Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P The gloom of global recession doesn’t appear to have affected Aussies as a recent survey conducted by Visa ranked Australians as the ‘biggest spenders in the world’.According to the Visa Global Travel Intentions survey 2011, which surveyed 11,620 respondents from 23 countries around the world, has found Australians spend an average of US$3,636 whilst on holiday, making them the biggest spenders worldwide.Around 30 per cent of the people surveyed said they are most likely to travel to the UK for leisure in the next two years, coming in at a close second is the US with 26 percent followed by New Zealand with 21 percent of respondents planning to travel there. Head of Cross Border Business Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa Ross Jackson said the UK was a popular destination of respondents globally not just with Australian travellers.“Of those who want to visit the UK, 27 percent said they would attend a sporting event, which is an indication that sport tourism is proving to be a growing attraction for today’s traveller,” Mr Jackson said.Some key finding from the survey revealed some 47 percent of respondents said they intend to book by themselves by directly contacting hotels and airlines a further 55 percent said they were most likely to obtain information via the internet.The survey also revealed most travellers tend to travel with their spouse or partner, with 43 percent saying they intend to travel over the next couple of years. From the travellers surveyed 52 percent stated they would most likely stay in three to four star accommodation.Lastly, the results show Australian respondents are expecting to take three overseas holidays over the next couple of years, and suggest spending an average of 16 nights on holiday.
Arrivals and departures into Australia remained still in November 2011 compared to the prior month with a small 0.5 percent increase of short-term visitors arrivals for the second last month of the year.According to figures released by the Bureau of Statistics, trend estimates showed that short term arrivals increased from 502,900 movements in October last year to 505,300 movements in November.Meanwhile seasonally adjusted estimates found that short term resident departures from Australia decreased by 0.6 percent from the month compared to the prior month.Aussies leaving for a short period of time dropped from 652,900 people in October 2011 to 649,100 in November.Earlier this week lastminute.com.au revealed booking research which found over December, January and February this year domestic travel was expected to escalate by up to 68 percent, defying the patterns of the high Australian dollar. For more information on lastminute.com.au findings click here. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Vietnam Airlines CEO, Dr. Pham Ngoc Minhwith Jetstar CEO, Bruce Buchanan Jetstar Pacific, Qantas Group’s low cost-carrier has a new majority shareholder, in the form of Vietnam Airlines.Vietnam Airlines signed a partnership agreement on Tuesday to secure a 70 percent, majority share from Vietnamese State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) in the Vietnam-based low cost carrier.Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce outlined the potential for growth and development through the dual brand partnership.“We are confident this partnership between a low cost carrier and a full service airline in Vietnam can replicate the success of our Qantas and Jetstar strategy in Australia,” Mr Joyce said.Jetstar Pacific will benefit from an estimated AU$25 million worth of injected capital and a further AU$7.5 million from the Qantas Group itself.These investments will aid in strengthening the carrier’s fleet, replacing the current Boeing 737s with all new A320 aircraft from mid-2012.Jetstar Chief Executive, Bruce Buchanan expressed interest in new opportunities. “Across Asia we are seeing the positive impacts of introducing a new generation of customers to air travel, including Vietnam where the penetration of low cost carriers is still relatively low.“The strength of our low cost model and the tremendous potential for growth provide a unique opportunity for Jetstar in Vietnam. Our partnership with Vietnam Airlines will help develop this,” Mr Buchanan said.According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), Vietnam will become the world’s second fastest growing aviation market for domestic passengers by 2014.
Dissident Qantas shareholder and former Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon, along with a group of fellow agitators/investors have reportedly quietly sold their stake in the airline this month, netting some AU$18 million.According to The Australian Financial Review, Mr Dixon and his compatriots sold their 1.5 percent chunk in the airline’s shares on 22 January 2013. The sale has some pundits wondering if current Qantas head Alan Joyce will now renew his airline’s relationship with Tourism Australia.In November, Mr Joyce cut ties with the Australian tourism body over concerns that Mr Dixon, also Tourism Australia’s chairman, was out to sabotage the carrier.According to Mr Joyce, Mr Dixon was not acting impartially as a government-appointed chairman and was instead behaving in a manner that revealed an eagerness to see current Qantas management removed. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Mr Dixon, along with other investors have reportedly sold their stake in Qantas.
