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Tourico Holidays forecasts 30 growth in UK hotel room nights

first_imgSource = Tourico Holidays Tourico Holidays Tourico Holidays forecasts 30 percent growth in United Kingdom hotel room nightsTourico Holidays forecasts 30 percent growth in United Kingdom hotel room nightsTourico Holidays, the world’s fastest growing wholesale travel brokerage company, today shared travel forecast data predicting a more than 30 percent year-over-year increase in United Kingdom hotel room nights in the second half of 2016.  According to company booking data, Tourico has already sold nearly a quarter of a million room nights in the United Kingdom in 2016 – led by a 12 percent year-over-year increase from the United States.While source markets like China and Germany only account for 4 percent and 6 percent of inbound UK travel bookings respectively, both source markets have increased their average daily reservations by over 100 percent since the Brexit vote.“The United Kingdom has always been one of Tourico’s top revenue earning destinations, but early booking trends since Brexit show a falling Pound is actually strengthening the UK travel market,” said Mark Redmond, Vice President of the European Region for Tourico Holidays.  “Not only will international travelers see it as an opportunity to finally book a trip to what was formerly considered a high-priced destination, we anticipate British travelers will also travel more within the UK – to avoid exchanging a weak currency.”Secondary markets, like Manchester, have already grown 60 percent year-over-year in forward bookings since the Brexit vote.  As a result of the forecasted growth, Tourico Holidays has increased its resources in the area to prepare for the heightened demand.  The company has hired a team of new sales employees dedicated to contracting travel suppliers and operators in primary, secondary, and tertiary markets within the United Kingdom.Tourico currently maintains strategic partnerships with major UK hotel suppliers, such as Park Plaza Hotels, Corus Hotel Hyde Park London, and Hilton Hotel Group – including Double Tree hotels and the Conrad St. James.  The global wholesaler also pre-purchases massive hotel room blocks each year throughout the UK – guaranteeing monthly revenue and industry-leading price points.“We partner with over 1,000 UK-based hotels – from London to Glasgow – and we expect high-demand at all of them in the second half of 2016,” Redmond said.To partner with Tourico Holidays in the UK, please email Mark.Redmond@touricoholidays.comAbout Tourico HolidaysTourico Holidays is a leading global travel distribution company that contracts directly with travel providers, such as hotels, flights, cruise lines, attractions, car rentals, vacation homes and more. Tourico Holidays works on a high-volume, wholesale model to broker this inventory to over 4,900 clients in 100 countries using proprietary technology.last_img read more

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India to expand evisas to 150 countries from March 2016

first_imgDr Mahesh Sharma, India’s Minister for Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation recently confirmed that India will expand its e-Tourist Visa scheme to 150 countries in March 2016.Over 150,000 people from 76 countries have used to e-Tourist Visa since its launch in November last year. Applicable visitors can apply for the visas online prior to arrival in India, and then collect their visas upon entry at nine airports in the country.At the same time, Dr Sharma also revealed that India’s tourist helpline will be expanded to 12 international languages within two months. The helpline is currently operational in just two languages: English and Hindi.Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s government is focusing on its tourism industry, with an aim of attracting one percent of the global tourist arrivals.last_img read more

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SriLankan Airlines adds new frequencies on ChennaiColombo route

first_imgThe national carrier of Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines, in the span of four months has increased three new frequencies on the Chennai – Colombo route. Chennai is among the fastest growing markets for SriLankan and enhancement of frequencies would help the airline to capitalise on the increase in passenger traffic from the region. With these additions, the total frequency of flights between Sri Lanka and India went up to 89 flights per week. The additional frequencies would operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Chennai.Each flight would feature an array of services, world-class in-flight entertainment including a combination of Tamil language programmes, along with signature SriLankan Airlines hospitality services. The purpose of re-launching these flights is to increase the frequency of the airline, which would provide passengers with added convenience.Lalith De Silva, Regional Manager for India, SriLankan said, “Last year we had over 225,000 arrivals on SriLankan Airlines from Chennai to Colombo. The increased frequency reinforces our commitment to Chennai and will strengthen the deep commercial and bilateral ties between India and Sri Lanka. With this infusion of additional frequencies, we will appeal to both business and leisure customers aiming to provide convenience and better connectivity.”last_img read more

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Travel guide for vacationers in Kyoto Japan

first_imgThe video showcases the various tourist attractions of Kyoto in western Honshu, in the main island of Japan. It’s regarded as one of Japan’s most beautiful cities and is famous for its culture and traditions.Source: Tourism Medialast_img

