first_imgQantas celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first jet service between New Zealand and Australia.On 10 April 1965, a 104 seat Qantas Boeing 707 aircraft departed Sydney for Christchurch, where it was welcomed by a 10,000 strong crowd.Previously the Tasman route was serviced by a propeller-driven Electra International aircraft, and prior to that, Shorts Empire Flying Boats which seated a maximum of 15 passengers and took around nine hours to travel from Auckland to Sydney.The inaugural V-jet service was commanded by Chief Pilot Line Operations, Captain “Torchy” Uren and NZ-born cabin crew members Bob Bishop, Alan Williams and Alan Gill as well as Anne Claydon from Lyttelton in Christchurch.Qantas International chief executive officer Gareth Evans, said the fifty year milestone highlighted Qantas’ ongoing commitment to New Zealand.“Qantas is proud of its flying history across the Tasman and New Zealand remains an important part of our international network. Our humble beginnings of twice weekly jet services have evolved to a schedule of more than 200 flights per week, mostly operated by our fleet of next generation B737-800 aircraft,” Mr Evans said.“The milestone comes in a year when Qantas is investing significantly in the customer experience across the Tasman with a new dining experience  in Economy, Champagne and luxury amenities in Business and a dynamic schedule enabling more flexibility and choice for customers.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

first_imgVisitScotland launches first ever global campaignVisitScotland is bringing the spirit of Scotland to life in its first ever global campaign and social movement.Launched to the world this week by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the campaign aims to raise the spirit and profile of Scotland to the highest it has ever been in history by igniting the power of a nation behind tourism.VisitScotland’s Chairman Mike Cantlay launched the Spirit campaign at a series of events in Sydney and Melbourne this week. In Sydney he was joined by local identity and Museum of Contemporary Art Director, Liz Anne McGregor OBE, to celebrate the longstanding links between Scotland and Australia. The Chairman will also be guest of honour at the annual Scots Day event in Bendigo this coming Saturday the 13 February.The campaign will evoke emotion in all those who encounter it worldwide through TV, radio, print, digital advertising and social media.In Scotland on February 10, The First Minister was joined by stunt bike athlete and viral sensation Danny MacAskill to reveal the initiative, alongside well-known faces that embody the spirit of Scotland including Social Bite entrepreneur, Josh Littlejohn and Olympic athlete, Laura Muir.The campaign is one of a series of initiatives that fundamentally change the way VisitScotland markets and sells the country around the world. An inspirational and interactive new website has also been launched to enable every tourism business and organisation to drive new business, helping tourism reach its ambition of £1 billion growth by 2020.A key focus of this campaign will be the #ScotSpirit movement which seeks to go beyond standard destination marketing and impact every industry, business and person.People across the world will be asked to share their experience of the spirit of Scotland through #ScotSpirit and in doing so become part of a special movement with social, economic and charitable aims.To start the conversation, VisitScotland has introduced ‘The Seven Spirits of Scotland’ – key traits that can be found within the characters of the people and landscapes of the country:WARMTHHUMOURGUTSSPARKSOULDETERMINATIONFUNThe Seven Spirits will be used throughout the campaign, encouraging visitors, residents and those who just love Scotland to reveal what the Scottish spirit means to them. VisitScotlandSource = VisitScotlandlast_img read more

first_imgAfter a significant pre-season snowfall early this week, Cardrona Alpine Resort is on track to have all trails open by Opening Day.With the current snow base, cold temperatures, snowmaking and grooming capabilites, all guns are blazing for the resort to open to the public on June 11.35-40cm of snow fell across the entire mountain on Monday, with some wind drifts measuring over 2m deep. This has helped to create a 40cm compacted snow base over most of the resort, with just over two weeks before Cardrona’s scheduled Opening Day.With temperatures forecast to remain cold over the next few days, Cardrona’s snowmaking team are blasting snow around the mountain to add to the natural base created in the last week.“It’s all hands on deck to find the mountain again under all this powder!” says Cardrona’s General Manager Bridget Legnavsky. “We’re absolutely stoked to have had this much snow so close to Opening Day and we can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been up to the past few months!”Among the final preparations for the upcoming winter are the installation of both the new Learner Conveyor Tunnel and the Little Meg Café.The see-through tunnel arrived on the mountain this afternoon and will take approximately 7 days to install. Once installed, it will protect skiers and snowboarders from the mountain elements on the Learner Conveyor, while still offering spectacular mountain views.The Little Meg Café installation is also underway – foundations have been laid and the café itself has arrived in Wanaka, ready to transport up the mountain. The small café will sit at the bottom of Valley View Quad, beside the new Valley View Carpark. Cardrona Winter 2016Stay updatedSource = Cardrona Alpine Resortlast_img read more

