Menu

Solomon Airlines SIVB join forces to stage major Australian tou

0 Comment

first_imgSolomon Airlines & SIVB join forces to stage major Australian tourism pushSolomon Airlines and the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau have combined resources to stage what represents one of the biggest ever Solomon Islands tourism promotions staged in Australia. Intended to play a two edge role in promoting both the national carrier’s soon to commence Sydney-Honiara direct service and also encouraging Australians to holiday in the Solomon Islands, a six week Sydney media campaign combining print, radio and online media kicks off this week. The road show got off to a cracking start on Monday night when more than 40 of Queensland’s senior travel management, Brisbane media guests and VIPs crowded into Brisbane’s Hotel Urban on Monday night to meet the combined airline and national tourist office team. Dignitaries in attendance included the Solomon Islands High Commission’s Ms Jenny Barile, and Solomon Islands community representative Miller Apusi.SIVB chairman Wilson Ne’e, SIVB CEO Josefa Tuamoto, Solomon Airlines head office marketing division manager Colin Sigimanu and Solomon Airlines’ regional director Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Victor Sharan also attended the event. Target audience for the NSW media campaign is 4.5 million Sydneysiders and a further close on 700,000 people residing in Wollongong, the Blue and the Central Coast.An estimated 200,000 motorists are also expected to hear the promotion every day on their car radios while commuting from Wollongong, the Central Coast and the Blue Mountains to Sydney during the campaign.The radio campaign also offers listeners the opportunity to win one of 10 Solomon Island holidays for two while the print media advertising – plus a giant billboard located at Sydney domestic airport – will promote special holiday packages.The airline and national tourist office are adding further profile to the promotion via a series of top level media, travel industry and consumer events taking place in Sydney, Parramatta, Wollongong, and Gosford.Highlights of each event will be performances given by the Hageulu Panpipers from Isabel Province.The group will also perform on Sydney’s famous Circular Quay in front of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as at one of the biggest shopping malls in Sydney, Westfield Parramatta, which attracts some 800,000 shoppers on a weekly basis.Pictured – the SIVB team at the Brisbane event. From left, marketing manager Freda Unusi; information officer, Alice Afia, Australian marketing officer, Stella Lucas and CEO, Jo Tuamoto. Source = Mike Parker-Brown PR SIVB/Solomon Airlineslast_img read more

Thailand launches new 6month visas for tourists

0 Comment

first_imgSource = Andrew J Wood Thailand Tourist Visa Andrew J WoodThailand launches new 6-month visas for touristsThailand’s new six-month, multiple-entry tourist visas will become available November 13, but will limit stays to 60 days at a time.The Foreign Ministry told all embassies, consulate-generals and honorary consuls worldwide to begin preparing for the visas, regulations for which were approved by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in August and published in the Royal Gazette in September.The ministry publicly released details of the new visas on its Facebook page today (Sept 22) the Bangkok Post reported.Unlike current tourist visas, which offer from one to three entries, the six-month multiple-entry visa will allow unlimited border crossings during the validity period. However, to prevent foreigners from basically living in Thailand on tourist visas, each entry will be limited to 60 days.The new multiple-entry visa will cost B5,000, versus B1,000 for a single-entry, 60-day visa, which can be extended in-country for up to 30 days for an additional fee.Amid the immigration crackdown that followed August’s Erawan shrine bombing, immigration agents on the Cambodian border and in Kanchanaburi have reportedly stopped even those travellers with valid tourist visas from immediately leaving the country and re-entering to activate additional entries.The same border crossings had already stopped issuing additional 15- and 30-day visa-waiver stamps to “border runners” not holding tourist visas.It’s unknown if the border problems currently plaguing tourist-visa holders will continue into November when the new six-month visas become available. But the tourism and foreign ministries are eager to get the new travel documents up and running to spur tourism, which was impacted by last month’s bombings.Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said earlier that officials hope the new visa “will promote Thailand as a destination for weekend vacations and that business people will visit Thailand more often.”Thailand has set a target of 28.8 million tourists this year, up from 24.7 million last year. The sector accounts for about 12 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.Last month’s Erawan shrine bombing is estimated to have cut the number of expected tourists by 1.33 million and cost the country B64 million in tourism revenue.Many visitors used the previous border runs to cheaply and quickly extend their stays in Thailand and some to work illegally without work permits. Visit Thailandlast_img read more

