winners for 2012. The winners were declared and celebrated in an evening of festivities hosted by Andrew Daddo and attended by over 200 tourism industry representatives. The Gala Dinner was an evening that epitomised the excellence, passion and spirit that makes the tourism industry in Greater Sydney shine, with great food, great entertainment, and of course lots of great winning smiles!16 entries were awarded the grand achievement of a Gold Winner Award, with most awarded automatic finalist status for the NSW Tourism Awards to be held on 22nd, November 2012.The process was rigorous and solid with 19 judges involved in the process which was fully audited by Baker & Baptist Pty Ltd. The Greater Sydney Tourism Awards are designed to not only recognise achievements but to provide valuable feedback to the businesses on how to improve their businesses for a greater return.The winners for 2012 are as follows:Local Government Award for TourismAWARD WINNER Sutherland Shire TourismSpecialised Tourism ServicesAWARD WINNER Mowbray Park Farm HolidaysFestivals & EventsAWARD WINNER International Sand Sculpting CompetitionTourist AttractionsAWARD WINNER Featherdale Wildlife ParkHeritage & Cultural TourismAWARD WINNER Cronulla & National Park Ferry CruisesTour & Transport AWARD WINNER Life’s An AdventureAdventure TourismAWARD WINNER Life’s An AdventureRegistered ClubsAWARD WINNER Richmond ClubTourism Education & Training AWARD WINNER Travel 21fiftythree, Western Sydney Institute of TAFE Unique AccommodationAWARD WINNER Calabash Bay Lodge Deluxe AccommodationAWARD WINNER The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury ValleyEcotourismAWARD WINNER Royal Coast WalksJudges Commendation Award for Tourism Business ExcellenceAWARD WINNER TrainworksWestlink M7 Greater Sydney Champion AwardAWARD WINNER Cornwallis HousePeople’s Choice AwardAWARD WINNER Bundeena Kayaks & Stand Up Paddle BoardsOutstanding Contribution by an Individual AwardAWARD WINNER Jenny-Lee StefasThe Chairman of Greater Sydney Tourism Inc, Mr Paul Page, congratulated the winners and said “This event has managed to gain great recognition for the businesses in the Greater Sydney area that sometimes are placed in a hard task of competing with the city locations”. Paul continued to say it was a great night and it was wonderful to see so many people and businesses being part of celebrating the tourism industry.Westlink M7, the principle supporter of this year’s event, is an advocate of the importance of visitors to the Greater Sydney region. Jeff McCarthy, Executive General Manager of Westlink M7 said today, “We are pleased to be the Principle Partner in the 2012 Greater Sydney Tourism Awards, which recognises the achievements of local tourism businesses in the Greater Sydney area. The M7 makes it easy for visitors to visit local tourism attractions such as the Western Sydney Parklands, Olympic sites, and Hawkesbury Harvest to name a few”. The Hon Graham Annesley MP, Minister for Sport and Recreation, represented the Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Hon George Souris MP, at the Awards and said, “As the Minister for Sport & Recreation, I get to meet quite a few individuals and team sport participants, many of them elite athletes and leaders in their chosen field. Tonight we are here to acclaim elite businesspeople, leaders in their chosen field, who have justly earned respect and praise.” Minister Annesley congratulated the efforts of Greater Sydney tourism operators and emphasised their contribution to the further growth and development of tourism across NSW.This awards program is strongly supported by advocates of economic return to the Greater Sydney region, such as Westlink M7, Destination NSW, Sutherland Shire Council, ANSTO, Aurora Research, Datatrax Touchscreens, Stralia Web, Adstyle Graphic Design, Adelphi Print and Pack 2 Go mobile technology. In addition, the following councils are committed to tourism growth in their area and have partnered in this program; Penrith City Council, Hills Shire Council, Sutherland Shire Council, Macarthur region & Hawkesbury City Council.
Security screeners at Perth’s Qantas domestic terminal have escalated their strike action, walking off the job and slowing the flow of traffic in and out of the airport.The screeners, employed by MSS Security, are campaigning for pay increases to bring them closer to parity with their Melbourne counterparts, the West Australian reported.Rolling strikes have been held for more than a week now, culminating in the lock-out of 11 screeners over the weekend for wearing ‘Paid Less in the West’ protest shirts.“Today, the screeners walked off the job at 5am, that’s the busiest time when all the FIFO workers are getting their flights back to work,” United Voice assistant secretary Pat O’Donnell said.“It caused significant delays today, the line stretched out all the way to the arrivals.”Some staff members were seen operating their vehicles in an unhurried manner in an effort to slow arrivals traffic and cause further disruptions to the airport process.Negotiations are scheduled to occur on Friday 14 June.“Between now and then, you can expect to see us back at the airport, taking more action,” Mr O’Donnell said.“Ultimately, Qantas is responsible for MSS being in there and they have to take some responsibility.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Lock-outs, walk-offs and traffic troubles.
