Personal Travel Managers simply wowed by Queen Mary II

first_imgThe Queen Mary II’s visit to Melbourne this weekend gave these PTMs the opportunity to get up close. (From left) Nicole Edgar, Leonie Wilcock, Lisa King, Tanya Barker, Carli Hester, Joanne Haines, Frances Cochrane, Andrea Friend, Leanne PearmanPersonal Travel Managers simply wowed by Queen Mary IIOne of the most elegant and luxurious icons of the cruise ship world was moored at Melbourne’s Station Pier on Sunday, and a dozen of TravelManagers’ personal travel managers (PTMs) were more than happy to accept an invitation aboard.Cunard Line’s Queen Mary II underwent a spectacular refurbishment eighteen months ago, with an equally spectacular 90-million-pound price tag. TravelManagers’ Nicole Edgar, representative for Narre Warren South in Victoria, says the result of this record-breaking investment exceeded all her expectations.“I was blown away by how spacious, modern, light, bright, classy, elegant and stunning the Queen Mary II was: not old-fashioned, dated or stuffy like you might have expected. The money and attention to detail that has been lavished on her really shows – she is beautiful!”Cunard took advantage of the Queen Mary II’s presence in Melbourne to announce that her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, is going to be based out of Melbourne during the 2019/2020 summer season: something which industry heads describe as a major coup for the city’s tourism & cruising industry, and for Cunard’s sales and passenger numbers out of Victoria. She will then spend another month or more based out of Sydney.TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the opportunity for PTMs to spend time aboard the Queen Mary II will lead to further growth for the company’s overall cruise sales figures, which have already risen by 15.5% over the past year.“Every cruise ship is unique and offers a different holiday experience to its guests: the more familiar our PTMs are with each individual ship through inspections and famils, the better they can match their clients’ needs and expectations with the right ship, and the more likely that they will become repeat cruise clients.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravel Managers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2017. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 500 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases.Source = TravelManagerslast_img read more

Sydneys Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel to launch Chocolate High Tea

first_imgSource = Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney – Chocolate High TeaSydney’s Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel to launch Chocolate High TeaRadisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney is launching their new Chocolate High Tea for chocolate lovers and sweet tooth’s alike, to coincide with the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory show in town.Already renowned for their high tea offerings (including vegan, gluten free and child friendly options) the hotel have launched their new Chocolate High Tea from January 2018. The chocolate high tea menu features mouth-watering sweet items such as handmade passionfruit lollipops, chocolate mud cake, chocolate mousse, caramel popping candy tarts, Oreo macarons and chocolate chip scones with cacao cream and strawberry jam. Savoury items include spinach and feta rolls and sausage rolls.All of the items on the menu are made from scratch and prepared fresh daily by pastry chef Noa Nisell-Hauser, who has designed this menu which can be enjoyed by both little kids and kids at heart.Pastry chef Noa joined the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney after working for several years in other iconic cities such as Stockholm and Tel Aviv. Noa’s passion for baking is evident in the Chocolate High Tea menu, as she wanted to provide something she could enjoy, as well as her child. The goal was to create a high tea that created the excitement and dazzle, that can be found in Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.With this high tea being a sensory and tasty chocolate experience, it also is available during February, making it the perfect Valentine’s Day treat. The hotel will also be running a competition to allow one lucky winner to spoil their loved one to a chocolate high tea during the “month of giving”. Our hotel’s act of kindness will also involve giving away 3 Chocolate High Tea family passes to The Infants’ Home, a Sydney early childhood centre.Radisson Blu General Manager, Peter Tudehope, said:“Our food and beverage team are committed providing the highest quality High Tea for our customers, in addition to our large range of menu items available at the Fax Bar. To be able to order our special Chocolate High Tea, we’re making the high tea experience even better! For this reason, we’re also pleased to give away 3 High Tea family passes for some families of The Infants’ Home to ensure everybody can enjoy such an exciting, chocolate-filled experience.”The hotel is known for their progressive high tea menus, being one of first Sydney hotels to launch a gluten free high tea in 2015 and the first 5-star hotel in Sydney to introduce a Vegan High Tea in 2017. High tea is served daily in the Fax Bar or Lady Fairfax Room of the hotel between 10:30am and 4:30pm. Group bookings and private high tea functions are also welcomed. As the Chocolate High Tea is a specialized high tea, bookings are essential. The Chocolate High Tea is available for $49 per person or $125 for families of 2 adults and 2 kids under 10.For reservations Email: Phone: +61 2 8214 0000last_img read more

