first_img How do cataracts affect your vision? New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories center_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates EU efforts to ratify the treaty, which needs approval by all 27 member nations, are already in deep trouble.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes STRASBOURG, France (AP) – The European Parliament is scheduled to hold a critical vote on the ACTA anti-piracy treaty _ a pact that has sparked street protests and a petition drive from people in Europe who fear it would limit internet freedom.A “no” vote in the Parliament on Wednesday would kill the treaty as far as the European Union is concerned.Supporters say that ACTA _ the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement _ is needed to harmonize international standards to protect the rights of those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion goods and other products that often fall victim to piracy and intellectual property theft. Opponents say it would stifle free access to information.last_img read more

first_imgAMSTERDAM (AP) – TNT Express NV, the express delivery company that is awaiting approval from European regulators for a takeover by United Parcel Service, reported better second quarter earnings thanks to a significant reduction in losses at its Brazilian operations.Net profit was (EURO)40 million ($49.2 million), up from just (EURO)4 million in the same period a year ago, the company said Monday. Sales grew 1.7 percent to (EURO)1.83 billion, with volumes up in Europe. However, European profits fell due to business customers opting for cheaper options. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths UPS made its (EURO)5.2 billion, or (EURO)9.50 per share, bid for TNT in March. In July the European Commission said the deal would need closer examination. TNT repeated Monday it expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter. TNT shares closed at (EURO)8.812 Friday.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

first_imgAssociated PressPHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – Southeast Asian leaders plan to adopt a human rights declaration aimed at fighting torture and illegal arrests in a region notorious for violations, despite criticism that the pact falls short of international standards.Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are scheduled to formally adopt the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration on Sunday during the group’s annual summit in Cambodia, according to diplomats and documents obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday. 0 Comments   Share   Philippine diplomat Rosario Manalo, a key proponent, says it is significant that the region’s less democratic governments have embraced the declaration, which could have been torpedoed by any ASEAN member. The 10-nation group decides by consensus, meaning that even one objection could block a majority decision.“It’s not perfect but it’s a new benchmark for ASEAN,” Manalo said.However, more than 60 international rights group urged ASEAN leaders to postpone the adoption of the declaration and have it redrafted to correct flaws, including the removal of provisions that could limit rights in the name of “national security” or “public morality.”Phil Robertson of New York-based Human Rights Watch said the declaration “as written, does not meet international human rights standards and may, we fear, be used by ASEAN governments to justify violating rights.”U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay earlier expressed concerns that the nonbinding declaration was drafted without adequate public consultations.A final draft of the proposed declaration obtained by AP says “human rights and fundamental freedoms” could be limited “to meet the just requirements of national security, public order, public health, public safety, public morality.” Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Check your body, save your lifecenter_img ASEAN leaders would commit to promote and protect human rights, along with “democracy, rule of law and good governance” in a joint statement they would sign to launch the declaration. But provisions in the draft say rights could be limited for reasons of security, public order and morality, exceptions that were criticized by rights groups.The bloc’s human rights commission, which drafted the declaration, would work for “the full realization of human dignity and the attainment of a higher quality of life for ASEAN peoples,” the leaders would pledge in their statement.Founded in 1967 as an anti-communist bloc in the Cold War era, ASEAN has taken feeble steps to address human rights concerns in the vast region of 600 million people, adopting a charter in 2007 where it committed to uphold international law and human rights but retained a bedrock principle of not interfering in each other’s internal affairs _ a loophole that critics say helps member states commit abuses without consequence. In 2009, the group unveiled a commission that was tasked to promote human rights but deprived of power to investigate violations or go after abusers.ASEAN diplomats have called the declaration a milestone in the region despite its imperfections, saying it will help cement democratic reforms in countries such as Myanmar, which until recently has been widely condemned for its human rights record. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix It adds that the “realization of human rights must be considered in the regional and national context bearing in mind different political, economic, legal, social, cultural, historical and religious backgrounds.”Some of the groups welcomed the declaration’s opposition to rights violations such as human trafficking. It outlines many of the civil and political rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including prohibition of torture, arbitrary arrest and child labor.The ASEAN summit comes as the group has been set back by a rift over how to handle territorial disputes in the South China Sea involving four of its members and China.The long-simmering disputes are expected to be in the spotlight during the ASEAN meetings. President Barack Obama is to attend an East Asian Summit at the end of the meetings next week.___Associated Press writer Sopheng Cheang contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories last_img read more