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Bahrain hosts the 2017 Skal International Asias Annual Area Congress

first_imgThe 46th Skal Asian Area Congress was held in the Kingdom of Bahrain from May 12-15, 2017. This is the fourth time Skal Bahrain hosted the Asian Area Congress. The first was in 1983 followed by congresses in 1991, 2000 and now in 2017.The Asian Area Congress 2017 in Bahrain was well attended with Skal leagues from all corners of the world. Skal leagues from Argentina, United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, USA and the Asian Area clubs under the Presidency of Asian Area President Robert Sohn attended the Congress.The Congress took place at the Gulf Hotel with Sheikh Khalid Bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority making the address during the Opening Ceremony of the Congress. Sheikh Khalid in his address pointed out that the tourism developments such as the $1 billion dream project of a new Bahrain Airport, a six percent increase in the tourism sector in Bahrain, 12.2 million arrivals last year, five  new five-star resort and hotels being built and that Skål has provided a good platform for the tourism sector in Bahrain and around the globe.In his speech, Skal Bahrain President, Mohd. Buzizi, said, “We have put together an interesting and comprehensive program for all of the 125 delegates attending. There is growing interest in the heritage, history, culture and cuisine that makes Bahrain such a special destination.”Other speakers at the conference included David Fisher, President of Skål International and the Asian Area President Robert Sohn. The Congress programme also included the Skal Asian Area Annual General Meeting for the election of the Board of Officers for the period 2017 to 2019.The Skal Asian Area President Robert Sohn was re-elected unanimously along with the other Board members.last_img read more

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Statue of Liberty Museum opens to the public

first_imgThe Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island opened to the public following a dedication ceremony presented by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc and the National Park Service. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation Chairman of the Board Albert Bellas and President and CEO Stephen Briganti, as well as campaign Chairperson Diane von Furstenberg delivered remarks at the ceremony, which also included performances from Broadway stars and the Manhattan Girls Chorus.“America needs this museum and what it represents now more than ever. Immigration defines us, and New York is the ultimate city of immigrants. The Statue of Liberty represents our core values – we embrace diversity, support our neighbours and believe everyone should have a fair shot to live the American dream,” said Mayor de Blasio.“Today, we share in the American people’s gratitude for this remarkable contribution to the legacy of the Statue of Liberty, and for ensuring her story will continue to be told to this and future generations,” said Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island John Piltzecker.The 26,000 square foot museum features three gallery spaces, each one meant to inspire visitors and educate them about the Statue of Liberty in interactive and thought-provoking ways. The experience culminates with an up-close view of Liberty’s most iconic symbol, her original torch, held high for nearly 100 years. Rescued from the elements and replaced in 1986, the torch is the most powerful artefact, visitors encounter as they reach the end of the museum experience. The museum merges landscape and building, and the roof is planted with native meadow grasses and offers visitors sweeping, panoramic views of Lady Liberty, lower Manhattan, and all of New York Harbor. Access to the museum is free with the purchase of a Statue Cruises ferry ticket to Liberty and Ellis Islands.“While the Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognisable icons in the world, few people ever get to climb to its crown or get to see Lady Liberty’s face up close,” said Edwin Schlossberg, Founder and Principal Designer of ESI Design. “Our goal for the design of the museum experience is to immerse visitors in not just the grandeur and sweeping history of the Statue, but also in the very idea of liberty itself so that they leave with a deeper understanding of what it means to them and the active role required upholding it.”last_img read more

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Investment Manager Talks Housing Upturn Securities Issues