Royal CaribbeanVoyager of the Seas Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas www.royalcaribbean.comShe’s on her wayTwin sister to Aussie favourite Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas is today departing Southampton and will sail for 42 days through Europe and via Dubai, India and Asia before arriving in Perth – her first Aussie port – on 13 November.The action packed megaliner will then depart Perth on a 16-night tour around the bottom end of Australia and New Zealand, before arriving to her new home, Sydney, on 28 November. Sydney-siders will be in for a treat on the 28th as Explorer of the Seas’ twin sister (and second largest cruise ship based in Australia) Voyager of the Seas will welcome her big sister home – with both ships meeting in a historic Sydney Harbour rendezvous.Explorer of the Seas arrives for her maiden Australian season fresh from a multimillion dollar makeover in April this year. She is now jam-packed with a host of new features to match her popular twin sister Voyager of the Seas, including a FlowRider surf machine, three new specialty restaurants, two new bars, new stateroom categories including industry-first interior Virtual Balcony staterooms with real time sights of the sea and new Panoramic staterooms with floor-to-ceiling wrap-around windows, as well as a complete refresh of all the public spaces and staterooms onboard.Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas both also boast signature Royal Caribbean features including the iconic ice-skating rink, rock climbing wall, a full-size basketball and sports court, and the Royal Promenade – an interior boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques where spectacular parades and evening dance parties are held. Source = Royal Caribbean
Source = Niue Island calls for namesake movie star to visitThe world’s biggest coral island – Niue, known widely as “The Rock of Polynesia” – has called out to its namesake from the movie business Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”).The message: Come and play the ukulele with us.Niue Tourism Chief Executive Felicity Bollen says the occasion will be Niue’s forthcoming, inaugural, four-day Ukulele Festival – “NiueKelele” – in October. “We may not be able to match the global film audience Dwayne got from his ukulele cameo in ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’, but we can offer him the unique chance to play in front of an entire nation – I can guarantee it.“And playing ‘What a wonderful world’, as he did in the movie, would be the perfect choice – that’s us.”Felicity says Niue’s musicians, residents and visitors have gone online with a heart-felt YouTube plea for Johnson to visit the island during the Festival, which runs from 21-24 October this year and features ukulele workshops, concerts, special island activities and a Gala dinner. “Some of the best uke players in the Pacific will be here to share their talent with Dwayne – and maybe pick up some acting tips from him in return.”She says persuading the star to take time out from his busy schedule is a big call. “But maybe he’d like a South Pacific break; he is, after all, part-Samoan. And given his recent involvement in Disney’s new movie ‘Moana’, a uke’ holiday at Niue might be right up his alley. We’ll look after him!” Niuediscover more here
Emirates named Best Airline in the World in TripAdvisor awardsEmirates has been recognised as the Best Airline in the World in the inaugural TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® Awards for Airlines. In addition to clinching the grand prize, the airline was the biggest winner with 4 other awards including Best Major Airline – Middle East & Africa, Best Economy Class, Best First Class and World’s Best Airlines – Top 10.This is the first year TripAdvisor has introduced a category for airlines in its signature Travelers’ Choice® Awards. The awards highlight the world’s top carriers based on the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for airlines worldwide gathered over a 12-month period.Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said: “We are honoured to be named the Best Airline in the World at the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for Airlines 2017. The fact that the awards are a result of unbiased reviews and feedback speaks to our commitment to deliver a superior travel experience for our customers. We want travellers to continue making Emirates their first choice whenever they think to travel. That is why we continue to invest in products and services across all classes, and why our service teams work hard and put their hearts into providing the very best experience for our customers both on board and on the ground every day.”“We are proud to announce the inaugural Travelers’ Choice® Awards for airlines, to help travellers make the most well-informed air travel decisions, based on the experiences of the TripAdvisor community,” said Bryan Saltzburg, General Manager for TripAdvisor Flights. “It’s a high honour for Emirates to be recognised as the top airline in the world by the TripAdvisor community and speaks to their continued focus on delivering fantastic customer experiences.”Emirates is the world’s largest international airline, with an extensive network that has grown to offer its customers a choice of 155 destinations in 83 countries across six continents. It operates one of the world’s youngest modern wide-body fleets, and is the first and only airline in the world to operate a fleet of all Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft for its passenger flights.The airline recently announced a multi-million dollar cabin interiors upgrade programme including an enhanced Onboard Lounge for its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft which will make its debut in July. Emirates also recently underwent a product overhaul with a host of exclusive products introduced to its First and Business Class cabins. New additions include the world’s first moisturising lounge wear in First Class, luxury blankets, skincare from organic brand VOYA and a new range of amenity kits from Bulgari. In the last year, Emirates has also introduced several new products for customers travelling in Economy including the world’s first interactive amenity kits and sustainable blankets made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Emirates AirlineSource = Emirates Airline
