It appears that the Gold Coast is unlikely to get its controversial new cruise ship terminal until at least 2018, with confidential documents revealing both the Government and the Gold Coast City Council are in dispute about on how to deliver key elements of the project.Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate appears to be maintain cruise ships will dock on the Gold Coast in two years, previously announcing a Carnival liner set to dock on September 30, 2015, with documents obtained under Right To Information showing his determination to achieve the deadline, with council officers being secretly briefed on investigating an interim terminal north of Sea World Nara Resort, goldcast.com.au reported.The Queensland Government though has opposed the move, concerned it could torpedo the bid for a permanent facility, with Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney reported to have privately told the Mayor it will be left to the market place to determine a more realistic date, with State planning bureaucrats listing the delivery date as 2018.State planners have also warned Mr Seeney of five major risks for the Coast terminal, including potential competition from a cruise ship terminal earmarked for Luggage Point at the mouth of the Brisbane River, with a Gold Coast Bulletin report in November last year detailing how the Brisbane City Council in its Neighbourhood Plan for Pinkenba-Eagle Farm had set aside a future area for a deep-water cruise ship terminal at the mouth of the Brisbane River.Other major risks, provided in documents, show government planners have questioned the commitment of the cruise ship industry to a Broadwater port and acknowledged “community concerns about environmental harm” to the development of Crown land north of Sea World and on Wavebreak Island.Recent letters between Mr Seeney and Cr Tate also raise questions about which agency will drive the project, with a briefing note to Mr Seeney providing background on the secret Sea World Nara north option, explaining, “Cr Tate has requested his staff investigate an interim cruise ship terminal option”. The department had concerns the interim cruise ship terminal “may compromise future developments including a permanent cruise ship terminal”. “It could add unnecessary costs on the State and as yet provides no certainty on visitations by cruise industry companies,” the letter reportedly read.The reports go on to say that State government officials have questioned the “business case” and estimated initial capital dredging costs could be $50 million, which would lead the Council to ask the state for funds, with the government having provided the new Gold Coast Waterways Authority with a four year maintenance budget of $30 million, but that did not include a capital dredging allocation.In a letter to Mayor Tate, Mr Seeney also detailed his concerns about the council’s intention of buying back the terminal for $1, which he argued “poses a risk” to securing a commercial contract, saying “I was surprised to read in your letter the council’s intention to purchase the cruise ship terminal, once constructed for $1”. “This poses a risk to the upcoming transaction in that it significantly impacts the commercial viability of a cruise ship terminal,” the letter read. “Further, it adds a condition to the market place when the success of the approach to market will minimise significantly the conditions we imposed.”Mr Seeney also addressed the Council’s repeated requests for funding commitments for infrastructure network upgrades linked to the project saying, “this is inconsistent with the state’s ‘no net cost/no risk’ approach to this project”.”I propose that we await the responses to the Expression of Interest invitation to assess the extent to which the state and council infrastructure may be impacted.”Cr Tate in a letter to Mr Seeney had reinforced the council’s position to exclude Doug Jennings Park at the north of The Spit from the Expression of Interest process, but Mr Seeney replied, “the inclusion of Doug Jennings Park in the land on offer signals to the market that this approach to the market differs from previous approaches and is an invitation to the market to think laterally about what is possible, and to outline this in their EOI”.Source = eTB Cruise Expert
become a Personal Travel Manger hereSource = TravelManagers Australia Enjoying the splendor of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand MosquePersonal Travel Managers’ Great Dates in Arab StatesThe world’s largest hand-knotted carpet, a mountaintop restaurant and a souvenir one-kilogram box of dates were just a few of the highlights for TravelManagers’ Anne Maree Selmo on her CT Partners exclusive famil of Six Senses Gulf State Resorts.Selmo, representative for Edithvale in Victoria, spent ten days discovering some of the highlights of Abu Dhabi and Oman, including Muscat and Zighy Bay. In total, nine consultants took part in an exclusive CT Partners famil, which was Selmo’s first visit to the Middle East.“The sheer opulence on display in the beautiful mosques we visited was something I’ve never experienced before. At the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, we saw one of the world’s largest chandeliers, made with Swarovski crystals and weighing around 12 tonnes!” In royal company. Prince Andrew heard CT Partners was in Muscat and visited Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque at the same time!At the Grand Mosque in Muscat, Selmo was thrilled to discover that she was not the most prestigious guest visiting that particular day.