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Home Prices Home Values Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Residential Construction RMBS Service Providers 2013-01-10 Tory Barringer All the fundamentals are in place for a housing upturn–if pent-up demand can actually translate into buyer presence, says one investment expert.[IMAGE]Daniel Dektar, chief investment officer at asset management and advisory firm “”Smith Breeden Associates””:http://www.smithbreeden.com/, spoke at length on the housing and securities markets in an interview at “”The Investment Fund for Foundations'””:http://www.tiff.org/Default.aspx most recent Investment Forum.Dektar notes there are a number of big factors pointing to an upswing in the housing market, including a drop in excess supply (currently estimated at 1.5-2.0 million and falling), the affordability of purchasing versus renting, and the slow loosening of credit standards to workable levels. However, demand hasn’t been felt as heavily as one might expect at this point, he says.””Of course we haven’t had a lot of new construction, and household formation has been much lower than would be suggested by employment,”” Dektar says. “”I suppose this means kids are moving back in with their parents and just not setting out on their own as fast and maybe parents are moving in with their kids as well. But either way this suggests pent-up demand.””One upside is the steady rise in prices witnessed over the last year and anticipated for the next few years. Smith Breeden predicts a 10 percent increase in prices within the next three years–though Dektar admits the timeline for that increase is going to depend largely on supply issues from market to market.While a price increase is welcome news for a nation still getting back up to normal levels, the results are harder to predict, Dektar says.[COLUMN_BREAK]On one hand, higher prices drive down the “”subjective cost”” of owning a home–that is, the expectation of appreciation makes a home more attractive for buyers-to-be.””So, if house prices are going up 10 percent a year, it doesn’t feel like it costs anything to live there and your speculative bubble can grow,”” Dektar explains. “”When house prices are going down 10 percent a year, it makes the cost of the house look like 15 percent a year instead of 5 percent … Now we’re climbing back out of that hole where people though housing prices were going down to where more and more think they’re going up.””While perceived appreciation doesn’t factor into affordability statistics, it’s sure to play a part in driving up demand, Dektar says.On the other hand, rising prices give today’s underwater homeowners incentive to ride out their mortgages until they can make a profit–good for them, but bad for future supply.””People aren’t selling houses when they’re underwater because they don’t want to write a check to sell their house. As people get out from underwater, their houses come on the market,”” Dektar notes.In addition, there are homeowners who may want to relocate and are simply waiting for prices to improve before putting their homes on the market, further adding to the excess supply and potentially throwing off price gains. Then, of course, there is the looming shadow supply of seriously delinquent loans and foreclosed homes.Turning his focus away from the state of housing itself, Dektar also offered some insight on housing-related securitized credit. While commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) issuance seems to be bouncing back from the crash–which he attributes to “”cheap credit”” and “”cheap money pushing prices up””–the residential market is still working things out.””Residential securitized credit hasn’t really been revived yet. They haven’t figured out the regulatory or securities structures to make new residential securitized issuance work,”” Dektar comments. “”That’s coming and I think it’ll be an important element housing finance in the U.S. as the GSEs, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae, shrink in the future. So, overall the market is mostly working right now except for residential.”” January 10, 2013 397 Views in Data, Secondary Marketcenter_img Investment Manager Talks Housing Upturn, Securities Issues Sharelast_img read more

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Norcom Introduces New Mortgage Consultant

first_imgNew,Norcom Introduces New Mortgage Consultant “”Norcom Mortgage””:https://norcommortgage.com/, headquartered in Avon, Connecticut, welcomed Lynn LaPierre as a mortgage consultant.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]LaPierre brings more than 12 years of industry experience to Norcom. She joins the team from Village Mortgage, where she operated as a loan officer for the company’s Collinsville branch. One of her first goals in her position at Norcom is to partner with real estate brokers and attorneys to host a first-time homebuyer seminar.LaPierre is also an active member of multiple Chambers of Commerce and regularly attends seminars on mortgage fraud as well as government and compliance issues.””Norcom is the most efficient, organized company I’ve ever had the opportunity to be a part of. It’s amazing to be part of a TEAM, which focuses on each of their client’s best interests first,”” LaPierre said of her role. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-04-11 Tory Barringer Sharecenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing April 11, 2013 433 Views last_img read more

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PEMCO in Final Stage of New Site Launch

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-08-08 Esther Cho in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology August 8, 2013 451 Views PEMCO, an asset management company headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, will launch a new website August 13. The launch of “”PEMCO-limited.com””:http://www.pemco-limited.com/ represents the final stage of the company’s nine month re-branding campaign.Currently, “”HUD-PEMCO.com””:http://hudpemco.com is used as an in-depth resource for information on HUD properties. To better capture what PEMCO has to offer, the new site will provide information on services related to property management, property preservation, rental management, and facilities maintenance.center_img PEMCO in Final Stage of New Site Launch Sharelast_img read more

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Mortgage Returns Introduces Storefront Marketing Solution

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-10-11 Tory Barringer Mortgage Returns Introduces Storefront Marketing Solution Share October 11, 2013 500 Views center_img “”Mortgage Returns””:http://web.mortgagereturns.com/, a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) technology and automated marketing solutions, has launched its new Storefront marketing solution, an enhanced feature of the company’s CRM system.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Accessed directly through the Mortgage Returns CRM system, Storefront enables loan officers to send direct mail to customers, prospects, and referral partners, choosing the design and layout throughout the ordering process. Cards are then mailed automatically on behalf of the user.For the initial Storefront launch, the company is offering a new line of greeting cards in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.””Our new Storefront system gives lenders more control over the content of the marketing collateral by empowering them to implement marketing programs with more of their own preferred customizations,”” said Mortgage Returns CEO Jim Blatt. “”Our CRM system gives lenders more flexibility, delivers marketing materials in a consistent manner and ensures everything is in full compliance.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologylast_img read more