TUI CEO to address UNWTO WTM Ministers Summit on Safe and Seamless

first_imgThe new boss at travel giant TUI Group will make the opening address at the UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit at World Travel Market London 2016.Fritz Joussen will speak to an audience of around 100 Tourism Ministers and senior industry executives from across the globe at the high-profile event, which will celebrate its 10th edition at WTM London 2016.Joussen took over as sole Chief Executive of TUI Group in February, ending a period of joint leadership with Peter Long which followed TUI Travel’s merger with German-based TUI in 2014. Joussen is well placed to outline the case for the travel industry to a high-level delegation of tourism ministers.Joussen will outline to Ministers how TUI is dealing the challenges of security in its operations and open a key debate on how public and private sector can promote a safer and more seamless travel experience.Taking place on November 9, the summit organised by WTM and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will be part of WTM London’s Ministerial Programme. The summit will explore how the tourism sector can work together to make travel safer and more seamless.Simon Press, Senior Director, WTM London, said, “I’m delighted to have such an industry heavyweight as Fritz Joussen to address the UNWTO & WTM Ministers’ Summit. This year’s summit will tackle the vital matter of traveller safety, looking at terrorism and other problems facing the industry, ranging from volcanic ash clouds to floods and earthquakes. But we’ll also discuss ways to make travel more seamless, smoothing the way for travellers across the globe.”UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said, “Safety and security in all its aspects is a global challenge that can only be addressed through collective action and a global response. Public and private sectors must plan, work, communicate, and respond together. Stepping up cooperation between the industry and governments is fundamental to enhance security and advance travel facilitation.”WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).WTM London 2016 will be revamped as a three-day event from November 7–9, with opening hours extended from 10am–7 pm for all three days.last_img read more

India to promote itself as a global Medical Tourism Destination

first_imgIndia has all the potentials to lead the global medical tourism industry due to the presence of advanced medical technologies as well as for offering affordable medical care. SCCEM (Society of Critical Care Emergency Medicine) has been in the forefront to help establish India as a premier medical tourism destination in the world, with their various efforts to bring different stakeholders at a common platform to discuss impending issues and removing the bottlenecks.After two successful annual medical tourism conferences, they are going to organise the third edition of International India Medical Tourism Congress in Hyderabad, Telengana on September 3-4, 2016. Several domestic as well as International players from the medical tourism industry have already confirmed their presence for the event, and the IIMTC 2016 will prove a benchmark journey to establish India as the foremost destination for patients around the world, seeking quality, affordable and satisfying medical care.India is relying upon a lot on the medical tourism sector to increase its foreign currency deposit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already extended his best wishes to the success of IIMTC 2016, and country’s Health Department, Ayush Department, Tourism Department etc are seeing the event as an opportunity to build the Brand India proposition among foreign nationals, choosing the country for an effective and cost-effective healthcare or treatment.H N Garg, President of SCCEM, states that a number of hosted buyers from CIS countries, the Middle East, North African Nations and other countries have already confirmed their presence for IIMTC 2016. “Several representatives from the leading hospitals, healthcare centres from India will be present at the two-day conference to shape the future of the Indian medical tourism industry,” he said.Today, India is the leading destinations for international patients to get quality treatments in the areas of bone marrow transplants, cardiac bypass surgeries, heart surgeries, spine surgeries and dental treatments. At IIMTC 2016, Indian healthcare providers will also showcase their sophisticated medical technologies and capabilities in other areas as well to draw more international patients. The event is expected to play a significant role to bolster the growth of the Indian medical tourism industry.last_img read more

A guide to vacationing in Monaco

first_imgThe Principality of Monaco lies on the French Riviera in Western Europe. This graceful destination is bordered by France and the sparkling Mediterranean sea and his home to ancient streets full of exotic cars, a natural harbour filled with super yachts and a glittering royal legacy.Source: Expedialast_img

Madrid introduces Vuelve a Madrid loyalty programme

first_img“Vuelve a Madrid” which means ‘Return to Madrid’, is a loyalty programme developed by the Tourism Office of Madrid’s City Council to encourage visitors to return to the city. The capital of Spain, Madrid, is the first destination to offer a loyalty programme for visitors based on a catalogue of exclusive advantages and offers that can be redeemed through points system basis. More than 1,700 people have already signed up for Vuelve a Madrid and more than 50 companies and institutions in Madrid have expressed their interest and confidence in the programme by adhering to it. Membership is free of charge. All that is required is that you be of legal age and reside outside the city of Madrid.The initiative was introduced by Luis Cueto, General Coordinator of Madrid’s Mayor Office on March 6, 2018, along with Miguel Sanz, Director Tourism, Madrid. The programme, which rolled out in March 2017 has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through its operational programme The programme aims to attract 9.9 million visitors who come to the city each year and particularly those who regularly travel for professional reasons. Cueto, at the launch of the event, said, “What we are doing with this really innovative initiative is promoting Madrid, making the city grow. We have no doubts as to the importance of public-private collaboration.”The programme will enable companies and institutions to join the tourism value chain and increase the consumption of their products and services across a wide range of audience. This way it will promote repeat visits to the capital, boost and diversify the tourism expenditure, foster sustainable tourism by deseasonalizing visits by tourists.last_img read more