“We had the unexpected pleasure of bumping into Prince Harry at the Mosque, which was a highlight for the females in our group as he walked past us.”Selmo says she found it very useful to experience these Arab states first hand, as it gave her a better appreciation of the cultural protocols to be followed when visiting holy sites.“It’s essential that females wear long pants (but not skinny jeans), long sleeves (but can’t be sheer material) and a scarf that covers the head – if you get this wrong you will be denied entry,” she explains. “Being able to give my clients really detailed advice about this sort of this ensures that they won’t be disappointed when they get there.”For Selmo, the famil was also a great opportunity to discover new stopover options for her clients en route to European destinations.Enjoying a cooling dip in one of the pools that come with each of Six Senses beautiful indigenous village style villas“Six Senses Zighy Bay is a great option for a stopover as it’s only a two-hour drive from Dubai or just over three hours from Abu Dhabi. The last five kilometers by road is an impressive zig-zag drive over the spectacular Musandam Mountains… or you could elect to do a tandem paraglide into the resort. And once you’re there, you just have to have a dip in the warm Arabian Sea.”TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says the exclusive famil was yet another example of the company working with CT Partners and key industry partners to provide high-quality ongoing product knowledge to PTMs.“We are very fortunate to have the support of suppliers like Six Senses and Etihad. They make it possible for us to provide really amazing famils to our PTMs, but they also ensure that our PTMs will come home with a really clear understanding of what a destination has to offer.”Selmo came home from her trip laden not with the almost-obligatory carpet but with what she describes as a shopping “must” when visiting the Middle East.“I brought home a one-kilogramme box of dates but they’re so delicious that I don’t think they’ll last long. Being able to pass on to my clients what I’ve learned about shopping, dining and playing in these countries is a huge advantage. Even if it’s something as insignificant as where to buy gooddates, it’s adding value to my clients and enhancing their holiday experience. And that’s good business for me.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced that its award-winning Airbus A380 service, which features the only commercially available three-room suite in the sky – The Residence by Etihad™ – will begin flying between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport on November 23, 2015.The new arrival date and additional capacity for A380 service comes in response to strong demand from Etihad Airways guests who are traveling during the U.S.’s busy Thanksgiving holiday, as well as to attend the 2015 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix taking place between November 27 and 29.The new service was originally scheduled to begin on December 1, 2015 and will replace one of the existing Boeing 777 services.Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said: “Etihad Airways is committed to reimagining the travel experience to offer the ultimate in luxury, comfort and service for our guests.“The overwhelmingly positive response we have received to our A380 service on our Abu Dhabi to London and Sydney routes, as well as for our upcoming launch to New York has exceeded our expectations.“With the early introduction of our A380 service into New York, we look forward to further redefining what world-class air travel can be for our guests traveling on Etihad Airways across all classes of service.”From the moment they begin their journey, guests in The Residence enjoy the ultimate in luxury: a chauffeur-driven transfer to the airport; up to two guests on board will experience a private three-room suite that includes a living room, a double bedroom, and a separate ensuite shower room.Guests also have access to the Etihad Lifestyle Concierge team, which works closely with the airline’s inflight, Savoy-trained butler to deliver highly personalised service both on the ground and in the air, including dining reservations, entertainment bookings, special events, destination information and lifestyle services.The nine First Apartments in First Class are completely private living spaces featuring a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman, which opens up to become a separate 80.5 inch long fully-flat bed.A total of 70 Business Studios are located on the upper deck of the A380, all offering direct aisle access, a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long, and an increase of 20 per cent in personal space.The Lobby, a luxurious lounge located between the First Class and Business Class cabins, features two comfortable leather sofas and a staffed bar serving a wide selection of hot snacks and refreshments.The main deck features 415 Economy Smart Seats, which provide enhanced comfort with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat, adjustable lumbar support, and a seat width of almost 19 inches.Etihad Airways has