Lights, Camera, Killalea!Lights, Camera, Killalea!A touch of Hollywood glitz and glamour has taken over Shellharbour, with the Australian premiere of Rip Tide set to take place at Shellharbour Greater Union this Sunday, 10 September at 2pm.Local Filmgoers will quickly recognise some familiar surroundings, with the famous surf breaks of Killalea making their film debut in Rip Tide.Directed by Illawarra native Rhiannon Bannenberg and filmed over 18 days in November last year, Rip Tide tells the tale of American model Cora (Debby Ryan), who flees New York to live with her Aunt Margot (Genevieve Hegney) following a humiliating fashion faux pas. Though initially unsure of the back to basics beachside community she finds herself in, Cora soon discovers hidden talents, new friendships and even a potential romance with local surfer Tom (Andrew Creer).Australian actress Naomi Sequeira (Disney’s Evermoor Chronicles), who plays the role of Chicka, Cora’s best friend in the film, called the shoot one of the best experiences of her acting career.“It was incredible filming at The Farm, it’s a truly special location and an absolutely beautiful beach,” Naomi said.“We shot all our surf scenes there and on our days off all the cast members would drive up there to practice our surfing.“It was really rad to see both strong women and men in their element working together across the shoot. Everybody in both the cast and crew did such a fantastic job and we all had a lot of laughs together on and off the set.“It was a project like I’d never done before, everyone worked as a team and I believe that’s what makes this film really special.”While watching the film keep an eye out for Killalea Manager Nathan Cattell, who is also set to make his Hollywood debut in a small cameo.“We loved having the opportunity to provide Rhiannon and producer Steve Jaggi with our park as a filming location, I always knew it was one of the best surf spots in NSW but Rip Tide is about to put it on the map,” Nathan said.“To see such a talented team of people in their element was truly something special, watching them work their magic both on and off set is a true highlight of my time at the park.“I wish Rhiannon great success with what is sure to be an absolute hit and I’m looking forward to attending the premiere on Sunday.”Killalea is part of the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT), which is committed to providing unforgettable holiday memories in iconic destinations across NSW. NSWCHPT manages the operations of South Coast Holiday Parks (SCHP), Inland Waters Holiday Parks (IWHP) and North Coast Holiday Parks (NCHP).NSWCHPT CEO Steve Edmonds passed on his best wishes to the cast and crew of Rip Tide ahead of the premiere, saying he looked forward to catching the film on the big screen upon its national release.“It is great to see one of our parks on the big screen and it just goes to prove what a spectacular location Killalea is,” Mr Edmonds said.“Our goal is to showcase the sensational destinations in which our parks are located and it’s not every day we have the opportunity to do this through a feature film. I look forward to seeing fans of the film flock to Killalea for their next surfing adventure.“Who knows, maybe we’ll even be hosting Rip Tide tours of the park in the very near future!”Rip Tide hits cinemas nation wide on the 14th September. To book your next holiday at Killalea head to www.southcoastparks.com.auSource = Local Filmgoers
Source = X2 Hua Hin Oasis Residence X2 Hua Hin Oasis entices familiesX2 Hua Hin Oasis entices familiesX2 Hua Hin Oasis, the stylish new Thai pool villa retreat, has developed a trio of tempting packages which allow families to enjoy top local attractions together which is available from now until November 30th, 2017 only.The new “Family Vacation Packages” are ideal for both domestic and international travellers, and especially for Thai resident families seeking a luxurious break from Bangkok.The Family Safari package allows families and friends to relax in a three-bedroom villa, including breakfast for six. It also includes entry into Hua Hin Safari & Adventure Park, which offers a vast array of activities such as elephant trekking, horse riding, animal shows and much more. This package is priced at just THB13,500 net per night.Alternately for THB15,500 net per night, guests can book the Family Splash package. This includes accommodation in a three-bedroom pool villa, breakfast for six, and family entry into Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Jungle – an impressive outdoor water park that features 19 exciting slides and rides.Finally, the Family Sea package promises a fun-filled adventure on the glistening waves of the Gulf of Thailand. Priced at THB29,000 net for two nights, the package offers pool villa accommodation and breakfast for six, plus a full-day family boat trip to Koh Ling (Monkey Island) and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. During the trip, guests will be able to explore exotic islands, have lunch on an idyllic beach, and take part in a family fishing trip.“X2 Hua Hin Oasis is the perfect place for families to come together and re-connect with each other in a luxurious and relaxing atmosphere,” said Krisna Elisabeth Subsinmangkang, General Manager of the new resort. “We have teamed up with Hua Hin’s most popular attractions and activities to create these three exciting packages, giving guests even more chances to enjoy special family getaways together.”X2 Hua Hin Oasis features an exquisite collection of residential villas in a blissful rural locale, just 2.5 hours’ drive south of the Thai capital. All units feature a luxurious open-plan design, private outdoor pools, kitchens and family dining areas.For more information, reservations and package terms and conditions, please call +66 (0)624144545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Discovery Parks launches a new water park in BarmeraDiscovery Parks launches a new water park in BarmeraWith it set to be a glorious summer in South Australia, families will be excited to hear that there’s a new waterpark in town! Thanks to Adelaide-based Discovery Parks, locals and travellers alike can now look forward to an exciting new attraction in the area to help stay cool this summer. Visitors can find this unique family holiday destination on the banks of Lake Bonney in South Australia’s Riverland.This new waterpark is being built at Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney and will be illuminated to extend the fun beyond sundown. Featuring three slides, a huge tipping bucket, water cannons and several spray zones, it is sure to provide endless hours of fun for the whole family and thrill-seekers alike. The 500sqm waterpark will be themed to reflect the beauty of the Murray River and the local citrus growers.Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney will also introduce 16 brand new two-bedroom cabins which will comfortably accommodate up to six people. The cabins will feature all of the comforts you would expect to find at home and are suitable for families, corporate travellers and large group bookings.“Perfectly positioned next to Barmera’s magnificent Lake Bonney, our park is all about lakeside relaxing and water sports. Visitors can experience a huge range of family-friendly activities in the freshwater at the front door of our caravan park. With the development of this new waterpark, we are confident that the park will be the go-to destination for families this summer,” Sharon Bottrell, Park Manager of Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney said.This waterpark is part of Discovery Parks’ $14 million investment across six properties in the lead up to Christmas. It follows a recent announcement from the business around its new structure and focus on further investing in its people, place and process as part of a strategic plan to support the business for scalable growth to 2020 and beyond.“This investment is us putting money where our mouth is. All the developments are built on our extensive customer knowledge. We are confident that they will fulfil the demand at each location and create an even better experience for our customers,” said CEO of Discovery Parks, Grant Wilckens.Discovery Parks – Lake Bonney will continue to operate as usual with the waterpark and new cabins to be launched in time for summer.Source = Discovery Parks
Centara appoints Deputy CEO to lead next phase of growthCentara appoints Deputy CEO to lead next phase of growthCentara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, announced the appointment of Markland Blaiklock as Deputy Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Blaiklock will be responsible for steering the continued expansion of Centara, which aims to double both its revenues and number of properties over the next five years.Blaiklock returns to Centara in an expanded capacity having previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer in 2015. He has held senior executive positions with Le Meridien, Shangri-La, Raffles and Accor hotel groups, in Asia and North America. He is a Canadian national educated in England and France.Centara created the new Deputy CEO position and brought in the experienced executive to focus on the company’s ambitious growth plans over the next five years and beyond. Blaiklock will also oversee operations, human resources, sales, marketing, business development and legal services.Centara has been expanding outside its base in Thailand, where it operates 32 properties. The company currently has 67 properties open or under development across 13 countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, China, the Middle East and the Caribbean. The next phase of growth will see Centara become an even more significant regional brand with properties opening in China, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Qatar and the UAE.Centara manages a diverse brand portfolio catering to the needs of key business and leisure travel segments. Its properties range from large, upscale city hotels and convention centres, to elite island resorts and economy products. The company recently launched a new affordable hotel concept, COSI, designed for the new generation of connected lifestyle travellers. In addition to expanding COSI, Centara aims to develop new businesses where it can leverage its competitive strengths of Thai hospitality, food and spa expertise, and synergy with the Central Group.Blaiklock’s operational experience will also be put to work leading improvement of Centara’s technical platforms and systems, ensuring the company’s core infrastructure supports its vision for global expansion.“I’m delighted to be back with Centara during this dynamic period of growth for the company,” said Markland Blaiklock. “The plans are ambitious and exciting. I look forward to contributing my experience, energy, and leadership to Centara’s capable team. Together we can achieve great progress.”Centara’s Chief Executive Officer Thirayuth Chirativat added, “We are delighted to have Markland back with Centara. This new position is an important component in our growth plans and his proven leadership qualities will help us accomplish our goals.” Source = Centara Hotels & Resorts
CDLHT unveils new look for Orchard HotelCDLHT unveils new look for Orchard HotelRefurbishment part of global asset enhancement plansOrchard Hotel Singapore will embark on a major asset enhancement exercise, with the makeover involving the hotel’s 260 deluxe guest rooms, ballroom, lobby, Orchard Café and Intermezzo Bar.Disclosing this today at CDL Hospitality Trusts’ second quarter results, the hotel’s owner said, “The Orchard Hotel project is part of its asset enhancements to increase competitiveness and position the property for the recovery in the Singapore hotel sector.”Orchard Hotel commenced the makeover of Orchard Café on 23 July while refurbishment of its ground floor lobby will start on 20 August. Both areas are expected to complete by September and October respectively. The guest rooms in its Orchard wing will be enhanced progressively from 4Q 2018 to around 1Q 2019. The ballroom and meeting spaces will also see refurbishment during this time.“Orchard Hotel is one of only four hotels in Singapore with a ballroom that can accommodate 1,000 or more guests. With the refurbishment works, Orchard Hotel Grand Ballroom’s standing will be further enhanced as one of the top few large ballroom venues in Singapore,” said CDLHT in its results presentation.The hotel has taken steps to minimise disruption during the refurbishment and the completed exercise will see improved overall guest experience. To ensure guest comfort and minimise disruption, during the restaurant closure, breakfast will be served at La Terrasse (level 2). Other dining outlets remain open as usual.In December 2017, the hotel’s Hua Ting Chinese Restaurant unveiled a major refurbishment boasting brightly lit interiors and more private rooms, with the largest room being the Chairman’s Room, where a 20-seater-table measuring four metres takes centre stage.CDLHT announced its second quarter and half year results today. CDLHT posted Net Property Income of S$33.6 million and S$71.4 million for 2Q 2018 and 1H 2018 respectively. Total distribution per Stapled Security increased 2.9 percent to 2.14 cents for 2Q 2018 and 5.1 percent to 4.31 cents for 1H 2018. Source = Hong Leong Group Singapore