first_imgQantas A330Australian World Orchestra surprise inflight performancePassengers on QF81 flight from Sydney to Singapore received a “classical” surprise at 36,000 feet, when nine musicians from the Australian World Orchestra (AWO) performed a pop-up concert.The Symphonic Serenade in the Sky saw a nine-piece AWO ensemble, including a French horn, snare drum, cello, flute, trumpets, and saxophone, serenade fellow passengers with Ravel’s famous musical composition, ‘Bolero’, celebrating the orchestra’s first concert in Singapore this weekend.The performance for the nearly 300 passengers on board took place shortly after take-off, once the A330-300 aircraft had reached its cruising altitude of 36,000 feet.Qantas A330 Second Officer Mitch Clark said the crew was thrilled to work with the AWO to bring a truly memorable experience to passengers.“Australia is lucky to have some of the best musicians in the world,” Second Officer Clark said.“For the AWO to share their talent with us was a treat not only for the passengers but also for our crew.“Qantas has always had great in-flight entertainment, but a live performance specially arranged for our passengers is a real high note in my time flying.”Together with members of the AWO, Qantas also carried nearly 100 instruments, including seven double basses checked as freight and a number of cellos given their own seats. Qantas engineers, pilots, safety and crew worked with the AWO to prepare for the performance, ensuring all in-flight safety requirements were met.The orchestra received a spontaneous round of applause from passengers and crew at the end of the  five minute show, with encore performances played to each of  the cabins in the aircraft.Alison Mitchell, Flautist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, said the performance held special significance for multiple reasons.“As a flautist I have played this famous tune [from Bolero] all over the world – but I never thought I’d get to play it in the sky! It is an extra special performance because my colleagues are all fellow Australians, brought together by the AWO.”The AWO, which brings together Australia’s very best classical musicians from around the world into a national orchestra, performed in Sydney on 28 September and travelled to Singapore with Qantas to perform at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore on 1 October, 2016. Qantasbook flights here Source = Qantaslast_img read more

16 Aug / 2019

Rita Sofia

first_imgWe participated in OTM 2016 with more than 16 exhibitors. Our focus is to tap the Indian market and OTM is the perfect platform to increase visibility in not just big cities but also in tier two and tier three cities. Tour operators and travel agents from not just Mumbai but also from other parts of the country visited our stall during this three day event. So we are very happy with the platform that OTM has provided us and would continue our association in the future.last_img

first_imgTravelport, a leading travel commerce platform has announced a new full content agreement with Finnair, Finland’s largest airline and a member of the oneworld alliance. As part of the agreement, Finnair has also chosen to deploy Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising solution, making it the 200th airline to go live in the system.Under the full content agreement, Travelport-connected agencies in over 180 countries, servicing hundreds of millions of consumers around the world will have real-time access to its fares and inventory-through the Travel Commerce Platform enabling them to search, sell and book Finnair’s content.Travelport has also announced Finnair as the 200th airline to have adopted its industry-leading merchandising solution.Rogier Van Enk, Head of Commercial Strategy, Distribution and Data Science at Finnair, said, “Travelport’s innovative merchandising capabilities will provide the platform for our business to better explain our value proposition to travel agents and grow sales. We are looking forward to this new chapter in our long-standing collaboration with Travelport.’’Derek Sharp, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Air Commerce at Travelport, commented, “This announcement marks a significant milestone for one of Travelport’s flagship products and we are delighted that Finnair, a highly respected customer of ours, continues to recognise the value of our Travel Commerce Platform. With Rich Content & Branding, our airline customers are able to sell their products their way, in the intermediary channel, adding real value to their businesses.”last_img read more

