Air Canada Unveils New Vancouver International Maple Leaf Lounge

first_imgAir Canada Unveils New Vancouver International Maple Leaf LoungeAir Canada Unveils New Vancouver International Maple Leaf LoungeAir Canada has unveiled its new Vancouver International Maple Leaf Lounge following an 18-month makeover and expansion. The revamped lounge offers eligible customers a stylish oasis celebrating Canadian design, artistry and craftsmanship against the backdrop of beautiful British Columbia.Located directly opposite the priority security lanes for international departures at Air Canada‘s trans-Pacific hub, the lounge is designed by Vancouver-based Gustavson Wylie Architects Inc. It offers seating capacity for 258 customers across an elegant two-level space that showcases contemporary Canadian design and artwork including:creations by Canadian artists Kendall Kendrick (Vancouver), Nicolas Ruel (Montreal) and Danielle Roy (Montreal), whose ‘A flower – a human being” collection creates a powerful imagery of urban portraits by uniting people from all walks of life with beautiful flowersfurnishings by Canadian designers Brent Comber (Vancouver), Birchwood Furniture (Calgary), Nienkamper (Toronto) and Mobilier Modern (Montreal)a custom-crafted work table in the business zone by Live Edge Design of Duncan, BC, which was created with wood salvaged from a maple tree in the Cowichan Valley that had come to the end of its natural life.The lounge also offers:hot and cold dining options, including a feature salad by celebrated Vancouver Chef David Hawksworth, a chef’s station for individually prepared dishes, along with wines from Canada and from around the worldflat screen desktop computers, RICOH colour printing and scanning, and complementary wi-fispa-inspired shower rooms with rain shower heads, a Samsung TV zone, a VIP room and a quiet zone with reclining lounge seating.As a leading global carrier, Air Canada offers premium customers access to 22 Maple Leaf Lounges worldwide including 16 lounges at Canadian airports, and lounges at New York-LaGuardia, New York-Newark, LAX, London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Paris.Since 2015, Air Canada has strategically expanded its international network from its YVR hub, and now offers non-stop flights to a wide range of destinations, including Sydney (daily non-stop), Brisbane (daily non-stop), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo-Narita, Seoul, London and Mexico City.Earlier this month Air Canada also announced the launch of year-round non-stop Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ services between Melbourne and Vancouver from 3 June 2018. The airline will operate three Melbourne-Vancouver services a week, with flight AC038 departing at 09:40am each Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.The introduction in 2018 of a year-round service from Australia’s second largest city will follow the completion of a seasonal service between Melbourne and Vancouver from 3 December 2017 to 4 February 2018 (the peak northern hemisphere winter period).For more details on Air Canada’s please visit www.aircanada.comSource = Air Canadalast_img read more

Vietjet celebrates Vietnamese Womens Day

first_imgVietjet celebrates Vietnamese Women’s DayVietjet celebrates Vietnamese Women’s DayThe Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Vietnam was recently awash with a vivid display of colour as Vietjet transformed the airport into a fashion runway in celebration of Vietnamese Women’s Day, the first time a catwalk performance was held there.The new-aged budget carrier launched a series of activities to commemorate the special day, which is celebrated biannually in Vietnam, including the special catwalk displaying ten impressive traditional Ao Dai dresses by well-known fashion designer Thuan Viet. Passengers on board flight VJ126 from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi also had the exclusive privilege of enjoying the catwalk up-close as Vietjet took the performance to the skies.The collection of Ao Dai dresses which incorporates popular Vietnamese myths such as Tam Cam, Son Tinh-Thuy Tinh and Au Co Lac Long Quan were specially hand-drawn by designer Thuan Viet himself. Vietnamese supermodel Vo Hoang Yen ruled the catwalk alongside Vietjet’s team of models to beautifully showcase the collection which was created using 3D printing techniques.As part of the celebration, passengers – particularly women on board Vietjet flights on 20 October were also treated to exclusive gifts and vouchers including cosmetics from leading American skincare brand, Murad. Vietjet also gave passengers a chance to win other valuable prizes through a lucky draw conducted on board the flights.Known for its quirky ideas and in-flight performances, Vietjet continues to bring passengers unique experiences to enhance their travel journey. To be part of Vietjet’s fun and unusual travel experience, visit www.vietjetair.com or www.m.vietjetair.com (mobile), download the vietjetair app, join vietjetairvietnam on Facebook or call the 24/7 call centre at (+603) 2730 9887.Source = Vietjetlast_img read more

Sydney Airport launches on Apple Maps

first_imgSydney Airport launches on Apple MapsSydney Airport launches on Apple MapsSydney Airport customers can now navigate their way through T1 International, T2/T3 Domestic terminals and carparks using Apple Maps.Using the wayfinding application, customers can now more easily find facilities and services inside the terminal, including restrooms, parent’s rooms, elevators and shops, and see their current location with indoor positioning.Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said the addition of Apple Maps to the Sydney Airport suite of digital wayfinding options further enhanced the airport experience for visitors.“We’re focused on finding innovative ways to improve the Sydney Airport experience for our passengers and empowering them to control their own journey. Using the latest technology, customers can find the facilities they need in the palm of their hand,” he said.“Partnering with pioneering tech industry leaders plays a key role in our digital strategy and we’re excited to bring in-terminal Apple Maps to our customers.“We want to assist passengers through the digital channels that they are most familiar with and already frequently use. This is an exciting addition to our digital wayfinding offering that already  includes Chinese navigation app Baidu Maps, as well as Google Maps.”The launch of Apple Maps is part of Sydney Airport’s open data strategy and growing the airport’s customised technology offering. This also includes the recently launched self-service check-ins at T1 International, the introduction of a real-time queue measurement system and the soon to commence biometrics trial which will make the journey through the airport even more seamless.Global airline alliance, SkyTeam, will be using Apple Maps to provide their customers with wayfinding inside Sydney Airport through their app and website.Sydney Airport continues to work on a range of innovative technology initiatives to strengthen the experience our customers have throughout the airport, including working with government partners to trial next-generation technology for inbound immigration.About Sydney AirportSydney Airport is Australia’s gateway airport, serving more than 43.3 million passengers a year and connecting Sydney to a network of over 100 international, domestic and regional destinations.Located just eight kilometres from the city centre, Sydney Airport contributes $38 billion in economic activity a year, equivalent to 6.8 per cent of the NSW economy. Sydney Airport is a major employer in NSW, generating more than 338,500 direct and indirect jobs, equivalent to 10.1 per cent of NSW employment. 30,900 of these jobs are at the airport itself across 800 different businesses.Source = Sydney Airportlast_img read more