introduced the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system on its A380 fleet, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, improved gaming, and high definition screens across all cabins. The A380 has full mobile and Wi-Fi service, with USB and power points at every seat.Etihad Airways will offer daily service with the airline’s new A380 between the two cities, with EY103 departing Abu Dhabi at 3:20 a.m. and arriving at 9:10 a.m. in New York. The return flight, EY102, will depart New York at 2:30 p.m. and arrive the next day in Abu Dhabi at 12:15 p.m. Fly Etihad AirwaysSource = Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways to open spectacular new first class lounge at Abu DhabiEtihad Airways will open a new First Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 3 in May 2016.It will be for the exclusive use of guests in First Class and The Residence as well as Etihad Guest Platinum and Etihad Airways Partners Platinum members.The investment and development of the new world-leading facility highlights the airline’s commitment to its top-tier guests.Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The new First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi will be the jewel in the crown of our ever-growing global lounge portfolio, a showcase of intelligent design and innovation, and the world’s best premium airport experience.“We are confident that it will deliver a product and service which is as highly acclaimed as it is inflight and look forward to unveiling its many unique features with great pride.”The state-of-the-art space combines modern Arabian design elements and the understated elegance and luxury synonymous with the Etihad Airways brand, demonstrating the airline’s legendary hospitality and constant drive for perfection in its multi-award-winning First Class experience, both on the ground and in the air. Fly Etihad AirwaysSource = Etihad Airways
Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand Forty media representatives from across Europe and the Middle East attended the welcome reception on 15 May, 2016 that kicked start the eight-day mega joint fam trip, featuring Eastern Seaboard Thailand and Cambodia. Top media from Europe and the Middle East are currently embarking on over a week-long mega joint familiarisation trip that combines travel opportunities in Thailand and Cambodia.The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia and Bangkok Airways are hosting the fam trip, which takes place from 15 – 23 May, 2016, as part of a wider ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) connectivity initiative and to highlight secondary destinations in Eastern Thailand that can be combined with trips to neighbouring Cambodia.ASEAN officially launched the AEC last December and one of the objectives is to facilitate cross-border travel within the community.Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Executive Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Region said, “This mega fam trip will create awareness of Thailand’s gateway status to neighbouring ASEAN and provide insights and inspiration to build multi-destination itineraries while offering exceptional holidays along our Eastern Seaboard provinces. Thailand is also a convenient entry and exit point to explore destinations in neighbouring Cambodia”.TAT offices across Europe and the Middle East invited 40 media representatives. They are currently participating in the fam trip, which includes product briefings and updates on new destinations and attractions woven into an eight-day itinerary featuring Eastern Seaboard Thailand and Cambodia.Positioning Thailand as an ASEAN gateway, the mega fam trip programme underscores the potential for multiple destination holidays that explore neighbours; Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam.The latest mega fam trip project is based on routes and themes that will illustrate the diversity of travel opportunities in Eastern Thailand and neighbouring Cambodia.The mega fam trip offers three thematic routes focusing on Ancient Wisdom, Heritage and Nature; Heritage Rediscovered and Exploring the Beaten Track for the first four days in Eastern Thailand. They will be followed by a trip to explore Cambodia, crossing the border in Trat province in Eastern Thailand.Ancient Wisdom, Heritage and Nature covers the route Prachin Buri to Chanthaburi. The trip focuses on medical tourism products; such as, the study of traditional medicine and its fascinating history linked to the Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital. There is also a visit to the Ban Dong Bang Samunphrai Community to plant medicinal herbs, while enjoying time-out at the Chanthabun Riverside Community.Heritage Rediscovered covers the route Chanthaburi to Trat. It explores the tourism products and lifestyle experience of the Chanthabun Riverside community and visits historical sites at Wang Suan Ban Kaeo and Ban Luang Rajamaitri Historic Inn. The focus on community-based tourism extends to a gem mine and a community famed for its gem cutting and polishing in Chanthaburi and the Ban Chang Thun community and Trat Museum.Exploring the Beaten Track covers the route Nakhon Nayok to the Chang Island archipelago in Trat province. The trip focuses on river related and marine soft adventure activities; such as, rafting at Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam and a visit to Chang Island’s famed beaches and archipelago where island communities are noted for sustainable tourism experiences like marine tourism in the Ban Nam Chiao communityTAT’s multi-destination fam trips are based on feedback that suggested more than 60% of media and travel agency participants on past trips sought to combine more than one ASEAN destination into their tour itineraries. Visit Thailand