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NCUA Targets Deutsche Bank in Securities Trust Suit

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Share NCUA Targets Deutsche Bank in Securities Trust Suit Credit Unions Deutsche Bank Lawsuits NCUA RMBS 2014-11-12 Tory Barringercenter_img In a lawsuit filed earlier this week, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) charged Deutsche Bank National Trust Company with negligence in its role as trustee for 121 residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trusts, leading to the collapse of five corporate credit unions.NCUA’s complaint deals with credit unions U.S. Central, WesCorp, Members United, Southwest, and Constitution, all of which were involved in the purchase of $140 billion in RMBS between 2004 and 2007 and all of which closed after those securities lost value.As trustee for the securities, NCUA says Deutsche Bank National Trust Company failed to act properly to ensure minimal losses after the packaged mortgages proved faulty.”Trustees have the basic duty to protect, and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company failed to comply with the duties imposed by federal and state law,” said NCUA Board Chair Debbie Matz. “This failure harmed trust beneficiaries, including the corporate credit unions. NCUA will do all it can to pursue appropriate remedies and recoup the losses suffered by the credit union system.”In its complaint, NCUA alleges that despite evidence of potential problems with how the loans were originated and represented, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company failed to provide notices to certificate holders and also failed to “take timely action to force the repurchase, substitution, or cure of defective mortgage loans or otherwise preserve trust remedies.”The agency’s suit seeks damages to be determined at trial.The recently announced suit isn’t the first action NCUA has taken against institutions involved in sales of toxic securities. In the last few years, the association has gone after Barclays, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and others on allegations they disregarded origination standards and misrepresented the mortgages they packaged. Unlike those suits, the Deutsche Bank case focuses on the firm as a trustee rather than a securities seller. November 12, 2014 445 Views last_img read more

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Wells Fargo to Cut 1000 Servicing Jobs

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Servicing Wells Fargo to Cut 1,000 Servicing Jobs Share Wells Fargo will be cutting 1,000 jobs after closing its home lending servicing office in Milwaukee, due to fewer homeowners falling behind on payments and seeking help in keeping their homes, according to the Associated Press.The new wire reports, employees at the office work with U.S. residents who were behind on their home loan payments. In an emailed statement, Wells Fargo & Co. said Wednesday that as the economy has improved over the last two years, fewer customers have become delinquent on their payments, and fewer customers have needed assistance to stay in their homes. The company says it will continue to offer assistance to borrowers facing financial hardship.Wells Fargo will close the office in late July. It says it will inform employees of other job opportunities within the company.Wells Fargo said the Milwaukee office is one of its smaller loan servicing sites. About 48,000 people work for the company’s home lending business. The San Francisco company has about 265,000 employees in total.U.S. employers have added more than 5 million jobs over the last two years and the U.S. economy grew in seven of the last eight quarters covering 2013 and 2014, although there are some signs that growth has gotten weaker in 2015.Wells Fargo shares slipped 51 cents to $54.84 in afternoon trading, but have risen 12 percent over the last 12 months.Wells Fargo & Co also announced on Wednesday that corporate-banking chief Mike Johnson will retire at the end of the second quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal.The Journal reports, Johnson, a 32-year veteran of Wells Fargo, oversaw the bank’s business involving mostly large, multinational corporations. He reported to wholesale banking chief Timothy Sloan, a member of the company’s operating committee.Wells Fargo’s corporate bank took in $3.6 billion in revenue in 2013, according to a May 2014 investor presentation from the bank.“Not only has [Mr. Johnson] helped build one of the industry’s best corporate banking businesses, he’s also been a key figure over the years in helping to define and ingrain our Wells Fargo culture of always putting the customer first,” said Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf in a memo to employees.The bank hasn’t decided on a successor to Mr. Johnson.(Reporting by Marley Jay and Peter Rudegeair)center_img Mike Johnson Milwaukee Servicing Timothy Sloan Wells Fargo 2015-03-26 Samantha Guzman March 26, 2015 543 Views last_img read more

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42 Billion HUDs Budget for 2018