Home Prices Fall 02 Over October FHFA

first_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””: (FHFA) released a house price index Thursday that tracked a 0.2-percent shortfall in prices on a seasonally adjusted basis from September to October.[IMAGE]The FHFA releases home price indices each month to denote figures for home prices from across the country.[COLUMN_BREAK]September’s 0.9-percent upswing entered a downward revision that saw home prices fall 2.8 percent, with the U.S. index 19.2 percent below a peak seen in April 2007.Census divisions from the report included regions from across the country, which by and large saw marginal downward revisions from September to October.The Pacific underwent a 0.1-percent dearth in home prices, for example, while the Mountain region surged in a southerly direction by 0.7 percent.West North Central saw gains by 0.1 percent, roughly compared with gains by 0.2 percent for West South Central.East North Central bore witness to a 0.5-percent decline while East South Central reported 2 percent in gains.New England went down by 0.1 percent, while the Middle and South Atlantic regions both reported 0.6-percent declines in home prices. December 22, 2011 422 Views center_img Home Prices Fall 0.2% Over October: FHFA Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Census Bureau FHFA Home Prices Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-12-22 Ryan Schuettelast_img read more

Mortgage Contracting Services Names VP of Operations

first_img April 16, 2013 410 Views New,Mortgage Contracting Services Names VP of Operations in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing “”Mortgage Contracting Services LLC””: (MCS), a Texas-based provider of property preservation, inspections, and REO property maintenance to the financial services industry, named Ken Scheller as VP of operations.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]Scheller is a three-time Pinnacle Leadership Award winner and has a Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from General Electric, where he led consumer finance and mortgage servicing efforts as a VP. He also participated in Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac advisory groups with Bank of America. Before joining MCS, Scheller served as SVP of default servicing at Bank of America, overseeing operations and support for collections, loss mitigation, foreclosure referral, and vendor management.According to a release from MCS, he will oversee the company’s operations center in Ruston, Louisiana.””Ken brings us seasoned leadership and more than a decade of experience in mortgage servicing,”” said Caroline Reaves, CEO of MCS. “”His leadership of our Ruston center is further proof of our commitment to that part of the country and our hopes and plans for continued expansion there.””center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-04-16 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Mortgage Debt Among Seniors on the Rise

first_img While the homeownership rate among Americans age 65 and older has remained at or near 80 percent for the past decade, the percentage of older Americans with outstanding mortgage debt has increased since the start of the housing crisis, according to a report released Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).About 30 percent of older Americans hold mortgage debt as of 2011, according to CFPB, up 8 percentage points from 2001.The rate increased even more dramatically among those age 75 and older. In 2001, 8.4 percent of those 75 and older had outstanding mortgages, while 21.2 percent had outstanding mortgages in 2011, according to CFPB.About 4.4 million Americans are retired and still paying on their mortgage loans, according to CFPB.Not only has the percentage of older Americans holding mortgage debt increased, but so too has the amount of debt these seniors owe. In 2001, the median outstanding mortgage debt among older mortgage holders was $43,300. As of 2011, the median debt among seniors with outstanding mortgages was $79,000.”A home can be a place of security for older Americans in their retirement years—a roof over their heads as well as a valuable asset,” said CFPB DIrector Richard Cordray.”But as more seniors carry significant mortgages into retirement, they put themselves at risk of losing their nest eggs and their homes,” he added.In fact, the serious delinquency rate among seniors—the rate of those age 65 to 74 who were 90 or more days past due on their mortgages—rose significantly during the financial crisis. Starting at a rate of 0.85 percent in 2007, serious delinquencies among seniors rose to 4.96 percent by 2011.”While delinquency and foreclosure rates have decreased since 2012, foreclosure among older homeowners is still a significant problem,” the CFPB stated.About half of retired seniors with mortgage debt pay more than 30 percent of their household income on housing costs, CFPB stated.Factors contributing to the rising rate of older Americans with mortgage debt include the refinancing boom of the 2000s, and “a general trend among Americans to buy their first home later in life, provide small down payments on home purchases, and borrow against their home equity to pay for a variety of expenses,” according to CFPB. May 8, 2014 438 Views Share Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Homeownership Rate Mortgage Debt 2014-05-08 Krista Franks Brockcenter_img Mortgage Debt Among Seniors on the Rise in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more