Indian Railways to introduce 294 special trains during the Sabarimala season

first_imgSouthern Railways would introduce 294 special trains and add additional coaches to existing trains to enhance 3,700 berths in an effort to handle surge in pilgrim traffic during the Sabarimala season.This decision was taken at a review meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram by Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways, Government of India, with top officials of the Southern Railways, including Vasishta Johri General Manager, Southern Railway, Sunil Bajpai, Divisional Railway Manager Thiruvananthapuram.Besides the 294 special trains, if required, more trains would be added after analysing the traffic.Additional coaches have been added to existing trains to enhance 3,700 berths. Like last year, unreserved special trains would be run from major stations closer to the date of the Makaravilakku to assist the increased number of pilgrims at Sabarimala. Special stoppage is being provided for trains at Thiruvalla and Chengannur’.To provide hassle-free ticketing, additional ticket counter would be opened at Ernakulam, Kottayam, Chengannur, Thiruvalla stations. Smart Card operated automatic ticket vending machines have been installed in 19 stations, including Chengannur, Kottayam, Tiruvalla and Ernakulam.Additional security measures, provision of medical facilities, pre-paid auto/taxi facilities, would be made available at major disembarkation points at Tiruvalla, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam for Sabarimala.last_img read more

New Zealand highlights 16 reasons to visit the country in 2016

first_imgIn 2016, New Zealand is highlighting its striking shorelines and majestic peaks to attract all kinds of travellers from all over the world. From winter to summer, spring to autumn the country has lined up a number events and attraction to draw in visitors, like the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in Tekapo where visitors can witness the star-studded skies and events like the inaugural Hawkes Bay Marathon where visitors can take part the in races along with the locals through bike trails and vineyards.Following their most recent Rugby World Cup win, the people of New Zealand are even more excited for the coming season, with the team welcoming a host of fresh faces there are plenty of test matches for visitors to attend in 2016.Auckland will be hosting the City Limits Music Festival, where over 40 artists will be taking the stage on March 19, 2016, at Western Springs Stadium. The line-up will include a range of artists from all over the works. Headliners The National, Kendrick Lamar and Action Bronson will be joined by local acts The Phoenix Foundation, Che Fu and singer-songwriter Tami Neilson.Christchurch has a host of new restaurants, led by the likes of the locavore fine diner Roots in Lyttelton. Craft brewers, meanwhile, have opened throughout the city – including Dux Central, in a fine old building in the CBD – along with cafes such as C1-Espresso in a 1930s bank building, and Supreme Supreme in an artfully reworked former Chinese restaurant.Wellington Zoo, which recently underwent a $6 million expansion, has unveiled its newest feature called ‘Meet the Locals,’ which celebrates New Zealand’s diverse flora and fauna. Designed around four areas, Penguin Point is a mini wild-west south coast where endangered korora (little blue penguins) can be seen in an area, which is close to their natural habitat while Pohutukawa Farm is home to kunekune pigs, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens plus there’s a pond full of freshwater eels.The New Zealand Festival, which is the longest-running and largest multi-arts festival in the country, will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2016, welcoming audiences and performers from all over the world to the capital city of Wellington from February 26-March 20.The Hawke’s Bay city of Napier is renowned for its Art Deco architecture, where visitors can go through the elegant streetscapes to explore the hidden gems of the past, on foot, by minibus and bike, even aboard luxurious vintage cars.Lake Taupo, which is bigger than Singapore, will witness the 40th anniversary of Lake Taupo Challenge in November, where cyclist will circumnavigate the lake.Waiheke Island, with its steep hills and craggy cliffs running down to white sand beaches, is the perfect place to enjoy superb wine and fabulous food.The Len Lye Centre, a gallery dedicated to the pioneering filmmaker, sculptor, painter and poet, Len Lye, has been opened in the coastal city of New Plymouth. The centre includes massive galleries and a 62-seat theatre where a range of original and duplicated versions of Lye’s kinetic sculptures and unique films are on display.Lord of the Rings director Sir Peter Jackson has taken the Wellington’s Dominion Museum, to create a world-class World War One experience. Commemorating the role played by New Zealand in the First World War, visitors can take a journey through the conflict, year by year, facing up to the challenges faced by the soldiers.last_img read more

Mauritius organises FAM trip for wedding planners

first_imgThe Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) in collaboration with Air Mauritius hosted a FAM (familiarisation) trip for 10 top wedding planners from Western India. A destination wedding is as luxurious as it is expensive and hence, the target segment has to be selected accordingly.The aim was to showcase Mauritius as a wedding destination and a step beyond– from inception to conception. They visited several hotels, other venues suitable for holding Indian Weddings and interacted with service providers, including local tour operators, from this sector. A second group of ten planners from North East India will be in Mauritius in May 2017.“Last year, the country attracted no fewer than six ‘Big Fat Indian Weddings’. For 2017, five marriages are already planned, with many more in the pipeline,” says Vivek Anand, Country Manager- India, MTPA.last_img read more