first_imgWith 3,500 exhibitors from over 150 countries, buyers can get stuck into some serious business at IMEX which is scheduled to take place on May 21-23 in Frankfurt. New exhibitors confirmed so far include Mallorca Tourist Board, Associated Luxury Hotels, the Faroe Islands, Pacific World Congresses & Exhibitions and Nobu Hotels. Jordan Tourism Board, Hilton International, Evintra, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Azerbaijan and H-Hotels are among the exhibitors who have an increased presence at the show this year.“IMEX in Frankfurt is truly a global gathering of the MICE industry – bringing together 14,000 senior industry professionals each May to meet, do business and advance the sector. The show is a melting pot of ideas, connections and shared experiences that can only happen when meeting face to face. IMEX constantly seeks to innovate and deliver fresh and surprising content at each show – and this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt is no exception,” Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.Exhibitor announcementsNew Leonardo hotel openings in Frankfurt and Zurich; the launch of a new tall ship for Sea Cloud Cruises; Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s Economic Impact Study results; Peninsula Hotels’ new Global Art Programme plus the launch of new exclusive experiences for Eurostar clients are just a few of the updates buyers will hear when talking business with exhibitors. More than 10 organisations also plan to make news announcements during IMEX including SITE, Airport Authority Hong Kong, European Cities Marketing and Thailand.New Discovery Zone – powered by imaginationImagination is IMEX’s talking point for this year and the theme informs content throughout the show, bringing with it a range of exciting new experiences, exhibitors and educational events. Imagination powers the show’s new Discovery Zone, which is set to showcase the latest in experiential concepts and event technology. This specially curated area will be packed with education and experiences to fire up the imagination of event planners and exhibitors alike, helping them to question the conventional and explore fresh approaches.A talking robot, holographic show and 360-degree photography booth plus an interactive art mural are among some of the surprises in store.EduMonday launches with keynoteLearning opportunities are core to IMEX in Frankfurt, beginning with EduMonday, an afternoon of free professional education taking place the day before the show on May 20. Anne Kjaer Riechert, Co-founder & Managing Director of ReDI School of Digital Integration, launches EduMonday with her keynote at She Means Business.For the first time, MPI (Meeting Professionals International, Strategic Partners to IMEX America) will also be offering high-level education sessions during EduMonday: event marketing; risk management and inclusivity. Erwin Steijlen, who was a huge hit at MPI’s recent European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) with also bring his show-stopping presentation on ‘The Power of Music’ to IMEX.Young planners learn ‘how to put the roar into their career’Young professionals will learn ‘how to put the roar into their career’ in Living life with a purpose, a session that’s part of Rising Talent, personal development education designed for planners under 35 years. Other sessions focus on how to develop leadership qualities, networking and career advancement strategies, and also The impact of associations and their conferences on destinations detailing the importance of legacy.Explore social learning, food waste and emotional engagementWith over 250 complimentary learning sessions in both English and German taking place on EduMonday and throughout the three days of the show, there’s no shortage of opportunities to update industry knowledge and contacts.New for this year is the Red Lab where experts from outside the events sector will deliver fresh and imaginative perspectives in sessions such as Social learning: Connect. Share. Learn from game-based learning platform and What a waste! Finding solutions for world problems using co-creation – a session delivered by Laure Berment from Too Good To Go, the world’s number one app for fighting food waste.The importance of mindfulness in talent management will be presented by Jan Esswein, one-time monk and now Germany’s most widely-read author on the subject of mindfulness. Emotional engagement in event design is explored by experts including James Morgan, Founder of Event Tech Lab. There’s also a brand new Event Innovation Lab, by – an immersive event planning training workshop aimed at high-performance agencies and corporate event teams.last_img read more

first_img August 20, 2012 446 Views Agents & Brokers Home Prices Home Sales Home Values Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-08-20 Esther Cho After surveying more than 1,800 active home sellers, “”Redfin””: found that some of its customers are holding back from selling now because they believe patience will pay off in the form of higher offers for their home.[IMAGE]The survey revealed that 38 percent of respondents plan to wait more than a year before selling their home, while 25 percent said they plan on selling now. About 36 percent of homeowners plan on waiting somewhere between 3 months and 12 months. “”The would-be sellers we surveyed have made it clear that inventory is not going to meaningfully increase any time in 2012, which will limit sales volume gains-and the lift that real estate delivers to the economy this year,”” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “”We believe the main problem is not, as conventional wisdom would have it, that people can’t sell because they’re underwater on their mortgage. The problem with sales volume is that most home-owners just don’t want to sell.””More than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents said now is a bad time to sell as opposed to only 13 percent who said now is a good time to sell. Half of the respondents were in the middle and said now is an OK time to sell.[COLUMN_BREAK]Most respondents view the market as one that is favorable toward buyers, with 60 percent stating now is a good time to buy and only 3 percent stating now is a bad time to buy. San Diego homeowner Jane MacKenzie stated, “”I’ve carefully tracked prices on comparable homes in my neighborhood, but they have not yet risen to the level at which I’d want to sell; thus my desire to wait until spring 2013 (tentatively) and reevaluate the comps situation. Hopefully by then some of the volatility in the stock market and the U.S./international scary headlines may have settled down a bit.””Homeowners expressed optimism for future home prices, with 80 percent believing they are bound to get a higher price for their home after a year or two. The optimism though is somewhat restrained, with 65 percent of respondents believing prices will rise by a little in a year, and just 7 percent believing they will rise by a lot. Twenty-one percent believe prices will stay the same. With rental prices increasing, almost half (46 percent) of respondents stated they are considering renting out their home instead of selling. Redfin explained the move towards renting over selling is likely a factor pushing down inventory as would-be sellers buy a new home and rent out their former primary residence. The biggest concern for sellers this year was the economy (49 percent), followed by short sales/foreclosures (34 percent), financing trouble (30 percent), and the anticipation for prices to rise (28 percent). Relocation (30 percent) and a life events (30 percent) were the two main reasons homeowners made plans to sell.The survey was conducted between August 10 to August 15 and included 1,816 people across 20 metropolitan markets. Sharecenter_img Sellers Hold Off to See If Home Prices Will Rise in Origination, Servicinglast_img read more