Fed Removes Patient Pledge after FOMC Meeting

first_img The Fed dropped its “patient” pledge in a statement released today following two days of committee meetings. Despite removing the “patient” policy, the Federal Open Market Committee remained steady on the belief that interest rates will not increase by their April meeting. Fed Chair Janet Yellen emphasized in a press conference following the meeting, the removal of the pledge doesn’t mean Fed rates will increase by June.“Today’s modification of the forward guidance should not be read as indicating that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range for the Federal funds rate,” she said. “In particular, this change does not mean that an increase will necessarily occur in June, although we can’t rule that out.”Experts predicted the Fed would drop the patient language after this meeting, which many thought to be a sign rates could be increased by as early as June. The Fed however made it clear that a change in language does not mean they are ready for the hike. The Fed’s forecasts today contained a shallower path for interest rates going forward. Instead of increasing rates at 0.25 percent at every meeting, the median interest rate estimate from the Fed calls for only 7 increases over the course of the next 14 meetings. While low unemployment and strong job growth indicate the economy is improving, a decline in inflation remains one of the major reasons why the Fed believes the market is still not ready for the increase.“The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run,” the Fed statement said.The committee said it would take a balanced approach whenever it decides to the remove the current policy, emphasizing long term goals and 2 percent inflation must be met before the decision. In order to maintain accommodative financial conditions, the Fed said it will continue the policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. Currently, only two of the 17 Fed officials think the increase will not happen this year.The Fed failed to provide any clear cut answer on any plan of action regarding policy. Yellen said the Fed could not provide certainty on their plans because data can’t be predicted and the economy will continue to evolve. “We can’t provide certainty and shouldn’t provide certainty because economic developments are uncertain,” she said. According to Yellen, the Fed forecasts are designed to be forward-looking, and that’s why most officials expect to tighten policy “sometime this year,”“We don’t want to be premature in tightening policy and aborting a recovery that we have worked long and hard to proceed as far as it has, we also don’t want to be behind the curve and beginning to tighten given those lags,” Yellen said. FOMC Interest rates Janet Yellen the fed 2015-03-18 Samantha Guzman in Daily Dose, Featured, Government Sharecenter_img March 18, 2015 435 Views Fed Removes ‘Patient’ Pledge after FOMC Meetinglast_img read more

All in a Months Work Putting in the Time to Afford a

first_imgAll in a Month’s Work: Putting in the Time to Afford a Home in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Hawaii might be paradise, but if you own a home there, you might not get much time off from work to enjoy it. A new study by GOBankingRates Monday reported that Hawaii homeowners typically work 88 hours a month to cover the cost of living in the 50th state.To put that another way, the hours Hawaii homeowners work during the first two weeks plus the following Monday of every month, given a standard workweek, go straight into their mortgages.The District of Columbia also broke the 80-hours-a-month barrier, just edging out California for second place on the list of places residents work the most in order to pay for their homes. Hawaii’s place at the top shows that residents of the Aloha State work an average of three times as many hours as those in Ohio, where homeowners work an average of 30.76 hours a month to afford their homes. Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas also clocked in with fewer than 35 hours a month.The study looked at home listing prices, mortgage rates, and household income to determine its final numbers.”It’s one thing to know the amount of money you’re paying each month to cover your mortgage, but thinking of it in terms of working hours gives that expense a whole new meaning,” said Kristen Bonner, research lead on the study. “Our research provides a fresh perspective on a topic so heavily discussed among Americans. Sure, high home prices are nothing new, but our data takes it one step further by displaying how many work hours a month go directly toward affording a home.”According to GOBankingRates, notable differences in median household incomes among states means that a low mortgage rate or low home listing price don’t necessarily equate to fewer work hours a month required to afford a mortgage. Arkansas, for example, is just one of five states where the average monthly mortgage is less than $800, yet residents there work 40 hours per month to afford their mortgages.In general, the report found, homeowners in Western states, which all featured in the high end of hours worked, need to contend with higher housing prices overall.Monday’s study complements GOBankingRates’ report last week that calculated how many hours it takes for Americans to afford to live the Millennial lifestyle (defined as necessities such as rent plus discretionary items such as daily coffee and events tickets). The firm found that Millennials on average must work roughly 68 hours a month to afford just the rent.Monday’s report also complements a report GOBankingRates did in July that found that in three states (Hawaii was one, and so were Colorado and Idaho) it was much more expensive to own a home than to rent. August 1, 2016 463 Views center_img Share Mortgage Payments 2016-08-01 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Ally Bank Introduces DirecttoConsumer Mortgage System