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) – An international rights group condemned Gaza’s Hamas rulers Thursday for failing to investigate the public killing of seven Palestinian men accused of spying for Israel.A Hamas government spokesman called the condemnation “biased” and said the incident had been investigated.The Human Rights Watch condemnation comes the same day Hamas is ending an amnesty for suspected collaborators to turn themselves into authorities. A countdown on the Interior Ministry’s website shows the hours nearing zero. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories Gaza’s Interior Ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan said Hamas security forces would conduct large-scale arrests of suspected collaborators as soon as the weekslong amnesty period ended on Thursday evening.Hamas has executed six men for collaboration since seizing power of the territory in 2007, but 32 others were killed by Hamas gunmen without trials.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The New York-based Human Rights Watch said Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh promised an investigation after masked Hamas gunmen killed the suspects and dragged their bodies through the streets four months ago.“Hamas’s inability or unwillingness to investigate the brazen murders of seven men makes a mockery of its claims that it’s upholding the rule of law in Gaza,” said Sarah Leah Whitson of HRW.Some of the men were shot, tied to motorcycles and had their bodies dragged through the streets as bystanders spat and hurled shoes at the corpses. A note pinned to a nearby pole said they were killed by the Hamas military wing, the Qassam Brigades.The men were imprisoned by Gaza’s Hamas rulers, but it appeared they were handed over to the gunmen during a November bout of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants.Collaborators are widely loathed in Palestinian society, seen as people who undermine Palestinian efforts to achieve national liberation.Hamas government spokesman Ihab Ghussein said a committee had investigated the incident and submitted recommendations to the government, which he said were implemented. He would not say what those recommendations were. He said Human Rights Watch had not acted professionally in condemning Hamas without seeking further clarifications.last_img read more

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberians gathered in the streets of the capital on Monday to celebrate the end of the Ebola epidemic in this West African country.The festivities come after the World Health Organization declared over the weekend that Liberia was finally Ebola-free.More than 4,700 people died during the Ebola crisis in Liberia, the country hardest hit by the outbreak. Ebola continues to claim victims in Sierra Leone and Guinea, where health officials have had difficulty tracing new cases. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf closed the celebrations by recommitting herself to helping the governments and people of Sierra Leone and Guinea to overcome the disease.The effort to achieve that has already started. “We are going to intensify that effort because we know that until they are free, totally free, we are not free,” she said.The president of Togo along with guests from the African Union, Ghana and Nigeria also attended the Liberian event.Liberia’s Chief Justice Francis Korkpor called the Ebola crisis “an unprovoked attack on our nation that posed a serious threat to the survival of our existence.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes A woman holds a placard as she and others celebrate Liberia being an Ebola free nation in Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, May 11, 2015. Liberians are gathering in the streets of the capital to celebrate the end of the Ebola epidemic in this West African country. Monday’s festivities come after the World Health Organization declared over the weekend that Liberia was finally Ebola-free. (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh) Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving soberlast_img read more

first_imgET  084416-Dec-15Wed, Fri & SunDUR14:30ADD21:40ET738 ET  084516-Dec-15Wed, Fri & SunADD8:30DUR13:40ET738 Flight No.Eff DateFrequencyDept ArpDept TimeArvl ArpArrv TimeFleet Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 DreamlinerEthiopian Airlines, the largest and most profitable airline in Africa, is pleased to announce that it has started new services to Durban, the third destination in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town on December 16, 2015 as per the following schedule: Durban is the second largest metropolitan city and the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa. It is also one of the main tourism destinations in Africa because of the city’s warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches.Ethiopian Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “As a Pan-African airline working to bring Africa together and closer to the entire world, we are bullish on the prospects of continuous expansion of our reach in our home market Africa and beyond.“With continuous service to South Africa for over 22 years, this new and additional service will give passengers additional choice and flexibility by offering seamless and convenient connections thru our main hub in Addis to more than 90 destinations in five continents.”He added “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fellow Star Alliance partner, South African Airways, Dube Trade Port, ACSA, KZN’s Economic and Tourism Development departments for their relentless support to make this new operation a reality.”Ethiopian is global Pan-African global carrier serving more than 90 international destinations across 5 continents and operating the youngest fleet in Africa with less than the industry average of 5 years, including the B737 Next Generation with Sky Interior to African points, and the B787 Dreamliner’s, the B777-200LRs, the longest range commercial aircraft in activity and the B777-300 ER on its mid and long haul routes. Fly Ethiopian AirlinesSource = Ethiopian Airlineslast_img read more