Royal Jordanian and Qatar Airways offer passengers even more

0 Comment

first_imgRoyal Jordanian and Qatar Airways offer passengers even moreRoyal Jordanian and Qatar Airways offer passengers even moreRoyal Jordanian and Qatar Airways have announced an expansion of their current code-share agreement, which will add six new destinations to Royal Jordanian’s network. RJ will enhance Qatar Airways’ network with the addition of flights from Amman to Doha, furthering the existing Qatar Airways code-share on Royal Jordanian operated flights to Doha.Royal Jordanian customers will have access to more destinations on Qatar Airways global network such as, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Muscat in Oman, Karachi in Pakistan, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Perth in Australia, and Singapore, subject to regulatory approvals.This expansion will open up 18 weekly flights between Doha and Amman, in addition to numerous new connections from the award-winning Hamad International Airport.Royal Jordanian President/CEO Captain Suleiman Obeidat said: “We are pleased to cooperate with Qatar Airways, a renowned partner in the oneworld airline alliance. In joining forces with Qatar Airways, we are able to extend our customer experience beyond our existing destination network, to include several new destinations around the world.RJ is a pioneer and leading airline in the Levant, serving the passengers of the region to reach further destinations through our code-share partner.”Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: “By partnering with Royal Jordanian, we are opening up the world to passengers travelling from Amman through Doha. Our code-share agreement enables Royal Jordanian to benefit from connectivity to some of our most popular routes, including Perth and Singapore amongst our more than 150 worldwide destinations. We welcome the partnership with Royal Jordanian, and look forward to seeing our collaboration flourish in the years to come.”Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian launched the code share agreement in August 2015.Doha-Amman schedule:QR 401 departs AMM at 21:15; arrives DOH at 23:55 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)QR 403 departs AMM at 12:35; arrives DOH at 15:15 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday)QR 400 departs DOH at 16:55; arrives AMM at 19:45 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)QR 402 departs DOH at 08:15; arrives AMM at 11:05 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday)RJ 646 departs AMM at 09:00; arrives DOH at 11:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)RJ 650 departs AMM at 02:40; arrives DOH at 05:10 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday)RJ 647 departs DOH at 12:30; arrives AMM at 15:20 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)RJ 651 departs DOH at 07:00; arrives AMM at 09:45 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday Book Royal Jordanian hereSource = Royal Jordanianlast_img read more

Viking launches two new high end longships

0 Comment

first_imgViking launches two new high end longshipsViking launches two new high end longshipsViking Cruises today launched two new additions, Viking Hild and Viking Herja, to its fleet of currently 64 river vessels. Viking Hild will sail the Rhine River from April on Viking’s Paris to the Swiss Alps itinerary, and later this year both new ships will sail Viking’s popular Danube Waltz and Rhine Getaway itineraries.The new ships integrate cutting-edge technology that reflects current travel trends and guest preferences for more spacious and open interiors. Accommodating 190 guests in 95 staterooms, Viking Longships have a patented layout that allows for two Explorer Suites – the largest river cruise suites in Europe, as well as seven two-room Veranda Suites; 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas; and 22 French Balcony Staterooms. Additionally, all Viking Longships have had sustainability upgrades, such as onboard solar panels, organic herb gardens and energy-efficient hybrid engines.“We are thrilled to launch two new ships to the river cruising market. Since we debuted the Viking Longships, we have amassed consumer and industry acclaim including recognition from Cruise Critic,” said Michelle Black, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand. “All our river ships are designed with our guests’ comfort in mind, offering sleek Scandinavian design and an abundance of space and natural light.”The christening of the two new ships marks another year of impressive growth for Viking. The company launched its third ocean ship, Viking Sky, in February and will add a fourth ocean ship, Viking Sun, in November. By 2019, Viking will have a fleet of six ocean ships and will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line.For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 (Australia) and 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.auTo join the Viking Cruises community online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruisesAUNZ Source = Viking Cruiseslast_img read more