Hillary Clinton Rolls Out 25 Billion Housing Reform Plan

first_img February 16, 2016 728 Views Hillary ClintonAs the 2016 presidential election grows closer and candidates’ campaigns pick up speed, there is one topic that has been considered to be a taboo among those in the race to the White House.Housing policy has been a muted subject among all of the presidential candidates throughout their speeches, debates, and plans for the U.S., but one presidential hopeful has finally broke the silence.After months of hearing about Wall Street reforms, former Secretary of State and Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, released her “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda,” which outlines intentions to revitalize the economy and includes a substantial housing investment.According to a factsheet on Clinton’s campaign site, the goal of the agenda is to revitalize the economy in communities that have been left out and left behind, provide every child in America a world-class education, dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, tackle disparities in health and nutrition, and fight for environmental justice. In addition, the initiative will also create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity in communities that are being left out and left behind.”We must make sure that everyone has a fair shot at homeownership.” -Hillary Clinton Interestingly, the agenda, or the $125 billion Economic Revitalization Initiative, will be paid for by a tax on Wall Street, which Clinton’s campaign believes will ensure that the “major financial institutions that contributed to the Great Recession are doing their part in bringing back the communities it hurt the most.”A $25 billion portion of the initiative will be dedicated to “lifting more families into sustainable homeownership and connecting housing to opportunity,” the factsheet stated.”Homeownership is about more than just owning a home,” Clinton’s campaign explained. “It is about putting roots down in a community with better schools, safer streets and good jobs. And it is about building wealth, as homeowners build equity in their home one mortgage payment at a time. But this opportunity is increasingly out of reach for too many families, particularly families of color…We must make sure that everyone has a fair shot at homeownership.”The campaign noted that 42 percent of black households and 47 percent of Latino households own a home, white homeownership sits at 72 percent.Clinton’s campaign believes the best way to reverse this disproportionate trend is not to lower credit standards, but lift more families into homeownership by:Supporting families as they save for sustainable homeownership. Clinton will support initiatives to match up to $10,000 in savings for a down payment for those who earn less than area median income. She will also reduce barriers to lending in underserved communities, support housing counseling programs, and police abuse and discrimination in the mortgage market.Building more affordable rental housing near good jobs and good schools.Clinton will increase support for affordable rental housing in the areas that need it most and encourage communities to implement land use strategies that make it easier to build affordable rental housing near good jobs.Overcoming pockets of distress. Clinton will provide the resources necessary to overcome blight, giving communities a chance to rebuild and renew with new businesses, new homeowners, and new hope. And she will connect housing support in high-poverty neighborhoods to economic opportunity.Ed Brady, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois applauded Clinton for “recognizing the significant role that housing plays in our local communities and economy and being one of the first presidential candidates to present a housing and community development plan that will help boost homeownership, rental housing and employment opportunities for the American people.”“Proposals such as providing a match for down payment savings, emphasizing homeownership counseling and taking steps to improve credit availability for qualified borrowers are all needed steps to boost homeownership. Secretary Clinton also recognizes the acute need to bolster the supply of affordable rental housing by proposing to increase the supply of Low Income Housing Tax Credits and remove local barriers to producing such housing. She also highlighted the importance of job training and apprenticeships as a path to economic opportunity, which the housing sector has a tremendous capacity to provide.Click here to read Hillary Clinton’s complete agenda. Share Hillary Clinton Rolls Out $25 Billion Housing Reform Plancenter_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Hillary Clinton Homeownership Housing Reform 2016-02-16 Staff Writerlast_img read more

Here is One Reason for the SingleFamily Rental Boom

first_img October 18, 2016 641 Views Share Fannie Mae Single Family Rental Market Starter Homes 2016-10-18 Seth Welborn Tight credit, a demand-side constraint, has often been cited as a major obstacle for first-time homebuyers in the post-crisis housing market. Recently, however, more attention has been focused on tight inventory, a supply-side constraint, as a major impediment to first-time buyers entering the housing market.One reason why there are fewer starter homes available for purchase is that many of them are shifting or have shifted from owner-occupied to rentals, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) group’s latest Housing Insights report. Fannie Mae defines a starter home as a single-family detached unit with a floor area of less than 2,000 square feet.Between 2005, which was approximately the peak of the housing boom, and 2013, the latest year for which data is available, the supply of owner-occupied starter homes declined by 1 million while the supply of renter-occupied starter homes increased by 2 million. During that eight-year period, starter homes made up approximately two-thirds of the growth of the single-family rental market.Further contributing to the shortage of single-family starter homes available for sale was the fact that new construction was not adding enough homes to make up for the loss of the homes that shifted to the rental market. At the peak of the bubble in 2005, approximately 650,000 detached single-family units that qualify as starter homes were built; six years later, after the bust, only 200,000 such homes were built, with no signs of improving soon, according to Fannie Mae.“The shift of the starter home inventory toward the rental market reflects, at least in part, a much-needed market adjustment in response to imbalances created by the credit bubble and homeownership boom of the early 2000s,” said Patrick Simmons, Director, Strategic Planning with Fannie Mae’s ESR group. “The shift helped to remove bloated inventories of vacant and foreclosed single-family homes from the market, while also helping to meet exploding demand for rentals created by the economic downturn, foreclosure crisis, and coming of age of the large millennial generation.”Fannie Mae’s ESR group reported on Tuesday that its forecast for economic growth for 2016 remained unchanged at 1.8 percent. While the labor market has been a bright spot for the economy recently, consumer spending is expected to soften in the third quarter.“The steady news comes from the labor market, with relatively decent conditions overall,” Fannie Mae SVP and Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. “The biggest doses of bad news come from consumer spending, the linchpin of economic growth, and residential investment, which appears to have posted a second consecutive sizable drop in the third quarter.”Duncan continued, “Emerging signs of improving homeownership demand among young adults have been encouraging. However, housing activity has lost momentum in recent months. Existing-home sales, new home sales, single-family housing starts, and single-family construction spending declined in August. In addition, pending home sales and purchase mortgage applications weakened during the month, suggesting continued weakness in existing-home sales in the near term amid very lean supply.”Click here to view the complete Fannie Mae ESR group Housing Insights report.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Here is One Reason for the Single-Family Rental Boomlast_img read more

