Trafalgar has been forced to increase its US inventory by seven per cent to meet strong demand from the Australian market.Speaking with e-Travel Blackboard, Trafalgar managing director Matthew Cameron-Smith said the need to add to its US inventory, in combination with a 73 percent rate of definite departures for North America, is indicative of the company’s relevance and the industry’s resilience.“We believe there’s more to come for 2011.”Despite a challenging series of world events in the early months of this year, Mr Cameron-Smith told e-Travel Blackboard that Trafalgar is achieving positive results, expecting the market to strengthen a little later than normal.“We want to remain very nimble to respond to market conditions and broaden our offerings through a diversity of customer-designed products.“All of this results in value back to our trade partners.” As a sign of the company’s continued support to the travel trade, Mr Cameron-Smith said that Trafalgar is offering a “Be Our Guests agent incentive”. According to the Trafalgar boss, until 30 April, the top selling agencies from each state that book and deposit the most 2011 Trafalgar guided holidays will be treated to their very own Be My Guest experience. Trafalgar will also reward its top performing agency with a gourmet hamper each week.For its European offerings, Trafalgar have recorded a definite departure rate of 71 percent with 20 definite departures being added daily. Laura Cuthbert, Trafalgar’s NSW sales manager spruiking the new incentive to Josh Hepi of Flight Centre, Bondi Junction Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A
Israeli city, Tel Aviv has been voted the World’s Best Gay City of 2011, beating out New York for the top title.According to a competition conducted by American Airlines and gaycities.com, the Israeli city won 43 percent of overall votes, while New York was left in the number two position with only 14 percent.“Tel Aviv, which is renowned for its open and liberal LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) society, hosts an annual Gay Pride Parade and other events which attract LGBT tourists from all over the world,” a statement released by the Israel Trade Commission read. This year the Gay Pride Parade is expected to draw in up to 100,000 attendees with up to 5,000 tourists from the UK, USA, Germany, Holland, France and Russia. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Hotel and travel groups stating they are environmentally friendly are confusing travellers who believe they have been misled, recent studies revealed. Eco-actions from tourism operators are a key element of booking decisions for 60 per cent of travellers according to a survey by online travel guide Greenty.com early this year. The survey also revealed 62 per cent of travellers believed that hotels overestimate their green credentials. Only 30 per cent believe hoteliers provide travellers with a fair green assessment of their property and 31 per cent said they are willing to pay more to say in a green hotel. Tourism and travel environmental sustainability expert Stewart Moore from EC3 Global and EarthCheck said it is time to make clear the sustainability credentials of hotel and travel groups to avoid confusion. “There have been a rising number of green claims from hoteliers and tourism products in the past three years,” Mr Moore said about the claims which are verging on the edge of greenwash.“Consumers need a certified method of knowing which hotels or tourism services are actively pursuing green policies throughout their operations.” In an effort to demystify the sustainability credentials of hotel and travel groups, EarthCheck has partnered with Greenty.com. The EarthCheck certification and benchmarking program is managed by EC3 Global and used for sustainable travel by more than 1,300 organizations in over 70 countries. Hotels can now be audited by EarthCheck and through the new partnership, Greenty.com can highlight these hotels. Founder of greentry.com Serge Fabre stands by the importance of consumers knowing a qualified third-party professional has validated the effectiveness of sustainable practices at the hotel or tourism business. “Today, everything and anything is green,” Mr Fabre commented.“‘Green’ is a hip word and there are so many green travel labels, some reliable and some not, making the search for a green accommodation very difficult, if not misleading.” Star performer of EarthCheck – The Langham Hotel Auckland
Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific has won the Tourism, Hospitality and Events Award category in this month’s Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards.The award recognises Wyndham’s valuable contribution to the Gold Coast tourism industry and puts Wyndham in the running for the title of overall Tourism, Hospitality and Events category at the Black Tie Gala Dinner, which will be held on Saturday 30 November at Jupiters Gold Coast.The company operates two resorts on the Gold Coast, Wyndham Surfers Paradise and Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific Kirra Beach. With an additional 400 plus employees based at its Bundall headquarters and more than 1,500 staff throughout the South Pacific, it is one of the Gold Coast’s largest private employers.Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific is a division of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, part of Wyndham Worldwide, (NYSE: WYN) one of the world’s largest hospitality companies.“I am very pleased that Wyndham has been recognised for its contribution to the Gold Coast tourism industry. We acquired our first Asia Pacific resort in Kirra Beach in 2000. Today we operate 24 resorts across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji with our 25th resort currently under construction in the Melbourne CBD,” said CEO and Managing Director, Barry Robinson.