first_imgroomsXML – Marriott Direct Connection roomsXML is proud to announce that we now have direct hotel connection to over 1000 Marriott International properties world wide.Marriott International is one of the leading global accommodation providers, with thousands of properties across 127 countries and territories. Founded as a family company over 90 years ago, Marriott instils the same family values to this day.With a strong ethical foundation, the company focuses on putting clients first, embracing change, and acting with integrity. This flows through, and is evident by the large number of staunchly loyal repeat guests, and high rating guest satisfaction.With dozens of brands under their guidance, Marriott focuses on each providing something unique at each property as follows:Luxury: the epitome of brands such as Ritz-Carlton, St Regis brand, and JW Marriott.Distinctive Luxury: Rare estates, or unique buildings make up some of the most unique experiences available, under brands such as Ritz-Carlton Reserve, The Luxury Collection, BVLGARI, W Hotels, and EditionPremium: providing sophisticated spaces and experiences under brands such as Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club, DeltaDistinctive Premium: Sophisticated design with brands such as Le Meridien, Westin and RenaissanceDistinctive Select: Covers many of the funky and modern hotels such as Aloft, and Moxy, providing a comfortable environment, with a progressive style.Collection: Luxurious and distinctive, these hand selected properties focused on design, craft, and hospitality. Includes Autograph Collection Hotels, Design Hotels.With over 1000 Marriott properties directly contracted, roomsXML, your clients will be treated like royalty.Providing the best 24/7 support in the industry, roomsXML can help your clients make memories, and to experience the best Marriott properties on the planet.Miami Beach: An iconic destination with visions of amazing beaches, bright colours, and Cuban food.roomsXML has 91 Marriott properties in MiamiSingapore: Way more than a stop over destination, spend a few days visiting Sentosa Island, the Orchard Rd shopping strip, or Universal Studios.roomsXML has 5 Marriott properties in SingaporeAmsterdam: Visit the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, or take a bike ride along the famous canals.roomsXML has 10 Marriott properties in Amsterdam roomsXML has over 96,000 properties worldwide. If you are unsure about which property to book, always check for the ‘Preferred’ logo next to the hotel; that means its been recommended by other Travel Agents. Thanks for Wikitravel for the tips.center_img roomsXML.comconnect today roomsXML.comdiscover more here Source = roomsxmllast_img read more

first_imgThe Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Annual Tourism Monitor 2016 revealed that destinations across Asia Pacific have recorded an aggregate of 570 million foreign arrivals in 2015. The aggregate annual growth rate was recorded as 4.1%. Out of 11 sub-regions, the annual growth rate of eight of them has surpassed the Asia Pacific average, ranging as high as 8.7% for Oceania and eight percent for Southeast Asia.Additional analysis has revealed an incremental increase of about 22.5 million additional foreign arrivals over that of 2014 with three-quarters of the gain in Asia. 21% of the additional volume was captured by the Americas followed by a four percent share by the Pacific.29 out of 40 destinations have reported positive gains in 2015 over that of 2014 with nine registering double-digit growth rates. Myanmar topped the list with a 52% rise followed by Japan with just over 47% year on year.Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, attributed the remarkable result to a number of changes brought about throughout the year, including the relaxation of visa requirements besides additional capacity into certain destinations. “The modification of visa regulations to allow for online visa processing and in a few destinations, the more complete liberalisation of the process itself, has validated those actions with stronger arrival rates. This has occurred without any compromise of the safety and security of those destinations. There is a lesson there for all of us that security and ease of access can work well together if given a chance,” he said.“Figures such as these show clearly that the dynamics of travel to and within the Asia Pacific region are changing. We need to be extremely flexible in dealing with these changes if we are to capitalise fully on these opportunities,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgRadisson Blu Faridabad, a newly opened five-star deluxe property in the city of Faridabad is home to an array of corporate sites and tourist destinations.The first five-star deluxe property of Faridabad, Radisson Blu is an upscale Business Hotel. Designed to accommodate and welcome modern and savvy travellers, Radisson Blu Faridabad has 124 contemporary rooms including six suites, the hotel promises to offer best-in-class services in the city. This location is even more attractive due to its proximity to a metro station which directly connects to South Delhi within 15–20 minutes.It is a perfect place for leisure travellers while they travel to Agra or the adjacent tourist destinations. The hotel boasts one of the largest banquet and convention venues in the city centre with facilities capable of accommodating up to 1,100 guests. State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, convention facilities, elegant banquet and free high-speed Internet enhance the productivity of corporate functions and customised dining and catering packages add a touch of ease to any business meeting.Situated in an industrial region just outside the capital city of New Delhi, Radisson Blu Faridabad offers a convenient location with five-star amenities that include an upscale gym, spa, swimming pool and a well-informed concierge service.last_img read more

