Turkeys frustration at Syria led to plane action

first_imgRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said late Friday that the plane was carrying radar parts for Syria, that the shipment complied with international law and that there was no weapon on board.Lavrov said, however, that the cargo, consisting of “electric equipment for radars,” was of dual purpose and could have civilian and military applications. The Russian company that sent it demands its return, he said.Earlier, the respected Russian daily Kommersant quoted an unidentified source saying there were 12 boxes of spare parts for radars of the Syrian missile defense units.“If the Kommersant report is right, you could speculate about this being part of a build-up to imposing a no-fly zone,” said Hugh Pope, who leads the Turkey program for the International Crisis Group.Such a move could be the first step toward lending Syria’s rebels the same kind of international air support that helped bring down Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi last year.But most analysts see no push _ either in Turkey or among its Western allies _ for outside military involvement in Syria.Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, said the incident also wasn’t about sending any messages to Russia in particular, because Russia’s stance on Syria is already clear and isn’t likely to change. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Lukyanov said the plane incident showed that Turkey is “getting really nervous” with hostilities raging near its border. “Turkey is trying to demonstrate how tough and capable it is.”Meanwhile, Russia’s and Turkey’s growing business ties could suffer, he said.If Turkey keeps on getting involved in Syria, “the political situation in Syria will have an increasing influence on other areas of their (Russian-Turkish) relations,” said Lukyanov. “No one wants to heat this up, but sometimes things get out of hand.”___Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life Top Stories Russia has been one of Syria’s main weapons suppliers, and it has also been shielding the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad from U.N. sanctions.Mehmet Yegin, an analyst with the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization, said that it was not yet clear whether the decision to force down the Moscow to Damascus plane was part of a larger drive to change the dynamic of the war.“If it is acting with its allies, it’s a clear message to Russia to get out of the picture and stop arming Syria,” he added. “It is such a bold move, that one wonders if Turkey acted alone.”U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined Thursday to comment on Turkish media reports that the intelligence on the plane’s contents had come from the United States.But she told reporters that Washington backed Turkey’s decision to intercept the plane.“Any transfer of any military equipment to the Syrian regime at this time is very concerning, and we look forward to hearing more from the Turkish side when they get to the bottom of what they found,” said Nuland.The exact contents of the cargo are still unclear: Turkey’s prime minister described it as “ammunition,” while Yeni Safak, a newspaper close to the Turkish government, reported Friday that the cargo contained 12 pieces of missile parts and “trigger devices” and that intelligence received was that it could be used by Syria against Turkey. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Associated PressISTANBUL (AP) – The interception of a Syrian passenger plane from Russia, allegedly carrying military gear to Damascus, is a sign of Turkey’s mounting frustration at the drawn-out conflict and its inability to hasten regime change in its neighbor, according to analysts.Recent cross-border shelling from Syria that killed five Turkish civilians near the countries’ 910-kilometer (566-mile) common frontier may have forced Turkey to act, but its options were limited. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “There’s nothing magical about the timing. It’s a coincidence resulting from the build-up of frustration in Ankara,” said Fadi Hakura, a Turkey analyst at the Chatham House think tank in London. “Turkey wants to hasten the demise of the Assad regime in Damascus, but really its hands are tied.”Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been at the forefront of international efforts to put pressure on the Assad regime and end its 19-month crackdown on the opposition. Last year, Ankara began allowing members of the rebel Free Syrian Army to operate in Turkey and now Syria’s civil war has reached a stalemate.“Given the current international impasse over the conflict in Syria, practical measures such as the interception of aircraft will become increasingly important for states seeking to restrict Syrian government forces’ access to military-related goods from external sources,” said Edin Omanovic, a researcher with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.Turkish fighter jets on Wednesday intercepted the Syrian Air plane they said was carrying Russian ammunition and military equipment destined for the Syrian Defense Ministry. Syria branded the incident piracy and Russia said the action endangered the lives of Russian citizens aboard the aircraft. 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

AirAsia launches eXciting new services to New Zealand

first_imgOne of the world’s fastest growing budget airlines, AirAsia X, has secured new services between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch. Air New Zealand Deputy Chief Executive Officer Norm Thompson congratulated Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and Christchurch International Airport Ltd for securing the new carrier. “This is a really positive development for not only Christchurch but for the wider New Zealand economy” he said. According to Mr. Thompson, the new service is “a great example of the creation of a new complementary market to those already served by Air New Zealand and other existing carriers.” The introduction of this new service will increase market competition and “almost certainly stimulate a new wave of budget conscious travellers from Asia to New Zealand as well as from the other international ports AirAsia’s X services connect with in Kuala Lumpur” said Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson believes the development will benefit the already established South East Asian market and has the potential to create new tourism opportunities for New Zealand. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