first_img Ally Financial LenderLive Mortgage Technology 2016-12-12 Staff Writer Share Ally Bank Introduces Direct-to-Consumer Mortgage System December 12, 2016 616 Views center_img in Headlines, News, Technology Ally Bank announced the implementation of its direct-to-consumer mortgage offering Ally Home, a digital suite that features mortgage servicing products for customers. Ally will collaborate with LenderLive to provide compliant, mortgage fulfillment, settlement and document services.The Ally Home suite features mortgage products with various term options for competitively priced, fixed rate, and adjustable rate loans to help customers seeking to purchase a new home or refinance an existing mortgage.Diane Morais, Ally Bank CEO and President, stressed the importance of maintaining customer relationships and what Ally Home will do for consumers. “At Ally, our goal is to ‘Do It Right’ for our customers, many of who have expressed a desire to deepen their relationships with us through additional products to meet their personal finance needs,” she said. “Because a home loan is a cornerstone financial product and the largest market within the consumer lending space, this is a natural next step for Ally.”Ally Home products are integrated with the Ally Bank website, where consumers can view information about buying or refinancing a home, including current rates, loan types, and three interactive calculators: affordability, refinance, and loan payment. Users can manage their loan-related documents from any device after applying for a loan. Customers will be guided throughout the application, approval, and closing processes by the Ally Home Team of loan experts. Morais discussed the decision to offer a plethora of mortgage services for consumers. “Offering a variety of home loan products with our hallmark emphasis on superior customer service and innovation serves as a proof point that we work tirelessly to be a relentless Ally for our customers’ financial well-being,” Morais said. “The launch of Ally Home is the latest step to diversify our product offering to serve more of our customers’ financial needs.”last_img read more

The Week Ahead Fed Rate Hike Widely Expected

first_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News December 11, 2016 579 Views Will the Federal Open Market Committee raise the federal funds target rate for the first time in a year? A move by the Fed is widely expected by analysts and economists. The industry will find out when the FOMC makes its announcement on Wednesday, December 14, at 2 p.m. EST.The most recent Employment Situation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics seems to have nailed it down, with 178,000 jobs added in November and an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.Reuters reported on Friday that “There is little doubt that the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time in a year on Wednesday, with markets pricing in a near 100 percent chance for a quarter percentage point increase in its target range.” Marketwatch stated that “The Fed is widely expected to announce an increase in the target range for its federal funds rate to 0.5 percent-0.75 percent when its two-day meeting wraps next Wednesday, analysts agree.”Curt Long, Chief Economist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, stated that “the report provided no impediments for a rate hike from the Fed later this month, and a quarter-point increase is now a certainty.” Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said, “The biggest surprise was the big decline in unemployment.  Analysts had been expecting unemployment to stay flat at 4.9 percent—where it had been all summer—but the fall to 4.6 percent was the lowest unemployment rate we’ve seen since August 2007. Since we’re now at what most economists consider to be full employment, any future economic growth could likely lead to higher wages and therefore more inflation, as well as higher rates.”Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, said, “The gains in wages have been something long awaited by the Fed before increasing rates. All signs indicate that it’s probably time to act in small measure now, as opposed to waiting longer and having to risk more drastic increases later. The housing market is already expecting it.”HUD/Census Bureau New Residential Construction Report for November 2016, Friday, December 16 at 8:30 a.m. ESTWill housing starts continue their meteoric rise in October’s report? The industry will find out when HUD and the Census Bureau release the New Residential Construction Report for October 2016 on Friday, December 16.In September, housing starts made significant gains, rising by 25 percent over-the-year and 23 percent over-the-month up to an annual pace of 1.3 million.David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide, said that housing starts‒‒which are climbing at their strongest pace since 2007‒‒are being driven higher by improved household growth as the economy promotes further job and income gains.“With improved employment and income prospects,” he said, “millennials are an expanding portion of housing demand as they move out of their parents’ homes‒‒increasingly to form families.”Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin said the increase in starts in September was “statistically significant” but that there was still much room for improvement.“Controlling for the number of household in the U.S., housing starts are only about 66 percent of their 50-year average,” McLaughlin said.This week’s scheduleTuesday, December 13Quicken Loans National Home Price Perception Index and Home Value Index for November 2016Wednesday, December 14Federal Open Market Committee announcement, 2 p.m. ESTThursday, December 15NAHB Housing Market Index for December 2016, 10 a.m ESTFriday, December 16HUD/Census Bureau New Residential Construction Report for November 2016, 8:30 a.m. EST The Week Ahead: Fed Rate Hike Widely Expectedcenter_img Share Federal Funds Target Rate Federal Reserve 2016-12-11 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Too Many Options …