FHLBank San Francisco Launches 100 million Quality Jobs Program Program

first_img The Quality Jobs Fund, which was created by the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and is led and managed by the New World Foundation, provided its first investment—$5 million to the Central Valley Fund. The Davis-based investment firm provides flexible capital solutions that facilitate the expansion of small- and medium-sized businesses, creating quality jobs and training employees for better positions.A press conference was held at Utility Telecom in Stockton, which has received $8.75 million from the Central Valley Fund to help expand its operations.“Many companies like Utility Telecom can expand and create quality jobs if they have access to capital,” said José Blanco, Managing Partner at the Central Valley Fund. “We thank FHLBank San Francisco for making this extraordinary commitment to workers.”FHLBank San Francisco seeded the Quality Jobs Fund (QJF) with a $100 million charitable contribution to facilitate quality job creation, finance small business expansion, and support job training in its three-state district of Arizona, California, and Nevada, and in other communities nationally. The groundbreaking initiative will improve the wealth-building potential of working families, help generate future homebuyers, and serve as a catalyst for sustainable, long-term community development programs, especially those in underserved communities.Specifically, the QJF is supporting innovative programs that upskill low-income workers in vital industries and that finance the expansion of businesses creating quality jobs. QJF investments will focus on helping to increase wages for working families, thereby increasing the pool of potential homebuyers and helping sustain vibrant communities.Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) noted that FHLBank San Francisco was charted by Congress to help local lenders invest in jobs, housing, and economic growth in their communities. “Through an ongoing partnership with FHLBank San Francisco,” he said, “we can attract more investment and resources to our area, and I look forward to continuing to work together to expand economic development opportunities in our community.”Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said the Quality Jobs Fund can provide critical access to capital for small businesses. “For too long, our nation has overlooked small businesses, which are the economic engine creating jobs,” he said. “Stockton residents appreciate the investments that are strengthening our community. The FHLBank San Francisco should be applauded for being a good corporate partner to small businesses and their workers.”Moreover, Greg Seibly, President and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco, said that after two years of research it became clear that fresh ideas were needed on how to increase the pool of potential homebuyers and that effort had to fortify the financial security of working families.“The U.S. economy struggles to create quality jobs that offer wages high enough to allow working families to purchase homes in safe, nurturing communities where they can raise their families,” he said. “FHLBank San Francisco began this process two years ago with research on what strategies best fuel successful job creation and small business expansion. It’s exciting to move ahead and start supporting programs and seeing results that will enhance the quality of life for working families.”The Central Valley Fund’s investments in companies like Initiative Foods in Sanger, California, sustain and create quality jobs for their workers.After growing up in the Los Angeles area, Antonia Flores moved to the Central Valley in 2004, where the high school dropout with four daughters began working at Initiative Foods as an inventory clerk earning $10 an hour. Ms. Flores, now 48, got her GED, took accounting classes at a community college, and now earns $26 an hour as an inventory accounting supervisor, overseeing much of the company’s accounting work. She is putting her two oldest daughters through college.“Give people a chance,” Ms. Flores said, “I would love it if more investments helped small companies be successful … when we see support, it gives us that light of hope. Knowing that we’re not alone, and we have help is motivating. It’s hard for small businesses to get help. There are a lot of people who have dreams, not just for themselves, but for their employees. Helping small businesses means helping the communities they are in.”Citing the QJF investment in Central Valley Fund, Lawrence H. Parks, Senior Vice President, Legislative and External Affairs, for FHLBank San Francisco, called it critically important to make investments with companies with track records in expanding quality jobs. “There is so much that is not working,” Mr. Parks said. “The Bank understands that the health of a community depends on creating more quality jobs and increasing homeownership. That scenario gives residents a stake in the well-being of their neighborhood and a path to make their communities strong and sustainable.”Colin Greer, President of the NWF, applauded FHLBank San Francisco, saying the QJF will enhance the quality of life for working families. “The decision by FHLBank San Francisco to imagine, finance, and bring into being this investment in the futures of children and families in our nation’s low-income communities sets an important example for corporate leaders in the banking, finance, and philanthropic sectors,” he said. FHLBank San Francisco Launches $100 million Quality Jobs Program Program January 14, 2018 611 Views Sharecenter_img in Headlines, journal, News Company News FHLBank San Francisco New World Foundation Quality Jobs Fund 2018-01-14 David Whartonlast_img read more

The PriceInventory Effect New Home Sales Slip

first_imgThe Price-Inventory Effect: New Home Sales Slip in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Building Costs Construction High-priced Homes Home Buyers Home Prices HUD Median Price New Home Sales Sellers U.S. Census Bureau 2018-03-23 Radhika Ojha New home sales fell 0.6 percent in February with 618,000 single-family homes sold during the month against the revised January rate of 622,000, according to the latest data on sales of new single-family homes released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday. On a year-over-year basis though, the sales were 0.5 percent above the estimated 615,000 homes sold in February 2017.“New home sales slipped in February after January’s data was revised up to be much stronger than first thought.With the revision to January’s data, the past few months have shown strong national new home sales, driven by the West and South,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com.The median sale price of new homes sold in February stood at $326,800, while the average sale price was $376,700, the Census Bureau data indicated. Additionally, the seasonally-adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of February was 305,000 representing a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.According to Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree, the strong sales posted in November and December were probably driven by buyers who were rushing in before the tax plan to have their mortgages grandfathered under the old mortgage deduction limits. “The declines we are seeing are a return to the trend prior to the tax cut debate,” Kapfidze said. “Consistent with the impact of the tax plan, high priced homes are back down to 17 percent of sales. In December sales [of homes] above $500,000 were 24 percent of sales, the highest proportion since the sales price breakout began in 2002. This included homes above $750,000 at a high of 7 percent of sales.”Looking at the market trends in the run-up to the buying season Hale says that there was plenty of room for growth. “More new home sales are needed to restore balance in the housing market between new and existing sales,” Hale said. “It would take roughly 327,000 additional new home sales to get back in line with normal levels given current existing home sales, which would boost new home sales to 15 percent of all sales. Today, one in every 10 homes sold is a new home, whereas in a normal market they account for one in every seven homes sold.” So how can the supply of new homes get restored? “The reduction in corporate taxes should increase builder profit margins by 10-20 percent,” said Kapfidze. “This could have increased the incentive to build more homes, especially at lower prices where new supply has been lacking due to small profit margins. However, the tariffs that the administration has announced so far target many inputs into home construction including steel, aluminum, and timber. This may place further upward pressure on building costs and thus prices.”center_img Share March 23, 2018 694 Views last_img read more