Source = Viking Cruises Viking Cruises announces first three winners of golden tickets Brett Walker – Cruise Travel Centre HobartViking Cruises announces first three winners of golden ticketsThe first three winners of Viking Cruises’ golden ticket giveaway have been found as brochure deliveries start to land, with Cruise Travel Centre Hobart, Escape Travel Mackay and italktravel Fountain Gate each winning one of seven Rhine Getaway river cruises.The four remaining golden tickets can be found between Viking’s new 2018 river brochures, and will see the winning agency win an eight-day Rhine Getaway river cruise for two from Amsterdam to Basel (or vice versa) on a pre-selected date.As the final deliveries are made, agents are encouraged to check if they are one of the last lucky winners so they can claim their prize.For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 (Australia) and 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) or visit vikingrivercruises.com.auTo join the Viking Cruises community online CLICK HERE Viking River Cruisesbook your river cruise here
Treat your valentine at Ramada Resort Port DouglasTreat your valentine at Ramada Resort Port DouglasTreat your Valentine on February 14 with a romantic meal at Ramada Resort Port Douglas’s Tree Bar and Grill.For $49 per person, loved-up couples can enjoy a set three-course dinner, including a glass of sparkling wine, poolside beneath the rainforest canopy.Those looking to step it up a notch can opt for a $232 package, which includes dinner, a night’s accommodation and breakfast for two.Set amongst a pocket of Melaleuca rainforest surrounded by lush gardens and free flowing waterways filled with barramundi, Ramada Port Douglas offers guests a mix of hotel rooms, one and two-bedroom apartments and a range of excellent facilities, including an onsite day spa, gym and event facilities.The resort’s popular Tree Bar and Grill is known for its fresh produce, excellent cocktails and relaxed dining experience beside the resort pool under the trees.To book, call Ramada Port Douglas on (07) 4030 4333. Source = Wyndham Hotel Group
Aruban and Cuban Governments have signed a cooperative agreement focusing on tourism for the two destinations, including the possibility of a cruise ship route that links the two countries and others in the southern Caribbean. The agreement was signed by Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Otmar Uduber, Aruba’s Minister of Tourism, Transportation and Culture at Havana.“Aruba sees Cuba as a new destination, despite its existence for some time now, and it will soon see organizational changes that will contribute to making the country a more attractive destination to explore from the U.S. market,” Uduber said.According to Uduber, the agreement will open up new tourism possibilities for Aruba. The focus includes a dual destination program and the exchange of information on managing cruise facilities, marketing strategies to attract visitors and the timeshare sector. These initiatives will be driven through job platforms between the two countries.Cuba is also interested in Aruba’s experiences in the field of timeshare as well as new law proposals in respect to the management of accommodation. Aside from the topics of tourism and transportation, agriculture and culture were high on the agenda during the Minister Oduber’s visit to Havana.
Before 2000, few people in China or the rest of the world had heard of the Rainbow Mountains. But nowadays they have caught the attention of photographers and filmmakers.Source: BBC
The Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels in collaboration with Forbes Africa Magazine and the Brussels Press Club aimed at promoting the new tourism brand of Ethiopia dubbed as ‘Ethiopia, The Land Of Origins’ in Europe. The event had attendance from over hundred tourism professionals, tour operators, diplomats, journalists, and investors.During the event, it was explained that the present situation in the country is completely safe for tourists. Following the restoration of sustainable peace and stability in Ethiopia, several countries have been encouraged to visit the country. During the reported period, 439,359 tourists visited the country. And the profit made was over 1.6 billion dollars, the report from the embassy explained.Speaking during the occasion, Bisrat Tedla, General Manager, Ethiopian Airlines Benelux Office, gave some insights about Ethiopian’s modern fleet and services, both in terms of international and domestic flights.Past achievements and current efforts have contributed to march forward on the country’s aim to become a leading tourism destination. A sign for this commitment is the establishment of a tourism policy, as well as a National Tourism Council chaired by the Prime Minister of the country. It is recalled that Ethiopia has been chosen 2016 best tourism destination, with the dozens of its cultural and historical, tangible and intangible heritages registered in the UNESCO.