The St. Regis MelbourneSt. Regis Hotels & Resorts slated to debut in AustraliaSt. Regis Hotels & Resorts today announced the signing of The St. Regis Melbourne, marking the first hotel in Australia for the renowned luxury brand. Owned by Century Group Aus, this new-build hotel is slated to open in 2022 and will be located in the heart of Melbourne amidst distinct architecture and a dynamic arts scene.“Melbourne’s vibrant mix of world-class dining, art galleries and rich history makes it an ideal destination for the debut of the iconic St. Regis brand in Australia,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. “We are delighted to be working with Century Group Aus to open The St. Regis Melbourne and offer our guests impeccable service and exquisite experiences in Australia.”Located in the luxury mixed-use precinct Flinders Bank on the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets, the new St. Regis Melbourne will serve as a landmark gateway to the city’s bustling Central Business District. Guests will also be within walking distance of Collins Street, known for its historic Victorian architecture, prestigious boutiques and high-end retailers, as well as the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.“We are honoured to be bringing this iconic brand to Australia,” said Connie Wu, Executive Director of Century Group Aus. “From the outset, we knew we wanted to create a hotel for today’s discerning and sophisticated traveller and the St. Regis brand’s timeless, tasteful and luxurious offering is the perfect fit. We are confident this hotel will become an architectural benchmark in the region and the jewel in the crown at Flinders Bank.”The 33-storey Flinders Bank will house the St. Regis Melbourne across levels 2 to 11 and include 168 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites, all of which will offer sweeping views of the Yarra River or city skyline. With interiors created by world-leading interior design studio, Chada, and the building designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, The St. Regis Melbourne will be an instant icon and stylish addition to the city’s skyline. Refined food and beverage offerings will include a specialty restaurant in addition to a sophisticated Drawing Room space and the St. Regis Bar, which will serve up the local rendition of the brand’s signature cocktail, the Bloody Mary. Guests will also be able to immerse themselves in unparalleled leisure facilities, such as a fitness and wellness centre with a 25-metre indoor swimming pool and an exceptional Iridium Spa and beauty salon. Guests of The St. Regis Melbourne will also experience the renowned hallmarks of the St. Regis brand, including the legendary St. Regis Butler Service that personalises each stay according to guests’ unique tastes and preferences. The hotel will also be an ideal setting for exclusive corporate gatherings, special events and weddings.“This signing is an indication of the investment community’s confidence in the Australian hotel market, where we are seeing a growing demand for premium lodgings,” said Richard Crawford, Senior Director, Hotel Development, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific at Marriott International. “The St. Regis Melbourne will be an outstanding addition to our strong and growing footprint in the region, where we are on track to boast the largest portfolio of upper upscale and luxury hotels and resorts, with two-thirds of the new supply pipeline.”St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is one of the world’s fastest growing luxury hospitality brands, more than doubling its footprint in recent years. There are currently more than 40 St. Regis branded hotels open worldwide and for more information please visit www.stregis.com.Source = St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
The Seychelles Tourism Board recently announced an upcoming, major international video competition which will start on July 29, 2015, involving participants to register their personal details via a dedicated website and, once the competition commences, uploading a personal video of their holiday experience in the Seychelles (My Seychelles Experience) of maximum two minutes’ duration.The competition, which is part of the ‘I Love Seychelles’ national theme for 2015, boasts one of the richest prizes ever offered by the Seychelles Tourism Board: a once-in-a-lifetime, all inclusive, VIP holiday to Seychelles including business class air tickets; VIP transfers upon arrival in and departure from Seychelles; a 3-night stay on fabulous North Island; a four-night stay at Four Seasons Resort’s luxurious Ocean Villa; optional two-day sea cruise among the islands, plus a special surprise holiday gift package courtesy of the Seychelles Tourism Board.“This is an amazing opportunity for the lucky winners to return to the islands as VIPs, travelling in luxury, staying at 5-star hotels, and experiencing the very best that Seychelles has to offer because competitions like this do not come along very often,” stated Sherin Naiken, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.The Seychelles Tourism Board is working closely with Maven (maven.sc), a creative agency specialising in design, print, web, and TV with offices in Seychelles and Serbia, who will be attending to all the technical details associated with the competition once it has started. Maven is also behind the creation of the competition’s brand as well as many of the collateral materials connected with its promotion internationally.