Mortgage Lending in a Gig Economy

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Mortgage Lending in a Gig Economy An increasing number of self-employed borrowers want to use their gig economy income to qualify for mortgage loans and lenders believe that the number of such borrowers is likely to grow over the next few years according to the latest Lender Sentiment Survey released by Fannie Mae on Wednesday.For the quarterly survey, Fannie Mae asked lenders their views about using gig economy in mortgage underwriting and the answers revealed that it will get more important to include gig worker income for mortgage underwriting in the near future. In fact, 71 percent of the lenders surveyed said that they had borrowers apply for a mortgage with gig economy income over the past year itself.The gig economy is growing across the country as “on-demand services in transportation, lodging, food/goods delivery, and personal task services are growing and reshaping how Americans think about work and self-employment,” according to the Fannie Mae Economic Research Group that conducts this quarterly survey.Today, lenders feel that there are many barriers that prevent such people from getting a mortgage. The survey found that 95 percent lenders believed that it was difficult to use gig economy income to approve mortgage applications with today’s lending practices. Top barriers, the survey revealed, included unpredictability and instability of gig economy income, investor requirements, and underwriting criteria standardization.When it came to lenders’ opinion on today’s self-employment and underwriting guidelines 69 percent said that current underwriting guidelines for self-employment income verification were about right, even though 89 percent expected the share of borrowers earning income from the gig economy to grow in the next three to five years.Looking at the impact of acceptance of gig economy income to access mortgage credit, the survey revealed that most lenders believed that accepting gig economy income for mortgage applications would help consumers, especially low- and moderate-income borrowers. And what were the top risk concerns around self-employed borrowers? The survey said that 70 percent lenders felt that a high debt-to-income ratio was a risk concern while 49 percent said that high low liquid reserved was a risk while lending to such borrowers. Borrowers Fannie Mae Income Investors Lenders Lending Self-Employed Underwriting 2018-05-16 Radhika Ojhacenter_img May 16, 2018 605 Views Sharelast_img read more

The Week Ahead Measuring National Mortgage Risk

first_img American Enterprise Institute Home Prices HOUSING loans mortgage Pending-Home Sales 2018-07-29 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, News Share On Monday, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will hold a briefing to reveal the data from its quarterly National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) and State Mortgage Risk Indices (SMRI). These quarterly risk indices provide an objective and transparent measure of how mortgage loans originated month by month would perform under severely stressed conditions. The researchers at AEI will analyze the riskiness of single-family mortgage originations based on data through April 2018 during this briefing. According to the AEI, an NMRI value of 10 percent, for example, for a given set of loans indicates that 10 percent of those loans would be expected to default in a severe stress event, based on the actual performance of loans with the same risk characteristics after the financial crisis. The NMRI is published monthly utilizing a nearly complete census of loan-level data for loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, and Rural Housing.  These same Agency data are also used to track loan volume and other characteristics. “The multiyear surge in home prices, particularly for entry-level homebuyers continues unabated and is fueled by high-risk mortgages guaranteed by taxpayers,” said Edward Pinto, Co-director of the AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance.  “We see no halt to this trend so long as FHA, the GSEs, and the VA continue offering easy mortgage credit terms which keep demand well in excess of supply.” Here’s what else is happening in The Week Ahead:Pending Home Sales Index, Monday, 10 a.m. ESTFreddie Mac Q2 Results, Tuesday, 8 a.m. ESTS&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller HPI, Tuesday, 9 a.m., ESTConstruction Spending Report, Wednesday, 10 a.m. ESTCensus Bureau Jobs Report, Friday, 8.30 a.m. ESTLearn more about the latest housing trends:A Snapshot of the National Housing MarketConstruction Spending on the RiseGrowth in Construction Jobs May Ease Inventory Shortagecenter_img The Week Ahead: Measuring National Mortgage Risk July 29, 2018 534 Views last_img read more