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, journal, News Banking Committee budget Dr. Ben Carson Homelessness homes HOUSING HUD 2018-03-22 Radhika Ojha $42 Billion: HUD’s Budget for 2018 On Thursday, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson testified before the Senate Banking Committee.”At HUD, we believe the requested level of funding–$42 billion–is sufficient to effectively administer our core programs, particularly as we are committed to running our programs more efficiently, spending every tax dollar with which we are entrusted wisely. I have directed HUD’s new Chief Financial Officer, Irv Dennis, a Certified Public Accountant with more than 36 years of experience, to put the controls, systems, and processes in place to ensure we do just that,” Carson said in his opening address. The requested funds are 1.4 percent over last year’s budget.In his opening remarks, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, said that over the past year, Carson had made significant strides in his efforts to make HUD programs more effective and efficient. “Secretary Carson has also stressed the importance of aligning regulatory requirements in ways that: incentivize landlord participation in HUD programs; eliminate the undue burden on program participants; enhance workforce mobility; and maximize the percentage of HUD dollars that go straight to the families that need it,” Crapo said. “Last week, by voting 67-31 to pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the Senate took a decisive step forward in addressing these same issues.”Giving a breakdown of where HUD plans to use the funds, Carson said that the Budget makes a significant investment in the fight against homelessness and proposed spending $2 billion, a$133 million increase over the last year’s budget. The sum included $40 million for rapid re-housing targeted to communities with high rates of unsheltered homelessness.He has also requested $145 million to ensure that homes remained free of lead-based paint hazards and other dangerous contaminants.At the hearing, speaking on the plans that HUD has for the improvement of Housing Carson spoke about the new financial controls that were being implemented. The agency has recently appointed Irving Dennis as its CFO to design and implement a transformation plan and lead an internal task force to combat waste, fraud, and abuse.”HUD is committed to safe, fair, and affordable housing for the American people. It also acts as a stepping stone to opportunity and self-sufficiency so that families can graduate from assisted housing to economic independence,” Carson told the Committee. “President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 Budget will enable HUD to fill this role, now and in the future, through reforming and refocusing our programs and necessitating careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”center_img March 22, 2018 655 Views Sharelast_img read more

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Chase Appoints Rob Robertson as Senior Lending Manager

first_img in Headlines, News, Origination Borrowers Chase Homebuyers Homeownership homes Lending 2018-06-15 Radhika Ojha Chase Appoints Rob Robertson as Senior Lending Manager Chase Home Lending has recruited Rob Robertson to lead its home lending hiring and lending operations in the greater Washington, D.C. region. As a senior lending manager for the region, Robertson will be responsible for building Chase Home Lending’s presence in the area. In a statement, Chase said that Robertson had accumulated extensive mortgage experience over 18 years in the banking and mortgage industry. Prior to joining Chase, he managed a sales team of more than 400 in the D.C. metro market area where his team ranked No.1 in market share growth year over year. “His ability to work with customers with a clear leadership vision has earned him numerous recognition opportunities and awards,” Chase said, about its appointment of the former Baltimore Ravens football player.Chase had recently announced its first major branch expansion in the Greater Washington D.C. region, where it plans to open up 70 new branches, hiring, up to 700 new employees in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. The bank has committed $4.5 billion for regional home and small business lending and affordable rental housing for the region.“We have been doing business in the D.C. region since 1999, and we’re excited to now expand our consumer branch business here,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman, and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “With this will come more than just new branches. We will lend money for affordable housing, home mortgages and small business growth. We will help customers bank and save and support business clients, large and small. And we will combine the best of our business and philanthropy to help more communities benefit from regional economic growth.”Robertson has been recruited as part of this expansion. According to Chase, “Unlike other markets, the DC area comes with many unique opportunities that require someone with an authentic and genuine love for the community. Rob has a long history with the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia markets. And before his career in banking, he played for the Baltimore Ravens. He has a very close relationship with the D.C. community and will be a great representative for Chase.” Robertson will be on the ground in the city leading homebuyer seminars and helping D.C. residents achieve their goals of homeownership.center_img Share June 15, 2018 661 Views last_img read more