On the other side, the sales of the EU Pass dropped. This drop was heralded by increased tourist interest in buying individual tickets on high speed services. “We are extremely pleased that sales have been consistently grown over the last five years despite dips in the world economy,” Rail Europe chief executive officer Fabrice Morel said. Australasia was the strongest region for sales with €49 million in revenue being raised, representing a 50 per cent increase on 2010. The growth came mainly from well performing routes in bigger countries including Thalys (48 per cent revenue growth), the Italian Italo and Trentalia services (up 23 per cent), Eurostar (up 21 per cent) and the Swiss Passes line (up 20 per cent). Source = ETB News: T.N. Rail Europe forecasts an 8 per cent increase in sales for 2014 because of larger numbers of corporate and gourmet travellers. Morel also said that travellers were realising that they could save up to 70 per cent when booking in advance. Rail Europe has revealed a substantial increase in sales for 2013, with three million travellers moved across Europe using the EU pass.
Tunes Hotel Group has provided outbound China travelers easy and direct access to overseas hotel booking with the inclusion of their products into Plateno Hotels Group’s booking platform.The two companies signed a marketing collaboration agreement where 14 Tune Hotels’ properties in Asia, Australia, England and Scotland are to be featured on Plateno’s booking engine.Guangzhou-based Plateno is one of China’s leading hospitality groups, operating over 2,000 hotels under five different brands across more than 300 cities across the country.To celebrate its collaboration with Plateno, Tune Hotels is having a special promotion exclusively for members of the Plateno Club, which was officially launched today.From now until 30 September 2014, Plateno Club members will be able to book Tune Hotel rooms from as low as RMB61 all-in per night.Tune Hotels Group chief executive officer Mark Lankester said that Tune Hotels Group is delighted to be working with Plateno on this outbound cross marketing collaboration.“As more mainland Chinese citizens begin to look towards outbound travel to see and experience different parts of the world, this will be able to help in their outbound journeys by recommending hotels overseas,” Mr Lankester said.A total of 97 million China residents travelled out of the country last year, a 16.8 percent increase from the year before and as of August this year, the year-on-year increase for the corresponding period is a staggering 17 percent.From just one hotel in Kuala Lumpur that opened in 2007, Tune Hotels has grown into a current network of 45 Tune Hotels that are available for booking across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, England, Scotland, Australia, India and Japan.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wiseman Mark Lankester Group CEO Tune Hotels
Marriott International Inc. is expanding Mobile Requests, the industry-leading two-way chat feature on its Mobile app, to four additional brands – JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Executive Apartments.Originally launched at select Marriott Hotels, Mobile Requests is also now available at Marriott Hotels across the globe and is being rolled-out at Courtyard and Residence Inn properties in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.Mobile Requests is offered exclusively to the nearly 54 million members of the company’s award-winning loyalty program Marriott Rewards, enabling them to chat in real time directly with hotel staff to answer questions, or request services and amenities starting 72 hours before their arrival, and throughout their stay.Guests can choose to text in five languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, French and German.“We know nearly a quarter of our guests ask a question or make a request to hotel staff during their stay,” said George Corbin, Senior Vice President of Digital at Marriott International. “With Mobile Requests, guests can communicate immediately with their hotel right from their smartphones wherever they are before, during and after their stay, making the Marriott Mobile app experience for next generation travelers seamless, intuitive and fulfilling.”Marriott International was the first global hotel company to offer a two-way chat option with on-property staff when it launched at 46 Marriott Hotels in May 2015.Guests with an upcoming reservation can use Mobile Requests to instantly communicate with staff hotel in two ways: they may choose from a drop-down menu of most requested services and amenities, such as extra towels, bath amenities, or valet parking or begin a two-way chat with hotel staff using the “Anything Else” option.Guests have made thousands of requests since Mobile Requests was launched, and guest surveys show it has contributed to a rise in overall satisfaction.The Mobile Requests roll out is another step Marriott International is taking in leading digital innovation, following offerings such as mobile check-in, check-out and room ready alerts.Additionally, Marriott is piloting a series of new mobile services including Mobile Key – allowing guests to use their mobile phone as a room key – at select hotels with plans to expand to additional hotels.Marriott Rewards members who download the Marriott Mobile app will continue to benefit from these regular updates that further enhance the hotel stay experience. Download Marriott Mobile app for freeSource = Marriott International Inc.