“Our Gold Coast resorts have always been some of our most popular and we are very proud to have our headquarters based here on the Gold Coast, a destination widely recognised as a major tourism hub,” he added.Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Wyndham Hotel Group in the South Pacific are both headquartered at the Wyndham Corporate Centre in Bundall.Wyndham Hotel Group is the world’s largest hotel company with more than 7,380 hotels and more than 631,800 rooms worldwide. Wyndham Hotel Group in the South Pacific region manages and/or franchises hotels under the brands of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Ramada® and Ramada Encore®. Select brands have been identified for growth from the Wyndham Hotel Group portfolio including: Ramada®, Days Inn®, TRYP by Wyndham and Planet Hollywood Hotels.Wyndham Hotel Group recently announced its first Ramada branded hotel for the Gold Coast with the much anticipated franchise of Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort.At Wyndham we pride ourselves on our Count On Me! service culture. We have a very dedicated team of Gold Coast tourism professionals and we look forward to continuing to positively contribute to the Gold Coast Tourism industry for many years into the future,” said Mr Robinson. Source = Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific
In terms of short term departures, there was an increase of 0.5 per cent from December 2013 with 749, 100 movements to 752,900 movements in January 2014 and the seasonally adjusted figure was 751,800 in January 2014. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its January 2014 arrivals and departures data, with both arrivals to and departures from Australia increasing marginally. The report shows that short-term visitor arrivals increased 0.8 per cent from 558,700 movements compared with the December 2013 figure of 554,000 movements. In seasonally adjusted terms, however, short term arrivals decreased by 2.7 per cent compared with the December 2013 number of 574,900. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale This increase follows other increases in November 2013 of 1 per cent and December 2013 of 0.9 per cent.
The Qantas Airways ownership debate has changed tack, with the Labor Party re-indicating it is willing to help repeal some of the more contentious parts of the Qantas Sale Act.Labor is willing to remove two conditions which prevent greater individual and airline investment in Qantas: the 25 per cent limit on any single investor’s ownership and any foreign owned airline owning more than 35 per cent, The Australian Financial Review reported.However, Federal Transport Minister Warren Truss said that the government’s changes to the Act which is complete removal of foreign ownership restrictions would be reintroduced to the Senate in late July.Qantas said that it would prefer having no restriction but any removal of restrictions was good.Opposition Transport spokesperson Anthony Albanese said that the Opposition would not support removal of the 51 per cent guarantee of Australian ownership of the airline as well, the 66 per cent membership of Australians on the Qantas board as well as the majority of its maintenance work staying onshore.Qantas has previously failed to lobby the government for a debt guarantee.Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Innovative Australian travel company Chimu Adventures today announced it is investing more than AU$5 million to transform a magnificent 1920s mansion in the buzzing Barranco District of Lima, Peru, into what it believes will be the city’s hottest boutique hotel.It’s a logical step for Chimu, which over the past decade has evolved into the market-leading South American and Antarctic tour operator with 70 staff.Chimu Adventures co-founder Greg Carter“We’re very excited and believe it’s an excellent business opportunity that ties in perfectly with our retail and wholesale operations, said co-founder Greg Carter, who founded Chimu in 2007 with travel buddy Chad Carey.“The simple fact is that there’s a shortage of good hotels in Lima, especially for travellers who want to stay in non-chain properties with modern facilities and a sense of place, which is the market we are targeting.“To our knowledge we’re the first Australian company to develop a hotel in South America.”Tourism to Peru is on a roll with visitor numbers more than doubling in the past decade, reaching an all-time high of 4.22 million in 2015, an increase of 9.3% over 2014, and momentum is continuing through this year.Adding to the allure, Lima’s reputation as the food and culture capital of South America continues to grow with the well-known eateries Central (#4), Astrid y Gaston (#14) and Maido (#44) all featuring in San Pellegrino’s top 50 restaurant awards for 2015.“There’s a lot happening in Lima at the moment – there’s a really good feel about the place – and when the opportunity came up to lease this amazing mansion and transform it into a hotel, we absolutely jumped at it,” said Mr Carter.“Its prime location in the heart of Barranco, just 200m from the beach on Saenz Pena, one of the area’s best streets, was also a major attraction. “Barranco is a fantastic place – really buzzy, with lots of great restaurants, cafes and galleries,” he said.Preliminary work has begun on the project which is scheduled for completion by November.When complete, the former beach retreat of a wealthy Lima family will feature 17 stylish guest rooms, beautiful public areas, a restaurant and rooftop bar with views of the South Pacific.“We want it to become a part of the community reflecting the best aspects of Lima and Peru,” Mr Carter said. Chimu AdventuresSource = Chimu Adventures