Crowne Plaza CHC to come down

first_imgUp to 160 Crowne Plaza Christchurch employees have been left uncertain of their future after owners announced it would demolish the property.Updating staff yesterday afternoon, Eureka Funds Management explained that the property which was badly damaged after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city in February this year, would be torn down.The company said that the cost of rebuilding was the cause of its decision and that it “remains committed to maintain a presence in Christchurch” it would not rebuild the hotel in the same location.The company added that its primary focus for the moment was relocating and redeploying its staff, who have remained on full pay since the quake, in other hotels.”Today’s meeting gave closure to our Christchurch colleagues who have been waiting for the structural engineers to provide their assessment on the hotel,” IHG (recruited to manage the hotel) Australasia chief operating office Bruce McKenzie said. “Our first order of business is providing fresh opportunities for those of our colleagues who are willing to relocate from Christchurch.“That said, we’re working closely with the City of Christchurch, our partners and the industry to determine that future, with every intention of remaining a part of this city.”Aside from the Crowne Plaza, there are two other Eureka properties in Christchurch, Holiday Inn City Centre and Holiday Inn on Avon. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Austrian cakes and opera in Australia

first_img“Vienna has experienced continuous growth from the Australian market,” Austrian National Tourist Office director Astrid Mulholland-Licht said. The Sydney Opera House welcomed trade partners and special guests on 13 November for the commemorative concert which was co-hosted by the Orchestra’s principal partner, Emirates. Check out ETB News’ Facebook Photo Gallery for more images. Vienna has become an increasingly popular tourist destination for outbound travellers, luring approximately 44 percent of all Australian visitors to Austria in 2012. “Vienna is often referred to as the ‘World Capital of Music’ and our partnership with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra provides many wonderful occasions to shine the light on Vienna.” A range of new and innovative accommodations, world heritage-listed coffee houses, state opera live streams, Spanish riding school shows and Vienna music festivals are just some of the options available for visitors to Vienna. For the first nine months of 2013, visitor numbers from Australia have increased 2 percent and total bed nights have risen 2.5 percent, compared to the same period in 2012.center_img Source = ETB News: P.T. 149,000 Australians visited Vienna last year (+11.2 percent year-on-year), accounting for 12.3 million bed nights (+7.5 percent year-on-year). The original Sacher-Torte chocolate cake was flown in especially for the occasion, direct from the Hotel Sacher Vienna, recognised as the world’s most famous cake since 1832. Viennese classical composition was the inspiration behind a celebratory farewell performance by outgoing Sydney Symphony Orchestra principal conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy earlier this week. The Austrian National Tourist Office in conjunction with the Vienna Tourist Board and Salzburg City Tourist Office treated guests to an afternoon of coffee and cakes at the Sydney Opera House.last_img read more

Qantas announces new Asia GM

first_imgQantas have announced today that Benjamin Tan has been appointed as regional general manager Asia, and will be based in Singapore.Previously Mr Tan was group head of sales at the Jetstar Group, and for Qantas he will steer the commercial, financial and operational performance for its Asian markets, excluding Japan.He joins Qantas’ team in Asia at an exciting time, as the airline prepares to introduce the first of its refurbished international A330 aircraft from Singapore to Melbourne next week.Benjamin Tan said he is looking forward to progressing Qantas’ commitment to Asia.“Asia is an incredibly important market for Qantas. Over the last two years, we’ve redesigned our Asia network to strengthen our position in the region, we’ve opened new lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong, are introducing a new inflight dining experience in Economy, and continue to expand our reach with our airline partners, providing greater access across Asia than ever before,” Mr Tan said.Qantas’ new Economy dining experience launches on flights between Singapore and Australia today, offering customers more choice, larger meals and improved service.Benjamin Tan brings extensive experience working internationally in Beijing and Tokyo, across the technology and aviation sectors.Qantas operates more than 75 return services per week between Asia and Australia, operated by a mix of A330, refurbished B747 and during peak seasons, A380 aircraft.Nick McGlynn, former regional general manager Asia has returned to Australia to take up a new role as head of global sales and network at Qantas Freight.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