first_imgWith the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones (GOT) being telecast, anticipation and excitement among its loyal fans is at an all-time high. The much loved and critically acclaimed HBO series is well known for its overarching plotlines, captivating mythos and fantastic, larger-than-life settings in exotic locations. As a result, a new kind of emerging tourism trend, i.e. ‘GOT Tourism’ has been gaining momentum over the last few years ever since the series first premiered, with a steady rise in Indian travellers keen to visit the locales and often re-enact the scenes belonging to their favourite characters. Thousands of Game of Thrones fans have been flocking to the real-life locations where the series was shot at, eager to be a part of the majestic experiences themselves.In light of season eight as well as this unique GOT Tourism trend, Thomas Cook India has observed a 30% surge in Indian millennial travellers opting for holidays to these exotic locations, including Northern Ireland, Croatia (which has also recently garnered immense popularity following the FIFA World Cup last year), Iceland, Spain, Scotland and Morocco. These destinations have witnessed strong uptake, especially with India’s Gen Z and millennial segments, also HNI (high net worth individuals) travellers, not just from metros but also from mini metros like Pune and Tier II and Tier III cities like Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.Today’s new age travellers/GOT fans are able to escape India’s sweltering summers by travelling to GOT’s cool locales and also relax at the beaches of islands where the series has been shot. Post airing of the season finale, it is expected that there will be a further surge in travel to GOT destinations, as fans reeling from the end of the series will look to experience the world it was shot in.last_img read more

first_img Agents & Brokers Company News Fannie Mae FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-07-11 Ryan Schuette Share July 11, 2011 444 Views Prudential Mortgage Venture Aims for $1B in CMBScenter_img in Origination, Servicing On Friday lending giant “”Prudential Mortgage Capital Company””:http://www3.prudential.com/businesscenter/realestate/pmcc/home/welcome.shtml announced a joint venture with “”Perella Weinberg Partners””:http://www.pwpartners.com/ that will allow the two companies to store and originate future commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS).[IMAGE]””Participation in the re-emerging CMBS market is critical to maintaining our leadership position in the commercial mortgage arena,”” David Twardock, president of “”Prudential Mortgage””:http://www3.prudential.com/businesscenter/realestate/pmcc/home/welcome.shtml, said in a statement. “”This is an excellent opportunity to leverage our national origination network and expand the financing options we provide for our borrowers.””We are proud of our relationship with “”Perella Weinberg””:http://www.pwpartners.com/ and look forward to working with them through this joint venture to better meet our clients’ needs,”” he said.According to the statement, “”Prudential Mortgage””:http://www3.prudential.com/businesscenter/realestate/pmcc/home/welcome.shtml will originate CMBS, then warehouse and securitize the loans via the joint feature before servicing them through Prudential Asset Resources, its commercial and multifamily servicer-arm. [COLUMN_BREAK]The venture creates new access to CMBS for borrowers, skipping the need for an entirely new CMBS warehouse.The statement held that the joint venture planned to create more than $1 billion a year in fixed-rate mortgages for a plethora of commercial properties. Third parties will accept and offer CMBS to new borrowers, and applications are available through “”Prudential Mortgage””:http://www3.prudential.com/businesscenter/realestate/pmcc/home/welcome.shtml loan officers. “”Prudential Mortgage’s””:http://www3.prudential.com/businesscenter/realestate/pmcc/home/welcome.shtml Richard Flohr, Sean Beggan, and Jean Baker will oversee the endeavor with David Schiff, Billy Jacobs, and Roger Nussenblatt from “”Perella Weinberg Partners””:http://www.pwpartners.com/.””Today’s announcement reflects our continued commitment to partnering with proven teams and businesses to provide specialty finance solutions to underserved capital markets,”” said David Schiff, partner at “”Perella Weinberg Partners””:http://www.pwpartners.com/ and portfolio manager of the asset-based value strategy. “”This joint venture, which unites two like-minded credit cultures, will leverage each entity’s core competencies to bring additional liquidity to borrowers and high-quality securities, secured by conservative underwriting on quality assets, to bond investors.””According to its Web site, “”Perella Weinberg Partners””:http://www.pwpartners.com/, a financial services firm, manages over $1 billion in equity capital via through an asset-based value strategy it founded in 2008.With some $65 billion in assets and 135 years in business, “”Prudential Mortgage””:http://www3.prudential.com/businesscenter/realestate/pmcc/home/welcome.shtml is a national commercial and multifamily mortgage lender that specializes in real estate finance products for “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/, “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/, and the “”Federal Housing Administration””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory.last_img read more