in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology “”Taylor Capital Group, Inc.””:http://www.tcapitalgroup.com/, is set to capitalize on the nation’s construction industry. The company recently announced that its subsidiary “”Cole Taylor Bank””:http://www.coletaylor.com/ has launched a new equipment financing division for the commercial sector.[IMAGE]The bank’s new unit will be known as Cole Taylor Equipment Finance, and according to a statement from Taylor Capital, the division represents Cole Taylor’s third national line of business. In establishing equipment financing operations, the bank will welcome Edward A. Dahlka, Jr., as the division’s president.[COLUMN_BREAK] Dahlka boasts more than four decades of experience in leasing and equipment financing, and he has previously performed as the president of LaSalle National Leasing Corporation. The bank will also gain four additional employees from LaSalle as Dahlka takes over, and Steven Williams, Peter J. Steger, Joseph A. Maddox, and John A. Hurt will be teaming up with Cole Taylor to lead the commercial equipment division.””I am very pleased to welcome Ed and his team to Cole Taylor,”” said Mark A. Hoppe, president and CEO of Cole Taylor. “”I’ve known Ed for many years, and the highly-experienced team has an established network in the marketplace. I’m confident they will build a successful and sustainable line of business for the bank. We expect that Cole Taylor Equipment Finance will become a strong source of balance sheet growth and fee revenue for the bank and further contribute to the diversification of our earnings.””Dahlka added his thoughts, noting, “”I’m delighted to have joined Cole Taylor Bank. My team shares with Cole Taylor a dedication to customer service and a commitment to trust and transparency. Our team averages more than 25 years in the leasing business, and we’re looking forward to bringing our experience and expertise to this outstanding organization. Our customers and market participants will see that the deals we structure will be exactly what we deliver.”” July 19, 2012 453 Views Cole Taylor Enters Commercial Equipment Industry Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-19 Abby Gregory Share
Refinance Share Slips in November as Purchase Loans Climb December 19, 2012 417 Views Share in Data, Origination Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Credit Standards Ellie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan-to-Value Ratio Processing Refinance Service Providers 2012-12-19 Tory Barringer Purchase originations gained a bit more ground on refinances in November, according to “”Ellie Mae’s””:http://www.elliemae.com/ latest “”_Origination Insight Report_””:http://www.elliemae.com/origination-insight-reports/EMOriginationInsightReportNovember2012.PDF.[IMAGE]The report draws data from a sampling of loan applications that flow through Ellie Mae’s Encompass360 software and the Ellie Mae Network. By the company’s estimate, more than 20 percent of originations in the United States pass through its network. Loan applications sampled for the report are typically initiated 90 days prior (August, in this case) to account for the time that passes between application and closing.According to the findings, refinance originations pulled back slightly to represent 68 percent of loans closed, down from 69 percent in the October report. Meanwhile, the share of purchase loans increased to 32 percent from 31 percent previously.Though refinances are slowly losing ground, refinance share remains well above its May level, when refinance and purchase shares were fairly equal (54 percent to 46 percent, respectively).[COLUMN_BREAK]The closing rate on all loans was 52.3 percent, down from October’s 54.5 percent but up from every other month in the past year. The closing rate for purchase loans slid down a bit, dropping to 60.8 percent, while refinances took a relatively big hit, falling to a 48 percent closing rate. Conventional mortgages made up 73 percent of total activity, a slight slip down from 74 percent reported in October. The share of mortgages insured through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) remained flat at 19 percent, unchanged from October and September.The average number of days to close a loan in November was 50, a drop from 54 days in October. While purchase mortgages took a bit longer to close (48 days compared to 47 days previously), refinance closing times shortened significantly, falling from 57 days to 51 days.The average FICO score for loans closed in November’s report stood at 750 for the fourth straight month, while the average FICO score for denied loans bumped up a bit to 707. The average loan-to-value ratio (LTV) for closed first-lien loans increased one percentage point to 79 percent, while the average LTV for denied loans dropped to 86 percent. The average FICO score for closed FHA loans dropped two points in both the purchase and refinance categories to 698 and 716, respectively. The share of conventional finances with a LTV of 95 percent or higher rose for the third month in a row, reaching 9.62 percent. According to Ellie Mae COO Jonathan Corr, the continued increases in high-LTV refinances is a sign “”that HARP may still have some legs.””