MSC Cruises launches an exclusive beach oasis experience

first_imgSource = MSC Cruises MSC Cruises launches an exclusive beach oasis experienceMSC Cruises launches an exclusive beach oasis experienceMSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, has released the first details of yet another exclusive island destination, Sir Bani Yas Island beach oasis. The 1.5 mile-long stretch of natural island just off the southwest coast of Abu Dhabi has an exclusive extension island coupled with the mainland for guests to enjoy. From December 2016, MSC Fantasia will add this, brand new destination to its already rich itineraries in the region, as guests will be able to spend a full day on this stunning Arabian island paradise. Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented: “Last year we announced the new Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas. Today’s announcement is further proof of our commitment to enriching our itineraries and to making available to our guests, unique experiences that enable them to discover new culture and heritage. Additionally, this new, exclusive beach oasis stays true to our core values to provide our guests excellence in service, the best in entertainment as well as the highest quality and food freshness.” MSC Cruises has been working on perfecting this destination together with the Abu Dhabi Ports Authority for the past two years. The tropical beach oasis provides exclusive access to MSC Cruises guests to an authentic beach holiday experience, with hundreds of palm trees, shaded cabanas and over 2,000 sunbeds across 36,000sqm of fine golden sand.Other key facilities include: An exclusive, private space for MSC Yacht Club guests with stylish Sheikh Cabanas and a private restaurantAn MSC Aurea Spa area offering relaxing Bali, Shiatsu and Bamboo massages all from beachside cabana huts with stunning sea viewsSports facilities, including beach volleyball and tennis, snorkelling, paddleboard, sea kayaking and more!A family and kids-dedicated area, with a parents’ pergolaA Bedouin tent offering arts and crafts created by local Arabian communitiesA lounge with bar and soothing music, for relaxingIn true MSC Cruises style, on the island, guests will be able to enjoy a selection of fresh and authentic food options, with a broad range of cooking stations serving delights from the Arabian region as well as international favourites. Guests can also expect to see beachside charcoal BBQs serving light dishes and snacks, and exotic cocktails served from one of six beach bars. Ship food and drink services, such as an Allegrissimo drink package., extend onto the island to ensure that the guests experience between the ship and island is completely seamless. For guests looking for a little more action, a 4×4 expedition experience or a mountain biking session over naturally-created tracks can be booked to enjoy on the connecting main part of the island. The island is one of region’s largest wildlife reserves thanks to decades of intensive conservation work and ecological investment to restore and maintain its biodiversity. The Arabian Wildlife Park on the main island, is today, home to more than 13,000 indigenous and endangered animals, as well as millions of trees and plants. MSC Cruises has been working closely with the Abu Dhabi Port Authorities and ecologists to develop the island oasis fully in line with the broader island project and to support the ongoing preservation work. The MSC Cruises beach oasis will also offer direct access to the natural reserve, with a range of specially designed excursions that will allow guests to experience the unique beauty of the natural surroundings. These include a horse riding tour, a safari-style nature drive through the reserve as well as a Dhow tour around the island in a traditional Arabian powered boat, giving guests the opportunity to see giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs in their natural habitat.Finally, there are ongoing archaeological excavations taking place on the island. For guests who want to discover more about the history and the culture of the island, a dedicated tour to the ruins of an early Christian monastery site from 6th century AD is also available. MSC Fantasia, on sale now, will serve the island from two departure ports: Abu Dhabi and Dubai.The ship offers 1,250 cabins and some of the most modern facilities for this area for clients to enjoy. These include outstanding entertainment, five restaurants serving refined international cuisine and an authentic Balinese spa. 75% of cabins have balconies offering panoramic sea views, and for those looking for a touch of luxury, the ship offers the award-winning MSC Yacht Club experience – a ship within a ship concept offering 71 butler-serviced suites with a focus on privacy and exclusivity. Guests are able to book their cruise with an itinerary calling at Sir Bani Yas Island from 3 December 2016, with the first call at the island on the 5 December 2016. MSC Cruisesbook your Arabian Peninsula winter 2016-2017 cruise here MSC Cruises offers an exciting range of itineraries to discover and enjoy to the fullest in this region, with cruises from 7 to 14 nights starting from $999* (AUD)/ $1089* (NZD) per person. Guests can embark from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, with itineraries calling at Sir Bani Yas Island, Bahrain, Doha, Khasab, Khor Fakkan and Muscat. For more information on these itineraries please see www.msccruises.com.auContactMarketing Department MSC Cruises (Australia & New Zealand) Pty Limitedmarketing@msccruises.com.au Call now 1300 028 502 *Conditions apply. Based on early booking 03 December 2016 departure, twin share per person inside Bella cabin. MSC Cruises, part of the MSC Group, is the number one cruise line  in Europe,  South America and South Africa, and sails year-round in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Cuba. Its seasonal itineraries cover Northern Europe, the West Indies, South America, Southern Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility for the environments in which it operates, and was the first company ever to earn the Bureau Veritas “7 Golden Pearls” for superior management and environmental stewardship. In 2009, MSC Cruises began an enduring partnership with UNICEF to support various programmes assisting children worldwide. So far, more than €3m has been collected in voluntary guest donations. MSC Cruises was born in the Mediterranean, and draws inspiration from this heritage to create a unique experience for holidaymakers worldwide. Its fleet comprises 14 modern ships: MSC Preziosa; MSC Divina; MSC Splendida; MSC Fantasia; MSC Magnifica; MSC Poesia; MSC Orchestra; MSC Musica; MSC Sinfonia; MSC Armonia; MSC Opera, MSC Lirica. and the 2 newest ships MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside, which are now available for sale. In 2014, MSC Cruises launched a €5.3 billion investment plan through the order of two ships of the Meraviglia generation and two others of the Seaside generation (plus an option for a third) and in February 2016, confirmed the existing options to build a further two Meraviglia Plus ships with an even greater capacity. This means seven new ships will enter MSC Cruises’ fleet by 2021, enabling the Company to double its capacity to more than 3.4 million passengers a year.@MSCCruisesAUSlast_img read more