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-03-22 Tory Barringer March 22, 2013 448 Views New,WCS Lending Appoints Head of Affinity Relations “”WCS Lending””:, a privately held mortgage bank headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, named Ivan Choi as head of affinity relations–a position created with him in mind.[IMAGE]In his new role, Choi is responsible for cultivating mutually beneficial, synergistic business relationships and building out the company’s affinity partnerships with Realtors and other organizations.””It’s great to be working with a company on a growth track as impressive as WCS Lending’s,”” Choi said. “”They understand the importance of creating tangible value for our partnerships and servicing relationships with the [COLUMN_BREAK]utmost integrity. I’m looking forward to cultivating the partnerships that will make WCS Lending the undisputed mortgage partner of choice among Realtors and other organizations.””Choi is an industry veteran of 15 years, having spent 13 of them with Countrywide/Bank of America and most recently serving as VP. In 2005, he created the company’s REO financing platform, a program that joined together the default and retail divisions the company. He also created an REO financing platform for Prospect Mortgage Company, where he served as SVP.In addition, Choi is well known in the real estate industry as an active advocate and educator. He is a member of the National Hispanic Real Estate Association, the Open Door Institute, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the California Mortgage Bankers Association. He is also a national board member for the Asian Real Estate Association of America.””Ivan has been deeply involved with the real estate community for 15 years,”” said Tim Walsh, head of retail for WCS Lending. “”It’s an industry where he has held offices and enjoys longstanding friendships and working relationships. He knows exactly what it takes to make a partnership worthwhile to Realtors, and has never given anything less than his best efforts to help them succeed.””center_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Move Inc. Processing Service Providers 2013-04-04 Tory Barringer “”””:, a leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc., is celebrating its 17th year of helping buyers find their dream homes.[IMAGE]Since 1996, has seen its active user base grow by more than 20 million and has cultivated relationships with more than 800 multiple listing services (MLSs), more than any other real estate website. Through its database, consumers are able to search 98 percent of all for-sale properties listed in the United States.””Since has direct connections to more than 800 MLSs, updates the majority of their data within a 15 minute timeframe, and does not include listings from sources known for poor data hygiene, it is nearly [COLUMN_BREAK]impossible for anyone else to beat them on a national level,”” said Victor Lund, partner of the WAV Group, a leading consulting firm for the real estate industry. is also well-known for its mobile app, which features direct price alerts, custom searches, and a GPS feature to allow users to search for nearby open houses.””With markets tightening and the housing sector starting to rebound, the search for the perfect home is highly competitive,”” said president Errol Samuelson. “”Capitalizing on real-time updates from our mobile app, our home buyers can find their dream home 15 minutes after it hits the market.””With homes in some markets selling in weeks or even days, consumers run the risk of seeing ‘active listings’ on competitor sites that have already sold. That spells heartache for buyers. With, users can rest assured the home they’re viewing is available and submit an offer while other home buyers might still be unaware the home is even for sale,”” he also reported website data for Q4 2012. Throughout the quarter, each visitor viewed the site approximately four times per month, more than 50 percent more than its next closest competitors. In addition, nearly 95 percent of’s Web traffic in Q4 focused on properties for sale, and visitors spent nearly one billion cumulative minutes on the site.center_img Celebrates 17th Year of Helping Homebuyers April 4, 2013 382 Views last_img read more