Germanys hotel industry recognises SiteMinder with prestigious

0 Comment

first_imgSiteMinder-Top hotel Star Award presentationGermany’s hotel industry recognises SiteMinder with prestigious awardThe global hotel industry’s leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, has again been recognised as a provider of one of the best products in Germany’s ever-growing hotel market. SiteMinder was yesterday announced a recipient of its third consecutive Top hotel Star Award, as voted on by readers of Germany’s most widely-circulated trade publication, Top hotel, for its online distribution platform, The Channel Manager.The Channel Manager placed bronze in the ‘online’ category, as revealed during the third day of INTERNORGA in Hamburg.Speaking on the goal of the awards, Top hotel editor Thomas Karsch said, “When hotel guests review their stay in a hotel, they first think of the friendliness and readiness of the hotel staff when assessing the quality of that hotel’s service. The hardware at the hotel, including its facilities and equipment, are frequently unnoticed or presumed (to be self-evident).”For more than 10 years, The Channel Manager has served hotels globally as the leading cloud-based platform for managing a hotel’s availability, rates and inventory in real-time. The Channel Manager provides two-way connectivity between 350 distribution channels and more than 200 property management systems, central reservation systems and revenue management systems to maximise a hotel’s online reach, minimise overbookings, and lower costs of acquiring guests.The product leads SiteMinder’s solutions in generating more than 43.5 million reservations and over US$16 billion in revenue each year for 24,000 hotels globally.Among these hotels is the DORMERO Hotels group, which implemented The Channel Manager in 2015 to support its plan of doubling in size by the end of the decade.Max Herbst, head of revenue management at DORMERO Hotels, today says, “The power SiteMinder’s Channel Manager gives to us to access both local and global markets is unsurpassed, and it’s the reason it is the leader in the market today. Supported by the company’s local customer service, SiteMinder’s Channel Manager has empowered our hotel business to increase year-on-year room nights by 45 percent and year-on-year revenue by 33 percent, while significantly reducing the cost of acquiring guests. We congratulate SiteMinder for this well-deserved win.”The annual Top hotel Star Award also recognises suppliers from 13 other categories, including food & beverage, design and service. More than 100 suppliers were nominated this year to attract more than 4,000 votes in total.About SiteMinderAs the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.SiteMinder’s products include The Channel Manager, the industry’s leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, the real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world’s major GDSs. With more than 24,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry’s top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.Source = SiteMinderlast_img read more

Beyond Travel Group on the move

0 Comment

first_imgBeyond Travel Group on the moveContinued growth means Beyond Travel Group has outgrown its Surry Hills headquarters and will move to a new address in Sydney’s CBD on February 24.The company – which includes Beyond Travel, Cruise Croatia, Cruise Russia, and Sri Lanka, India & Beyond – will relocate to suite 207 at 83 York Street in the Sydney city centre with the move set for Saturday to minimise disruption to the company’s valued trade partners.All email addresses and phone numbers will remain the same with info@beyondtravel.com.au and 1300 363 554 the general points of contact.Beyond Travel Group’s general manager of sales and marketing Bryce Crampton says it’s the recent addition of four new staff members in sales and reservations, welcomed to the team to guarantee trade support, which prompted the change in premises.“We’ve long been the experts in Eastern European travel but in the past year we’ve expanded the specialists on staff to include India and Sri Lanka as well as an increased focus on cruising in Croatia and Russia,’’ he says.“And because we don’t plan to stop there, and are responding to more inquiries than ever with the majority morphing into bookings, we decided now was the time to leave our much-loved home in Surrey Hills for York Street.’’Source = Beyond Travel Grouplast_img read more