The 2018 Amazing Thailand Roadshow in Australia has successfully concl

first_imgAmbassador of Thailand to Australia Mrs. Nantana Sivakua (4th from left) at Amazing Thailand Roadshow in Melbourne 2nd May 2018The 2018 Amazing Thailand Roadshow in Australia has successfully concludedOver 50 representations of Thai hotels, attractions and airlines exhibited their products and networked with the Australian trades last Wednesday (2nd May) in Melbourne, Thursday (3rd May) in Sydney and Monday (7th May) in Perth.The roadshow was opened by the newly appointed Ambassador of Thailand to Australia Mrs. Nantana Sivakua. TAT Marketing Manager, Sherly Handjojo shared that visitor numbers and tourism revenue from Australia had increased, and there are numerous improvements with Thailand public transports from Phuket to Chiang Mai.Tourism Authority of Thailand’s new marketing concept of Open to the New Shades, is being translated into three strategies – promoting Thai local experiences with Gastronomy in highlight, promoting secondary destinations such as: Chiang Rai and Trat and creating responsible tourism a balance for tourism, environment and community needs.Melbourne guests were treated to a Thai contemporary performance at the end of the show, while Sydney guests had cooking demonstration by Chef Sujet Saenkham (founder of Spice I Am Restaurant). Perth had a unique guest speaker – Jack Thompson, an ultra-endurance adventure cyclist speaking of his Thai cycling experience.For more information, please email: info@thailand.net.auAbout the Tourism Authority of ThailandThe Tourism Authority of Thailand, Sydney office has been in operation for over 20 years and is funded by the Government of Thailand. TAT Sydney operates as a marketing, public relations and administration branch of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Head Office in Bangkok.The Sydney office is responsible for the regional area of Australia and New Zealand. The main objective of the Tourism Authority of Thailand is to promote the country of Thailand as a holiday destination.Tourism Authority of Thailand Level 20, 56 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)last_img read more

Mortgage Applications Resume Downward Spiral

first_img After coming back for a short period, mortgage applications resumed their downward trend in June’s second week, according to the “”Mortgage Bankers Association’s””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, fell 3.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending June 14. On an unadjusted basis, the index dropped 4 percent compared with the previous week.The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent week-over-week. The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged at 69 percent of total applications.Purchase activity was slightly healthier than refinances. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 3 percent compared to the previous week, while the unadjusted index was down 4 percent (but up 12 percent compared to the same week last year).At the same time, mortgage rates continued to increase. According to MBA’s measure, the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.17 percent, the highest since March 2012. Points fell to 0.41 from 0.48 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. June 19, 2013 456 Views Share Mortgage Applications Resume Downward Spiralcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-06-19 Tory Barringer in Originationlast_img read more

Construction Spending Up 11 in October

first_img Construction spending saw a substantial increase in October, advancing on solid gains in homebuilding outlays.In a report on Tuesday, the Commerce Department estimated construction spending throughout the month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $971 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent over September’s revised estimate of $960.3 billion.Compared to a year ago, October’s rate of spending was up 3.3 percent.A large share of October’s increase came in spending on residential projects, which was up 1.3 percent from September to an adjusted yearly rate of $359.1 billion. In the private sector, spending on home construction climbed 1.3 percent, rising for both single-family (1.3 percent) and multifamily (1.8 percent) projects to come to a total rate of $353.8 billion.Despite the promising gain, economists Patrick Newport and Stephanie Karol at IHS Global Insight called October’s residential construction numbers “deceptively strong.””The figure for single-family construction depends on that month’s average single-family home price,” the pair said in a note to clients. “That number launched itself into outer space in October … While this will make fourth-quarter construction spending figures shine, we believe this is an anomaly caused by sampling issues, rather than true, sustainable strength.”Meanwhile, spending on public residential construction dropped 2.2 percent month-over-month, declining to an annual adjusted rate of $5.3 billion. That dip was offset by gains across nearly all categories of nonresidential construction, led by double-digit increases in commercial and public safety projects. Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News December 2, 2014 447 Views center_img Commerce Department Construction Spending Homebuilders IHS Global Insight 2014-12-02 Tory Barringer Construction Spending Up 1.1% in Octoberlast_img read more