first_imgCredit Standards Relax at Year-End After loosening steadily for several months, credit standards for mortgage loans ended 2013 at their lowest level all year, according to the December “”Origination Insight Report””: from “”Ellie Mae.””:[IMAGE]The average FICO score for a first-lien loan closed in December was 727, down from 729 the previous month and 748 a year ago. Just under one-third of loans–31 percent–had FICO scores of less than 700 in December, up 10 percentage points from December 2012, according to Ellie Mae.The average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for a loan closed in December was 82. LTV hovered between 79 and 82 all year. Debt-to-income ratio also ended the year with a high–39 percent, according to Ellie Mae. December’s closing rate was 54.3 percent, a little higher than November’s rate of 53.1 percent. Purchase loans made up a greater share of December’s closed loans than refinance loans, following a trend started in the second half of the year. [COLUMN_BREAK]Purchase loans accounted for 54 percent of loans, while refinances accounted for 46 percent. This is little changed from November’s 55-45 percent split. However, it is a significant shift from a year ago when purchase loans made up just 31 percent of loans and refinances accounted for 69 percent. “”HARP [Home Affordable Refinance Program]-related refinancing activity increased for the second month in a row, as conventional refinances at 95 percent-plus LTV rose to 12.1 percent in December, the highest they’ve been since August 2013,”” “”pointed out””: Jonathan Corr, president and COO of Ellie Mae. Conventional loans accounted for 69 percent of loans originated in December, while Federal Housing Administration-backed loans accounted for about 20 percent, unchanged from November. Interest rates on all types of loans increased over the month, according to Ellie Mae. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan closed in December was 4.59 percent, up from 4.53 percent in November. The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate loan was 15.1 percent, up from 14.5 percent in November. The average rate for an adjustable-rate mortgage loan closed in December was 6.6 percent, up from 5.8 percent in November. Loans originated in December took an average 43 days to close, up slightly from 42 days in November but down from 55 days a year ago. Purchase loans took longer to close at 46 days, while refinance loans closed in about 40 days, according to Ellie Mae. Both are down from a year ago, when they took 51 days and 57 days to close, respectively. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Credit Standards Ellie Mae Fixed-Rate Mortgage HARP Investors Lenders & Servicers Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2014-01-17 Krista Franks Brock Sharecenter_img in Data, Origination January 17, 2014 411 Views last_img read more

first_img January 29, 2014 463 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2014-01-29 Tory Barringer Norcom Cuts Ribbon on First Florida Office “”Norcom Mortgage””: announced its entry into the Florida market with the opening of a new branch in Trinity. The Connecticut-based lender also announced the appointment of Barry Horvath to lead operations at the new location.Horvath has more than 15 years of experience in mortgages, financial services, insurance, title, and short sale solutions for real estate–experience he says “”allows [him] to see an individual’s entire financial picture.””””I believe in partnering with the best in the industry which is why I chose Norcom, and know I will continue to provide superior service for my clients,”” Horvath said. “”Expanding branching into Florida has been one of our goals for a while now and I am excited to have Barry at the helm of our first location in the state,”” added Norcom CEO Phil DeFronzo.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE]center_img in Origination Sharelast_img read more

first_img April 14, 2015 766 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Fannie Mae has announced the launch of the HomePath Ready Buyer program, through which qualifying homebuyers can receive up to 3 percent of the home’s purchase price in closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a HomePath property.This calculates to up to $4,500 in savings for a buyer on a $150,000 home. Qualifying homeowners will receive the assistance upon completion of an online homebuying education course, and Fannie Mae will reimburse the homeowner at the time of closing for the $75 cost of the homebuyer education course.”Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming process,” said Jay Ryan, VP of REO Sales at Fannie Mae. “We developed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to provide first-time homebuyers with the knowledge to make informed decisions as they navigate the complexities of the home buying process. Closing cost assistance provides a cushion many first-time buyers need to more confidently face the financial responsibilities of homeownership.”The homebuyer education course covers by the complexities of the homebuying process and the responsibilities of owning a home in nine 30-minute sessions, all online. Fannie Mae has teamed with Framework, a nonprofit created by the Housing Partnership Network and the Minnesota Homeownership Center, to offer the course.In order to be eligible for the closing cost assistance and the reimbursement of the cost of the education course, buyers: must complete the full online training course and receive a certificate of completion; must be a first-time homebuyer or have not owned a property in the last three years; must plan to use the property as a primary residence; and must submit the request for closing cost assistance at the time of the initial offer on or after April 14, 2015. The online course must be completed before the buyer submits an offer in order to qualify for the closing cost assistance. Sharecenter_img Fannie Mae Launches Program to Assist First-Time Buyers With Closing Costs Closing Costs Fannie Mae First-Time Homebuyers Home Path Ready Buyer Program 2015-04-14 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