Abecrombie Kent – New brochure Latin America

0 Comment

first_imgAbecrombie & Kent – New brochure: Latin AmericaAbecrombie & Kent – New brochure: Latin AmericaThis is A&K’s largest Latin America portfolio yet and is full of new ways to travel in the New World, journeys filled with ancient sites and modern sounds, extraordinary landscapes, unique wildlife, mesmerising cultures, histories, myth and magic unmatched anywhere else in the world. With designer hotels and eco-lodges, sprawling estancias, glamorous high-altitude lodgings, luxury trains and small ships – the possibilities are endless.A&K’s Latin America Product Manager Brett Lemish travelled extensively in the vast continent-and-a-half to create the new portfolio, working alongside A&K’s local experts in the company’s six Latin American offices, and with the team of Latin America travel specialists in its own Australian office.Lemish says, “Latin America is truly another world. There are dramatic landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see – mountains, rainforests, glaciers, high deserts, salt plains and endless pampas. Some of the most biodiverse regions and ecosystems on Earth. So many sophisticated, intriguing, captivating cities. Incredible food, and cultural diversity too, with the common thread through it all the warmth of the people. It’s a marvellous place to travel at any time, and when you add the calibre of accommodation and experiences that A&K can access, it goes to the next level entirely.”With A&K’s local networks, expert guides and support on the ground, A&K can arrange special access to events, experiences and encounters, putting its travellers in the front seat or taking them behind the scenes.Because A&K recognises that many of its guests like to handcraft their own journeys and direct their own experiences, the new portfolio provides a wealth of ideas and suggestions of ways to travel and places to combine which may be the roads less travelled or the less obvious cultural attractions. For example, a 25- day odyssey through Chile, Peru, Brazil and Uruguay may involve meeting local winemakers, exploring Inca ruins and discovering Rio’s Carnival culture and Brazilian beaches and maybe exploring colonial architecture in Peru and savouring typical cuisine in Uruguay. There are no fixed days, dates or prices; all quotes are managed on a bespoke basis.The core feature in this portfolio is the private journey offering of which there are 18 presented in detail. New amongst these is the 15-day Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness which takes travellers to a ranch at the end of the world, on an unforgettable glacier hike, and five days cruising through the Patagonian fjords aboard Ventus Australis. Prices start from $16,385 per person.Also new is the 12-day Chile & Ecuador: Nature’s Wonderland which introduces Santiago, its colonial neighbourhoods and museums, the breath-taking landscapes and outdoor adventures of the Atacama Desert and the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands aboard luxury mega-catamaran Endemic. Prices start from $19,235 per person.Wonders of Peru & Brazil is an extraordinary 19-day journey which captures the must-see attractions in both countries from Lima, Machu Picchu and Cusco to Iguazú Falls, Rio and more. Important monuments, mesmerising scenery and two of the continents most iconic rail journeys are highlights and accommodation and rail travel comes from the connoisseurs at Belmond with a two-night journey on Belmond Andean Explorer from Cusco to Arequipa a core feature. Prices from $18,995 per person.Uruguay is a new destination for 2019 and it’s delightfully unspoiled. With a rugged coastline and idyllic rural scenery, a rich colonial heritage and abundant fresh produce, travellers can experience it all in five days on A&K’s ‘Undiscovered Uruguay’ tasting the best wines, savouring local delicacies in neighbourhood eateries and encountering artisans and musicians in workshops and studios. Prices from $2,895 per person.Also new for 2019 are bite-size enhancements attached to each journey, which are little add-ons to enrich the experience in a destination. For example, it’s an invitation for travellers in the Argentinian capital to see the city through the eyes of a street artist. Or at Iguazú, to take to the air in a helicopter for a bird’s eye view of the thundering waterfalls.In Bolivia’s remote Uyuni salt flats, to bed down in a super luxe Air Stream camper complete with gourmet chef. Or to meet a famous Colombian sommelier for a rum tasting like no other.There are also a multitude of suggested extensions, which are shorter itineraries that can be tacked on to another to add another dimension or round off a stay. They are generally designed for less than a week to one destination and with one main focus, for example a beach hideaway, a jungle adventure or a vineyard experience. The four-day ‘Wineries of Mendoza’ combines well with journeys in Argentina, Chile and Brazil and is priced from $1,545 per person.The portfolio also lists an extensive collection of A&K’s Latin America accommodation partners from Belmond, Relais & Châteaux, Tierra and Inkaterra to The Singular and Four Seasons plus a multitude of boutique affiliates like Hotel Sazagua, Legado Mitico, Alto Atacama, Eolo and more.Source = Abecrombie & Kentlast_img read more