TripAdvisor has upgraded its destination pages and revealed a new initiative that allows tourism boards and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) to customise their content. The new ‘Premium Destination Partnership’ is available to all DMOs worldwide, enabling them to self-manage their destination content on the travel site.There are three sections that can be controlled: ‘Collections’, which provides lists of hotels, restaurants and attractions; ‘Articles’, which allows DMOs to create travel information for potential visitors; and ‘Events’, which offers information about upcoming events in the destination.The DMO-supplied content will run alongside TripAdvisor’s existing user-generated content and booking tools that are already available on its destination pages. DMOs participating in the programme will be offered access to a new dashboard that offers information about the performance of the content, as well as the campaign’s impact on tourism to their destination. Premium Destination Partnerships are now available in 28 languages.
Goa, a 365 day holiday destination, nationally and internationally, is planning to launch new activities to promote adventure tourism in the country, said Nikhil Desai, Managing Director – Goa Tourism Development Corporation.“After the successful launch of white water rafting, hot air balloons and helicopter rides, Goa Tourism Development Corporation is planning to introduce new adventure activities like segway touris, hop on hop off tours, bungee jumping, motorized paragliding, horse riding trails, scuba diving etc,” he informed.New tourism infrastructure projects are also in the offing and those nearing completion will be inaugurated shortly. A new cruise boat jetty, multi level car parking project, construction of an Institute of Hotel Management, beautification of several tourism locations will be commissioned shortly. Five star resorts are proposed to be set up on GTDC properties at Miramar, Anjuna and Britona and a Theme Park at Mayem.Goa will continue its campaign as the most Preferred Holiday Destination. Goa Tourism is actively banking on the e-visa facility and reaching out to all the countries who have been brought under the ETV regime.The state is also promoting other tourism segments like eco tourism, heritage tourism, culture and cuisine, sports tourism, film tourism, adventure tourism, wedding tourism, medical tourism, monsoon tourism which are getting popular all across the globe.
The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali was honoured to host the consecutive 23rd Coaltrans Asia 2017 Conference from May 14-16, 2017 for 900 delegates at the Bali International Convention Centre (BICC). The prestigious three-day event was officially opened by the Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ignasius Jonan.Coaltrans Asia returned for its 23rd year to connect with over 700 fellow coal leaders for two days of networking, deal-making and discovering the latest content, all under one roof. This event was provided with keynote presentations from industry thought-leaders, interviews with market influencers, interactive panel discussions and much more. It was held to ensure participants were well-equipped to stay ahead of the game. Approximately 25 Coaltrans events are coordinated around the world on an annual basis and this has been the largest one of them all.During the Conference, Coaltrans had exclusive access to BICC’s versatile Mangupura Hall with indoor and outdoor exhibition space as well 20 meeting rooms and other supporting conveniences. Delegates were treated to an array of social events including a welcome cocktail reception, plenary and exhibition as well as networking beach reception. The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali once again proved to be the perfect venue to host a large scale group and conference together with its iconic BICC.