Housing Markets More Affordable Than Unaffordable For Millennials

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination Housing Markets More ‘Affordable’ Than ‘Unaffordable’ For Millennials November 11, 2015 639 Views center_img Affordable Housing Markets Millennials Trulia Unaffordable 2015-11-11 Seth Welborn While buying a home that fits the definition of “unaffordable” to millennials (age 25 to 34) according to the federal government—that is to say, a home with monthly mortgage payments that exceed 31 percent of the household’s monthly income—is generally a bad idea, research released by Trulia on Wednesday indicates that sentiment may be reversing its field.In many housing markets that have seen strong wage and income growth, the share of a household’s monthly income put toward a mortgage payment is shrinking, hence the once “unaffordable” house could become affordable within a matter of just months in some cases, according to Trulia. Interestingly, the majority of the markets where unaffordable houses become affordable over the life of a 30-year mortgage (or are already affordable) are in the northeast or on the east coast (Providence, Rhode Island; Newark, New Jersey; New Haven, Connecticut), while the majority of those markets that are defined as unaffordable and likely to stay that way are located on the west coast (primarily in California).Initial mortgage payments are already affordable to millennials in 73 out of the 100 largest housing markets in the country, according to Trulia—in other words, the initial mortgage payments make up 20 percent or less out of that household’s monthly income. In a market where house prices are low and income growth is strong, such as Columbia, South Carolina (another market in the eastern U.S.), the payments begin the life of the mortgage as 17 percent of the household’s monthly income; by the end of the life of the loan, the payments drop to 6.6 percent. The households in the top 10 affordable markets all will end up paying less than 7 percent of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment by the end of the loan. The top five affordable markets are all in the eastern part of the country: Detroit, Birmingham, Pittsburgh, Akron, and Columbia.In 17 out of the largest housing markets, however, a median price home is defined as unaffordable to millennials; but the good news is, though the monthly payments may be initially unaffordable, it becomes affordable in less than two years into the life of the mortgage in markets like Washington, D.C.; Silver Spring, Maryland; Madison, Wisconsin; and Tacoma, Washington. Even in some pricier east coast markets like Boston, Cambridge, and Long Island, due to strong predicted wage growth, the median price home will become affordable to a millennial six years after purchase.New Haven, Connecticut, was the market with the largest expected decline in percentage of monthly income put toward a mortgage payment over the life of a mortgage, due to projected strong income growth in that area. Millennials purchasing a median priced home in New Haven now can expect to pay 37 percent of their monthly income toward a mortgage payment; by the end of the loan, that share will drop to 11.2 percent, a decline of more than 25 percentage points, according to Trulia.“Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a household can make,” Trulia said in the report. “In general, buying is a better financial decision than renting, but at the same time, median housing prices in several markets are unaffordable and down payments can be hard to come by. So the decision can be tough. If households plan on staying in their home for a long period of time, buying an unaffordable home probably isn’t a terrible idea. If a household moves often, it’s almost certainly a better idea to rent.”To read the complete study, click here.last_img read more

Real Estate Appraisers Diminish In a Starved Market

first_img Share November 19, 2015 553 Views Real estate appraisers are quietly disappearing in the mortgage industry as less young careerists are opting to enter this field, which could in turn, pose serious risks for both lenders and consumers such as added costs and lengthy real estate delivery times.Data from earlier this year presented by the Appraisal Institute Research Department showed that the number of active appraisers in the U.S. stands at 78,500, down 3 percent year-over-year and down 20 percent since 2007.The Appraisal Institute also projects that this number will continue to fall for the next five to ten years. A number of factor will influence this continued decline including: retirements, fewer appraisal career entrants, economic factors, government regulation, and greater use of data analysis technologies.The research also showed that 19.3 percent of appraisers hold a license or certification in one or more states outside of their home state, a number that has grown over the last five years. This indicates that appraiser are traveling out of their typical work areas to perform appraisals.But one group hopes to change the direction the appraisal industry is heading before these numbers get dangerously low.The Five Star Institute’s National Appraisal Congress (NAC), a member-led group of appraisers and appraisal management companies gathers periodically to collaborate on sustainable solutions for issues impacting U.S. appraisers and their profession.NAC Goals & Strategies:Educating and Mentoring the Next Generation of AppraisersRemoving Barriers to Entry in the Appraisal IndustryAlleviating Future Shortages of Professional Appraisers through Advocacy, Education, and TrainingJordan Petkovski, VP, Chief Appraiser at TSI Appraisal and Chairperson of the NAC told MReport, “The lack of new entrants into the residential appraisal profession is the single most concerning challenge we collectively face.”He added, “If this trend isn’t remedied, through changes at the Appraisal Qualifications Board level relating to experiential requirements for certification, or through more practicable means of utilizing trainee appraisers, this continued erosion of service providers will not stop.”But Petkovski has a plan of action to get these appraiser numbers moving upward.”Our most immediate opportunity to increase the number of service providers will be found within the production environment,” he said. By allowing trainee appraisers to operate independently of their supervisor during the physical inspection process (with structure in place to ensure the trainee has adequate competency to perform that specific function), we can improve the financial proposition to the supervisor, subsequently increasing the revenue potential of the trainee.”Petkovski cautions that this “a near-term solution, but it is a solution that would work to stimulate interest in becoming a residential appraiser, all while increase the earning potential of entrepreneurial supervisory appraiser’s.”To read more about the Appraisers and the National Appraisal Congress, visit the September 2015 issue of MReport.Editor’s note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of the National Appraisal Congress, MReport, and theMReport.com. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Secondary Marketcenter_img Apprasiers Housing Market National Appraisal Congress real estate 2015-11-19 Staff Writer Real Estate Appraisers Diminish In a Starved Marketlast_img read more