Vienna reports a growth in tourism arrivals in the capital

0 Comment

first_imgThe Austrian capital, Vienna, has registered 6.3 million visitor overnight stays between January and June – an increase of 5.4% for the same period the previous year.According to the data released by the Vienna Tourist Board, the capital’s top five source markets in the first half of 2015 were Germany with 1,283,000 bed nights (a 6% growth in the same period the previous year), followed by Austria (1,243,000, up by 7%), the USA (348,000, up by 9%), Italy (328,000, up by 13%), and the UK (237,000, up by 11%).“Vienna demonstrated its tourist attraction in the first half of 2015 with an increase of 5.4% to some 6,330,000 visitor overnights,” said Norbert Kettner, the Director of the Vienna Tourist Board.Vienna also reported surprisingly strong growth, compared to 2014, from South Korea (86,000 overnights, +29%), Serbia (79,000, +25%), Turkey (71,000, +28%), India (40,000, +41%) and Taiwan (36,000, +57%).With the expansion of hotel accommodation in Vienna between June 2014 and June 2015 – an increase of 3,700 to 63,800 beds – room occupancy rose from 65% to 66% over the same period.last_img read more

Dubai Tourism partners with Shah Rukh Khan to promote Dubai

0 Comment

first_imgDubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced a new collaboration with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan that would comprise of a series of short films, in which the actor would unravel the secrets of Dubai, offering his fans a chance to see the city through the star’s eyes.The project aims to appeal to the fans of the actor from across the globe, giving them the opportunity to explore the city and its many offerings.Shah Rukh Khan commented, “Dubai is a second home to me… Whether I am here on vacation with my family and friends or my many business trips here for shoots, it’s a city that I truly relate to on so many levels – driven, passionate and spirited. And I can’t wait to take my fans and fellow travellers from around the world on an unexpected discovery of a city that I love. This new collaboration with Dubai Tourism is exciting and one that I am personally very passionate about.”The series of short films, which is slated to be released across various Dubai Tourism channels in December, would kick-start a year-long campaign of multiple Dubai Tourism projects in collaboration with Bollywood.Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, “We are delighted to partner with Shah Rukh Khan for this special project, which highlights Dubai’s diverse offerings that cater to every type of traveller. We look forward to exploring Shah Rukh’s strong connection with Dubai and sharing his unique experience with a global audience. These upcoming collaborations with the Bollywood industry will reinforce the strong role India has played in our city’s evolution and further fortify our bond.”last_img read more