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Mortgage Rates Approach 5 Percent

first_img After rising for two consecutive weeks, mortgage rates approached the 5 percent mark during the week, rising 19 basis points to 4.9 percent according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Markets survey released on Thursday. With this increase, Freddie Mac said that rates had risen to their highest point in seven years.While the 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased from 4.7 percent last week to 4.9 percent, it had averaged 3.91 percent during the same period last year. The survey revealed that the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also rose from 4.15 percent last week to 4.29 percent and had stood at 3.21 percent during the same period in 2017.Similarly, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rose to 4.07 percent from 4.01 percent. The rate had averaged 3.16 percent during the same time last year.Looking at the macro trends that impacted mortgage rates this week, Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, Realtor.com said that the jump was the result of investors being prompted by inflation concerns and the strong jobs report to demand higher rates to compensate for the lower value of future dollars.In terms of the impact of this rise on the housing market, Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac said that rising rates along with high and escalating home prices were “putting downward pressure on purchase demand.”According to Khater, “While the monthly payment remains affordable due to the still low mortgage rate environment, the primary hurdle for many borrowers today is the down payment and that is the reason home sales have decreased in many high-priced markets.”However, with the rates approaching the 5 percent mark, Hale said that  though a 5 percent mortgage rate was historically low, crossing this threshold could have a ‘sticker shock effect’ on some buyers currently in the market. “We could see some buyers, especially first timers, leave the market next week as a result,” Hale predicted. Mortgage Rates Approach 5 Percent October 11, 2018 484 Views Freddie Mac Homebuyers HOUSING loans Mortgage Rates 2018-10-11 Radhika Ojhacenter_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Sharelast_img read more

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Going Going … Not Really Gone

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Days on the Market Home Home Prices Homebuyers homeowners HOUSING Inventory Listing Price Reduction Realtor.com 2019-01-03 Radhika Ojha The housing market continued to cool down in December with properties staying on the market for a longer time, especially in the large markets and 15 percent of listings seeing price reductions, according to a report by Realtor.com.The report indicated that while inventory increased by 5 percent across the nation, it rose by 10 percent in the larger markets in December. While homes sold at a pace of 80 days in December, three days faster than December 2017, the pace at which they’re selling is decelerating. “December 2017 saw homes sell six days faster compared to the previous year,” the report said.Nineteen of the top 45 metros saw properties spend more time on the market compared to December 2017 and included real estate in the hot housing markets of San Jose, California; Seattle, Washington; and Nashville, Tennessee. Homes in these markets spent 14, 10 and six more days on the markets respectively. In comparison, properties in Birmingham, Alabama; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Richmond, Virginia sold at the fastest pace at 12, 11, and 10 days respectively.Even as the median listing price grew 7 percent year-over-year to $289,000 in December, it was lower than the 8 percent listing price seen in December 2017. Despite the lower pricing, listings that saw price reductions increased to 15 percent in December compared with 13 percent in 2017 as home sellers adjusted their strategies in “slowing, pricey markets with growing availability of homes for sale.”The report found that some of the largest housing markets in the nation were driving these price reductions with 38 of the 45 top metros seeing an increase in such discounts. Charlotte, North Carolina, topped the list with the share of price reductions growing by 10 percent, from 14 percent in 2017 to 24 percent in December. It was followed by San Jose that saw an increase of 10 percent, Tampa (+9 percent), Phoenix (+9 percent), and Seattle (+8 percent).The steepest declines in median listing prices were seen in San Jose and San Francisco where listing prices declined by $130,000 and $33,000.Click here to read the full report. Going, Going … Not Really Gonecenter_img Share January 3, 2019 5,429 Views last_img read more

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You might also be interested in