PTM Nakita Byrne Makes History The proud TravelManagers team (from left) BPM Julie Anderson, CEO Joe Araullo, Executive General Manager Michael Gazal, PTMs Nakita Byrne and Kim Mason, Chairman Barry Mayo and PTM Merran WigginsPTM Nakita Byrne Makes History with Avis Scholarship Award WinPersonal travel manager (PTM) Nakita Byrne has more than one reason to celebrate after being crowned this year’s winner of the Avis Travel Agents Scholarship of Excellence in Sydney early this week.Thirty-year-old Byrne representative for Wellington in New South Wales, was honoured to be nominated as a finalist, and completely surprised and humbled by her award win.“I had applied for the scholarship in previous years, so I felt blessed to being a finalist. It’s an absolute privilege to be recognised in this way. To be honest, winning was a complete surprise as I knew I was up against some extremely strong and accomplished competition. I am grateful to have worked with some inspiring people in travel over the last 13 years who have all helped me get to where I am today. Honestly, I’m blown away. This award means so much to me.”Byrne pays tribute to TravelManagers and her colleagues including PTM Kim Mason, representative for Cronulla in Sydney who was also a finalist.“My last three years as a TravelManagers’ PTM has been my most rewarding. My greatest reward is planning an incredible holiday for my clients and with two children under three years, being able to work in an industry that I love that also affords me flexibility and work-life balance really is the icing on the cake. My congratulations to all the other finalists, in particular my colleague Kim who is as passionate about travel and providing exceptional customer service as I am.”For TravelManagers, the 21st year of Avis Travel Agents Scholarship of Excellence will be one for the history books. As Executive General Manager Michael Gazal explains, “It’s a trio of firsts for TravelManagers.”“Nakita’s win is significant as not only is this TravelManagers inaugural award win, we actually had fifty percent of the finalists with Kim Mason also in the running and for thefirst time all finalists were home-based travel professionals. We congratulate both Nakita and Kim on their significant achievements. They have embraced the home-based technology and they certainly deliver on the TravelManagers’ promise of providing expert advice with exceptional and consistent customer service. It is this attention to detail that sets them apart from the rest of the industry.”Gazal sees Byrne’s win and Mason’s finalist nomination as further demonstrating TravelManagers growing dominance and commitment and strength of its PTM model.“Last night was the 21st year of Avis Travel Agents Scholarship of Excellence and with 21 being a symbol of initiation into adulthood, it was fitting that for the very first time all finalists were home-based travel professionals. I really see this as a coming of age for TravelManagers home-based technology and with PTMs strong focus on individual customised travel planning and personalised service it really does seem to be the way of the future.”Traditionally only written entry submissions were eligible. Yet this year Avis allowed other forms of entries in addition to the written submission.“Social media is a huge part of my business and keeping in touch with my clients so I jumped at the chance to present my initial qualifying presentation by video and highlighting the social media tools I use daily. It was a fun way to communicate my key messages and I had lots of fun doing it too,” says Byrne.For Byrne, this experience highlighted again how much she loves being part of the TravelManagers family.“I have received so many congratulatory wishes from my fellow PTMs, it makes me realise how incredibly lucky I am to be a part of the TravelManagers family. We all genuinely care about each other’s successes and you can’t ask for more than that.”Byrne is looking forward to next year with excitement.“To now have twelve months professional coaching with Polonious Resources is massive for my business. I’m from a small country town and opportunities like this, even to attend these big events such as Cruise 360 and the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards don’t come around often – and of course the overseas trip just tops it all off! I’m really excited for what this next year will bring!”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599 About TravelManagersTravel Managers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2017. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 500 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases. Source = TravelManagers