Survey Americans Still Want to Own Homes

0 Comment

first_img A recent national survey finds that approximately three in every four Americans regard home ownership as an important investment and want to own homes.[IMAGE]The survey, conducted by “”Lake Research Partners””:http://www.lakeresearch.com/ and “”Public Opinion Strategies””:http://pos.org/, polled 2,000 likely 2012 voters in May. Participants included homeowners, renters, and young adults living at home with their parents.The findings “”[speak] pretty clearly about the enduring value of home ownership among Americans,”” said Neil Newhouse, partner and founder at Public Opinion Strategies, over a conference call organized by the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.com/.””Despite the ups and downs of the housing market, homeowners consider owning a home to be a central part of the American dream,”” Newhouse added.””Americans still see owning a home as one of the best investments they can make,”” said Bob Nielsen, “”NAHB’s””:http://www.nahb.com/ chairman. [COLUMN_BREAK]In response to a question that asked participants to rank their priorities, 74 percent of respondents rated home ownership just below paying off their debt, saving enough for retirement, and being successful at work. Despite the recent housing crisis and perceptions of risk in housing markets, 75 percent of the participants agreed that owning a home is worth the risk.When asked what they considered to be their best investment, 36 percent of survey participants identified their homes as the most important. Sixty-seven percent of participants who identified themselves as renters “”strongly agreed”” that owning a home is the best long-term investment.Participants from all age groups also agreed that owing a home is the best long-term investment, with 79 percent of those aged 18-34 “”agreeing”” with 79 percent of those aged 65 and above.Ninety-five percent of participants who identified themselves as homeowners said they were “”happy”” with their decisions to own a home, the survey finds. The survey found that 2 in 1 Americans who owe more on their homes agreed that home ownership is worth the risk, despite the perception of risk in the housing market.Nearly three-fourths, or 74 percent, of those who do not own a home also said that it is a goal of theirs to buy one.””There’s a reason for that ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô Americans are optimists,”” said Celinda Lake, president of “”Lake Research Partners””:http://www.lakeresearch.com/. “”By a 2-to-1 margin, they say it’s worth a risk despite the ups and downs of the housing market.””Thirty-one percent of participants reported that saving for a down payment and closing costs presented the biggest obstacles to home ownership. Agents & Brokers Lenders & Servicers 2011-06-07 Ryan Schuette June 7, 2011 483 Views Survey: Americans Still Want to Own Homescenter_img in Data Sharelast_img read more

Blueberry Systems Announces New IT Executives

0 Comment

first_imgNew,Blueberry Systems Announces New IT Executives “”Blueberry Systems, LLC””:http://www.blueberrysystems.com/, a Colorado-based mortgage and financial service technology provider, announced two new additions to its executive team.[IMAGE]Sharon Kenney joined Blueberry Systems as director of IT governance. She has more than three decades of IT experience, previously servicing at Aurora Bank as assistant VP of IT governance for more than 10 years. Prior to that, she was a technical communications manager for First American Nationwide Documents. In addition, she was owner and technical communications consultant for DataScribe for more than five years, specializing in technical writing, software documentation, [COLUMN_BREAK]and business writing services for corporate clients and government agencies.””Blueberry Systems continues to be at the forefront of mortgage technology,”” Kenney said. “”I’m honored to be a part of their team and I look forward to all the great things we have planned for the industry.””In addition, the company has brought on Richard Jones as director of IT infrastructure. Jones has more than 15 years of IT experience, having served previously as CIO for Pinal County, Arizona. Prior to that, he was IT operations director for First Magnus for nearly a decade, where he provided technology leadership and management of technology systems and services. “”Blueberry Systems is dedicated to helping mortgage lenders succeed by solving their day-to-day problems as well as their long-term, strategic challenges,”” Jones said. “”I’m thrilled to be a part of it and part of such a first class team.””””We understand that who you do business with matters, making it imperative that we recruit the very best,”” said Wil Armstrong, a founder and CEO of Blueberry Systems. “”We are a close-knit and tightly-focused team that seeks to add real and demonstrable value to our customers. We’re confident Sharon and Richard will play a critical role in helping us maintain that dedication.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Sharecenter_img January 25, 2013 397 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-01-25 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Prospective Homebuyers Favor Low Down Payments Fixed Rates