first_img in Government, Headlines, News Sean BeckettiFreddie Mac recently announced that Sean Becketti, an executive with broad experience in the private sector, government, and academia was selected to be VP and chief economist for the GSE, according to a press release.Becketti brings extensive mortgage market research, modeling, and analytics experience to his new role at Freddie Mac, the GSE said. In his role as chief economist, he will be expected to lead a team that forecasts mortgage and housing market trends and conducts analysis and research on economic and policy issues affecting Freddie Mac. He also holds a master’s and Ph.D. degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree from University of California-Santa Cruz.”Sean is a seasoned economist who brings a great deal of experience in economic analytics, modeling, financial engineering and risk management,” said Jerry Weiss, Freddie Mac EVP and chief administrative officer. “Freddie Mac and our customers will benefit from Sean’s deep knowledge of the housing finance industry as our company builds a stronger, more efficient mortgage market for the future.”Prior to his new position, Becketti was SVP and head of modeling and analytics for Flagstar Bank, the GSE said. He also headed up a 70-person team of modelers, analysts, and developers for Fannie Mae’s applied research function.The GSE also noted that Becketti has experience in senior executive roles with Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo where he led research functions focused on mortgage markets and capital markets. He also worked for Freddie Mac previously from 1996-2001 in several senior financial and analytical roles. Earlier in his career, he served as senior economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and as an assistant professor of economics at UCLA. Former Flagstar SVP Hired as VP and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac June 9, 2015 543 Views center_img Freddie Mac Mortgage Forecasts Mortgage Market Research 2015-06-09 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

first_img Share Home Prices to Appreciate 3.5 Percent Annually 2017-04-10 Seth Welborn April 10, 2017 546 Views center_img Home values are going to continue their upward trend over the next year, appreciating an estimated 3.5 percent, according to the recent VeroFORECAST released by Veros. Only a mere 4 percent of U.S. markets will likely see depreciation.A forecast of the 12-month period from March 1, 2017, to March 1, 2018, VeroFORECAST predicts an average 3.5 percent jump in home prices across the country—a rate that’s slightly down from its last forecast, which estimated a 3.7 percent uptick in appreciation. VeroFORECAST releases its findings quarterly.Despite the slight difference in appreciation predictions, the top markets were largely the same across both forecasts, with the Northwestern U.S. claiming nine out of the top 10 metros for growth. Seattle and Denver took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots once again, with estimated appreciation rates of 10.7 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively. Portland and Eugene, Oregon, and Fort Collins, Colorado, rounded out the top five markets, which ranged anywhere from 8.1 percent to 10.7 percent in predicted appreciation.“The Seattle market remains strong with a supply of homes at barely over one month, continued population growth, and unemployment at only 4.2 percent compared to the national rate of 4.8 percent,” said Eric Fox, VP of Statistical and Economic Modeling at Veros. “Similarly, Denver’s supply of homes is tight at 1.2 months. This, coupled with its modest unemployment rate of 2.8 percent and rapid population growth, makes Denver one of the strongest markets in the U.S.”Parts of Florida and Texas—particularly the Dallas and Austin markets—are predicted to see similar trends as well, Fox said, but there are many markets where appreciation won’t be so great, especially ones that are typically on the higher-priced end.“The big news is that, despite the overall market strength, interest-rate sensitive markets are starting to show signs of cracking,” Fox said. “These markets are predominantly very expensive, and interest rate increases significantly soften demand for consumers on the margin of affordability.”The Bay Area of California is a prime example, Fox said.‘San Francisco is forecast to appreciate only 4 percent in the next year, which is down from last quarter’s forecast of nearly 6 percent,” Fox said. “San Jose shows a similar pattern, appreciating at slightly over 4 percent this quarter from more than 6 percent last quarter. The long-range forecast for these markets shows even stronger weakening, moving down to a mere 1 percent appreciation rate at the end of the 24-month horizon.”Overall, Alabama is predicted to have the worst markets as the next 12 months progress, with Hot Springs depreciating 2.6 percent, followed by Fort Smith (-2.4 percent) and Pine Bluff (-2.1 percent.) Torrington, Connecticut, and Binghamton, New York, rounded out the bottom five markets with depreciation rates of 2 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.“Consistently, the worst performing markets in the country are areas where population trends have either been flat or on a steady decline for years,” Fox said.  To view the full VeroFORECAST, visit in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination, Servicinglast_img read more