MTA Mobile Travel Agentslearn more hereSource = MTA Travel – Mike Parker-Brown MTA Mobile Travel AgentsMTA partners with eNett for seamless and secure supplier paymentseNett Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) have been selected by MTA – Mobile Travel Agents (MTA) as its preferred form of supplier payment.The Australian owned and operated travel agency group will partner with eNett International, to enable its national network of MTA Expert Travel Advisors, to realise the benefits of a more efficient, rewarding and secure payment solution with VANs.A VAN is an automatically generated 16-digit MasterCard number used for supplier payments. Because a unique number is used for each new booking or payment transaction, VANs are a secure way to pay or be paid, and are welcomed in each of the 35.9 million locations worldwide where MasterCard is accepted online.MTA CEO Don Beattie, said the move to partner with VANs was a further example of where the company continues to add functionality to its in-house developed IT Systems.“This agreement means all of our travel experts across Australia will be able to access eNett VANs via seamless integration with the MTA Virtual Office,” Mr Beattie said.“Using VANs as part of their workflow will cut handling time for each booking, speeding up the process of commission payments.“And with VANs automatically matching each booking with payment, we are making considerable administrative savings by eliminating inefficient manual processes of reconciling individual credit card payments.“Automated reconciliation is equally important to our travel experts, who will now have additional time to spend with their customers.”Backed by the MasterCard guarantee and allowing users to set defined booking and payment parameters, VANs reduce the risk of fraud while providing protection from supplier default.Sophisticated chargeback capabilities complement MTA’s recently launched Zero Flight Risk guarantee which protects MTA’s clients’ funds in the event of supplier insolvency.eNett Managing Director and CEO Anthony Hynes, said a key benefit of VANs are their ability to simplify supplier payments, by seamlessly integrating with existing booking and accounts platforms.“We are pleased to be making supplier payments simple and easy for MTA’s travel experts and look forward to supporting them with their growth.” Mobile Travel Agentsjoin MTA here
Yotel, an affiliate company of Kuwait-listed IFA Hotels & Resorts KSCC, has signed a long-term agreement with Dubai Investment Properties LLC (DIP) to operate a new hotel in Dubai, UAE.It will be complete in early 2018; the 42-storey property designed by Arkiteknik International will boast 438 cabins, furnished with the brand’s signature Techno Walls and Smart Beds, as well YOTEL’s exclusive Club Lounge, a multi-function co-working and recreational space.“We are delighted to announce our first project in the UAE with DIP. Dubai has a thriving hospitality market but lacks good quality, affordable luxury hotels. Yotel Business Bay will put an end to this oddity and be a true flagship for our brand in the Middle East, a region with huge untapped potential. This project is also our debut into the serviced apartment segment, a natural extension to our brand DNA – smart spaces delivering outstanding value,” said Hubert Viriot, CEO of YOTEL.“We are proud to add Yotel to our list of landmark projects in Dubai,” explains Abdallah Moneimneh, General Manager and Chief Architect at Arkiteknik International. “The building reflects simplicity and geometric elegance, offering a minimalist design with a twist and showcasing the Yotel concept.”
Customers looking to spend their Avios on British Airways flights will just have to swipe their finger and they would be able to use the new Reward Flight Finder to find flights. The flights can be booked by using Avios or a combination of Avios and cash.The latest release of the app on iPhone and Android also features a completely redesigned flight booking process, using the latest technology and user-friendly design to make flights quicker and easier to book.The number of reward flights booked on mobile has increased by over 300% in the last year. Kevin McQuillan, British Airways’ head of ba.com and mobile, said “We know our loyal customers are keen collectors of Avios and are always looking for flights on which to spend them…because the number of customers booking through our iPhone app has also grown by over 100% in the last year alone, we understand that they are often short on time when they are on the move. Thanks to this new redesign it is now possible for time-pressed customers to find great prices and book flights in under 60 seconds.”The new release of the British Airways iPhone app provides customers with a clear view of all flights which have seats that can be bought using Avios, available to destinations around the world.Avios can be collected from flights, hotel stays, car rental, credit cards, and even on everyday things like shopping. Customers can collect Avios every time they fly with British Airways and Iberia, or any oneworld airline partner, with a minimum of 125 Avios per flight.