US Comptroller Warns Banks of Risks From Subpar Underwriting Standards

first_img December 16, 2015 580 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Origination Careless underwriting standards is causing an influx of credit risk in bank lending portfolios, which could be a huge mistake for these lenders over the long-term.The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), supervisor of the national banks and federal saving institutions, released its semi-annual Risk Perspective report on Wednesday, pointing out the growing risks among banks.In a clear warning, Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency said, “In the area of credit risk, the warning lights are flashing yellow. Regulators and bank management need to act now to prevent those risks from becoming reality. We can’t afford to wait until the warning lights turn red.”The Comptroller emphasized in his prepared remarks for a conference call about the report  that jeopardizing “sound underwriting” by offering loans to just about anyone is not the route banks should take to grow their business.”As the economic cycle turns, we see banks and thrifts reaching for yield and growth, sometimes extending their reach at the expense of sound underwriting, strong risk management, and adequate loan loss provisioning. OCC examiners will be paying close attention to each of those areas in the coming months,” Curry stated.He also suggests that banks should compete responsibly in terms of their boosting their business as the pool of creditworthy borrowers shrinks and other investments remain limited in the low-interest rate environment.In order to fight these adverse conditions, the OCC points out that banks in their entire portfolio have “relaxed underwriting standards, layered risks in consumer and commercial lending products, and accumulated concentrations, particularly in commercial real estate,” therefore growing risk.Underwriting standards have fallen for the third consecutive year, according to the OCC.”Generally, we are seeing banks continue to make concessions on pricing, weaker or non-existent loan covenants, and maturities lengthening. We have also seen increases in underwriting exceptions and risk layering. All of which combine to introduce risk at origination. Bankers with long memories will remember the worst loans are made in the best of times, and the growing credit risk in their banks should be managed very closely,” Curry noted.The Comptroller also mentioned that they expect banks to assess their own interest rate risk exposure, particularly among the potential-slowing of large deposit growth.”Where depositors sought shelter from the storm, they may also seek to take advantage of rising rates. Banks should consider the long-term implications to earnings and capital in strategic planning when assessing their exposure to changes in interest rates,” he stated.Nondepository lending has also rose more than 217 percent over the last three years to a total growth amount of $53.8 billion over the last year. The OCC says “risk from these loans can be highly correlated to the banks’ risk and lead to concentrations.””Banks and thrifts can remain relevant and thrive in meeting the needs of the customers, communities, and businesses that depend upon them, but they must manage change carefully,” the OCC said.Click here to view the complete report.Click here to view Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry’s Remarks. Sharecenter_img U.S. Comptroller Warns Banks of Risks From Sub-par Underwriting Standards Banks Credit Risk Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Underwriting Standards 2015-12-16 Staff Writerlast_img read more

Housing Gap is Widening Within Some Metros

first_img May 31, 2016 480 Views in Headlines, News There are “hot” and “cold” housing markets spread out all over the country as each market has recovered at its own pace. The gap between hot and cold housing communities in some cases exists within the same core-based statistical area (CBSA), according to Pro Teck Valuation Services’ latest Home Value Forecast.One extreme case is the Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York CBSA, which ranks seventh overall in CBSAs for May and the data generally indicates a seller’s market for housing. For example, sales are up 11 percent, active listings are down 44 percent, and months of remaining inventory (MRI) is down almost 50 percent. Another indicator of a seller’s market in Nassau-Suffolk is a 55 percent drop in the number of active days on the market, down to 41.Within the Nassau-Suffolk CBSA, the community of Roslyn stands out as a hot market with an average house price of just below $1.2 million—an all-time high for that area. However, in Island Park, less than 20 miles from Roslyn, home prices average around $288,000 after peaking at $500,000 in 2006.“At Home Value Forecast we like to say that all real estate trends are local, and what’s happening in one community doesn’t translate to the next,” said Tom O’Grady, CEO of Pro Teck Valuation Services. “This is very true in Long Island, where the differences between wealthy communities and the rest is significant.”Top 10 CBSAs this month include:Boise City, IDPortland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WASacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CASeattle-Bellevue-Everett, WAStockton-Lodi, CALos Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CANassau County-Suffolk County, NYPortland-South Portland, MERiverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CAOakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CABottom 10 CBSAs this month include:Midland, TXBillings, MTVirginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NCRacine, WIRockford, ILAtlantic City-Hammonton, NJGary, INJackson, MIJacksonville, NCMadison, WIAveraging CBSAs often do not show the entire real estate picture, according to Pro Teck. In many cases, such as that in Nassau-Suffolk, real estate markets within the CBSA have “recovered” or “rebounded,” while in others they are still struggling.“Of the 143 ZIP codes we track in the Nassau-Suffolk CBSA, only 28 communities, 19.6 percent of the total, have exceeded pre-crash home price highs,” said O’Grady. “As the recovery continues, we look for that number to increase.”Click here to view the entire Pro Teck Home Valuation Forecast for May. ‘Housing Gap’ is Widening Within Some Metroscenter_img Home Value Forecast Housing Markets Real Estate Markets 2016-05-31 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