first_img Share The demand for housing went up in September, according to the latest Redfin Housing Demand Index. The Index reports that demand increased by 5.1 percent in September to 131. Redfin notes that this comes following several months of the index staying flat, with the September increase driven by an increase in “early stage home-buying activity.””There are a couple of explanations for the increase in buyer activity from August to September,” said Redfin Chief Economist and Report Author Daryl Fairweather. “One is that rising mortgage rates motivated some buyers to look for a home before rates rise again. Second, inventory usually falls from August to September, but this year it rose 0.7 percent, giving buyers more homes to choose from.”Redfin notes that the number of people requesting home tours increased 11.2 percent month over month in September, the largest monthly increase in 16 months, while the number writing offers increased by 8.1 percent.According to Fairweather, many buyers are plagued by the difficulty making the right decision in areas such as San Francisco and Boston, where inventory has increased. Buyers are afraid of making the wrong decision when buying a home as their options increase.”Buyers hear that the market has slowed and are curious to see what’s available, but in general I find that today’s buyers don’t have the same strong sense of urgency to make offers that they had this time last year,” said Los Angeles Redfin Agent Alec Traub . “Buyers tell me they like a home, but they don’t love it. Last year, buyers would jump to offer on a home they only liked, but now they are waiting to fall in love.”Los Angeles saw the largest month-over-month increase in demand in September, up 18.1 percent. Meanwhile, Boston saw a two percent increase in demand, but a 17.1 percent increase in inventory month-over-month, compared to the national inventory increase of 0.7 percent.Find the full report from Redfin here. October 30, 2018 603 Views in Daily Dose, Data, News, Originationcenter_img Boston Buyers Demand Inventory 2018-10-30 Seth Welborn Too Many Options …last_img read more

TravelManagers 10th annual conference is just one

first_imgTravelManagers’ 10th annual conference is just one day away and this year’s host city, Darwin, is already gearing up for an influx of personal travel managers (PTMs), members of the national partnership support team, and partner suppliers. Almost 400 people will be attending the 2017 conference with the theme ‘ONE’, running from 7 to 9 September at Darwin Convention Centre. “The conference theme of ONE resonates with all that we do. We will explore our theme throughout our entire conference by way of peer to peer and supplier partner presentations, workshops, tradeshows and participation in our community event,” said TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager Michael Gazal.“ONE is many things – how we work together as ONE, that ONE big thing you may be working towards, or it could be the ONE thing you can change that will make the biggest difference in your life. ONE is also about your sense of ONE – ONE individual working within ONE network, and what that means for our PTMs.“We have been collaborating with David Price from Outshine Media over the last few months as we want to start the conference with a wow moment. David has attended many of our conferences and intimately understands our business, and we are really excited about what we have come up with to launch this year’s conference, and to set the tone for the entire three days.” Keynote speakers include Red Shark Naomi Simson and Benjamin (Ben) Roberts-Smith, the most decorated serving soldier in the Commonwealth. Just over a quarter of the major presentations – themed ‘Secrets to my Success’ – will be delivered by personal travel managers themselves.Eight personal travel managers including Queensland’s’ Sarena Taylor, representative for Robina, Denise Dean, representative for Hendra, Anthony Lee, representative for Bardon, and Simon Tinkler, representative for South Brisbane; Michelle Desmarchelier, representative for Berowra, and Jane Fowler, representative for Elrington in New South Wales, and Western Australian-based Barbara Turner, representative for Scarborough, and South Australia’s Corinne Mutz, representative for Upper Sturt, will share their business success stories at the conference. “We are also thrilled to have Lauren Bath, who pioneered the Australian influencer industry, sharing insights on how PTMs can use Instagram to grow their businesses, and Janeece Keller, who will relaunch the Travel With Kidz accreditation program,” said Gazal. DarwinTravelManagerslast_img read more

Each villa offers stateoftheart kitchens priva

first_imgEach villa offers state-of-the-art kitchens, private swimming pools and private open terraces, and fronts pristine, three kilometre-long white-sand beach and reef. “We always have a story to tell at Nanuku Auberge Resort – a stay with us is enriching, emotionally investing, soulful and uniquely memorable in so many ways,” said Nanuku Auberge Resort GM, Sascha Hemmann. On track to officially open in October 2018, Naunuku Auberge Resort, Fiji has released sneak peek pics of its 13 new luxury one and two bedroom Auberge Beach Villas.The villas have been designed by Fremantle-based architects, Grounds Kent, whose international design portfolio includes resort properties in Australia, Bali, Brazil, China, India the Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar and Thailand. fijiluxuryNanuku AubergeResort “When our new Auberge Beach Villas are ready for our guests we know what we will be presenting them with is an unforgettable experience – and we know that what we are presenting here takes things to levels previously unseen in this part of the world.”last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact LISTEN: Dave Pasch, NFL and college football analyst “That’s the reason why how you draft in rounds 3-7 are so important. You’ve got to get players who can step in and play that first year,” Pasch said Tuesday on the Doug and Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM . “Guys like (third-round pick) Kareem Martin and (fifth-round pick) Ed Stinson — obviously you’ve got veterans, too, like Frostee Rucker — but Stinson and Kareem Martin, it’s time for them to step up.“I also think it puts pressure on the secondary. These guys are going to be expected to do more than maybe (they were) going into the year. I know they were counting on Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Antonio Cromartie to take the ball away. They’re going to have to make more plays because Darnell Dockett didn’t get 10 sacks a year, but he got a few, and he made it possible for other guys to get sacks… They’ve got to manufacture sacks, and that puts more pressure on the secondary to help (make) that happen.”The Cardinals will enter the regular season without three of their front seven — Dockett, linebacker Daryl Washington (suspension) and linebacker Karlos Dansby (free agency) — that helped them finish the 2013 season as the NFL’s top rushing defense. “If you can tell me that these guys I mentioned earlier (Martin and Stinson) are going to step up and play, and play well, I think that they can weather that storm,” Pasch said.Pasch said Dockett, who missed just two games in 10 NFL seasons, will be missed as much for his leadership as his on-field performance.“I think there are players that rally behind him, players certainly that love and respect him, and so you’re losing one of your top leaders on that side of the ball,” he said.“Most NFL teams, there’s some major injury they have to overcome to get to a Super Bowl, and unfortunately for the Cardinals, you’ve got to overcome a guy who, I don’t know if he’s the heart and soul anymore of that defense, but he’s still a big part of it.”If it turns out that Dockett, who is in the final year of his contract in Arizona, has played his last game in a Cardinals uniform, Pasch said he “deserves strong Ring of Honor consideration” for a decade’s worth of reliability and productivity.“When you look at defensive tackles since he came into the league since 2004 — games played, sacks, tackles — he’s up there with the best of them. There are guys that were drafted after him at his position that are out of the league, yet this guy starts every game every year, and I want to stop, pause, and pay my respect for what this guy has done as a Cardinal.” Arizona Cardinals play-by-play broadcaster Dave Pasch said several pieces will have to fall into place in order for the Cardinals to overcome the loss of three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Darnell Dockett to a season-ending ACL injury.Pasch said the Cardinals were able to win 10 games last season despite injuries to key personnel, and they can have the same success minus Dockett this year if their 2014 draft picks at defensive end make an immediate impact and their secondary can help disrupt opposing offenses at the line of scrimmage. Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element.last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians speaks d