0 Comment

first_imgProspective Homebuyers Favor Low Down Payments, Fixed Rates Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Demand Home Prices Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers LendingTree Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2013-06-20 Krista Franks Brock June 20, 2013 401 Views A plurality of prospective homebuyers responding to an industry survey anticipate down payments of less than 15 percent when they purchase a new home. Forty-four percent of respondents anticipate low down payments of no more than 15 percent, while 34 percent foresee paying between 15 and 24 percent of purchase price at closing. [IMAGE]Nineteen percent say they will put down more than 25 percent of their home purchase price when the purchase their next home, according to the survey conducted this May by Research Data Technology on behalf of Charlotte, North Carolina-based “”LendingTree.””:https://www.lendingtree.com/ Data was collected from 600 people planning to purchase a new home sometime in the next year. About 57 percent or respondents will be first-time homebuyers. When it comes to the type of mortgage prospective homebuyers prefer, the plurality–45 percent–favors a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan. [COLUMN_BREAK]The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage was the second-most popular choice with 36 percent of respondents expecting to obtain this type of loan. Seven percent plan to apply for an adjustable-rate loan. The greatest frustrations with the mortgage process include time-consuming paperwork, complex loan terms, and the borrower’s own uncertainty about whether he/she is receiving a fair deal. At the same time, the greatest obstacles to obtaining a mortgage and purchasing a home are prospective buyers’ financial situations and ability to obtain sufficient funds for a down payment, according to LendingTree’s survey. A majority of survey respondents anticipate rising home prices and rising interest rates over the next 12 months, meaning time is of the essence for those planning to purchase a home. Sixty-four percent of prospective homebuyers believe interest rates will rise in the next 12 months, and 68 percent believe home prices will rise over the same time period. “”Increasing home prices are providing would-be sellers with the confidence needed to take action, while rising interest rates are placing a sense of urgency on potential home buyers,”” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree.””Together this creates a unique window of opportunity for buyers and sellers to take advantage of the market while home prices and rates are still reasonably affordable,”” Lebda said.center_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Home Price Gains Showing Signs of Stability

0 Comment

first_img Home Prices Trulia 2014-06-06 Scott_Morgan Share After the rollercoaster ride that has been the past six years, the national housing market is finally in a place that, at least for the moment, looks stable. Better yet, it looks downright sustainable, if the latest Trulia Price Monitor is to be believed.According to Trulia, for the first time since July 2012, none of the 100 largest markets in May—anywhere in the United States—saw home prices rise more than 20 percent year-over-year.This is the first sign of sustainability in the housing market in years and is, according to Trulia’s chief economist, Jed Kolko, a welcome change from the hyper-rebounding that occurred in some markets—particularly in the West, where asking prices rose by as much as 30 percent from 2012 to 2013—that had several economists worried that an accelerated boom/bust cycle was brewing.”That’s a good thing,” Kolko said. “Extreme price increases create unrealistic expectations, encourage flipping, and might discourage some owners from selling if they expect big increases to continue.”While May’s asking prices rose at their slowest rate in 13 months, they still rose 8 percent, which remains well above the long-term historical norm for home-price appreciation. Furthermore, prices rose 2.4 percent quarter-over-quarter in May, Kolko said.At the same time, the number of markets with year-over-year price declines is also at a post-recession low. According to Trulia, the only metros where asking prices were down year-over-year were El Paso, Hartford, Albany, and Little Rock. This belies a healthy deceleration in booming markets, where prices had been rising unsustainably fast, Kolko said.Another encouraging sign of a good economy, according to Trulia, is the fact that rents are up nationwide, but also not by any huge margin. Nationally, rents are up 5.1 percent overall from a year ago.Apartment rents are up 5.8 percent, while and single-family rents are up 2.1 percent. As it has been in the home sales market, California’s coastal metros lead the pack in rising rent prices. Among the 25 largest rental markets, rents rose most year-over-year in San Francisco, San Diego, and Oakland. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newscenter_img Home Price Gains Showing Signs of Stability June 6, 2014 742 Views last_img read more