My visit to OTM helped me establish business association with many outbound DMCs as well as Domestic tour operators. Overall we received a fruitful result and I am very happy with this whole experience.
Japan Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has crossed its 100,000-mark for visitor arrivals from India. Japan will continue to strive to sustain this momentum in growth, informed Daisuke Kobayashi, Director – Singapore, Malaysia & India, JNTO at the recently organised Visit Japan Trade Seminar in New Delhi.JNTO is currently focusing on leisure tourism potential to attract tourists from India. India is one of the top 20 overseas source markets for JNTO, registering a growth year on year with major revenue gained from business travellers.JNTO is planning to set up an office in New Delhi. Toshihiro Yamakoshi, Counsellor, Embassy of Japan, said, “Once the JNTO office is established in New Delhi, it will give much needed momentum to the tourism sector of Japan. However, this issue is subject to the approval of the DIET (Japanese Parliament).”The organisation also conducted a Destination Specialist Program in Mumbai. “The purpose of organising such programmes is to educate the travel agents across India about Destination Japan, and promote Japan as a favourite destination among Indians,” said, Kenichi Takano, Deputy Manager, Southeast Asia, Inbound Promotion Department, JNTO.Tokyo, one of the gateway cities of Japan, is a popular destination among Indian arrivals. From India, daily direct flights operate from New Delhi to Tokyo. Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto are some of the other popular destinations among Indian travellers. Apart from the popular destinations, JNTO is focusing on promoting Japan Alps i.e. the seven cities of Toyama, Hida, Takayama, Omachi, Azumino, Matsumoto, and Shiojiri.
Goibibo announced the launch of its new TV campaign featuring its brand ambassador-Deepika Padukone. The campaign highlights Goibibo’s e-wallet service- ‘GoCashPlus’ and its benefits on Goibibo’s platform.Through the new campaign, Goibibo aims to enhance new user acquisition and augment hotel market share growth. This is in line with company’s endeavour to catalyze the shift from offline to online in the hotel booking segment. Launched in 2017, the feature – GoCash+is Goibibo’s travel booking currency which can be used without any restrictions on usage.Commenting on this, Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and CEO-India (Merged Entity) said, “GoCash+ is a great value proposition to increase engagement and retention amongst existing and potential customers. We feel Deepika’s presence as the brand ambassador of Goibibo, will further help us build a huge amount of trust and reliability amongst customers with regards to hotel research, planning and booking on our platform and thereby, further our larger business objective of expanding the category and increasing our market share in the online hotel booking segment.”
August 8, 2011 441 Views “”American International Group (AIG)””:http://www.aigcorporate.com/index.html is heading to court with “”Bank of America (BAC)””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/. AIG filed a suit against the bank Monday, targeting BAC’s alleged misrepresentation of mortgage-backed securities.[IMAGE]AIG’s claims focus on BAC’s Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial components, and the entity is seeking over $10 billion in compensation in what could be the largest mortgage-security lawsuit ever filed by an individual investor.The suit alleges that the bank fraudulently represented the quality of mortgage-backed securities purchased by AIG, resulting in an estimated $28 billion in losses for AIG.The taxpayer-owned company is one of numerous entities filing against various banks, over claims that the financial institutions misrepresented high-risk securities, leading to the mortgage crisis. [COLUMN_BREAK]Around 90 lawsuits related to the mortgage mess have been initiated to date, and AIG’s legal representation, McCarthy Lawyer Links, says that AIG will also file similar cases against Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Deutsche Bank.Private litigation actions are outpacing those being brought by the “”Justice Department””:http://www.justice.gov/, which has concluded most of its bank-related investigations without filing lawsuits. Commenting to the _New York Times_, Justice Department spokesperson Alisa Finelli noted that the government was taking legal avenues when deemed necessary, citing the successful prosecution of Taylor Bean & Whitaker’s chairman.Finelli said, “”Prosecutors and agents determine on a case by case basis the importance of relevant evidence developed in a private litigation and how such evidence should be pursued. Civil litigation involves a lower standard of proof than is required for a criminal prosecution, where prosecutors must have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed.””BAC is expected to refute AIG’s claims, as it has during previous filings. Lawrence Di Rita, a spokesperson for BAC, said in a general statement to the _New York Times_ that disclosures made during the securities process were likely thorough enough for investors within sophisticated companies like AIG. Di Rita added that it’s reasonable to say that factors like dropping home values also contributed to faltering loans, though he pointed out that BAC had yet to see the AIG suit. AIG to Battle BAC Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Disclosures Processing Service Providers 2011-08-08 Abby Gregory Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology
Share July Case-Shiller Indices Improve at Slower Pace in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market September 24, 2013 423 Views Home prices rose in July by less than 2 percent for the first time since March but still reached their highest level since August 2008, according to the “”Case-Shiller Home Price Indices””:http://www.spindices.com/documents/indexnews/announcements/20130924/53129_cshomeprice-release-0924.pdf?force_download=true released Tuesday. [IMAGE]The 20-city index was up 1.8 percent in July–12.4 percent in the last year–while the companion 10-city index was up 1.9 percent–12.3 percent since July 2012.Economists surveyed by _Bloomberg_ had expected the 20-city index to increase 2.0 percent from June, a 12.4 percent annual improvement.All 20 cities included in the survey improved both month-to-month and year-to-year. The two surveys have improved both monthly and yearly for 14 consecutive months.The Case-Shiller report came as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said its House Price Index rose in July at the fastest pace since March. The FHFA index tracks values for only those homes with loans eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac–generally those with lower values.The Case-Shiller 20-city index rose 1.4 percent in March and then by more than 2.0 in April, May, and June. The 10-city index rose 1.3 percent in March followed by three straight months of gains greater than 2.0 percent.The 10-city index rose to 176.52, up 3.23 from June├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós 173.29, while June├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós index was revised down from the originally reported 173.37. The 20-city index was up 2.90 from June├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós unrevised 159.59. In August 2008, the 10-city index was 176.71, and the 20-city index was 164.65.In July, according to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing single-family home dropped 0.1 percent but was up 14.7 percent from a year earlier.Even with the slower growth in July, the two indices have improved by double digits year-over-year for five straight months, and July├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós annual growth was the strongest since [COLUMN_BREAK]March 2006 for the 10-city index and since February 2006 for the 20-city index. While good news for home sellers, the continued sharp increases are likely to revive concerns of a growing housing bubble as personal income growth continues to stagnate.Still, the increase in home values, according to economic theory, should mean improved consumer spending. The ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£wealth effect├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø theory holds that consumers spend based on increase in net worth, not income. Home values accounted for about 25 percent of the increase in net worth in the first quarter, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve.The Case-Shiller indices have gone up for eight straight months and 14 times in the last 16; each index dipped last October and November.Monthly increases were led by Chicago, where prices rose 3.2 percent from May to July. Prices have increased more than 3.0 percent per month in Chicago for three straight months, and the index there is at its highest level since August 2010. Prices rose more than 2.0 percent in July in Las Vegas (2.8 percent), Detroit (2.7 percent), Tampa (2.3 percent), San Francisco (2.2 percent), Atlanta (2.2 percent), Los Angeles (2.1 percent), and San Diego (2.0 percent). Half of the cities showing month-over-month price gains of 2.0 percent or greater were in the West; none were in the Northeast.Prices have increased for 22 consecutive months in Phoenix, 18 straight months in Minneapolis, and 17 straight months in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The price index for Denver, according to the July report, is at its highest level since the Case-Shiller tracking began in January 1987.The four cities with year-over-year price growth of greater than 20 percent were also in the West. On a yearly basis, the price gains were led by Las Vegas, where prices were up 27.5 percent since July 2012, and San Francisco, where prices rose 24.8 percent in the last 12 months. Those cities were followed by Los Angeles, up 20.8 percent in the last year, and San Diego which saw a 20.4 percent year-over-year gain.Despite the July improvement, the 10-city index is down 22.0 percent from its June 2006 high of 226.29, and the 20-city index is off 21.3 percent from its July 2006 peak of 206.52._Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. Eastern and follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics._ Agents & Brokers Appraisals Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer spending Home Prices Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman National Association of Realtors Processing S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices Service Providers Underwriting Standards Valuation 2013-09-24 Mark Lieberman