first_img Consumer sentiment climbed higher last month despite historically low conditions, with Americans by and large feeling more optimistic about housing, according to “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html.[IMAGE]In conducting its December National Housing Survey, the GSE polled 1,000 respondents with questions about the economy and housing conditions at large.The big picture? More Americans expect a better New Year for their financial circumstances, higher home prices and mortgage rates, and steadily improving conditions for the housing market. ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£December attitudes have rebounded from the lows seen during the debt ceiling debate and economic deterioration of [COLUMN_BREAK]Europe this past summer,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø “”Doug Duncan””:http://www.isurvived2011.com/on-the-panel/doug-duncan, VP and chief economist with Fannie Mae, said in a statement.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£There is marked improvement in consumer sentiment regarding the direction of the economy, personal finances, and future home price expectations,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø he added.The number of respondents agreeing with notions that economy is on the right track went up six percentage points to crest at 22 percent, compared with 69 percent for Americans who believe it is still on the wrong track.Forty percent of respondents predicted that their financial situations would improve over the next 12 months, a higher average than those in the negative for the first time since early 2011. By the same token, 21 percent of Americans said their income had grown significantly higher, reflecting a 5-percentage point shift upward.Housing-related issues drew more confidence. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed anticipate that home prices will appreciate by 0.8 percent over the next year, up from 0.2 percent in November, with 18 percent suggesting that home prices will decline by 4 percentage points and 52 percent offering that figures will stay flat.Of the respondents, 71 percent believe it is a good time to buy a new home, a move upward-bound by 3 percentage points since last month.Sixty-four percent reported wanting to buy their next home, while 31 percent wanted to rent their next homes. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Confidence Fannie Mae Fixed-Rate Mortgage Home Prices Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2012-01-09 Ryan Schuette January 9, 2012 449 Views center_img Americans Feel More Confident About Housing: Survey Sharelast_img read more

first_img Homebuilder confidence experienced a backslide this month, but hopes for home sales later this year remained high.The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index fell two points in the association’s February reading, coming in at 55 for the month, the group said Tuesday.The index gauges builder reports about current new single-family home sales, expected sales in the next six months, and traffic from prospective buyers. A reading above 50 shows builders have a largely positive view of the market.NAHB Chairman Tom Woods said February’s slight decline is “largely attributable to the unusually high snow levels across much of the nation,” which may have hampered buyer activity earlier in the month. That narrative is similar to a year ago, when the confidence gauge slipped to 46 on harsh weather conditions throughout the country.Two of the three index components dropped this month, with the measure of current sales conditions slipping one point to 61 and the gauge of buyer traffic falling off five points to 39. The component charting sales expectations didn’t move, holding at 60.Regionally, the Midwest posted the biggest drop in sentiment, lending weight to the group’s theory that weather played a role in dwindling confidence. The index for that region was down 10 points from January to 49.At the same time, the weather-battered Northeast saw a five-point pickup in builder confidence to a reading of 48. Robert Dietz, an economist for NAHB, said the story for that area “is probably an issue of levels.””The Northeast component is considerably lower than the Midwest, South, and West, so it did tick up,” Dietz said. “It began to rise late in the year last year, and so I think that cyclical effect is dominating the weather effect in that case.”Meanwhile, the South and West, which both have been left mostly unscathed by this month’s storms, held more or less steady at readings of 56 and 64, respectively.As far as the rest of the year goes, NAHB expects to see improvements in home sales activity as a number of factors come together to create a better buying environment.”Solid job growth, affordable home prices and historically low mortgage rates should help unleash growing pent-up demand and keep the housing market moving forward in the year ahead,” said the group’s chief economist, David Crowe. Confidence Homebuilders National Association of Home Builders New Home Sales 2015-02-17 Tory Barringer Homebuilder Sentiment Cools in February February 17, 2015 484 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Sharelast_img read more