Lying in the south of Spain, Gibraltar is a three square mile peninsula with heroic heritage and is Europe’s most famous tourist destination. Gibraltar is where Hercules separated Europe from Africa and the cliffs on each side are known as Pillars of Hercules! Source: Expedia
Fairfield by Marriott announced the opening of its 1,000th hotel, making it the second brand in the Marriott International portfolio besides Courtyard by Marriott to reach this milestone. Fairfield has recently experienced rapid global growth in China, Japan, Mexico, India and the U.S. While the debut of Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites Denver Tech Center North sets the milestone, the brand expects to continue its growth curve with more than 300 hotels anticipated to open by 2021.“With 1,000 Fairfield hotels now open, we are well positioned to continue building on this powerhouse brand’s popularity with franchisees and guests,” said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International, Chief Development Officer, North America select service and extended stay brands. “Fairfield is a brand that has great appeal to our franchisees and also resonates with travellers who seek a comfortable, uncomplicated and consistent experience wherever they travel.”Fairfield is also launching a new modern logo and communications platform ‘The Beauty of Simplicity,’ as well a new décor package called ‘Modern Calm,’ both of which are inspired by the warm and calming sensibility and feelings evoked by the Fairfield Farm. The experience continues to be backed by the Fairfield Guarantee – from its free, hot breakfast to a great night’s sleep, Fairfield’s level of service and accommodation is what the brand was founded upon.“As Fairfield continues to expand around the world, we continue to deliver on the brand’s founding principles of warm hospitality and family treatment, which translates into every language and culture,” said Janis Milham, Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Marriott Classic Select Brands. “The launch of The Beauty of Simplicity brings to life the feelings evoked from the brand’s heritage at the Fairfield Farm. It’s the simple things done right that make our guests return again and again.”Fairfield aims to open its doors in Japan in 2020 with more than a dozen innovative prefabricated hotels expected to open throughout the country in tertiary markets that tourists increasingly want to visit as the country experiences a surge in inbound tourist arrivals.India is also a priority growth region for the brand, with 14 functional properties, including the recently opened Fairfield Goa Anjuna and another eight in the pipeline.
in Data, Government “”Beauty,”” Lew Wallace, the author of ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£Ben Hur,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø once wrote, “”is altogether in the eye of the beholder.”” So, it seems, is “”disappointment””– at least when it comes to describing or characterizing the “”employment report””:https://themreport.com/articles/payrolls-up-162k-in-july-unemployment-rate-dips-to-74-2013-08-02 for July, which showed 162,000 new payroll jobs and a drop in the unemployment to 7.4 percent.The disappointment came not from the unemployment rate–the lowest since September 2008–but from the creation of “”only”” 162,000 jobs. [IMAGE]To be sure, the people who are “”disappointed”” are those forecasters who predicted more jobs would be created. The 162,000 people who did not have jobs before July, though, probably were not disappointed.What is often amazing in both the political and financial world is how “”analysts”” without hands-on experience can create the standards by which those who _do_ get their hands dirty are measured. The game is played most frequently on Wall Street, where analysts, using their own Ouija boards, determine a company that has issued its own earnings forecast of, say, $3 per share, has disappointed if it doesn’t meet the analysts├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó expectation of $3.50 a share–even if the company in fact beats its own forecast.The bottom line analysis is that the company’s earnings report was “”disappointing,”” not that the analysts were wrong. So it goes with economic forecasting.Thomson Reuters, a financial information service, produces a preview of the employment report each month a couple of days before it is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The preview of the August BLS release included the payroll jobs forecasts from 90 leading economists, with job creation predictions ranging from 150,000 to 210,000. The median forecast–half above and half below–was 184,000 new jobs. Five analysts said they thought the economy produced fewer than 162,000 jobs in July; they certainly weren’t “”disappointed”” when the actual report was released. (Four others, who predicted 165,000 or 166,000 new jobs, probably weren’t “”disappointed”” either.)[COLUMN_BREAK]One company, which forecast 195,000 new payroll jobs for July, merely said the 162,000 jobs were below expectations but fell back to note the monthly average increase in payrolls this year has been 192,000–“”more than enough to keep lowering the unemployment rate,”” which itself is forecast to be 7.0 percent by year end. Never mind that the unemployment rate fell because 240,000 people left the labor force in July. (Without those departures from the labor force, the unemployment rate would have been 7.53 percent, not much different than July’s 7.56 percent.)There were two perhaps more important stories emerging from the employment report: the drop in the average workweek from 34.5 hours to 34.4 and the drop in average hourly earnings.Indeed, the arithmetic suggests the drop in average hours was the equivalent of 232,000 fewer jobs at June’s 34.5 hour work week.Simply put, the story line from the employment is: more people working for fewer hours and earning less.The combination of a shorter workweek at a lower rate of pay computes to aggregate earnings in July about 0.25 percent lower than in June–not the recipe for a recovery.That equation has consequences: It will mean less aggregate