The Ultimate Maldives Holiday Now at Even Better Value with Club MedThe Ultimate Maldives Holiday Now at Even Better Value with Club MedNow is the best time for travel agents to secure their client’s dream holiday in the Maldives at even better value as Club Med announces from May, 2019, travellers can enter a world of elevated luxury at the award-winning Finolhu Villas for the same price as Club Med Kani’s Manta Exclusive Suites.Book by 30th November, 2018, to access Club Med’s infamous Early Bird offer – up to 30% off for departures May to October, 2019. Your client could experience a Bucket List Maldives holiday in a Finolhu Beach Villa from only $3,585pp (valued at $5,090) for 7 nights all-inclusive featuring:Gourmet all-day dining including freshly caught fish from the surrounding waters and pool- side snacking with ChampagnePremium open bar to enjoy overlooking the azure waters of the MaldivesPersonal butler who caters to your every needOwn outdoor terrace with private pool overlooking the oceanState-of-the-art villa with direct access to the white-sand beachActivities such as beach yoga and Stand Up Paddle BoardingComplementary speedboat access to nearby Club Med Kani for further activities, dining options, and nightly entertainmentThe Maldives with Club Med: 1 magical destination, 3 unique experiences:Club Med Finolhu VillasClub Med Finolhu Villas is paradise redefined offering the ultimate in eco-friendly luxury in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Indulge in champagne service from your private overwater or beach villa, which comes complete with personal plunge pool and direct access to the ocean from your deck. Your butler service is there to cater to all your needs and access to Club Med Kani is just a five-minute speedboat drive away.7 nights all-inclusive from $3,585pp (valued at $5,090pp) when booked by 30th November, 2018Based on twin share in a Beach Suite for bookings between 4th April – 22nd June, 2019Club Med Kani, Manta Exclusive Collection SuitesThe Manta Exclusive area of Club Med Kani is perfectly suited for guests who seek a private escape and elevated amenities perched above the lapping waters of the Indian Ocean. These premium Maldives overwater suites include breakfast to your room, Champagne at sunset, private beach, and more, all within moments of the action and activities enjoyed at Club Med Kani.7 nights all-inclusive from $3,585pp (valued at $5,135) when booked by 30th November, 2018Based on twin share in an Overwater Suite for bookings between 4th April – 22nd June, 2019Club Med KaniClub Med Kani is the ultimate endless turquoise playground in the Maldives, suitable for families looking for an indulgent escape. Enjoy unique must-try experiences of the Maldives including Kani’s new state of the art Dive Centre, coral rebuilding program allowing guests to help repair damaged reefs*, surfing*, flyboard* and more. There’s also brand new kids facilities for the little ones! Kani brings together delicious local cuisine, colourful marine life and pristine waters in one of the most beautiful places in the world.7 nights all-inclusive from $1,845pp (valued at $2,605) when booked by 30th November, 2018Based on twin share in a Superior Room for bookings between 4th April – 22nd June, 2019The leader in premium all-inclusive holidays, Club Med’s packages include gourmet meals and snacks with international delicacies and traditional local cuisine, an open bar, a vast selection of activities, entertainment and Kids Clubs, in addition to accommodation – taking the planning out of holidays, so your clients have more time to relax.For bookings and enquiries call Club Med on 1800 258 263 or for sales tools and resources to help you sell this offer, you can download flyers and Facebook tiles from the offer page on Club Med’s dedicated Travel Agent portal: www.clubmedta.com.auAbout Club MedClub Med provides amazing holiday experiences, made easy, in the world’s most beautiful destinations. With over 70 premium and luxury all-inclusive sun and snow resorts located in some of the most beautiful places on earth, Club Med resorts blend seamlessly with their environment, drawing inspiration from the local culture and nature to immerse guests in the destination.Since 1950, Club Med has been dedicated to providing guests with amazing new experiences that make for an unforgettable holiday – from the rejuvenating to the exhilarating, and everything in-between. Each resort offers a vast selection of opportunities to try something new, immerse in local culture, revive body and mind, and give back to the local community and environment.Club Med holidays are a truly hassle-free experience, with premium all-inclusive packages and a wide range of innovative services – giving guests more time to spend doing what they love.For more information, visit www.clubmed.com.au or follow Club Med at: * Instagram @clubmed * Facebook /ClubMedAustralia * Twitter @ClubMed_Au * Travel agent Facebook /ClubMedforTravelAgents Source = Club Med
Japan Airlines (JAL) announced the continuation of Hokkaido Campaign on its overseas website (www.jal.com) covering 26 regions. During the new campaign period effective from June 3, 2015 to March 31, 2016, customers flying JAL can enjoy rewards and privileges for dining, shopping, sightseeing and tourist activities at 60 selected shops or facilities in Hokkaido Prefecture of Japan.These offers are named ‘HAPPIRKA’ offers, which are initially available in form of a Japanese coupon pamphlet distributed on JAL domestic flights to Hokkaido. To invite more customers around the world to enjoy the benefits of selecting JAL flights, JAL introduces these popular offers in more languages (English, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese) on its overseas website.From the perspective of providing convenience to overseas travellers to Japan, JAL makes HAPPIRKA offers easy to use and specially designed both PC and mobile sites for the campaign.Japan Airlines has also introduced new vegetarian menus on select international routes, in collaboration with Minna no Gohan, a professional company developing various special meals including vegetarian dishes, from June.