first_imgArizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians speaks during a press conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) “I love it when they come up there and they get coached very hard. See how they take it. Are they going to get in a shell or are they going to bounce back? It didn’t bother him. He’s been coached hard, that’s for sure. I really like the progress he made in the spring. He’s in a tough room right now, but if he continues to make that progress, we can really count on him.”What are your thoughts on the offensive line?“With all the injuries we had last year it’s kind of built good depth this year. We’ve got two or three guys that are on our second group that started some games. I like the athleticism. I really like the way Mike Iupati looks at 327 instead of 347. The whole group, they had a great offseason. They were in there almost every day together lifting and then watching film from February on, so that group I have a lot of confidence in.”What will a lighter Mike Iupati mean?“Yeah, I think it will help his stamina. He’s a great athlete for a big man so he should be even more athletic.”Do you believe the window of opportunity for this team is now?“I think that’s the assessment every year. You build your team to win and those guys that are building for the future that next coach is probably coaching them. When the future gets there they’re going to have a new coach. We’re here to win. You can say age has something to do with it, but it’s really every year that’s our philosophy. We’re building the best roster to win our division.” When you addressed the team, what was your message to them?“Just like we talked about yesterday, little things. We addressed a lot of things back in OTAs on what we needed to do to get back to where we want to go and win close games. Every year is a new year. A lot of new faces. Ninety guys trying to get a job. We’re not the Cardinals yet.”To be successful in this league, does it come down to the quarterback ultimately?“A lot of times it does on a team, especially at this level. I’ve been very fortunate to be around some really, really good ones. It’s always fun going to practice and going to the stadium on Sunday when you got a good one. When you don’t have one it’s rough. You got to do everything perfect.”What are your expectations for Carson Palmer given all that rest he received in the offseason?“To play like he did in November and December, which was really solid for us and if he plays that well we should be a good team.”How much do you expect Palmer to play in the preseason?“He’ll probably play more than he did last year. We’ll play our starters more than we did last year. We’re talking about six plays versus 12 in a game. He will not play in the Hall of Fame Game. Larry (Fitzgerald) won’t play. I doubt Karlos (Dansby) plays. We’ll see, we’ll see how it goes.” So Palmer is going to play more yet he’s not going to play in one of the games?“Yeah, game three is the biggest one. I think we played maybe two quarters, if that, last year. We’ll see how it goes, but my plan right now is to play him a little bit more in game three, which is now game three and game four and none in game five probably.”Only one player in NFL history has ever averaged 30 touches in a game and that was James Wilder in 1984. Any concern about the long-term affects of giving Johnson that many touches?“No, James Wilder ran the ball 30 times. You run the ball 30 times you’re not going to last long in this league. We all know that. Twenty runs, and not all up the middle; (and 10 catches) just getting (Johnson’s) hands on the ball where he can create in space. Those tackles, they don’t take much out of you.”Was the veteran leadership that you added this offseason something you were missing last season?“We did miss some. I think early in the season we obviously missed, I think, Jerraud Powers and Rashad Johnson a little bit…. You want to have somebody that’s the voice in the room that they’re going to listen to more than a coach.”What kind of growth did you see from Chad Williams moving from the second to the first field during OTAs and mini-camp? The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Follow Craig Grialou on Twitter – / 14 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img 7 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories GLENDALE – Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personal conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through.“Well, this will be quick. Two meetings and no practice. We had a hell of a walk-through, that’s all I can tell you. Yeah, nothing new. Any questions?” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers thr