Hong Kong artist Bao HoTRYP Fortitude Valley gets a fresh lick of paintBrisbane’s only street art hotel has received a fresh lick of paint with two very different new murals added by international artists this week.Hong Kong artist Bao Ho, the first woman to add to TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel, Brisbane’s collection, and Colombian artist Gris One took to the walls to wrap up the Brisbane Street Art Festival.Bao Ho creates freestyle murals and illustrations featuring animated characters. She has collaborated with various international brands and worked on projects across the world, including in Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Italy and the Czech Republic.Gris One works around the world creating multi-colour compositions inspired by nature and day-to-day city life.“Street art is a key facet of TRYP Fortitude Valley’s identity and one of our main drawcards for guests, so it’s exciting to have some new additions to our collection,” said Hotel Manager Kim Knowles.“We are proud to be able to give artists a platform to display their work while strengthening the street art culture in Brisbane.”Each floor at TRYP Fortitude Valley features works by a different artist, including Fintan Magee, Beastman, Rone and Numskull.Nestled amid the city’s vibrant cultural precinct, close to iconic bars, restaurants, galleries and other attractions, the hotel offers well-appointed rooms complete with coffee pod machines, interactive Lifestylepanel televisions and complimentary Wi-Fi.TRYP Fortitude Valley also provides excellent service and impressive facilities including an onsite gym, meeting room, UP on Constance rooftop bar and ground floor burger restaurant, Chur.For more information and to book, visit trypbrisbane.com Source = TRYP by Wyndham
Tourisme Montreal is spearheading an initiative to attract a wide range of new investors to the city in an effort to diversify available tourist attractions and events to bring about a broader and more varied experience. Developing the local tourism product has thus become a priority in the Tourisme Montreal’s strategic plan for 2014-18.An Investment Development Committee was created in 2014 to oversee the initiative. Led by Tourisme Montréal, the group includes Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, the Business Development Bank of Canada and Montréal International. The committee aims to develop a better understanding of business opportunities for tourist products, analyse the competition, solicit investors and forge connections with local businesses, private investors and international real estate developers.With a dynamic tourism industry, substantial growth in 2015, promising projections for 2016 and the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations on the agenda for 2017, Montréal is well positioned to attract new tourism players, which will in turn foster growth within the city.“Product development is closely linked with Tourisme Montréal’s mission and the various tourism and financial leaders have to be proactive in attracting international investors to promote growth in Montréal and enhance the city’s reputation,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.“Investing in the tourism industry is investing in local job creation. Fonds de solidarité FTQ recognises how important this sector is for Quebec’s economy and has supported its development ever since we began investment activities in the late 1980s,” said Janie Béïque, Senior Vice-President, Industry, Entertainment and Consumer Goods at Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
Technology has changed the traditional landscape of the travel and tourism businesses.Constant innovation and increasing penetration of smartphones married with powerful Internet technologies is fast rendering the present techniques of doing travel and tourism business obsolete.The web based online revolution has meant that the traditional distribution systems are being supplemented and competed by immensely powerful and efficient distribution systems of travel products and content.Some of the tech companies have proved that fast-emerging technologies like ‘Big Data’, ‘Internet of Things’ and Mobile Apps are more than just buzzwords for the travel industry and can be used to deliver highly personalised content and seamless user experiences across multiple channels.From bookings, payments, cab-hailing and activity planning/reservations, each aspect of the travel experience is going under a sea-change. The era of automation and technology is upon us and we are seeing evidence of its impact every day.As with any generational shift in technology, however, the opportunities arrive hand-in-hand with the potential for significant disruption, which naturally bring many challenges – competitive and creative – for our industry to consider.The techforum@OTM is a niche platform to connect, engage and deliberate on these aspects, mainly for prospective buyers and sellers of these technologies. It is conceived as ‘show in show’ concept which means a distinct area in the OTM will be earmarked for the segment, with a well equipped tech theatre and a tech cafe, on the lines of other international travel shows.There are a number of travel technology sellers who have been participating in the OTM in the past. The idea is to cater to their needs and engage many more sellers and buyers of this important and fast growing segment, from OTM 2016 by creating a distinct segment as above, with a differentiated stage catering to the unique needs of this segment where product presentation and education are integrated part of selling and buying.