Celebrate Diversity Month The Mortgage Industry Perspective

first_img AMDC Diversity Fannie Mae Inclusion mortgage Ocwen 2019-03-29 Seth Welborn Diversity is crucial for business, and with this April being Celebrate Diversity Month, MReport reflects on makes diversity and inclusion so important to the mortgage and servicing industries.Charmaine Brown, Director of the Office of Diversity at Fannie Mae and American Mortgage Diversity Council (AMDC) Vice Chair, noted how diversity can only benefit a company’s bottom line.“Diversity and Inclusion are essential to business success. It drives innovation and lifts performance,” Brown said. “In fact, research shows that diverse and inclusive companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform competitors. Additionally, our talent pool and future home buyers and renters are the most diverse in our nation’s history. This rich diversity provides tremendous opportunities for even greater innovation in developing housing solutions that work for everyone.””Diversity & Inclusion is important in the mortgage industry because it affords companies a means by which to remain relevant to and attenuated with their customers, constituents, and stakeholders,” said Michael Ruiz, Director, Supplier Diversity at Fannie Mae.The AMDC provides a platform for the collaboration of mortgage industry leaders for the advancement of diversity and inclusion dialogue. The organization develops and provides tools and strategies to create an understanding and appreciation of individual differences in thought, experience, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, style, sexual orientation and gender identity. Past initiatives have included a webinar series as well as several LGBT town hall events in 2018.The upcoming April Issue of MReport takes a deep dive into these topics, speaking to industry D&I professionals including Dana Dillard, EVP, Corporate Social Responsibility, Mr. Cooper; Randy Miller, President, Randall S. Miller & Associates; Carina Cortez, EVP, People, Ellie Mae; Lola Oyewole, Director, Human Resources and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Ocwen Financial Corporation; Lori Eshoo, Founder and President, National Tax Search; Loreli Wilson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Veterans United Home Loans; Diana Peterson, President, AuctionWorks; Dr. Amanda Andrade, Chief People Officer, Veterans United Home Loans; and Maureen Hart, SVP, Vendor Management and Information Security, Aspen Grove Solutions.“There is significant research that shows that having a diverse workforce drives economic growth,” Oyewole told MReport in the April issue. “A report by McKinsey & Company found that a 10 percent increase in diversity in the senior executive team resulted in an almost 1 percent rise in earnings in the U.S.A.”You’ll be able to read that full piece, and much more, when the April edition of MReport is available online starting on April 1.To recognize the achievements of the women leaders who are shaping the housing and mortgage industries, the Five Star Conference has opened the nominations for the second annual Keystone Awards, starting April 1.“The Keystones honor the contributions of women who exemplify characteristics that strengthen and support the industry through their leadership,” said Ed Delgado, President and CEO of Five Star Global. “These leaders are mentoring and shaping the careers of professionals and driving progress for the mortgage industry.”To learn more—including how to nominate a colleague—click here.Want to learn more about diversity in your business? Register for the 2019 Five Star Diversity Symposium, May 8, 2019 at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. Featuring powerful presentations and collaborative roundtable discussions, the 2019 Five Star Diversity Symposium will serve as a platform for industry leaders to advance the diversity dialogue and promote truly inclusive business practices to the benefit of individuals, their organizations, and the industry. Register online here. Share Celebrate Diversity Month: The Mortgage Industry Perspectivecenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News March 29, 2019 969 Views last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cards believe Earl Watford will be a future starter and the future might be sooner than one might think, including Watford. Big Earl is a natural athlete with excellent feet. He’s as strong as anybody on the field, has twitchy-quick explosion off the ball, and is as tough as they come. The guy has a mean streak and that is uncommon for many offensive lineman.I think Watford might be the hidden gem of this draft. He probably needs a year to make the transition from a relatively small school to the best our species can offer but don’t be surprised if you see Big Earl sooner than later. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals drafted nine players in the 2013 NFL draft and many analysts are talking about how Jonathan Cooper might be a perennial Pro Bowl guard. They also like Kevin Minter in the second round, and Tyrann Mathieu has been a topic of discussion nationally. Herman Edwards was raving about the Cardinals drafting Stepfan Taylor and Ryan Swope and Andre Ellington were touted as steals in the 6th round.But nobody’s talking about Earl Watford, the second guard drafted by Arizona in the fourth round out of James Madison. Nobody but the Cardinals, that is.last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Offseason running back acquisition Rashard Mendenhall, who sat out of his new team’s first preseason game versus the Green Bay Packers with patella tendinitis, is expected to start Saturday for the Arizona Cardinals in their game against the Dallas Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium.Mendenhall came to the Cardinals via free agency in March, after spending five previous seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. For three straight seasons prior to the 2012-13 season, Mendenhall averaged more than 1,000 yards rushing per season.center_img Last season, the 26-year-old Illinois Illini product played in just six games for the Steelers, tallying 182 yards over 51 carries. In Mendenhall’s stead Friday, rookie Stepfan Taylor tread 64 yards on 20 carries, while Alfonso Smith went 21 yards on 12 touches.“They did a great job last week and I think we did a great job as an offense and as a team,” Mendenhall said Tuesday.“It’s cool to see that and I look forward to being a part of it.” – / 37 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo D.J. Humphries arrives for training camp. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Like he’s always done, right tackle D.J. Humphries is making people laugh.To that point, the Arizona Cardinals’ 24th pick in the 2015 draft gave Arizona Sports 98.7 FM hosts Vince Marotta and Bertrand Berry an on-point impersonation of Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell on Wednesday.Funny stuff.Humphries refuses to stray from who he is at the core, but as he enters a second NFL season with essentially a redshirt under his belt, the offensive lineman believes he’s matured. Your browser does not support the audio element. The public criticism from Arians last season eventually turned into praise.Humphries is no longer his coach’s biggest target, but the tough-love coaching wasn’t the only catalyst for the offensive lineman to grow. The birth of his son has helped him mature.“I had to kind of sit back and look at it like, I’m not so much as just playing for D.J.,” Humphries said. “It’s going to come to a point when my son can get on a computer and type in my name. And what’s going to come up? Is it going to be ‘D.J. first-round bust?’ Or is it going to be ‘D.J. 10-time, dah, dah, dah?’” – / 24 “I’m a playful guy. I’m a happy person — that’s me,” Humphries said on the Bickley and Marotta show Wednesday. “It’s not my personality to be stern, tight-faced all the time. But I have to respect your seriousness. I have to respect the fact that you have to do that and learn that, OK, I need to stay in my bubble. Let (a teammate) do his thing, not play so much around these guys.” 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Ohhhh. @74_hump is working on his @Campbell93 impression. #CardsCamp 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/UVWKyDCg5g— Paige Dimakos (@The_SportsPaige) August 10, 2016The second-year pro took coach Bruce Arians’ Knee Deep nickname to heart, it seems, and feels ready to assume a starting role.Arizona will be able to judge Humphries’ progress on Friday when it opens the preseason against the Oakland Raiders.But Humphries’ hope for the season is that the attention won’t be on him.“My expectation is for you guys to never have to say my name,” he told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “You guys don’t talk about offensive linemen unless they’re doing something wrong. Long as y’all not talking about me, I’m good.” LISTEN: D.J. Humphries, Cardinals offensive lineman Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Its a great reminder that speed can be overrated