first_img Experian Information Solutions Inc Home Equity Lines of Credit Loan Repayment 2015-05-29 Staff Writer Experian Information Solutions Inc., a global information services company, recently released its latest analysis on U.S. lending trends related to home-equity lines of credit (HELOC). The study found that HELOC loans that originated between 2005 and 2008, representing $265 billion, are outstanding and are nearing the end-of-draw repayment phase. This could create hardships for consumers and the entire industry.“This analysis is critical as we want to not only help lenders prepare and understand the payment stress of their borrowers, but also give consumers an opportunity to understand what the impact may be to their financial status and how to be better prepared for it,” said Michele Raneri, Experian’s VP of analytics and business development.When the HELOC period comes to a close, the loan terms will either advise consumers to enter a repayment program, which can be done over time, or pay off the entire loan in one lump sum or balloon payment, Experian says. The study also found that consumers that are nearing the end-of-draw on their HELOC loan are more likely to go delinquent, not only on these loans, but also on other forms of debt since the burden of repayment will increase monthly payments for the consumer.HELOCs encountered a large decline during the recession as many borrowers had little or no equity in their homes, but there is an upward trend showing that HELOCs have been increasing steadily since 2010. As of Q4 2014, originations are up 81 percent to $37.04 billion from $20.44 billion in the same quarter in 2010.“As home prices have rebounded in much of the country, we’re seeing the same trend with HELOCs,” Raneri said. “This could be a sign of the economy further recovering, yet there are still concerns about the prerecession HELOCs that are now in repayment and how that could negatively impact consumers and the economy as a whole.”Since their 1.81 percent high in 2009, HELOC delinquencies are down to prerecession levels, the study shows. The percentage of HELOCs that are in late-stage delinquency, 90–180 days past due, are down to 0.5 percent which is a positive sign for the industry. Between 2013 and 2014, there was a 307 percent increase in the number of 90-day delinquencies on HELOC loans for borrowers that were at their end-of-draw compared to 29 percent that were not end-of-draw.“With many consumers entering into this end-of-draw phase of their loan, financial institutions are reaching out to their customers to make sure they understand and are prepared for this change in their payment structure,” said Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian. “The financial services industry is providing education to help borrowers develop a plan to manage their payments. Consumers should take advantage of all of the credit education resources available to them to manage these payments effectively, along with the other financial commitments they have.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Servicing Study Reveals Impact of Payment Stress with Repayment of $265 Billion HELOCscenter_img May 29, 2015 588 Views Sharelast_img read more

first_img in Headlines, News, Servicing BSI Financial Services Core Servicing Management Team 2015-06-22 Staff Writer June 22, 2015 735 Views BSI Financial Services (BSI Financial) recently announced three new appointments to its management team so that the company can prepare for growth in its core servicing and related business lines. John Lawrence assumes the position of EVP and Chief Servicing Officer, Akshay Singh is named Managing Director for Strategy and Corporate Development, and Michael Whitfield is named VP for Loan Administration.John LawrenceMichael WhitfieldAkshay SinghJohn Lawrence is a 20-year veteran of the mortgage industry, BSI said. He joins BSI Financial after serving as SVP and portfolio manager for PIMCO, where he managed all aspects of loan trading operations, participated in capital development, and was responsible for operations that supported consumer, student and auto loan investments. Lawrence was also a managing director for PennyMac, where he developed a post-closing and servicing platform to host 20,000 loans and was responsible for PennyMac’s capacity planning and budgeting. He has also held key positions at Wells Fargo, IndyMac Bank, and Fremont Investment & Loan.Akshay Singh brings 15 years of experience in private equity, investment banking, and management consulting to his new BSI position. The company says that prior to joining BSI Financial he was a Principal of North Cove Partners, a private equity group that was spun out of Merrill Lynch Private Equity, where he managed private equity investments totaling more than $1 billion in value. He has also served on Boards of various public and private companies, including as a Board Director and member of the Audit and Compensation committees for Rexel and Euromedic, and as Board Director of Veninfotel.Michael Whitfield previously served as VP of Loan Administration for Rushmore Loan Management Services, leading key servicing functions that included payment processing, audit, tax and insurance tracking, loss drafts, and loan boarding. He has also held titles of VP, Servicer Compliance for 3Point Asset Management, Director of Loan Administration for PennyMac, and Assistant VP for Customer Service and Loan Administration for Fremont Investment & Loan.“We are pleased to be able to attract the talent we see as critical to achieving our growth and performance objectives,” said Gagan Sharma, President and CEO of BSI Financial. “These professionals solidify an already-strong management team and enable us to advance key initiatives that include ongoing process modernization, compliance readiness and business expansion.”center_img BSI Financial Aims to Expand Management by Recruiting Three New Executives Sharelast_img read more