Seller Confidence Gets a Boost

0 Comment

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, News May 1, 2017 646 Views Seller Confidence Gets a Boostcenter_img For Redfin, the top answer on its latest Home-Seller Sentiment Survey was a pleasant irony. When asked to list their top three concerns about selling their homes, a quarter of the sellers who responded said they had none.This was a marked jump in seller confidence, if measured against the last time Redfin surveyed sellers in January. April’s numbers reflect a nine-point jump in unconcerned sellers, and “no concerns” leapt from the eighth-most common answer to the top of the list three months later. There was also a drop in the percentage of sellers worried about finding a replacement home, down from 24 percent in January to 18 percent in April.Redfin credited a strong selling season in March for the boost in confidence. One measure of increased confidence was that sellers adopted a more aggressive pricing strategy. The share of sellers reporting they would price high because they believe negotiation in inevitable increased almost 6 percent, to 21 percent in April.At the same time, the firm’s chief economist, Nela Richardson, said prospective sellers have been slow to list their homes.“New listings dropped 2.3 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period last year,” Richardson said. “Would-be sellers are likely waiting for prices to peak; they’re trying to time the market to fetch the largest possible gain.”Whether this is a good thing is open to debate. Sylva Khayalian, a Redfin agent in Los Angeles, said, “Over-pricing one’s home is a common mistake made in a seller’s market. Especially as we progress through the spring and into the summer months, homeowners see neighbors receive multiple offers and sell for more than their asking price and some assume they can ask for even more.Another measure of seller confidence is that a fifth of sellers told Redfin they had all the power in a sale right now. That’s up 7 percent from January. Meanwhile, 22.5 percent of sellers said buyers have zero power. That’s up 9 percent from January.Lest that come across the wrong way, the bulk of respondents put things a little more modestly. Almost 36 percent of sellers said they had a little more power in a negotiation and sale than buyers. And that number was actual down since January. Then, more than 40 percent of sellers had the same thing.But whether that number dropped because more sellers think buyers have greater leverage or because they shifted their views from “some” to “all” in terms of the power sellers hold is unclear. Housing Market seller confidence Sellers Sellers Market 2017-05-01 ScottMorgan1last_img read more

Rising Rents Leading to Increase in Homelessness

0 Comment

first_img Recently, online real estate and rental marketplace Zillow, performed a comparative analysis on its report published in 2017 examining the relationship between rising rents and homeless populations. The analysis found that the report had accurately predicted the recently released 2017 point-in-time (PIT) counts by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The company said that their analysis showed a median absolute percent error of 8.3 percent against the PIT counts. The analysis’ predictions of the PIT counts in 17 out of 25 metro areas were within the 99 percent predicted interval.The report had predicted that the relationship between rising rents and increased homelessness was particularly strong in Los Angeles; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle. In two areas–Los Angeles and Sacramento–the rapidly rising rents meant that the figures compiled by the HUD came in higher than Zillow’s prediction. According to Zillow’s report, nearly 2,000 more people would fall into homelessness if the rent in Los Angeles climbed an average of 5 percent. The local count in January 2017 indicated that 57,794 people in the Los Angeles metro area experienced homelessness, an almost 11,000-person increase from 2016. The increase was greater than expected, given that rents rose about 4 percent from 2016 to 2017.In Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Houston, Miami, and Tampa the local counts were lower than the report’s predictions. The lower counts, Zillow has said, were because some areas have disrupted the link between rising rents and homelessness. Houston, for example, had one of the higher homeless counts in the country five years ago. Now it’s dropping fast, so that a 6 percent decrease in rent over the past year translated into 426 fewer people experiencing homelessness in Houston.The latest results will be incorporated into the dynamic Bayesian hierarchical model that Zillow uses for time-varying homeless count data and will be reflected in their predictions for 2018. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News analysis Homelessness HOUSING HUD Los Angeles metros New York PIT counts prediction Rents Washington D.C. Zillow 2018-01-04 Staff Writer Rising Rents Leading to Increase in Homelessnesscenter_img January 4, 2018 672 Views Sharelast_img read more