first_img“It’s a great reminder that speed can be overrated; as a receiver, defenders have to react to YOUR tempo,” Benoit wrote. “Super savvy technique can be enough to create separation.”Meanwhile, running back David Johnson saved a year of his legs and closer to the end of his cheap rookie deal — one that Benoit thinks makes him “the best bargain in pro football (if not pro sports).”Because of that, Benoit said, the broken wrist Johnson suffered was a “financial blessing in disguise.”Johnson’s combination of lateral strength and agility is unparalleled. A play called “just give David the ball” would constitute smart, not lazy, coaching.The success and health of the team again relies on the offensive line. Benoit said that though it’s revamped, the line might not have improved.He had negatives on each presumed starter.Benoit on D.J. Humphries: “Gifted, but injuries have cost in 14 games in two years.”On Mike Iupati: “Too prone to mental mistakes and physical breakdowns.”On the center position: “A.Q. Shipley is out with a torn ACL, so the Cards are counting on third-round rookie Mason Cole.” With that said, Benoit isn’t sold on Robert Nkemdiche.While he thinks the lineman’s skill set will better translate in Wilks’ 4-3 system than the Cardinals’ hybrid 3-4 under former defensive coordinator James Bettcher, it’s no guarantee that Nkemdiche will live up to his potential.If he can’t this year, he might not at all.“If (Nkemdiche) doesn’t hone some of his extensive raw talent in 2018, he never will,” Benoit wrote.Offense“The Cardinals, though talented enough to harbor a win-now mentality, are likely in a rebuilding season,” Benoit wrote.That means, one could presume that at some point, quarterback Sam Bradford will take a backseat to the quarterback of the future, Josh Rosen.Benoit noted that UCLA had some route combinations that offensive coordinator Mike McCoy employs in his system.While the Cardinals do try to win, though, they’ll rely on their stars.Larry Fitzgerald is the “only known entity” of the receiving corps, Benoit wrote.He gushed over Fitzgerald, saying that though he’s not as fast as he used to be, his patience and route-running skills allowed him to remain remarkably productive in the slot. Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks watches from the sideline in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The defense will blitz, David Johnson received a blessing in disguise by missing last season, and we can expect to see Josh Rosen start at some point.Those are three of Sports Illustrated’s predictions for the Arizona Cardinals in 2018.Andy Benoit published his 10 Thoughts column on the Cardinals, half focusing on defense and half on the offense.His final takeaway: “Once injuries start hitting, this team will crumble. Expect a trying transition year in Arizona.”center_img 21 Comments   Share   On Justin Pugh: “Pugh’s $15.75 million guaranteed free agent contract makes it easy to forget that he was wildly up and down for the Giants last year.”On Andre Smith: “Thanks to a weird mix of injuries, great plays and execution gaffes, 10th-year right tackle Andre Smith remains unofficially the NFL’s biggest enigma.”On the plus side, the Cardinals’ line can’t have much worse luck than its injury-plagued 2017 season.But the bottom line is, if the offensive line bottoms out, it could send Arizona to the bottom of the conference. Let’s go through and see what led him to this thought.DefenseBenoit starts the article by saying Arizona blitzed a lot last season — the second-most in the league.The only team that did it more was the Carolina Panthers and then-defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who is now the Cardinals’ head coach.While Arizona doesn’t have linebackers like Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, Benoit said Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick have comparable speed.What could really allow the Cardinals to thrive on the blitz is their defensive line.First off, Chandler Jones has created the most negative plays for offenses over the last two seasons, according to Benoit.Secondly, Markus Golden will be returning from an ACL injury and Benoit expects Reddick to get a chance rushing the quarterback, his “forte” in college.“If either fully emerges, Arizona’s edge rushing will be outstanding,” Benoit wrote. “If both emerge, it could be unstoppable.”Related LinksThe 5: Key observations from Arizona Cardinals’ win over SaintsCardinals DL Nkemdiche leaves game vs. Saints with foot injury, doesn’t returnCards camp notebook: QB Sam Bradford ready for preseason footballWilks says mission accomplished as Cardinals break campThat’s not even mentioning lineman Olsen Pierre, who Benoit has been impressed with based on film.“He’s proficient on the stunts and twists that Wilks features and has the tenacity to consistently make plays late in the down,” Benoit wrote. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Leeu Estates Leeu Col