VRM Names SVP for Operations Support in Headlines, News, Technology Movers & Shakers VRM Mortgage Services 2014-03-20 Tory Barringer March 20, 2014 599 Views Share In Texas, real estate solutions provider VRM Mortgage Services named 20-year mortgage banking veteran Brandon Kirkham as SVP of operations support.Kirkham’s work experience includes co-founding and servicing as president of Compliance Connections, a firm focused on providing innovative technology-based solutions for community code compliance. He also served as the EVP of First Preston Management and was the first VP for Countrywide Home Loans.Past work posts also include executive positions in loan servicing, default management, technology, compliance, regulatory oversight, and new venture initiation.At VRM, Kirkham’s responsibilities include managing resources and developing and implementing strategies to support the company’s operations. He will also direct the strategy and operational tactics for VRM’s entry into new lines of business.“We were impressed with Brandon’s strong aptitude and track record for conceiving and implementing complex solutions,” said Cheryl Travis-Johnson, EVP and COO for VRM. “He has the operational expertise necessary to grow our current businesses and help lead the charge as we expand our mortgage origination and servicing solutions.”“VRM has tremendous resources and there is so much growth potential for us in the industry,” Kirkham added. “I look forward to working with this team to get our initiatives and new opportunities off the ground and fully operational.”
Avenue 365 Adds National Account Manager to Leadership Team in Headlines, News, Uncategorized Pennsylvania-based Avenue 365 Lender Services announced a new appointment to its national sales team, naming mortgage veteran Linda St. Clair to the position of national account manager.St. Clair joins Avenue 365 from her most recent role at LenderLive, where she previously served as VP and national account manager for the company’s Settlement Services Division.She also has experience in national sales positions for Stewart Lender Services and First American Equity Loan Services.Working for Avenue 365, she will be responsible for expanding the firm’s services to new and existing clients and helping the company enter into new strategic lender relationships, focusing primarily on the country’s leading mid-tier lenders and credit unions.”We are very excited to have Linda join our team,” said Len Franco, SVP and national sales manager at Avenue 365. “Her knowledge and experience will help us to deliver our customers the full benefits of Avenue 365’s title solutions supporting lenders through the lifecycle of a loan.”President and CEO Ryan Peterson added, “Avenue 365 is committed to continuing the growth of our Origination Division to better serve our lender customers. We have been aggressive in building our leadership and sales team, and Linda’s addition is further evidence of our ongoing commitment to this market segment.” Share Avenue 365 Lender Services Movers & Shakers 2014-07-21 Tory Barringer July 21, 2014 442 Views
September 15, 2014 599 Views Share While nearly seven in 10 Americans agree that now is a good time to become a homeowner, a large number remain reluctant due to their own misguided understanding of the financing process, according to survey results released Monday.In a poll of more than 2,000 consumers, Wells Fargo found 68 percent feel that now is a good time to buy a home, and 95 percent want to own if they don’t already.The results jibe with Fannie Mae’s latest consumer housing survey, in which 64 percent of Americans said now is a good time to buy (matching the survey’s record low).”Although the homebuying process has changed in many ways in recent years ,our survey found Americans still view homeownership as an achievement to be proud of and many believe that now is a good time to buy a home,” said Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Production.On the other hand, while nearly three-quarters of respondents in Wells Fargo’s survey said they “know and understand” the financial process involved in buying a home, large numbers also expressed doubt or misguided notions about homebuying requirements. For example, Wells Fargo reported, 30 percent of respondents expressed belief that only people with high incomes can obtain a mortgage at this point, and 64 percent said they believe only those with a “very good” credit score can buy a home right now.While 64 percent of respondents said they have an understanding about how much of a down payment is needed to purchase a home, nearly half said 20 percent is required. Forty-four percent also said they know little or nothing about closing costs.While most lenders report that lending requirements at the moment are still high as a result of enhanced regulations and reluctance to take risks, Codel says lenders would be well served to work on educating homebuyers about all programs available to them—especially the millennial crowd, most of which pointed to lack of down payment funds as one of their biggest hurdles to homeownership.”It is important for prospective homebuyers to feel empowered to ask lenders and real estate agents questions about available options, such as down payment assistance or FHA [Federal Housing Administration] or VA [Veterans Affairs] loans for veterans,” he said. “Informing prospective homebuyers about their options is the first step toward helping them realize their goals.”On the other hand, the survey also found most Americans are confident in managing their personal finances, with 82 percent saying they know how to save, invest, and work within a budget. In addition, 63 percent said they have a “rainy day fund,” including more than half of millennial-aged respondents.With so many Americans focused on keeping their financial houses in order, Codel says there’s a decent opportunity to turn those consumers into responsible homeowners with an educational push.”