purchasing power for consumers, which can torpedo our consumer-driven economy and stifle new job creation, especially for those businesses that look to the appropriate metric of revenue or profit per employee before making hiring decisions.We can look at the employment report backwards and forwards: What caused the job creation (or job losses), or what does the job creation in July mean for the months ahead?The look forward is more optimistic. Even though about 46 percent of the 526,000 new jobs in the last three months came in the lowest paying job categories–leisure-and-hospitality and retail–the new jobs suggest a positive outlook for future spending.Coincidentally, the employment report was released the same day as the latest report on personal income and spending, which showed a faster increase in spending than income. That spending, predominantly for non-durable goods, supports the hiring the employment release reported.The economy still has hurdles to overcome–not the least of which are the cutbacks in government spending known as “”sequestration””–but 162,000 new jobs is not “”disappointing,”” just a down payment on future growth.To paraphrase Shakespeare: Nothing is disappointing, but thinking makes it so._Hear Mark Lieberman on Friday on P.O.T.U.S. Radio (Sirius-XM 124) at 6:20 a.m. Eastern._*_Want to write an opinion piece for publication on our site? Send your submission to_* “”MReportEditor@TheMReport.com.””:mailto:MReportEditor@TheMReport.com Share Commentary: Disappointing Jobs Report? Says Who? Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Labor Statistics Confidence Consumer spending Investors Jobs Labor Department Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Payrolls Service Providers Unemployment 2013-08-02 Mark Lieberman August 2, 2013 422 Views
Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Delinquency Fannie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage-Backed Securities Service Providers 2013-09-03 Tory Barringer Business Declines for Second Straight Month for Fannie Mae “”Fannie Mae’s””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html book of business shrank for the second consecutive month in July as its gross mortgage portfolio continued to decline, the company reported in its monthly volume summary.[IMAGE]According to Fannie Mae, the book of business shrank at a compound rate of 1.7 percent in July, slowing down slightly from June’s rate of 1.9 percent. Year-to-date, the [COLUMN_BREAK]book’s average monthly growth rate was -1.1 percent as of July 31.The book’s value totaled approximately $3.169 trillion at the end of the month, down about $5 billion from June.After slowing in June, the ongoing contraction in Fannie Mae’s gross mortgage portfolio picked up speed, climbing to an annual growth rate of -32.4 percent. The last time the portfolio plummeted that quickly was January 2010, when the rate was -44.8 percent. Year-to-date through July, the portfolio’s average monthly growth rate was -22.1 percent.Meanwhile, new business acquisitions did a little better, edging up to $73.4 billion from June’s $72.6 billion.The Conventional Single-Family Serious Delinquency Rate was 2.70 percent in July, down seven basis points. The Multifamily Serious Delinquency Rate was 0.18 percent, a drop of 10 basis points.Fannie Mae completed 11,870 loan modifications, bringing the year’s total to 95,381. September 3, 2013 404 Views in Secondary Market
Share Affordable Housing Markets Realtor.com Trendy 2016-03-07 Staff Writer There is a new type of housing market emerging in the U.S., that fits the cultural, hipster needs of today’s young homeowners.Realtor.com identified 10 markets out of 500 largest cities in the country that would appeal to next-generation homebuyers’ fun, young, culture-rich urban experience with affordability for the long haul.Realtor.com tossed out the cities, such as San Francisco, where home prices are far from reasonable and also took into consideration the number of foodie hot spots, bike shops, cultural outlets, and what cities 25- to 34-year-olds migrated to from 2013 to 2014.Realtor.com’s Top 10 Trendy and Affordable Housing Markets in the U.S.:1.Salt Lake City, Utah (Median home price: $355,000)Sure, you know Silicon Valley, but do you know Silicon Slopes? In Salt Lake City, affordable real estate, an educated workforce, and a decent transit system have lured big tech companies such as Adobe and Electronic Arts, as well as a slew of startups. And along with them, armies of young techies eager to work hard and play harder.2. Richmond, Virginia (Median home price: $170,000)A classic city with rich history that was once plagued by crime, Richmond has now rebranded itself as a creative center for young folk. Artists, writers, bloggers, crafters, and punk garage bands have all convened on this Southern metropolis.3. Asheville, North Carolina (Median home price: $350,000)No, you’re not dreaming—that suspiciously hairy “nun” roaming the streets on a giant bike is one of the more commonplace daily sights you’ll experience in this funky place. In fact, this hippie Southern enclave with a proudly weird sense of humor has not only one, butthree biking nuns—known as Sister Bad Habit, Sister Hairy Mary, and Sister Sauerkraut. In case you were wondering.4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Median home price: $149,900)The Steel City is having a huge cultural renaissance lately. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new round of one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries, breweries, and jazz clubs. It’s also a rising center for major film production (serving as New York City and Gotham City stand-ins for, respectively, “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises”), contributing to the city’s economy as well as its pop culture cachet.5. Minneapolis, Minnesota (Median home price: $251,000)Winters may be fierce here, but don’t expect its residents to cower inside. Minneapolis is ranked the third most bike-friendly city in the country by Bicycling magazine. The snowy city embraces urban cycling culture with dedicated bike lanes, racks, and paved trails. With a solid 4 percent of commuters biking to work (eight times the national average), biking isn’t just a hobby here—it’s a lifestyle.6. Ann Arbor, Michigan (Median home price: $349,450)As home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor owes much of its coolness to the university’s famously fun-loving crowd, and the culture that has sprung up to keep them amused. Pop-up diners, indie movie theaters, yoga studios, artisanal cafes—Ann Arbor’s got everything most trendy souls desire. Beware Trump and Cruz supporters: This is one of the most liberal cities in the country.7. Cincinnati, Ohio (Median home price: $138,000)Massive street-painting parties, evening glow-art-decorating bashes followed by epic group bicycle rides—this is Cincinnati? Yep, the third-largest city in Ohio now wholeheartedly embraces its groovy side. Under a recent initiative, young artists and apprentices under a local nonprofit have completed more than 100 murals in downtown inspired by the city’s history and businesses. And lots of them are awesome.8. St. Louis, Missouri (Median home price: $145,000)Between Blueberry Hill (a restaurant/music venue), where the legendary Chuck Berry walked the stage more than 200 times, and the Bluesweek Festival every spring, St. Louisans are spoiled with awesome tunage. Don’t even tell them if you’re going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras—everyone here knows the best Mardi Gras is right in town.9. New Orleans, Louisiana (Median home price: $245,000)More than a decade after Katrina devastated New Orleans, it has rebounded to attract a new generation with its beauty, laid-back lifestyle, and unique charm. Of course, its social scene is best known for a certain debauched festival in February; however, in a city that’s filled with artists, musicians, and fortune tellers, there is always a lot going on. And music is woven into the fabric of virtually all aspects of NOLA’s culture.10. Charleston, South Carolina (Median home price: $325,200)Charleston may hold tight to its centuries-old history, but it’s shaken off its stodginess with a wave of energy in its art and music scene. This year, a brand-new music festival, Dirty South by Southeast, debuts in town. Smaller in scale than Austin’s South by Southwest festival, Dirty South will “show off the grungier side of Charleston’s music scene with metal, rockabilly and alt-rock bands at local dive bars,” reports Charleston Scene. March 7, 2016 663 Views Top 10 Trendy, Affordable Housing Markets in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News
Existing-Home Sales NAR National Association of Realtors Ten-X 2016-05-31 Staff Writer May 31, 2016 573 Views Despite the unfavorable odds including inventory shortages, continued home price appreciation, and stagnant household income growth, existing-home sales continue to emerge triumphant, and that odd-defying trend is expected to continue.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing-home sales, which include completed buyer transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, rose 1.7 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million. March’s total was revised to 5.36 million and sales are now up 6.0 percent year-over-year in April.NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted that the April existing sales data “signals slowly building momentum for the housing market this spring.”Confirming the NAR’s data, Ten-X’s Residential Real Estate Nowcast for last month predicted that April sales would fall between 5.34 and 5.70 million units, with a target of 5.52.Ten-X expects May existing home sales to keep up this momentum and fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.47 and 5.83 million, with a targeted number of 5.65 million–a 3.7 percent increase from April and a 6.2 percent year-over-year gain.“Though ongoing issues with affordability and low inventory continue to hold back stronger sales growth, the recent increase in home sales is encouraging and indicative of a solid U.S. housing market supported by positive underlying fundamentals,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “A strong labor market is adding a solid number of jobs, unemployment remains low despite a rising labor force, wage growth is starting to accelerate, lower energy prices are supporting consumer spending, and low mortgage rates are enticing for homebuyers. Despite facing some broader economic headwinds, market demand remains healthy.”The NAR data showed that the median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $232,500, up 6.3 percent from $218,700 in April 2015 and within the range of $218,770 to $241,798 predicted by Ten-X in last month’s nowcast. Ten-X suggest that sales prices for existing homes will fall between $226,497 and $250,339 in the month of May with a targeted price of $238,418, representing 2.5 percent month-over-month and 4.2 percent year-over-year gains.“Home sales are extraordinarily strong, considering how low inventory levels are and how difficult it still is for many buyers to qualify for loans,” said Ten-X EVP Rick Sharga. “One thing worth watching over the coming months is affordability. Home price appreciation continues to outpace wage growth in many markets, and we’re seeing indications that this may be slowing down sales volume in some of the regions where home prices had been accelerating most rapidly.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination No Turning Back for Existing-Home Sales Share