BCFP Offers Clarifications to HMDA Exemption Rules

first_img August 31, 2018 722 Views On Friday, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) released an “interpretive and procedural rule” designed to implement and clarify the requirements of section 104(a) of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act amendment of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). In addition, the BCFP released an updated Filing Instructions Guide for 2018 HMDA data collected.The president signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act on May 24. The Act contains provisions aimed at decreasing the burden on smaller depository institutions when facing compliance with HMDA and its implementing regulation. According to the BCFP, several institutions have questions about the exemptions to HMDA made in the Act, specifically, how they impact collecting and filing for 2018. The new rule aims to clarify these concerns.According to the bureau, the rule gives insured depository institutions and insured credit unions covered by a partial the option to exempt data fields as long as they report all data fields within any exempt data point for which they report data. Additionally, the rule notes that loans and lines of credit that are otherwise HMDA reportable are the only category of loans and lines of credit which count toward the partial exemption threshold. For institutions that choose not to report a universal loan identifier, the rule designates a non-universal loan identifier for a partially exempt transaction for their exempt transactions, while clarifying the exception to the partial exemptions for negative Community Reinvestment Act examination history. The rule also clarifies which of the data points in Regulation C are covered by the partial exemptions.The BCFP plans to begin a notice-and-comment rulemaking at a later date. This will implement these interpretations and procedures into Regulation C and further implement the Act. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.For the complete interpretive and procedural rule, click here. For the updated Filing Instructions Guide, click here. BCFP Offers Clarifications to HMDA Exemption Rules Amendment CFPB Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Regulatio Rules 2018-08-31 Seth Welborncenter_img in Daily Dose, Government, News Sharelast_img read more

An Outlook on Mortgage Originations

first_imgAn Outlook on Mortgage Originations in Daily Dose, Market Studies, News The MBA has released its Mortgage Finance Forecast for October 2018. The forecast predicts that total mortgage originations in 2019 will decrease to $1.63 trillion from $1.64 trillion in 2018. Breaking down this total, the report expects $1.24 trillion in purchase mortgage originations—a drop of 4.2 percent from 2018—with refinance originations at $395 billion, or an annual decrease of 12.4 percent.For 2020, however, the forecast predicts this trend will turn around, with a total of $1.68 billion in originations. Purchase originations for 2020 are expected to be $1.27 trillion, with refinance originations up to $410 billion.     “The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in almost 50 years, resulting in faster wage growth and more confident homebuyers,” said Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist and SVP for Research and Industry Technology at MBA. “While the Federal Reserve is expected to increase short-term rates further, 30-year mortgage rates should rise only modestly from here. We are seeing some deceleration in the rate of home price growth, but believe this is a healthy pause for the market, as it will allow income growth to catch up to the recent run-up in home values.”Fratantoni predicted that demand will sustain growth over the forecast horizon but that home sales rates will be constrained by a decline in new construction. He said that home purchase originations will increase from 2019 through 2021, and that this accelerated pace will continue beyond the forecast horizon as a new wave of millennials enters the housing market.Fratantoni suggested the current decline in originations is due to elevated costs and competitive pricing, which in turn depresses revenues for lenders. He also stated that he believes the Fed will raise rates as promised three times before the end of 2019.  “We forecast for the 10-year Treasury rate to increase to about 3.4 percent and then level out, bringing 30-year mortgage rates to roughly 5.1 percent,” he said, but added that the unemployment rate will only continue to decline.”The unemployment rate will decrease to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019, which should continue to keep housing demand at a healthy level, ultimately leading to an increase in purchase originations,” said Fratantoni.The MBA also revised its estimate of originations for 2017, raising it to $1.76 trillion from $1.71 trillion. This adjustment reflects the most current data as reported in the 2017 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data release. Housing Market Loan Origination MBA Mike Fratantoni mortgage Mortgage Finance Forecast 2018-10-17 Staff Writercenter_img October 17, 2018 809 Views Sharelast_img read more

Forecasting Appreciation Rates Across the Nation

first_img 17 days ago 325 Views The average appreciation rate for residential real estate in the nation’s 100 largest markets is forecasted to be 3.7% over the next year ending on June 1, 2020, according to a Veros Real Estate Solutions. Veros states that anticipated rate of 3.7% is unchanged from the rate predicated in Q1 2019, and signified a “leveling out” after a four-quarter decline from a projected appreciation rate of 4.5% last year. “This flattening indicates that although there is definite softness overall in the housing market the fundamentals are healthy,” said Eric Fox, Veros VP of Statistical and Economic Modeling, and the report’s author. “One potential contributing factor we saw in the models is some softening of mortgage interest rates, which is helping to prop up values and stem the decline.” According to the report, another area that is holding steady is that 5% of the nation’s markets are expected to depreciate over the next year, which has not changed since Q4 2018.The Veros report states that Odessa, Texas, is expected to have the nation’s highest appreciation rate of 9.7%. Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, followed at 9.5%, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, was No. 3 at 9.4%. Grand Forks, North Dakota, is projected to see home values fall by 1.9% over the next year—the highest in the nation. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, came in at No. 2 at -1.7% and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is expected to see home values fall 1.6%. Louisiana and Connecticut combined to have six of the 10 cities with the highest expected drops in home value: Lafayette, Louisiana; Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana; Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana; and Norwich-New London, Connecticut. The report adds that the West Coast is not expected to see the growth in real estate value that is being witnessed in the Pacific Northwest. Prices for property in California is expected to remain soft, with major markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, expected to appreciate between 2.5% and 4.5%. Also expected to remain soft through next year is the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro, which is the nation’s largest market. Manhattan is expected to see depreciation rates of 2.5%, and New Jersey is forecasted for appreciation of just 1.7%.  2019 Housing Market Appreciaiton Home Values 2019-07-16 Mike Albanese in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Marketcenter_img Forecasting Appreciation Rates Across the Nation Sharelast_img read more