In addition to consolidating its position as an indispensable tourists destination, Turkey, in the recent years has created a niche in health tourism. It has primarily become a center of hair implantation by welcoming people from more than 70 countries who demanded hair implant services.Highlighting that Turkey has emerged as a pioneer and the “reference country” in hair transplantation across the world, Özlem Safiye Kurt, Council Member of Turkish Medical Tourism Development, announced that last there had been 31% increase in health tourism where more than 1 million arrivals amounted to health tourism leading to foreign exchange inflow of more than USD 10 billion.“Turkey is one of the leading countries in the world in the field of hair transplantation. Our doctors dealing with health tourism have serious hand skills attracting attention from around the world. Our achievements in this area are spreading throughout the world with every passing day. We aim to increase this figure to a much higher point by 2023. “Pointing out that Turkey has come under the spotlight in this area on a global scale. Kurt noted that demand from Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar are high and from equally responsive from European countries like Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France.According to Kurt, hair transplantation operations worldwide are expensive hence paying half the price in Turkey, along with its geographical proximity and hospitality people prefer Turkey which overall makes a positive contribution in the development of tourism potential in Turkey.
Want to live like a kingpin? You’re in luck, because “”according to Zillow””:http://www.zillow.com/blog/2012-08-21/house-of-the-week-al-capones-estate/, the Florida estate once belonging to Al Capone is on the market for $9.95 million. The legendary gangster moved into the stunning and storied house on Miami Beach’s Palm Island in 1928, and he called the seaside property home before and after his imprisonment for tax evasion, living in the luxurious pad until his death in 1947. The website reports that the 30,000-square-foot abode still boasts many details from Capone’s day, despite having had several owners and multiple renovations, and speaking to Zillow, a source described the home as “”old Cuba, Havana style.”” Potential buyers should be aware, however, that the tony property comes with a dubious history and was said to have been Capone’s headquarters for planning the infamous Valentine’s Day Massacre.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE] in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Al Capone’s Former Florida Estate Lists for $9.95M Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Celebrity Homes Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-08-21 Abby Gregory August 21, 2012 459 Views Share
National Association of Home Builders single-family residential construction 2015-04-09 Scott_Morgan in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News NAHB Says Single-Family Residential Construction Generates Millions for Communities April 9, 2015 443 Views Share Single-family homebuilding activity adds millions to local economies and, on average, hundreds of new jobs, according to the latest look by the National Association of Homebuilders into the economic impact of residential construction.On Thursday, the NAHB released “The Economic Impact of Home Building in a Typical Local Area,” which looks at income and job creation and the tax benefits generated whenever new homes are built‒‒or, as the report puts it, “the ripple impact that occurs when income earned from construction activity is spent and recycles in the local economy.”According to the findings, construction of 100 single-family homes pumps an average of $28.7 million in income into a typical local economy in the first year. This, the NAHB says, adds $3.6 million to local tax rolls while providing 394 new jobs. Annually recurring benefits after construction is completed, on average, generate $4.1 million in local income, $1 million in taxes, and 69 local jobs.“These are ongoing, annual local impacts that result from the new homes becoming occupied, and the occupants paying taxes and otherwise participating in the local economy year after year,” the report states. These “ongoing impacts” also factor in property tax hikes, and are based on homes that will be valued at an average price of $378,000.The study also looks at the effects of multi-family construction and residential modeling. According to the NAHB, typical multi-family construction generates $11.7 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes, and 161 local jobs. Meanwhile, in communities where residents typically spend at least $1 million on remodeling, construction will generate $841,000 in income, $71,000 in taxes, and 11 local jobs.Additionally, because remodeled homes generally are occupied before any remodeling takes place, the annual local impacts are typically about $11,000 in residential property taxes. Job estimates are measured in full-time equivalents—i.e., enough work to keep one worker employed full-time for a year, the report states.