first_img RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. announced Tuesday the immediate appointment of COO Adam Contos to RE/MAX Co-CEO sharing responsibilities with Co-Founder and now Co-CEO Dave Liniger. Contos led many key functions at RE/MAX in the last 14 years and was named COO in 2016. With the appointment of Contos, Liniger will now be able to focus on furthering the company’s leadership position in the industry while driving special strategic initiatives.RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. announced Tuesday the immediate appointment of COO Adam Contos to RE/MAX Co-CEO sharing responsibilities with Co-Founder and now Co-CEO Dave Liniger. RE/MAX Holdings is the parent company of RE/MAX, LLC, a real estate brokerage service, and Motto Franchising, LLC, franchisor of the Motto Mortgage network of mortgage brokerages. Liniger will now be able to focus on furthering the company’s leadership position in the industry while driving special strategic initiatives.“I’m proud to have Adam, who has successfully led many key functions in our business over the last 13 years, partner with me at the CEO position,” said Liniger. “We have a talented and dedicated group of leaders at RE/MAX and I’ve been actively working with them to build our future. Under Adam’s leadership, I know this dynamic team will further our position as the number one name in real estate.”RE/MAX has utilized the Co-CEO structure in several of its CEO transitions. The approach ensures continuity in RE/MAX leadership, in its successful and unique business model, and in the overall company strategy.“We’re fortunate to have a deep and talented executive team at RE/MAX,” Liniger continued. “They share the same drive and desire to succeed that I had when I created this company over 44 years ago. We’re all strongly aligned around the core strategy, values, culture and mission that have made this company great. I’m confident that the strength of our management team supported by our exceptional agents, brokers, franchise owners and employees will continue to drive our future growth and success.”Contos managed RE/MAX daily operations including IT, HR, Business Development, Events, Brand Marketing, Communications, Media, and Public Relations as COO.“Dave’s founding principles and culture of success along with the dedication of RE/MAX agents and owners have made RE/MAX the greatest real estate company in the world,” said Contos. “I’m honored to drive RE/MAX forward on behalf of over 110,000 agents who represent this iconic brand by delivering exceptional service to their clients. We will continue to advance RE/MAX and the real estate industry by delivering the products and services that have made our franchisees and agents so successful for the last four decades.”In 2004, Contos joined RE/MAX working with offices in the Mountain States Region. He was promoted to the Region’s VP the following year. Between 2007 and 2013 he served first for the California & Hawaii Region and then the RE/MAX Florida Region. He was promoted to VP, Region Development, in 2013 and then to SVP of marketing, in February 2015. According to RE/MAX, during his marketing tenure, he and the business development team built a franchise sales process that fueled record growth. In 2016, Contos was named COO.Serene Smith, SVP of Financial Planning and Business Analytics, succeeds Contos as COO. Smith joined RE/MAX in 2006 as the Senior Manager of Internal Audit. She then was named VP of Financial Planning and Analysis in 2014 and a SVP in January 2016. June 2, 2017 594 Views Share in Featured, Headlines, Newscenter_img Adam Contos RE/MAX Serene Smith 2017-06-02 Staff Writer RE/MAX COO Appointed as Co-CEOlast_img read more

first_img Home Values 2017-07-20 Brianna Gilpin Homebuyers: Open Your Checkbooks Share July 20, 2017 639 Views center_img According to a recent CNBC report—pulling from Zillow data—buyers are willing to pay more and more. So much so that levels are now at the highest ever seen. Take a look at the record breaking median sale price and why you should be aware of what economists base their stats on in the Video Spotlight.To read the full report, click here. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Media, Newslast_img read more

first_img June 22, 2018 674 Views in Headlines, journal, News, Technology 2018-06-22 Kristina Brewer LenderClose Matches Growth With Team Expansioncenter_img Iowa-based LenderClose, a fintech startup company empowering local lenders through its digital platform that streamlines the lending and underwriting process, has announced the addition of sales associate Mari Jo Massanet to its expanding team.Massanet will support the LenderClose sales team in achieving its aggressive growth goals. Her responsibilities include demonstrating the LendClose platform to credit union and community bank leaders, attracting new lender accounts, as well as onboarding and training new clients.“Mari Jo’s sales experience and her strong ability to understand and deliver on customer expectations will prove invaluable as we continue to grow our client base,” Omar Jordan, LenderClose CEO, said. “She will form an important bridge between our sales team and our partners – ensuring new clients enjoy a smooth onboarding experience and are set up for success with our platform.”Prior to LenderClose, Massanet held various sales roles for Ingersoll Rand in both Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska. In her most recent position as a service sales engineer for the compressed air division, Massanet’s duties included collaborating with sales engineers to create solutions and proactively provide maintenance programs that best fit customers’ operations.The web-based LenderClose platform uses API connections to bring everything lenders require to originate a mortgage or HELOC—from credit scores and appraisals to loan documents and recording services—under a single access point. This allows lending staff to run a streamlined and vastly accelerated underwriting process.Since its launch in March 2016, LenderClose has added 100 lenders to its client list. The firm’s leadership recently announced a growth investment that will allow the company to add 25 employees in the next 12 to 18 months. Sharelast_img read more