Preferred Hotels & Resorts has launched a mobile app and member rate program as major enhancements to its points-based hotel rewards program, iPrefer. In celebration of iPrefer and the pursuit of independent travel, Preferred Hotels & Resorts gifted 25,000 bonus points to iPrefer members who made a booking within the app by April 21, 2017.“The new mobile app and member rate program are designed to better connect today’s travellers with the unique appeal of the independent hotel experience through a seamless loyalty program that delivers exclusive, on-the-go access to an attractive rate, points and valuable on-property perks. These enhancements are a testament to our continuous commitment to making iPrefer the most compelling loyalty program for independent-minded travellers,” said, Casey Ueberroth, Chief Marketing Officer, Preferred Hotels & Resorts.“The noteworthy benefits of the iPrefer mobile app and member rate program shall strengthen the rising popularity of the iPrefer program in India, as well as encourage discerning luxury travellers to conveniently book their holidays directly through iPrefer channels for access to competitive rates and valuable benefits upon every stay,” remarked Saurabh Rai, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels & Resorts.The app that was built in collaboration with American Express; members can search and book stays at more than 600 iPrefer participating hotels worldwide, access exclusive offers such as member rates and the iPrefer Last-Minute Escapes, update their profiles, view past/upcoming stay history and related points earnings, and immediately access and redeem Reward Certificates.iPrefer members using the app will also receive push notifications regarding special offers, and American Express cardholders will have the ability to enjoy an expedited process through American Express Checkout. In the coming weeks, Preferred Hotels & Resorts will introduce enhanced features for the app such as a concierge chat service that allows guests to communicate directly with the hotel.iPrefer app is available for iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Nationwide Title Clearing Promotes Sustainable Practices Share While the world’s largest companies have focused their sustainability practices on the global level, Florida’s “”Nationwide Title Clearing””:http://www.nwtc.com/ (NTC) is working to make a difference on a smaller scale.[IMAGE]NTC’s environmentally friendly efforts start with its everyday business procedures, which are all geared toward preserving the Palm Harbor community where the company is headquartered. According to a release, NTC strives to work with suppliers and customers to reduce their environmental impact by providing paperless documents whenever possible–a step exemplified by its electronic recording initiatives.In addition, NTC has pushed to develop strategic partnerships to increase the use of digital data sharing and has established a Web portal for all nationwide abstractors to submit fulfillment orders in a paperless environment.Outside of the digital space, the firm has implemented a companywide recycling program and put into place paperless payroll processes. In addition, NTC has a solar energy program created to reduce consumption.The company also encourages its employees to suggest their own measures to improve company sustainability and benefit the surrounding community.””Different viewpoints often create better solutions because we hear points that we may not have considered otherwise,”” said CEO John Hillman. “”We consistently look inward for solutions to sustainability–our employees are the key to helping [NTC] remain current.””For businesses considering incorporating their own sustainability programs, Hillman said employee education is the key.””Share company goals with employees, as well as the facts about what the program actually does–employees want to hear about how much is being recycled or how the community is being impacted,”” he said. “”That is what induces the willingness to take action and participate.”” July 5, 2013 477 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Nationwide Title Clearing Processing Service Providers 2013-07-05 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing
Bankrate Closing Costs Housing Affordability Mortgage Bankers Association 2014-08-04 Tory Barringer A new survey shows average mortgage closing costs have jumped over the last year, creating more hurdles in a market where declining affordability is already becoming a growing challenge.According to data from finance site Bankrate.com, closing costs in 2014 are up 6 percent over last year, rising to an average $2,539 on a $200,000 loan (assuming a 20 percent down payment). The figure excludes taxes, title fees, property insurance, and other items.Origination fees made up $1,877 of that average cost, an increase of 9 percent over the year. Meanwhile, third-party fees accounted for $662, gaining 1 percent.”New mortgage regulations are the biggest reasons why closing costs went up over the past year,” said Holden Lewis, senior mortgage analyst for Bankrate. “The good news is that some lenders have not increased fees.”Texas ranked highest in closing costs, averaging $3,046. The Lone Star State was followed by Alaska ($2,897), New York ($2,892), Hawaii ($2,808), and Wisconsin ($2,706).At the other end of the scale, Bankrate reported the cheapest closing costs this year are in Nevada, which averaged $2,265.While loan costs might be rising for consumers, lenders are also feeling the same sting. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage banks took an average loss of $194 on each loan originated in 2014’s first quarter as per-loan expenses climbed above $8,000. August 4, 2014 495 Views Share Mortgage Closing Costs Up 6% as Fees Climb in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination
Inventory National Association of Realtors Pending-Home Sales 2016-01-28 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News “Warmer than average weather and more favorable inventory conditions compared to other parts of the country encouraged more households in the Northeast to make the decision to buy last month,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. “Overall, while sustained job creation is spurring more activity compared to a year ago, the ability to find available homes in affordable price ranges is difficult for buyers in many job creating areas. With homebuilding still grossly inadequate, steady price appreciation and tight supply conditions aren’t going away any time soon.” Share January 28, 2016 547 Views Buyers that signed contracts to buy existing homes are being stopped by one major problem in the housing market—fewer options in the housing market.Pending home sales moved up very little in December 2015, coming in much less than projected by industry experts. According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, pending home sales rose only 0.1 percent to 106.8 in December, marking the 16th month of consecutive increases.The index, which tracks contract signings, found that pending home sales stood at 106.7 in November 2015 and is up 4.2 percent year-over-year in December from last year’s total of 102.5. Pending Home Sales Held Back by Scarce Inventory Source: National Association of Home BuildersWas the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule a factor in the small rise in pending home sales for December?Ralph B. McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia suggested, “The December Fed rate hike had negligible impact on new contracts signed, as pending home sales increased slightly. This also suggests that December’s big jump in existing sales was likely a result of TRID-RESPA. December’s small month-over-month increase of 0.1 percent pending home sales further suggests that it was TRID-RESPA, not a sharp increase in demand that drove existing sales last month.”The NAR expects existing-homes sales to rise about 1.5 percent to 5.34 million in 2016, while the national median existing-home price for all of this year is expected to increase between 4 and 5 percent.According to the report, renters should see some relief, as rents slow to 3.3 percent growth in 2013 from 3.6 percent a year ago, the NAR estimates. are expected to slightly slow to 3.3 percent growth in 2016 from 3.6 percent a year ago.Leading the small increase among pending home sales is the Northeast region, with a 6.1 percent increase to 97.8 in December and is now 15.3 percent higher than it was a year ago, the report showed. The Midwest saw a 1.1 percent drop in pending home sales to 103.6, but is 3.6 higher than last year.Southern pending home sales fell 0.5 percent to an index of 119.3 in December, but are 1.0 percent above last year, while sales in the West decreased 2.1 percent in December to 97.5, but are 3.4 percent above a year ago.Yun said that demand may see some slowdown in the near future—even though the positive employment situation may tempt more households to buy—due to the tumultuous start of the year in stocks and the energy sector.”The silver lining from the market turmoil in recent weeks is the fact that mortgage rates have slightly declined,” Yun stated. “Buyers looking to close on a home before the spring buying season begins may be rewarded with a mortgage rate at or below 4 percent.”
New Home Sales are Struggling to Measure Up New Home Sales 2016-10-26 ScottMorgan1 in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News New single-family home sales in September continued to be solid compared to recent numbers, but are still far off where some in the industry think they should be.“If we look past the monthly volatility by using the 12-month rolling total of new home sales, September was the best month since August 2008,” said Trulia chief economist Ralph McLaughlin. “By historical standards, however, new home sales per household are still about 36 percent below the long-run average.”According to the HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau, sales of new single-family houses in September were 593,000. This is up 3 percent from August, and 30 percent above September 2015. The median sales price of new houses sold in September was $313,500; the seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of September was 235,000. This represents a supply of 4.8 months at the current sales rate.“Some of the large year-over-year jump was due to a low bar set in September 2015,” McLaughlin said. Still, year-to-date new home sales also grew 13 percent year-over-year, which he said “reflects healthy demand for new homes by otherwise inventory-constrained homebuyers.”“New homes comprised 11.8 percent of all home sales in September, increasing for the seventh straight month. As new construction continues its upward march, we should expect the share to increase accordingly. While new home sales represented about 11.8 percent of all sales, it’s still less than half of the pre-recession average of 23.6 percent. Clearly, there is still much potential for new housing to relieve inventory-constrained buyers.”That said, McLaughlin is far from bullish on what September’s numbers mean overall. While September’s increase was statistically significant, he said, the range is wide.“The true number could be as low as 6.4 percent or as high as 53.2 percent,” he said. “A less volatile number to look at is the 12-month rolling total. The increase over last year puts the 12-month total at 84.1 percent of the 50-year average, up 0.7 percentage points from August.”However, the 12-month rolling total of new home sales compared to the 50-year average looks a little worse when taking into account the size of the U.S. population. New home sales per 1,000 U.S. households was 4.7 in September, McLaughlin said. That’s 64.3 percent back to normal, though up from 63.4 percent last month.If September didn’t look favorable to past peaks, it certainly looked encouraging. Sales in September increased for the seventh straight month, and new construction could keep things rolling.“As new construction continues its upward march, we should expect the share to continue to increase accordingly,” McLaughlin said. “While new home sales represented about 11.8 percent of all sales, it’s still less than half of the pre-recession average of 23.6 percent. Clearly, there is still much potential for new housing to relieve inventory-constrained buyers.”Click here to view the complete new home sales report for September from HUD and the Census Bureau. October 26, 2016 588 Views Share