first_img You might also be interested in February 06 , 2019 The Biocontrol Brief: How to control two-spotted s … The Biocontrol Brief: Aliens (aka parasitoids) ver … The Biocontrol Report: Economic decision-making in …center_img How California avocado growers keep Persea mites f … Inundative releases are planned when the pests are only controlled by the released beneficials themselves since future generations generally don’t survive to control future potential pest outbreaks. In that case, more frequent releases are necessary over the season.Numerous pests are successfully controlled within fields growing a wide variety of crops around the world. Crop examples include permanent crops such as vineyards, citrus and apple orchards as well as annual crops such as strawberry, cannabis, and corn. Controlled pests include whiteflies, thrips, aphids, and mites by using either predators or parasitoids depending on the target. One common example in California is controlling the populations of two spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) in strawberry crops by releasing a beneficial predator mite, Phytoseiulus persimilis. This mite is released three to four times per crop to establish a sufficient population, which, once established, can control twospotted spider mites for the rest of the crop cycle – roughly six months. Another famous augmentative biological control use case is the release of the parasitoid wasp “Anagyrus pseudococci” by the growers in the Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys in California as part of their IPM programs to control the vine mealybugs.If you are wondering about how to start using these control agents, rest assured you will not have to rear the insects yourself. Several companies specialize in the mass production of beneficials, from home breeders to multinational corporations, such as Koppert or BioBee. Your PCA or a local entomologist should be able to recommend one! THE EVOLUTION OF CONTROL AGENTS RELEASE METHODSMost of augmentative biocontrol application techniques require field workers to manually release the beneficials directly on the crop or soil. This can be a time-consuming process, and meeting required application timing can be tricky for larger fields. Luckily, if pest populations are anticipated to grow but are not yet sufficient to sustain a larger beneficial population, some beneficials can be released into fields a bit early by using containers or bags that provide some nourishment. Hopefully, this lasts until they can live off pest populations, but some level of loss should be anticipated.  As you may be beginning to realize, while biocontrol has tremendous benefit, the traditional techniques face a few challenges: field/terrain conditions or crop height may prevent a manual release, there is a big opportunity cost for not using limited labor for other tasks, there is commonly a lack of precision in the release of the beneficials, and timing can be critical. However, there is good news to report. New dispersion techniques have been developed, tested and now are becoming increasingly available. Some, like hand-held blowers, are an incremental improvement of current manual releases. Others, such as the drone-performed biocontrol provided by our company UAV-IQ Precision Agriculture to growers in California, make the release of beneficials possible at scale for a growing number of crop types. In an upcoming article, we will describe in more detail the different release methods for augmentative biocontrol. We will discover that while augmentative biological control was historically known mainly for greenhouse vegetable and floriculture production, these new technics open new opportunities for outdoor crops such as trees, orchards, vineyards, etc.In our next article, we will focus on the last strategy of applied biological control discussed in this series: conservation biocontrol, but before then we’d love to hear from you about whether you’re finding these informative and if you have any suggestions for future articles. Do you have any experience with augmentative biological control? Share your story with us and fellow growers in the comments!UAV-IQ Precision Agriculture is a company that leverages precision agriculture technologies and best practices to help growers address labor shortages and make farming operations more profitable and sustainable. By Thomas Grandperrin of UAV-IQ Precision AgricultureThis article is part of a series on biological control and Integrated Pest Management written by UAV-IQ.In the previous article in this series we discussed classical biocontrol, which is the practice of identifying the origins of pests found in local fields, then finding the natural enemies of those pests in their foreign origins and bringing the “enemy of my enemy” (otherwise known as “beneficials”) back from their homelands to local farms to renew old rivalries and help suppress pest populations. As we have seen, this strategy is usually coordinated, or at least regulated, by public organizations at a regional, national or even continental scale. But a lot of the pests damaging our crops are actually native to our regions and already have local natural enemies. The problem though is that the population of those control agents is often insufficient and on the decline, for various reasons, some of which we will discuss in an upcoming article. To highlight a few of the most common causes though, industrial farming techniques such as monocropping and the use of phytosanitary products can affect populations of beneficial insects.AUGMENTATIVE BIOLOGICAL CONTROL IN ACTIONWhen existing natural enemies populations dip, growers who implement biocontrol as part of their Integrated Pest Management plan can re-release beneficials on a regular basis instead of using pesticides. This technique of bolstering existing beneficial populations with mass-reared insects is referred to as augmentative biocontrol and presents many advantages compared to the use of chemical application. For example, unlike the use of broad-spectrum pesticides that can affect the natural enemies population and thus could encourage future pest outbreaks, augmentative biocontrol is  often an ideal long-term solution. Additionally, growers are facing pesticide resistance issues which force them to look for alternative pest control strategies. The release of biological control agents is often a more sustainable solution in the short and long-term. Another argument (among many more) in favor of augmentative biocontrol is that sprayed chemicals often cannot reach some pests such as spider mites which tend to stay sheltered on the bottom side of leaves, but natural enemies have no problem finding them there.As we described in previous articles, the goal of biocontrol is not to eradicate a pest from the farm, but rather to ensure that there is the right balance of natural enemies and pests, so that the pest population is kept under acceptable thresholds. The two primary thresholds to consider are the least number of insects that cause yield loss equal to pest management costs (economic injury level, or “EIL”) or, preferably, the pest density at which action should be taken to prevent populations from reaching the economic injury level (economic threshold, or “ET”). WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INOCULATIVE AND INUNDATIVE AUGMENTATION? The primary principle of augmentative biocontrol is to use periodic releases to ensure that there is a large enough population of natural enemies (the ET) to prevent or control major pest outbreaks (the EIL). Augmentation can be further segmented into inoculation and inundation, depending on the frequency of release.Inoculative augmentation is when a release of beneficial is made on the crops once during the season and the control is ensured for the rest of the season by their offsprings.last_img read more