Hours after issuing “”guidelines””:https://themreport.com/articles/regulators-unveil-appraisal-rules-for-lenders-2013-01-18 to govern appraisal disclosures, the “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ announced more new rules designed to shape up origination practices.[IMAGE]The new regulations prohibit what the bureau calls “”steering incentives,”” such as compensating originators based on loan terms. Under the rules, brokers and loan officers cannot get paid more if the consumer takes a loan with a higher interest rate, a prepayment penalty, or higher fees.Furthermore, the originator cannot be paid more if the consumer agrees to buy additional services (such as title insurance) for the lender or one of its affiliates. The rules also say that loan originators cannot get paid by both the consumer and another party (such as the creditor), a practice that may lead to a conflict of interests.[COLUMN_BREAK]””These rules recognize that people tend to do what they get paid to do,”” said CFPB director Richard Cordray in prepared remarks. “”By removing financial incentives for originators to push borrowers toward risky loans, we are ensuring that the mortgage market will be more stable and sustainable, and consumers will be better protected.””In addition, the final rule implements Dodd-Frank provisions that prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements and the increasing of loan amounts to cover credit insurance premiums.The new rules also establish screening and qualification standards for different types of loan originators, including character and fitness requirements, financial responsibility reviews, and criminal background checks. There is also a requirement for periodic training to ensure originators are knowledgeable about the rules governing the types of loans they originate.Absent from the set of rules is a proposal from August that would require originators to offer loans without upfront origination fees (assuming they also offer a loan that does feature upfront fees). CFPB scrapped the proposal based on comments from industry groups and will evaluate the issue once all the other rules are put into place.Most of the rules will take effect January 2014. The prohibition on mandatory arbitration and on the financing of credit insurance take effect June 2013, the bureau announced.The final rules will be available January 20 on CFPB’s website. January 18, 2013 447 Views CFPB,CFPB Announces Rules to Reform Originator Compensation in Origination Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Dodd-Frank Investors Lenders & Servicers Origination Points Regulation Service Providers 2013-01-18 Tory Barringer Share
July 21, 2014 445 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News The U.S. housing market overall really is recovering, despite its lackluster showing at the beginning of the year. It’s just going to take a lot longer in several markets to get back to pre-crisis highs, according to a report issued Monday by Zillow.According to the second-quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Report, home values in half of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas will not return to their pre-recession peak levels for at least three years. In a few markets, full recovery will take more than a decade.For the most part, Zillow expects home values in the top American metros to be back to peak in 2.7 years, but that averages the fastest expected recovery (San Francisco, which should be back to peak by year’s end) and the slowest. Minneapolis is expected to have the longest recovery curve at 14.5 years, followed by Kansas City (12.5 years) and Chicago (11.7 years).Zillow’s assessment of the future follows the trend toward a certain guarded positivity among housing and real estate authorities.Forecasters, chastened not just by the crisis, but by a string of expected reboots that fizzled, make sure to balance the good news—such as the fact that Zillow expects U.S. home values to rise another 4.2 percent through this time next year—with the reminders that home values remain 11.3 percent below their 2007 peak.U.S. home values climbed 6.3 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to $174,200, according to Zillow. This is the slowest annual pace of appreciation recorded so far this year and a sign that the market is returning to more normal levels, rather than operating in fits and spikes. In a more normal market, home values appreciate at roughly 3 percent per year.Home values nationwide were up 1 percent compared to the first quarter and 0.5 percent from May, according to the report.Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries, referred to the time frame between 2007, when the market was at its apex, and 2017, when it should be back to peak in most areas, as “a lost decade in which [homeowners] will have built up no home equity.” Humphries said this reality is reflected in “stubbornly high negative equity and effective negative equity rates.” More than a third of Americans with a mortgage lack enough equity to realistically list their homes for sale and buy another, he said.The silver lining for Humphries is that as the nation navigates the “tricky middle innings of the recovery,” lower prices for homes are allowing more people to buy into the market with bargains that should allow an earlier buildup of equity.”This will be critical to maintaining home affordability over the coming years, especially as mortgage interest rates rise,” he said. Despite Gains, Recovery Still in ‘Middle Innings’ Forecast Home Values Zillow 2014-07-21 Scott_Morgan Share