What Will Happen with Affordability in 2017? Share November 15, 2016 656 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Affordability Housing Markets 2016-11-15 Seth Welborn Tight inventory has kept upward pressure on home prices, but affordability has been sustained for much of 2016 by solid job growth and near-record low mortgage rates.But now that mortgage rates are on the way back up, what will happen to affordability in 2017?Home sales already slowed down in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), because supply has not kept up with what was being sold.“If mortgage rates start to rise heading into next year, prospective buyers could face weakening affordability conditions in their market unless supply dramatically improves,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that home builders ramp up the production of more single-family homes to meet demand and slow price growth.”A study of 27 markets from HSH.com used NAR’s third-quarter data for median home prices and HSH.com’s third-quarter average 30-year FRM found that the most affordable market, based on salary required to afford the base cost of owning a home (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) was Pittsburgh, where a salary just shy of $32,000 can buy a median-priced home of $140,000 in that market with an interest rate of 3.49 percent.Markets in the Midwest (Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit) all ranked two through five behind Pittsburgh for most affordable; the least affordable market was San Francisco. Four of the six least affordable markets were in California.“(Affordability) is dependent upon what type of job growth is available in the area, what type of income growth is available in the area, how the housing market is comprised in that area—is there more or less housing stock that’s available,” said Keith Grumbinger, VP of HSH.com. “And you look at some of the most affordable areas, and you can tell that these are heavily industrial area that have had net population outflows over many years. Essentially there’s a lot of housing stock available relative to the number of folks that are looking to buy homes, and that has improved affordability to a very real degree in those areas.”Part of the reason why the supply has been so low is because of the large number of homes bought by investors in the last couple of years and then turned into rental housing, according to Grumbinger. Some of those homes could get flipped back into marketplace when the investor decides to sell, which could create additional inventory. While Yun said it is imperative for builders to create more single-family inventory, will that actually happen? Grumbinger said he doesn’t see a lot of new inventory being built in 2017 due to a variety of issues, including a lack of buildable land, a lack of opportunity to build large divisions, and the fact that the most populous markets are already “packed.”Now that mortgage rates are rising again, Grumbinger said, “Low mortgage rates can no longer offset quickly rising home prices. With income growth modest in most marketplaces, or at least on the aggregate, income growth being modest, we think that affordability is slowly being eroded as we go. That’s becoming increasingly as much as a problem as is a lack of inventory for homebuyers that want to buy homes to actually buy.”Click here to view HSH.com’s analysis and their list of 27 markets and their affordability.
You might also be interested in Washington-headquartered Vanguard International says that the table grape import season to the U.S. has been unusual in its first few months due to dynamics both domestically and in overseas supply regions, and also expects the red market to face more challenges than the green through March.It also anticipates a “very strong” green market in April due to supply shortages.”This has been an interesting and unexpected season in many ways,” Dirk Winkelmann, chief business development officer, tells FreshFruitPortal.com.He notes that earlier concerns of a long California season impacting on the early import season in January never came to fruition.”California finished earlier than expected and retailers moved over to import faster than expected which also caused a lot of short programs that needed to be filled in by spot volumes. Additionally, Chile was both delayed by a few weeks and was down in their production,” he says, adding that Chile’s ongoing transition to newer varieties has contributed to lower overall supply compared to last year.”The combination of these two events allowed for a stronger start for the import deal with pricing staying stable and inventories staying clean. This situation continued not only for all of January but for all of February as well.”Chilean imports only began to ramp up toward the end of February, causing the market to fall, he says. “We expect the March market to remain in the range it has fallen to, but with more weakness in reds than in greens. We are also seeing that there is a continued premium for new grape varieties as opposed to traditional varieties,” says Gene Coughlin, Vanguard’s vice president of sales.”We expect the April market for greens to be very strong due to lack of good quality late greens. The red market for April is still unknown and will be determined in great part by the Chilean Crimson volume that may or may not flow into North America.”The peak of the Chilean volume is expected to arrive beginning around this week, made up mostly of Crimsons and Thompsons, which will likely result in a further market dip, Winkelmann said. Thompsons are expected to be available through March and Crimsons through most of April.Peruvian Fruit is anticipated to be in good supply through March