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March 08 2019

first_imgMarch 08 , 2019 Ethical Trading Initiative terminates Fyffes’ memb … You might also be interested in Ireland-based produce company Fyffes has marked International Women’s Day by launching its Global Gender Equality Program in Honduras, which it describes as one of the most challenging places in the world to be a woman.The company said the program will begin on two of its melon farms in Honduras as well as its pineapple farm in Costa Rica. The program’s aim is to identify challenges to equality faced by women both in the workplace and in their communities. The issues are likely to vary from region to region given the culture and local context, it said, noting that its interventions would be adapted accordingly.To date, the program has conducted independent survey interviews with 90 female and 113 male workers, as well as seven managers in Honduras. In Costa Rica, the program has undertaken interviews with 21 women, 32 men and 7 managers.The surveys’ findings have revealed that most workers have a clear understanding of what is not acceptable behavior at work, including sexual harassment, harsh discipline or violence. However, it said there is less awareness of the company policies regarding these behaviors and many workers said they would be reticent to challenge these behaviors or make formal complaints. For example, two-thirds of female workers interviewed in Costa Rica and 40% of female workers in Honduras said they felt others would disapprove if they made a sexual harassment claim at work.To address these issues, Fyffes says it has undertaken to better communicate its policies on these behaviors. The program is also establishing gender committees, comprised of both men and women, who will receive training on various gender-related issues such as gender-based violence, maternal health, family planning, sexual harassment, as well as communication and confidence building.The role of the committee members is to act as change agents in their workplace and their communities and give workers the confidence to tackle inappropriate workplace behavior. The committees will also inform Fyffes ongoing financial investment to tackle these issues.“I am pleased to be officially launching Fyffes Gender Equality Program on International Women’s Day,” said Julie Cournoyer, Fyffes global director of sustainability.”I would like to thank our partners for supporting what I believe is a very relevant project; focusing on improving conditions for women both on our farms as well as at home. Fyffes will learn from Costa Rica and Honduras as we continue to implement the Program across all Fyffes operations globally by 2021.”The program is being partially funded by the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative and conducted in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), la Alianza Empresarial para el Desarrollo (AED) in Costa Rica and Fundación Hondureña de Responsibilidad Social Empresarial (FUNDAHRSE) in Honduras.last_img read more

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AustralisSouthern Cone

first_imgAustralisSouthern Cone Australis has also indefinitely frozen fares for its 2017/18 and 2018/19 summer seasons at the same level as those for the recent 2016/2017 season, and is also offering a 10 per cent discount to passengers who combine two four-night cruises to create an eight-night exploration of the spectacular fjords of the Magellan Strait, Beagle Channel and Tierra del Fuego.TOP IMAGE: Stella Australis in Patagonia Patagonian cruise line, Australis, has released a free 23-page e-book – ‘A Complete Guide to Exploring the Southern Cone’ – to provide Australians with an easy guide to planning a holiday to the ‘Southern Cone’ – countries in South America south of the Tropic of Capricorn, including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, southern Brazil and Paraguay.The e-book brings together all the information travellers need to begin planning their adventure holiday, including 12 unmissable highlights of the area, five two-week travel itinerary options and country-specific travel tips, including information on visas, currency and the best times to visit.Highlights in the e-book include Argentina’s awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier, Brazil’s spectacular Iguazu Falls, the largely untouched Chilean Fjords and the Chaco, a semi-arid floodplain in Paraguay known for its abundance of plants, land formations and animals, including flamingos, jaguars, pumas and armadillos.The e-book can downloaded here last_img read more

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Trafalgar has unveiled its second module of Trafal

first_imgTrafalgar has unveiled its second module of Trafalgar Academy Course 2: Converting Opportunities into Success, that recognises the vital role of an agent by providing content focused on offering advice to achieve sales success.The agents’ e-learning program uses a simple three-step guide to securing increased sales – from selling skills to overcoming potential objections from customers. Subjects include The Trafalgar Difference, Converting Opportunities Into Success and coming soon – It’s Lifestyle Not Features That Matter, with additional courses to be added as the program gathers momentum.“Following the success of our first e-learning course, I’m delighted to unveil our second module which we are confident will help agents secure even more sales. We listened to feedback from our industry partners and have focused this course on conversion and helping agents understand their client’s needs which really is key to sales success!” said Matthew Cameron-Smith, Managing Director of Trafalgar Australia. Upon successful completion of each module, agents can access downloadable certificates of accreditation. For those not yet signed up, registration is quick and easy – agents simply need to CLICK HERE. Trafalgar Academy complements the parent group e-learning program from TTC (The Travel Corporation), which was launched at the beginning of 2017. agentse-learningTrafalgartraininglast_img read more

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