November 11, 2014 470 Views Home Value Growth Tops 2% in October Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Appraisals Home Values Quicken Loans 2014-11-11 Tory Barringer Home values in the United States continued to inch their way up in October, rising month-over-month in more than half of the country’s major metropolitan areas.Based on appraisal data from home purchase and refinance originations around the country, Quicken Loans reported Tuesday that home values were up 2.03 percent from September to October, bringing the company’s Home Value Index to 91.09 nationally.At the metro level, values were up month-to-month in 15 of the 27 largest markets, led by a 6.04 percent gain in Houston. Growth also topped 4 percent in San Jose (5.28 percent), New York (4.36 percent), and Charlotte, North Carolina (4.36 percent).At the other end, Minneapolis, Portland, and Boston all ranked highest in depreciation, with monthly declines approaching 4 percent.On an annual basis, Quicken’s HVI climbed 3.35 percent, with only Charlotte (-0.32 percent), Tampa (-0.08 percent), and Baltimore (-0.74 percent) reporting decreasing home values.”The vast majority of the country is seeing steady, single-digit, home value increases,” said Bob Walters, chief economist for Quicken Loans. “This is the healthy momentum we look for in a stable housing market.”Quicken’s report also included findings from its latest Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), which measures the difference between appraisers’ home value opinions and home value estimates from homeowners and buyers. According to the company, appraisers’ value opinions came in 1.58 percent higher than homeowners’ opinions nationally, down from a gap of 1.62 percent in September but up from a span of 0.83 percent a year ago.While some homeowners might enjoy finding out their home is worth more than they thought, Walters explained that it’s better for the housing market for homeowners and appraisers to be on the same page with their estimates.”The closer together the appraiser and homeowner opinions are, the more homeowners are understanding what is happening to their local housing market,” he said. “Whether homeowners are looking to sell soon, hoping to refinance or applying for a home equity loan—there are many benefits to understanding the current home value trends in their area.”
Global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider CoreLogic, Inc. recently released its 2015 Storm Surge Analysis which found that more than 6.6 million homes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of hurricane storm surge damage. The total reconstruction cost value (RCV) is nearly $1.5 trillion for the storm surge damages.“The number of hurricanes each year is less important than the location of where the next hurricane will come ashore,” said Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard risk scientist for CoreLogic. “It only takes one hurricane that pushes storm surge into a major metropolitan area for the damage to tally in the billions of dollars. With new home construction, and any amount of sea-level rise, the number of homes at risk of storm surge damage will continue to increase.”The CoreLogic analysis reviews homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines of 19 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 84 metro areas by examining the risk from hurricane-driven storm surge. Home are placed in five risk levels, including low, moderate, high, very high and extreme, according to CoreLogic. The analysis also provides RCVs that indicate how much is required to rebuild the property, including labor and materials, and assuming that the homes are completely destroyed.According to the analysis, at the regional level, the Atlantic Coast has more than 3.8 million homes at risk of storm surge in 2015 with an RCV of $939 billion, and the Gulf Coast has just under 2.8 million homes at risk and nearly $549 billion in potential exposure to total destruction damage.A total of six states make up more than 75 percent of all at-risk homes nationally, CoreLogic says. Florida finished first with 2,509,812 total properties at various risk levels. Next is Louisiana with 760,272 homes and New York with 464,534 homes. New Jersey come in fourth with 446,148 properties and Texas in fifth at 441,304 properties, while Virginia wrapped up the ranking with 420,052 properties. Although Louisiana finished with the second most homes at risk of storm surge, only 25 percent of these homes are in the extreme or very high storm surge category due to upgraded and expanded levees.“The levee system in and around New Orleans is one of the most extensive in the world,” Jeffery said. “After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, upgrades were planned for the network of levees and pumping stations to reduce the potential devastation from future storms. Upgrades were completed in 2013, and CoreLogic analysis shows a significant number of homes are now protected from all but the higher category hurricanes as a result.”Click here to view the full CoreLogic Storm Surge Analysis. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News June 4, 2015 437 Views CoreLogic Hurricane Storm Surge Damage Reconstruction Cost Value Storm Surge Analysis 2015-06-04 Staff Writer Over 6.6 Million Homes at Risk of Storm Surge Damage in 2015