especially with Sweet Celebrations and Jack’s Salutes on the reds, and Sweet Sapphires on the blacks. For the greens, Sweet Globes and Ivory’s are expected to taper off over the coming weeks. Huge increase in Chilean D’Agen plum exports to Ch … Chile expecting U.S. to lift blueberry fumigation … March 14 , 2019 This story is exclusive to Fresh Fruit Portal. If you would like to reproduce any elements of it on other sites or publications, please make a request to our editorial team at email@example.com Chilean season running lowerBy early March Chile had shipped close to around 25 million boxes of table grapes to global markets. Winkelmann said that total anticipated volume from the world’s top exporter was expected to be between 80-85 million boxes, which would be 20% lower than last year.”Copiapo and El Huasco Valley (Region III) have completed their seedless grape harvest with some Red Globes remaining to be harvested through the second week in March,” Coughlin said. “Reductions in volume from this region are primarily due to redevelopment work on Flame Seedless and Sugarone ranches.””There has also been a significant reduction in volume from Ovalle and Vicuña Valleys (Region IV). After three months of harvest, volumes reported are down by over 35% compared to the prior season primarily due to quality and condition not meeting the requirements of the export markets. “In the Aconcagua Valley (Region V) expectations were positive. Record high temperatures meant a fast harvest and here too the volumes are down over the prior season. The Region VI harvest is underway with similar indications of reduced volumes compared to prior years.”Strong growth from PeruThe Peruvian season is going strong with shipments as of early March up 39% year-on-year at 44 million boxes. Winkelmann notes that the “true highlight” of Vanguard’s Peruvian season this year has been the new packhouse operation which allows for a range of packing styles and types – a significant advantage when packing multiple varieties for all types of customers in over 25 countries with superior cooling and cold chain control. “Our volumes from Peru continue to increase,” he says. “We are a fully integrated in our grape category – we grow it, we pack it, we ship it and we sell it. We have complete control over the supply chain which is a tremendous differentiator.”Vanguard Direct, the company’s California-based marketing arm, is estimated to account for over 30% of Peru’s intellectual property (IP) varieties into the U.S. and Canada, with that figure expected to grow to over 40% by 2020.”We grow only seedless IP varieties, proven to produce the best possible eating experience for customers, which means repeat sales and increased velocity of sales for our retail partners,” he says.”We have the supply – Vanguard’s volumes mean that we can provide high quality, food safety assured grapes in volumes throughout the Southern Hemisphere production window. This allows us to support our retail partners grape category needs from January through April.”In addition to our current all-star lineup of Sweet Celebration, Jack’s Salute, Sugar Crisp, Sweet Globe, Ivory, Sweet Sapphire, and Sweet Favor we are currently planting Autumn Crisp, Midnight Beauty, Adora, Allison and Candy Hearts.”The Washington-based company also anticipates a “very strong” green market in the U.S. in April due to supply shortages and also says it will handle a rising proportion of Peruvian IP varieties in the North American country over the coming years.You will be able to find more information on topics such as this at the inaugural Global Grape Summit, which will take place alongside the London Produce Show and Conference on June 5th, 2019. Please visit www.globalgrapesummit.com. Chile forecasts slight dip in citrus exports for 2 … Chile declares agricultural emergency in drought-r …
Apples in Charts: With prices at four-year high, h … [Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]Much of the difference in price can be appreciated in the commercial windows each origin dominates. California’s growth, for instance, has come in at a very strategic point, taking advantage of a natural gap in production left by Mexico right between May and September.U.S. blackberry movements by origin(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]Right on the heels of a strong finish by Mexico, the category usually sees a surge in prices in June, which is exactly the window that California, Guatemala and the U.S. southeast producers have been aiming for.Historic blackberry shipping point prices (12 6oz cups with lids), non-organic(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]As we can see in the third chart in this report, and despite California’s impressive growth, the total volume arriving to the market between June and September are still the lowest volumes of the year. This period also coincides with higher demand for other berries during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months as consumers look to dress up their salads, cereals and cakes.Should California’s growth continue at this rate, it is possible that it will reach a point at which the marginal returns on increased volume may not benefit from the attractive pricing they have historically seen, especially toward the end of the season. In September 2015, for example, California’s fruit was being sold for US$16.79, only to go for US$11.82 during the same period in 2018. In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 23 fruits we currently track. July 02 , 2019 You might also be interested in In the ‘In Charts’ series, Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the article will look at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.Catching up on random industry reading material, your author stumbled across a paper from the University of Arizona that mentioned Walter Knott – one of the early berry enthusiasts in California. On a personal note, having a father from the LA Area, the name stood out to me immediately from visits to my grandparents’ house as a child. Although Knott’s Berry Farms started