first_imgLos Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo ) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories A loss by the Pittsburgh Steelers to the 5-6 Denver Broncos led to the former’s tumble out of the rankings. And so that opened opportunity.Related LinksDoug & Wolf Week 12 NFL power poll: John Clayton makes his picksThe Consensus Week 13: How did the Cardinals move up?Franz moved the Houston Texans into the No. 5 slot of his rankings after they beat the Tennessee Titans and improved to 8-3 on the year.But Wolf and Paul went another direction. They picked the 8-3 Chargers as the fifth-best team in the NFL after Los Angeles pummeled the Arizona Cardinals, 45-10, behind a masterful performance from quarterback Philip Rivers.Here’s how the order shakes out for each of the three pollsters heading into Week 13.Doug Franz5. Texans4. Patriots3. Chiefs2. Rams1. SaintsRon Wolfley5. Chargers4. Chiefs3. Patriots2. Saints1. RamsPaul Calvisi5. Chargers4. Chiefs3. Patriots2. Rams1. Saints 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The top of Doug & Wolf’s power rankings heading into Week 13 of the NFL season is steady.The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams aren’t budging from the top two spots. While the Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons, the Rams and another of the five best teams, the Kansas City Chiefs, had last week off.Those teams are joined by the New England Patriots in each of Doug Franz’s, Ron Wolfley’s and Paul Calvisi’s power polls this week. It’s the backend of the top-five that’s looking different.last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Celebrity Cruises anno

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterCelebrity Cruises announced the planned acquisition of award-winning Galápagos Islands tour operator Ocean Adventures and its two ships, the 48-guest ship M/V Eclipse and the 16-guest catamaran M/C Athala II. The move expands Celebrity’s guest capacity in the Galápagos by 65%.Ocean Adventures’ 64 permits will grow the Galápagos fleet capacity for Celebrity, which has operated the 100-guest Celebrity Xpedition there for more than a decade. The expanded line-up means modern luxury travellers looking to experience the Galápagos Islands will be able to choose a ship whose size and intimacy suits their personal preference.“Our guests use the most amazing words to describe their journeys to the Galápagos Islands,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises.“They tell us the experience is ‘once in a lifetime’, ‘awe-inspiring’, even ‘life-changing’. That’s why we’ve made Celebrity Xpedition such a special experience, and why we are thrilled to expand our Galápagos programme with these two intimate ships. We want to make more lifetime memories.”The unique range of ship sizes creates more opportunities for regular cruises, group bookings and custom charters. The ships’ smaller sizes – 100, 48 or 16 guests – will also present an intimate modern luxury experience.“Our unique Galápagos fleet will offer an up-close look at the region’s breathtaking natural beauty, paired with Celebrity’s highly intuitive service and award-winning cuisine,” Lutoff-Perlo said.The new ships also make possible distinctive itineraries that feature an expanded list of destinations for Celebrity, like Puerto Villamil, Darwin Bay, Black Turtle Cove, Chinese Hat Islet and Wall of Tears.Guests can choose from a number of immersive explorations of the local culture, including local hotel stays, encounters with local residents, and unique tours. The fleet expansion also allows Celebrity’s guests to take advantage of new packages that celebrate the most breathtaking spots in Ecuador – such as the Andes Mountains – and Peru, where Machu Picchu and Amazon packages are enduringly popular.The two vessels will join the Celebrity Cruises fleet in the autumn (southern hemisphere) of 2016, pending the closing of the acquisition deal. Until a January 2017 drydock, the ships will continue to offer the Ocean Adventures experience; after the refresh, the ships will sail as part of Celebrity Cruises’ fleet, and guests will enjoy Celebrity’s signature modern luxury elements. All existing Ocean Adventures’ bookings and reservation commitments will remain unchanged, both before and after the drydock.Ben Dod, President of Ocean Adventures, said, “After 16 years of building Ocean Adventures into the one of the leading operators in the Galápagos Islands, we are proud to have caught the attention of a world-class cruise company like Celebrity and proud to be part of their ambitious plans to expand in the region. The MV Eclipse and MC Athala II are the best vessels in their class and we are delighted that both ships will continue to deliver an unequalled level of service and experience to guests.”As part of its commitment to the Galápagos Islands, Celebrity rigorously follows guidelines set by local authorities to protect the assets of the Ecuadorian archipelago, including the robust kaleidoscope of flora and fauna found there, like giant tortoises, prehistoric iguanas and blue-footed boobies.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more