PRESS RELEASE Elgin Minn – Honeybear is going fo

first_img PRESS RELEASEElgin, Minn. – Honeybear is going for gold at retail. This week the company that pioneered Honeycrisp unveils colorful, distinctive new retail cartons for all Honeycrisp apples shipping under the Honeybear Brands name. The new packaging will begin arriving this fall at North American retailers and has been designed to provide retailers with standout display options in their produce aisles.“This new design direction is entirely retailer driven in two ways,” says Don Roper, vice president, sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands. “Firstly, we hear all the time from our retail partners that when they open a Honeybear carton, they know they’re getting apples that have been grown, picked and shipped to the highest quality standards. Our legacy and our history have really helped us establish ourselves as the Gold Standard for growers and packers of Honeycrisp apples.“Secondly, when so many other apple cartons can be generic and dull, we wanted to give produce managers and their in-store display teams an easy and highly impactful way to add color and fun to their produce aisles that will really engage and draw in their customers.”The new, bright, Honeybear Brands carton is intended as a symbol and ongoing commitment to those gold standard practices in growing and providing the very best Honeycrisp apples possible. It is also a radical departure from the current white and green packaging. Each carton features a bold, golden and attractive background with the Honeybear centered in a sunburst for high customer visibility anywhere in the produce aisle. September 05 , 2018 “Our goal is quite simply to help give our retail partners a clear advantage over their competition whenever they choose to sell Honeybear apples,” adds Roper.Honeybear, the Honeycrisp pioneer in Washington State, has more than twenty-five years of experience growing Honeycrisp apples around the world. The new Honeybear Brands carton introduction follows a successful year for Honeybear Brands that saw universal sales increases across the company’s portfolio of premium varieties as well as a doubling in production capabilities in the Midwest and a record sales year for Pazazz, star of Honeybear’s varietal development program.# # #About Honeybear Brands (www.honeybearbrands.com) Honeybear is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties. The company started as Wescott Agri Products, a family run apple orchard in the early 1970s. From that early start several generations ago, Honeybear still employs the same hands-on, personal attention to apple varieties produced through the Honeybear Apple Varietal Development Program. Honeybear is the leading grower of Honeycrisp in the Northwest and offers complete domestic and global apply supply integration from varietal development to growing, packing, shipping and retailer support.center_img You might also be interested inlast_img read more


first_imgblockchainwebinar Still struggling with the concept of Blockchain? Wondering how this new technology may, or may not, be relevant to your travel business? If you’re keen to know more, register now, and set your alarm for an early start and join the Blockchain Demystified: How will it change your travel business? webinar on Wednesday 14 March, 2018 at 3:00 AM – 4:00 AM AEDT.Chaired by Eye For Travel’s Pamela Whitby, industry decision makers will explain Blockchain for travel and help demystify how it works, and where innovation will come from – incumbents or newcomers?Understand how Blockchain:will be applied in travel and what structures will it disrupt?will impact Cryptocurrency and its place in streamlining a multi-currency industryis being trialled across the industry – (Citizen M, Sabre, Lufthansa, TUI)is being used in Private and public applications. What are the differences and which will have the biggest impact?Register HERElast_img read more

Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute ri

first_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Comments   Share   Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation It’s not just the fans and media who are going crazy with rumors and hypotheticals. Kolb told the reporters who gathered that the unknown bothers him as well.“There’s a list of questions, and nobody knows the answers,” Kolb said. “A lotta unknowns.”While it still doesn’t provide any answers to the question of who will be the Cards starting quarterback when the season actually begins, it’s nice to finally hear from someone actually involved. Kolb’s quotes show he’s a guy who possesses a lot of personality as well as sensibility. Much like the rest of us he just wants an answer, sooner rather than later. “‘It’s pretty tough, but y’all have known me for a long time, and the way that I handle things is that I kind of keep things out of my life. I don’t pay too much attention to it. It’s hard, when it has to do with my life, but I keep a positive attitude and keep moving forward, and whatever happens, I’ll be ready to roll,” Kolb said afterwardsEven though all signs point to Andy Reid and the Eagles trading their backup quarterback, Kolb accepts the fact that, due to the lockout, a deal may not happen.“If the situation (of staying with the Eagles) can’t be avoided, I’m not going to sit there and be a turd,” Kolb said. “That’s not my style. I think that I’ve voiced my opinion, and there’s nothing more I can do. Just like always, whatever situation arises, I’ll just have to roll with the punches … To say that it didn’t cross my mind, I’d be lying.”If the Cardinals do in fact deal for Kolb, it’s good to know that being a ‘turd’ isn’t his style. After watching the production the team got from the position in 2010 you’d have to imagine that is one of Ken Whisenhunt’s prerequisites for whoever they bring in. Everyone has provided an opinion when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals and Kevin Kolb. Well, almost everyone.On Thursday the most important factor in those rumors, Kolb himself, spoke to the media for the first time since he and the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs. He was back on the east coast to take part in informal workouts with some of his teammates.The Philadelphia Daily News was there and talked to the 27-year-old quarterback about his future and how he’s dealing with his rumored relocation. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkelast_img read more