out selling berries and jams on the side of the road, the company evolved into a restaurant with a ghost town and rides to entertain guests as they waited. Today Knotts Berry Farms is a name with strong ties to the fresh produce industry, but has completely transformed itself into an amusement park with 40 roller coasters. In the random twists and turns that the industry can take you down, this reference brought a smile to my face and I thought I would use it as a jumping off point to look at blackberries and California’s role in the U.S. Markets.During the last nine years, blackberries saw an impressive 56% increase in volume. Most of the yearly volume has been added by Mexico, whose volume has grown by 45% during the same time period. However, California has been the origin adding the largest amount of volumes. During the last two years alone, its volumes grew 149%.U.S. blackberry movements by origin (non-organic)(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]The impressive growth the category has experienced is reflected in a mellowing of prices. These have seen a steady downward trend over the time period observed. However, when we look at why and how California has grown, it is important to note a significant difference in prices in the U.S. state and Mexico.U.S. blackberry volumes and prices (non-organic)(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics) Blueberries in Charts: Prices enter their jumpy ph … Avocados In Charts: Why falling prices could settl … Blueberries in Charts: Mexico sends record volumes …
IMAGE: Run-DMC (1984) Photo by Janette BeckmanA free photographic exhibition celebrating hop-hop culture, including over 120 world and unedited contact sheets from more than 60 photographers, is a must-see for Aussies visiting Los Angeles from now until 18 August 2019.Biggie Smalls, King of New York contact sheet (1997). Photo by Barron ClaiborneCurated by journalist Vikki Tobak, the Annenberg Space for Photography presents CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, featuring photos of artists including Run-DMC, Notorious B.I.G, Kendrick Lamar, Salt-N-Pepa, and Jay-Z, along with rare videos, memorabilia and music to illustrate the way in which the cultural phenomenon of hip-hop has impacted politics, culture and social movements around the world.Where:Annenberg Space for Photography2000 Avenue of the StarsLos Angeles, CA 90067When: Until 18 August, 2019Admission: Free Californiaexhibitionhip-hopLALos AngelesmusicphotographyUSA
What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap doesn’t want to pile on the replacement referees, but in the wake of the finish to the Seahawks-Packers game Monday night, he knew they would be a topic of conversation.The veteran, as a guest on Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo, said he feels the NFL game is just too fast for people who are being asked to officiate it right now.“They’re overmatched,” he said. “All those bang-bang calls, to them, in their heads, they’re not bang-bang. They’re not making them on a judgment that they’ve been seeing for year after year after year at that speed. “That’s the thing that they’ve got to get corrected; we can’t sit around and have a season go to waste. We can’t have a season that’s game in and game out being decided like this.”Heap said the issues have been going on all season, with questionable calls being a part of the game in 2012.But what happened Monday night in Seattle, with the Seahawks getting a win after the referees missed what appears to be an obvious call, might be the biggest gaffe of all. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Top Stories Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’
It’s safe to say in his first off-season as general manager, Steve Keim has been a very busy man. Coming off a disappointing 5-11 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals needed to address several pressing needs in free agency, and on the surface it seems they’ve done just that.To date, the Cardinals have signed 10 free agents (Antoine Cason, Rashard Mendenhall, Drew Stanton, Jerraud Powers, Jonathon Amaya, Matt Shaughnessy, Frostee Rucker, Jasper Brinkley, Yeremiah Bell and Lorenzo Alexander) and re-signed two of their own (Brian Hoyer and Rashad Johnson). Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Apparently that approach isn’t for everyone. – / 9 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Although Arizona has made a concerted effort to make smart, short-term deals — no player signed a contract longer than three years — not everyone is all that impressed with the work Keim has done thus far.In an ESPN.com column Monday, NFL insider Matt Williamson graded every NFC team’s free-agency pick-ups, and the Cardinals didn’t exactly pass with flying colors. Williamson slapped a ‘C’ grade on Keim and Co., and only five teams in the conference finished lower in the rankings.Through free agency, the Cardinals are better at cornerback and running back and maybe even quarterback (could they be worse?) than a year ago. But their offensive line needs serious work and now they are deficient at safety. Arizona, with a new staff in place, is looking at the big picture, got out of some tough contracts and will build through the draft to get its type of players in place.While Williamson didn’t take a huge liking to Arizona’s low-risk, high-reward moves, he does admit that the team could potentially get decent value out of Cason, Powers, Mendenhall and Stanton.Cason could flourish opposite Patrick Peterson and is sure to see a lot of passes thrown his way, and Powers should be a high-end nickel corner. Bruce Arians is very familiar with Mendenhall and should maximize his impressive abilities, and Stanton has never had a legitimate opportunity to show what he can do as a starting NFL QB. His skill set matches what Arians looks for at the position. The Cardinals might not have hit a home run yet this off-season, but in order to compete in a division like the NFC West, it appears that Keim realizes that he must first hit singles and doubles. Top Stories