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, News Freddie Mac Housing Market Mortgage Rates U.S. Housing 2016-07-12 Seth Welborn Recent international market blockbusters like China’s slowing economy and the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union were significant enough for Freddie Mac to revise what it had expected to happen in the U.S. economy through the end of next year, but the GSE says the turbulence abroad has created a highly buyer-friendly mortgage market.Freddie Mac’s latest monthly outlook report, released Tuesday, stated that slowing growth in China and the June Brexit vote have played a major role in driving down mortgage rates. In the most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.41 percent, just slightly above the all-time record low.“This,” the outlook report stated, “is likely to result in a boost in housing activity, particularly refinance, as homeowners take advantage of the current low rates.”Troubles overseas should also keep mortgage rates near historic lows, thereby allowing mortgage originations to surpass 2015’s level, the report stated.“The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will likely keep the fed funds target rate increase on hold until at least the end of the year or even early next year,” Freddie Mac stated. “In its June meeting, the FOMC decided to keep the fed funds rate unchanged following a weaker than expected employment report for May as well as continued uncertainty in the global financial markets. Furthermore, following the results of the Brexit vote in late June, the Fed will likely continue to express caution before easing monetary accommodations.”According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage forecast has been revised down for both 2016 (by 30 basis points) and 2017 (by 50 basis points) to 3.6 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.“Based on these low mortgage rates, expect the refinance share of originations to rise to 49 percent for 2016, 8 percentage points above last month’s forecast,” the report stated. “This translates to about $100 billion more in originations, bringing the total for 2016 to $1,825 billion.”The overall outlook is bolstered by June’s much-improved employment report.“Expect unemployment to average 4.9 percent in 2016 and 4.8 percent in 2017,” Freddie Mac reported.The house price appreciation forecast for 2016 remains at 5 percent, and at 4 percent for 2017. Foreign Troubles Create Robust Buyers’ Market In U.S.center_img July 12, 2016 627 Views Sharelast_img read more

first_img Home Prices Housing Supply 2016-11-09 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Prospective homebuyers faced a challenging housing market during the third quarter, mostly due to ongoing inventory shortages that are resulting in a faster rate of home price appreciation, according to a quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) covering the third quarter.In Q3, the median price nationwide for existing single-family homes was $240,900, which was a year-over-year increase of 5.2 percent and a new peak quarterly median sales price—just $200 above Q2’s peak of $240,700.The median price also rose at a slightly faster over-the-year rate in Q3 compared to the rate in Q2 (5.2 percent compared to 4.9 percent), according to NAR. In all, 87 percent of metros measured (155 out of 178) showed increases in their median existing-home price for the third quarter compared to a year ago. Twenty-five of the metros experienced double-digit rates of home price appreciation in Q3.“Mortgage rates around historical lows and solid local job creation created a winning formula for sustained homebuying demand all summer long,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Unfortunately for house hunters in several of the top job producing metro areas around the country, deficient supply levels limited their options and drove prices higher—especially in markets in the West and South.”A persistent shortage of existing homes for sale drove the faster rates of home price appreciation, according to NAR. At the end of Q3, there were 2.04 million existing homes for sale, which is down by 6.8 percent from Q3 2015 (2.19 million). Average supply in Q3 was also down over-the-year from 4.9 months to 4.6 months.The short supply also resulted in a slight slippage of existing-home sales, according to NAR. Existing homes sold at an annual rate of 5.38 million, down by 2.2 percent from the second quarter and by 0.4 percent over-the-year.“After climbing to their highest annual pace in over nine years in June, sales sputtered in the third quarter because inventory could not catch up with what was being quickly sold,” said Yun. “Only a decent rebound in September kept the monthly and annual sales declines from being even larger.”NAR’s analysis for the third quarter also showed that seven of the 10 most expensive housing markets were located in the West, led by San Jose, where the median home price surpassed $1 million for the second straight quarter. Headwinds Descending on Housing Marketcenter_img November 9, 2016 660 Views Sharelast_img read more

first_imgTravelport Worldwide Limited has announced its financial results for the first quarter ended 31 March, 2017, reporting a ‘particularly strong performance in Asia Pacific’, according to Gordon Wilson, President and CEO of Travelport.Mr Wilson said Asia Pacific is “… the world’s fastest growing and largest travel region, where we grew our air market share and saw our highest level of quarterly revenue growth for over five years.”The company reported a net revenue increase of 7% to $651 million and net income increase to $56 million for the Quarter.Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform revenue increased 7%, with revenue growth across all regions and air revenue also increased 7% to $474 million, primarily driven by strong market growth and seasonal effects.“… I am delighted that our leadership positions in airline content and merchandising, hospitality, mobile commerce and commercial payments are translating into greater revenue from existing customers, as well as new business wins across multiple geographies. We continue to invest in implementing these new wins, as well as in new product and capability extensions that will expand our focused areas of market leadership and support future growth. Given our positive start to the year, we are confident in our outlook for 2017 and expect our full year earnings and cash flow to come in towards the higher end of our guidance ranges.” Travelportlast_img read more