Big banks and lenders are taking advantage of new tools to meet increasing borrower demands. Independent brokers, on the other hand, are struggling to keep up.Some financial institutions lean on service providers to white label and maintain technology. The biggest ones hire their own developers to create an in-house digital mortgage platform. But for independent mortgage brokers, the $100 million price tag of a proprietary system is a bit too steep. Brokers know they must evolve to compete, but where’s the middle ground?Fortunately, evolution hasn’t left the little guys behind. At a recent conference in Las Vegas, new tools and a broker ecosystem were debuted that will help independent brokers compete with the biggest industry players. However, not everyone will need these new tools. Many small lenders and brokers are adopting their own tech or white labeling through partnerships just like the big players. Regardless of the path they choose, mortgage brokers must learn to love technological advancements in the mortgage process—or find themselves losing clients to businesses willing to evolve.Only by adopting today’s technologies can brokers hope to leverage tomorrow’s tools to their full potential. Consider these three upcoming changes and how brokers will need to adapt:1. Fully Digital Mortgage PlatformsRight now, some parts of the mortgage process are still offline. But that’s all about to change. New tools and security will soon enable most consumers to complete the entire mortgage process without ever stepping foot into an office. Digital mortgage platforms will consist of APIs communicating between systems, including escrow, title, and more. Borrowers will close on loans within a day or two, not weeks, and brokers unwilling to accelerate will become obsolete.That’s not to say that brokers themselves will be phased out. Mortgages are big decisions, and people need that guiding hand throughout the homebuying process. Brokers will simply need to learn where they fit in a redefined mortgage landscape.2. Advanced Predictive TechnologiesMost technologies today are limited by the abilities of the humans who use them. Tomorrow’s technologies will know how to handle themselves. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain tools promise to show consumers a new level of convenience.AI tech will soon be able to tell brokers when borrowers are ready to act. Brokers will need to know when to reach out to borrowers, rather than wait for borrowers to approach them. With blockchain, borrowers will be able to close on mortgages in shorter time frames using decentralized ledgers and more secure processes.3. Simplified User ExperiencesIn the age of the smartphone, borrowers, especially millennials, care more about easy paths to their preferred outcomes. Most borrowers even indulge their cravings for instant gratification for large purchases like mortgages. In fact, a majority of borrowers don’t like to waste time shopping around for mortgages even though it could save them money. Thanks to rising tech that makes fast, informed decisions possible, brokers will need to be ready for users who are ready to buy quickly.For brokers, these changes signal a new dawn in the mortgage industry. Advanced technologies will lead to higher expectations, and only brokers familiar with the new landscape will be equipped to compete. in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, News, Technology AI Blockchain Borrowers Brokers Digital Platforms Lenders machine learning mortgage technology 2018-12-07 Radhika Ojha Share December 7, 2018 1,625 Views 3 Tech Trends That Will Drive Mortgage Lending
Abercrombie & Kent Luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent has appointed Anthony O’Shea as head of marketing.After studying law, and working briefly as a journalist, copywriter and legislative drafter in NSW, O’Shea worked in marketing and communications roles for more than 25 years.His most recent role was director of marketing & communications for Hotham and Falls Creek ski resorts in Victoria.He has also held senior marketing roles for global wealth management and financial services firms.
Qantas and Alaska Airlines have enhanced their partnership agreement with new codeshare services and reciprocal lounge access for eligible customers, providing more options for customers travelling in Australia and the United States. From Monday 26 June 2017, Qantas will add its code to four new Alaska Airlines routes between San Francisco and Orange County, Minneapolis, Albuquerque and Kansas City, as well as on its service between Los Angeles and San Jose. The new flights are in addition to Qantas’ existing codeshare arrangements with Alaska Airlines to 15 destinations within North America.From Monday 20 June 2017 Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a Gold status or higher, and Qantas Club members, will have access to Alaska’s lounges in Los Angeles, Seattle, Anchorage and Portland whenever they travel on an Alaska flight, connecting to, or from, a Qantas international flight.Alaska Airlines’ top tier frequent flyers with Mileage Plan™ MVP Gold and above, and Alaska Lounge members, will have access to all 13 Qantas operated International Business and 24 Domestic Qantas Club lounges when they travel on a Qantas operated international or domestic flight.Qantas currently operates a daily service between Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne on an Airbus A380, a daily service between Los Angeles and Brisbane on a Boeing 747, as well as a service between San Francisco and Sydney six times per week on a Boeing 747. Alaska Airlinescodeshareqantas
From 29 July 2018 to the end of October 2018 all Vietnam Airlines’Boeing 787 aircrafts travelling on the daily Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City flight will be upgraded and replaced by the new Airbus A350. This is the first time the new aircraft will be available to Australian passengers travelling with Vietnam Airlines. The Airbus A350 allows an extra 10% customer capacity than the long-standing Boeing 787, with the Airbus A350 allowing for an additional 29 passengers each way. The Airbus A350 boasts a 212 ft 5 in (64.75m) wingspan, which is 15 ft (4.75m) wider than the Boeing 787. The new aircrafts also offer more legroom and increased passenger mobility, with Premium Economy on the Airbus featuring near-flat reclining seats, a bountiful 38 in (96.5cm) pitch and recline up to 8 in (20cm). Passengers will be able to enjoy the latest in entertainment on 10.6 in (27cm) private screens. Mr. Hung Truong – GM of VN’s branch office in Australia said, “It is great to see an increase in demand from our Australian travellers and Vietnam Airlines is delighted to announce the upgrade to some of the current fleet to the new Airbus.” Airbus A350airlinesHo Chi Minh CityMelbourneVietnam Airlines