[W]e have an opportunity as lenders, nonprofit agencies and real estate agents to better inform Americans about credit ratings, mortgage costs and housing affordability,” he said. “This would help demystify the homebuying experience for many consumers.” Survey: Americans Stymied by Homebuying Confusion in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Down Payments First-Time Homebuyers Wells Fargo 2014-09-15 Tory Barringer
in Daily Dose, Data, News, Origination Builder Application Survey Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association 2015-06-12 Staff Writer Yesterday, as mortgage rates crept up to 4 percent this week for the first time since November 2014, consumers responded with a decrease of mortgage applications by 9 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for May 2015.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.02 percent for the week ending June 11, 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). While, mortgage applications dropped by 9 percent, compared to last month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.According to the MBA data, conventional loans composed 67.4 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 19.1 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.2 percent, and VA loans composed 12.3 percent. The average loan size of new homes increased from $315,670 in April to $320,744 in May.Based on data from the BAS, the MBA estimated that new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 459,000 units in May 2015. The estimate is formulated from BAS mortgage application information and assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.The seasonally adjusted estimate for May is a decrease of 5.7 percent from the April pace of 487,000 units, the report found. The MBA estimates that there were 45,000 new home sales in May 2015, a decrease of 6.3 percent from 48,000 new home sales in April, on an unadjusted basis.“Mortgage applications to homebuilders declined in May following an improved start to the year,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s VP of research and economics. “Consistent with the intent to complete new homes in time for the school year, applications fell at a similar rate between April and May last year. That said, application volume is 15 percent ahead of the same month last year.”Click here to view the complete MBA Builder Application Survey. June 12, 2015 440 Views Survey: Purchase Applications for New Homes Down in May Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, News The HUD/Census Bureau residential construction report for July 2016 brought good news as far as housing starts, which exceeded expectations.July may have seen an uptick in the number of new single-family homes being built—but these houses appear to be getting smaller, according to the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design report for Q2.The Census report, combined with analysis from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), found that the median average square floor area declined from 2,465 square feet to 2,392 square feet from Q1 to Q2 and the average size of a newly constructed single-family home fell from 2,658 to 2,616 square feet for the same period.“This change marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery,” said Robert Dietz, NAHB Chief Economist. “As the entry-level market expands, including growth for townhouses, typical new home size is expected to trend lower.”Since cycle lows and on a less-volatile one-year moving average basis, the average new single-family home size has risen to 2,659 square feet (more than an 11 percent increase) and the median size has spiked to 2,435 square feet (an increase of 16 percent), according to Dietz.Why those increases from cycle lows if the median size and average size declined from Q1 to Q2 in 2016? According to Dietz, the post-recession increase is consistent with historical patterns following a recession. The pattern has been for the size of new homes to decline before and in the middle of a recession while homebuyers’ budgets get smaller; then the size of single-family homes rises as more high-end buyers (who do not face the same budget constraints) return to the housing market in large numbers.“This pattern was exacerbated during the current business cycle due to market weakness among first-time homebuyers,” Dietz said. “But the recent small declines in size indicate that this part of the cycle has ended and size should trend lower as builders add more entry-level homes into inventory.” New Single-Family Homes are Getting Smaller August 17, 2016 622 Views Single-Family Home Size 2016-08-17 Seth Welborn Share