first_imgHilton has announced the launch of Motto by Hilton, its newest affordable lifestyle brand. Hilton says that, approaches its 100th anniversary, it continues to pioneer the hospitality landscape with a new brand to address the needs and desires of the evolving global traveller.“Hilton prides itself on being a leader in the hospitality industry and evolving with the needs of our guests,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton. “Innovation is in our DNA, and as we embark on our 100th year as a company, we are innovating more than ever before. With Motto by Hilton, we are bringing to market something the industry has never experienced with its flexible and affordable room product, desirable locations and guest-empowered service.”Motto by Hilton is a micro-hotel with an urban vibe in prime global locations.Hilton evaluated the emerging lifestyle hostel model globally to understand the opportunity to enhance the shared room concept. But, extensive research showed that travellers who stay in hostels, in fact, do not like rooming with strangers and often book just with their friends or family. They want more from their hostel experience but are limited by current options in the market.As it evaluated the existing market, Hilton understood that what these travellers wanted was an affordable urban lifestyle brand – one that combined comfort and accessibility with travel and lifestyle trends that centred around:Prime Locations: It’s about giving travellers access to the best location – being in the heart of the city and in the most popular neighbourhoods. Right neighbourhoods make a difference.Authenticity: What does it mean to be “here”? Locality breeds identity, community, and ultimately, a sense of place.Affordability: Competitive rates that open the doors to cities and locations that travellers didn’t think they could afford.Flexibility: One size doesn’t fit all — choice is paramount. Multi-purpose spaces are growing in popularity because of the flexibility they afford.Guest Rooms: With an average footprint of 163 square feet or 14 square meters, the highly efficient rooms will include space-saving features such as wall-beds, lofted beds, segmented shower and toilet stalls, and multi-functional furniture that can be discreetly stowed when not in use.Linking Rooms: Eliminating the hassle of coordinating travel for larger groups, Motto by Hilton hotels will have the option for guests to book multiple connecting rooms in advance.Split-payments: Motto by Hilton hotels will allow guests to split payments between more than one person at the time of booking, avoiding the sometimes-complicated math exercise during checkout.Connected Room: All Motto by Hilton rooms will be outfitted with Hilton’s Connected Room technology – the first mobile-centric hotel offering that allows guests to control features in their room (i.e., temperature, lighting, TV, window coverings, etc.) from their Hilton Honors mobile app.Curated Sleep Experience: Motto by Hilton hotels will put an emphasis on a premium sleep experience. Whether it is a premium mattress; a Sleep Kit with eye masks, essential oils or vitamin bars; a white noise app; blackout window shades; or sound absorbing materials throughout the room, Motto by Hilton is sleep-obsessed and prioritises quality sleep for every traveller.“The launch of Motto by Hilton emphasises our relentless commitment to creating innovative brands that meet what today’s travellers want,” said Phil Cordell, global head of new brand development, Hilton. “The unmatched flexibility of Motto offers tremendous value by empowering travellers to tailor every stay to their specific needs.” HiltonhotelsMotto by Hiltonlast_img read more

first_imgairlinesqantasThird Quarter FY19 The Qantas Group has delivered revenue growth in the third quarter of FY19 and says it remains on track to fully offset the impact of significantly higher fuel costs compared with last year. Total revenue between 1 January and 31 March 2019 grew by 2.3 per cent to $4.4 billion and Group Unit Revenue was up by 4 per cent.Qantas’ overall market share of corporate travel revenue increased by 2.5 percentage points in the quarter to its highest level in three years, despite a net reduction in capacity. Market share of small-to-medium business travel continued to grow, assisted by initiatives from Qantas Loyalty.Group International Unit Revenue increased by 6.2 per cent, with a particularly robust performance by Qantas International. Network changes drove revenue performance, as did competitor capacity reductions on long haul routes in response to higher fuel costs, which in-turn led to increased market share for Qantas International.Performance of Jetstar’s international services was heavily impacted by the timing of Easter and school holidays, with a significant amount of demand shifting to April. Despite this, Unit Revenue continued to grow. The broader Jetstar Group saw an 8 per cent increase in ancillary revenue per passenger in the third quarter, supported by new luggage options and Club Jetstar membership.Qantas Loyalty continued to see strong revenue growth from the Frequent Flyer program as well as its other businesses, including Qantas Money and Qantas Insurance. There are several initiatives to be announced in the fourth quarter that will continue to support Loyalty’s performance, with earnings growth of 7-10 per cent expected for the second half of FY19.Qantas and Melbourne Airport have also reached an agreement for the sale of the airline’s domestic terminal, and the airline has secured future access to Terminal 1 for $355 million, of which $276 million will be received in cash in this financial year, with the remaining value to be accrued in future periods.The transaction includes a 10-year access agreement for Terminal 1 with all aeronautical and retail assets transferring to Melbourne Airport. Qantas retains exclusive access to Terminal 1, including lounges, for domestic services. Options to operate some international flights from Terminal 1 outside of peak domestic times will be assessed.While the proceeds from this sale will be accounted for in FY19, the gain will be excluded from Underlying Profit Before Tax and, as advised at 1H19, contained within the Group’s net capital expenditure guidance.last_img read more