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterLeeu Estates, Leeu Collection’s flagship property that opened last month (15 June) in the Cape Winelands’ Franschhoek Valley, is home to the first ilā spa in southern Africa. Set among tranquil vineyards with panoramic views of the majestic valley, Leeu Spa offers a wellness sanctuary just moments away from the hustle and bustle of South Africa’s gourmet capital.Leeu Spa, with its contemporary floor-to-ceiling glass windows and timber frame designed by celebrated Spanish architect Tomeu Esteva of Esteva i Esteva Arquitectura, was conceived as the physical and emotional heart of Leeu Estates. Its location, shape and building materials are intended to create a direct link with the dramatic natural setting.Once guests have been welcomed at the Spa reception, they can take one of two routes that both create a sensory experience imbuing visitors with an immediate feeling of wellbeing.The first takes guests on an enchanting journey down a gently descending staircase between an extended bamboo courtyard and beautiful stone walls. At the bottom lies the 15-metre infinity swimming pool with its comfortable loungers, surrounded by vines, where guests can soak up the South African sunshine and views of vineyards, valley and mountains. Beyond the pool terraces, luxuriously appointed covered seating serves as the resort’s relaxation area. A striking fireplace is all that stands between the guests and the magnificent views of the valley.The second takes guests to the hydrotherapy area, with separate changing and steam rooms for male and female guests, and a plunge pool overlooking a tranquil lily pond. It is here that all three treatment rooms, including one double suite, and a hair salon, plus nail bar, are also located.In keeping with the ilā philosophy, Leeu Spa offers authentic massages and holistic treatments by expert therapists who have been recruited specifically for their “healing” hands. The therapists deliver restorative treatments inspired by centuries-old Asian traditions using wild-harvested organic ingredients from remote, untainted regions of the world such as the Amazon rainforest and the Himalayas that harness their own natural healing energy, as well as indigenous plants with beneficial qualities.Leeu Spa’s two signature treatments are The Summer Tree of Life Journey and The Warming Winter Vine, Earth & Stone Journey, both incorporating local products natural to South Africa and some taken from the Leeu Estates grounds. Both treatments last 90 minutes and cost ZAR 1500 (approx £75).The Summer Journey starts with the cleansing aroma of Pala Santo – the South American sacred wood. Warm marula and baobab oil, delicately fragranced with buchu and rose geranium essential oils, is then drizzled onto sacred points of the back to open meridians. This is followed by a rooibos salt scrub and a facial incorporating pomegranate, grapeseed and honey. The Winter Journey incorporates a crushed grapeseed with marula and baobab full body scrub (Vine), a black mud pack infused with rosemary and lemon thyme from the hotel’s gardens (Earth) and then a Leeu Estates river stone and hot poultice massage (Stone).For those who prefer physical activities to pampering sessions, there is a spacious gym, furnished with the latest equipment, offering framed views of the majestic mountains. A second fitness space, made of stone, encourages dialogue with nature as it is a flexible building with no boundaries – an extension of the resort out into the vines. It is here that personal training and yoga instruction can take place. Outside the Leeu Spa walls, walkers, joggers and cyclists can take to the extensive network of trails that crisscross the rolling estate, hilly mountain slopes and banks of the river if they prefer to exercise in the open air.Leeu Spa is open seven days per week from 10am to 7pm, with the gym open slightly longer from 7am to 7pm.Leeu Estates rates start from ZAR 7300 (approx £335) in the low season (15 June to 31 August) and from ZAR 9000 (approx £415) in the high season (1 September to 30 April), for two people sharing a Classic Room. Rates include:Breakfast • Nespresso machine and mini bar in room • Unlimited Internet access • All national phone calls • Complimentary tasting of Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines at Leeu Estates per guest per stay • Complimentary scheduled transfers to sister property • 14 per cent VATLeeu Estates does not accept children under the age of six years.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Quark Expeditions the polar expedition company an

first_imgQuark Expeditions, the polar expedition company and provider of adventures to the Arctic and Antarctic, announced the ultimate meeting of global minds at 90 degrees north with The North Pole Summit 2017. Departing 20 July 2017, this exclusive expedition offers seven exceptional guests from the worlds of science, exploration, conservation, politics and education.These passionate global citizens will share with passengers their inspirations and perspectives on today’s environmental challenges through a formal and informal on board enrichment programme:Paul Nicklen, National Geographic photographer, marine biologist and conservationistAlan Chambers, legendary polar adventurer and speakerCristina Mittermeier, marine biologist, photographer, biochemical engineer and conservationistMaureen Raymo, paleoclimatologist and marine geologistDavid Serkoak, Inuit Elder and educatorJames Raffan, geographer, author and polar historianFrances Ulmer, policy adviser and public servantPassengers on this exclusive sailing, as well as those travelling on two traditional North Pole: The Ultimate Arctic Adventure expeditions in 2017, will travel from Helsinki, Finland, aboard a charter flight to embark on their 14-day adventure from Murmansk, Russia. Passengers will board 50 Years of Victory, the most powerful nuclear icebreaker on the planet, and power their way through multi-year sea ice to the top of the world. En route, they’ll enjoy top-quality expert lectures, aerial “flightseeing” via onboard helicopter, wildlife watching in the Arctic Ocean and more.A celebration at the North Pole takes passengers out onto sea ice several metres thick to toast their travelling achievement and take part in a barbecue dinner.Spaces for The North Pole Summit and two additional North Pole: The Ultimate Arctic Adventure expeditions departing 9 and 31 July are limited. Interested should speak to a Polar Travel Adviser immediately, to ensure enough time to obtain the necessary visas prior to travel.last_img read more

Former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke Hono

first_imgFormer Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke, Honorary President of NGO Le Cercle Polaire, will be a guest of honour on PONANT’s Le Boréal Antarctic voyage departing Puntas Arenas, 17 November 2017, bound for the Antarctic Peninsula.Along with the late former Prime Minister of France, Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke, was a major political contributor in the adoption of the third protocol of the Antarctic Treaty System. He will be onboard Le Boréal to share his thoughts on the principles of international control over and management of the polar environments, through either the reinforcement of existing regulatory frameworks or the introduction of new regulations.For nearly 20 years, PONANT, the world’s leading polar cruise specialist, has been committed to ensuring that its activities in the extreme lands of the polar regions are conducted responsibly. This Antarctic voyage will highlight the importance of scientific understanding of the Arctic and Antarctic regions and encourage the preservation of the polar environments through involvement with and sponsorship of NGO Le Cercle Polaire, whose aim it is to expand global awareness of the fragility of the polar environments and the urgent need to protect them. Laurent Mayet, founding president of NGO Le Cercle Polaire will be accompanying Bob Hawke during Le Boréal Antarctic Voyage.Two-hundred prominent people from more than 52 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, have committed themselves to the protection of the Poles through their involvement with Le Cercle Polaire. A ‘Call of the Poles’ campaign has received testimony from politicians, scientists, photographers and adventurers committed to protecting the Polar Regions, the Arctic and the Antarctic.Greater knowledge of the Polar Regions is critical to understanding global climate dynamics and the processes behind global warming.last_img read more