first_img Plano, Texas-based Optimal Blue, a leading provider of secondary marketing automation to the mortgage industry, has announced the acquisition of Resitrader, creating the mortgage industry’s largest mortgage loan trading platform. With this addition, Optimal Blue now supports $750 billion of transactions each year across its Digital Mortgage Marketplace, including nearly $600 billion of rate locks processed through its product and pricing engine, and more than $150 billion of transactions through its hedging solution.Since its founding in 2015, Resitrader has focused on bringing automation and transparency to the spot market for mortgage loans. Resitrader’s interactive trading environment enables buyers, sellers, and their advisors to transact in real time using an auction process and replaces the widely-used method of exchanging bid tapes via email. Their solution also helps traders optimize executions by supporting shadow-bidding, the posting of axes, chat-based communication, and color reports. Resitrader has achieved remarkable success with its trading platform over the past year, recording a 400% increase in transactions.“Two years ago, Optimal Blue set out to build a Digital Mortgage Marketplace that facilitates transactions between originators, investors, and the providers both use,” said Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue. “This acquisition is another key step in that journey. Resitrader is the clear market leader in bringing efficiency, transparency, and security to a critical and expanding segment of the mortgage market, and we are excited to offer this innovative solution to our clients.”The company anticipates major expansion in trading volume in the coming year, and will integrate the platform with Optimal Blue’s hedging solution, substantially expanding the company’s capabilities in the bulk bid market, an execution widely used by lenders employing a mandatory delivery strategy. More than 50 buyers are already active on the platform and over 150 sellers are expected on the platform by year end. Additionally, Optimal Blue seeks to expand third-party relationships with hedge advisors and whole loan traders needing access to the bulk market.“We are thrilled to join an organization that shares our vision of creating the industry’s premier platform for trading mortgage loans,” John Ardy, CEO of Resitrader said. “With Optimal Blue’s backing, I expect Resitrader to continue its rapid growth, bringing depth and breadth to the market.”Ardy, Seever Sulaiman, CIO of Resitrader, and the entire Resitrader team joined Optimal Blue upon close of the transaction. According to Happ, “John and Seever are proven innovators and bring considerable experience in building trading platforms to our team. There is no limit to what we can do together.” in Headlines, journal, News, Servicing Resitrader Joins Optimal Blue in Loan Trading Platform July 16, 2018 536 Views center_img 2018-07-16 Kristina Brewer Sharelast_img read more

first_img Mortgage industry veteran, Tony Meola has joined the Board of Directors of Veptas Holdings Inc., the parent company of Veptas Technology Solutions Inc., and AI Curio Inc. Meola is a  nationally recognized executive leader of numerous residential mortgage operations including those at Bank of America, PNC, and Morgan Stanley. As a director on the Board, Meola will additionally focus on developing strategic relationships for the company’s technologies and services, Veptas said in a statement.“We are very pleased to have an individual of Tony’s caliber and experience join our Board,” stated John Iatesta, CEO, Veptas. “Tony is uniquely qualified to assist Veptas in rolling out our technologies to the residential mortgage industry and reading the pulse of the marketplace.”Veptas’ services include a fully automated self-serve platform that uses Artificial Intelligence, Complexity Scoring,  Automated Process Management, Assignment Logic, Appraiser and Appraisal Report Card Scoring, Rules-based Quantitative and Qualitative reviews within a three-factor QC/QA process and a third party accountancy to smooth the process flow in appraisals.“I am very excited to join the Veptas Team,” Meola said. “The technologies that have been developed at both of the operating entities are world class. The efficiency in terms of both time savings and quality control of the appraisal process, combined with the scalability to support the largest national lenders really positions the Veptas Appraisal Portal ideally to revolutionize this space in the industry.”The company’s process automation technology allows the platform to be Dodd-Frank compliant and its partners pay on average 30 percent higher fees to their appraisers within a competitive AMC cost structure resulting in significantly reduced turn times and delivery of higher quality appraisals.“The AI-Curio technology is an innovative and unique AI platform that features a data normalization tool that will enable reliable and accurate data validation – something that historically has been a significant issue in dealing with portfolio acquisitions and legacy data for financial institutions.  Finally, let me say that the portfolio surveillance capabilities of the AI platform integrated with both the credit and collateral attributes brings a powerful offering to the market unlike any other. I am looking forward to this journey with the Veptas Team,” Meola said. Industry Veteran Joins Veptas Board November 19, 2018 644 Views Appraisal artificial intelligence Bank of America John Iatesta Morgan Stanley PNC technology Tony Meola Tools Veptas 2018-11-19 Radhika Ojhacenter_img Share in Headlines, News, Technologylast_img read more