in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News CFPB Federal Reserve OCC Truth in Lending Act 2016-07-25 Seth Welborn July 25, 2016 517 Views Agencies Propose Changes for Determining TILA Exemption The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have jointly issued a proposal detailing the methodology that will be used to determine the thresholds at which certain small loans will be exempt from the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The agencies are seeking public comment on their proposal.The three agencies proposed rules amending interpretations for regulations implementing Section 129H of the Truth in Lending Act, which adds special requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans or “higher risk mortgages.” The final rules for implementing these requirements were jointly issued by the OCC, the Fed, the CFPB, the FDIC, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in January 2014.Those rules issued two and a half years ago included requiring creditors to obtain a written appraisal based on a physical visit to the interior of the home before a high-priced mortgage loan is approved.An exemption for loans of $25,000 or less was included in the rules for implementing these appraisal requirements; the rules provide that the exemption threshold will be adjusted based on inflation—specifically, to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CIP-W), according to the agencies.The agencies are proposing a new method for calculating the exemption threshold that will keep pace with the CIP-W and clarifies that if there is no increase in the CIP-W during a given year, the exemption threshold should not be adjusted from the prior year.Comments on the proposed rule are due 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which the agencies said they expect shortly. To comment on the proposal, email email@example.com.Click here to view the agencies’ proposal. Share
Affordability Appreciation Home Prices 2018-09-25 Seth Welborn Home price appreciation slowed in July, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. The Index reported a 6 percent annual gain in July year over year, down from June’s 6.2 percent. Month over month, the National index reported a 0.4 percent increase. David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, discussed what impact the slowing, but still rising, appreciation rates have had on affordability.“Rising homes prices are beginning to catch up with housing,” said Blitzer. “Housing starts rose in August due to strong gains in multifamily construction. The index of housing affordability has worsened substantially since the start of the year.”Ruben Gonzalez, Chief Economist for Keller Williams notes the impact of the inventory shortage on appreciation.“We have started to see some evidence that inventory restrictions may begin to ease in some markets; however, levels are still low and we expect to continue to see year-over-year price gains in the 5 to 7 percent range in the near term nationally,” said Gonzalez. “If inventory does begin to increase, we may see the pace of growth slow slightly moving into 2019.”According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, the slowing of appreciation has not improved affordability concerns and notes the possible upcoming rate hike’s impact.“Although the national pace has slowed, home prices continued their relentless march upward in July,” said Hale. “Coupled with mortgage rate increases, higher prices are stifling home sales as more buyers are priced out of the market. Affordability is only going to become more of an issue after the Fed raises rates this week and is likely to cause even more trouble for home sales. The solution to our affordability problem is Economics 101 — if we add more supply through new construction, it will help meet buyer demand and soften the pace of price increases.”Cheryl Young, Senior Economist for Trulia, also commented on the affordability concerns. Young’s comments mirror Hale’s: slower price growth has not been enough to improve affordability.””This marks the fourth consecutive month that annual home price growth has slowed, and the lowest the index has been since September, 2017,” said Young. “With slumping or flat new and existing home sales, another month of price deceleration points to a softening housing market. July saw mortgage rates dipped slightly after hitting highs unseen since May 2011, but this did not offer much solace to home buyers already facing severe unaffordability in the housing market” September 25, 2018 738 Views The Impact of Slowing Appreciation on Housing Share in Daily Dose, Data, News, Origination
Affordability Energy Efficiency Freddie Mac GreenCHOICE Mortgages Home Financing Homeownership 2018-11-20 Krista Franks Brock Addressing the Hidden Cost of Homeownership The monthly mortgage payment is the most obvious cost of homeownership, but several other factors come into play in the total cost of owning a home. Freddie Mac is currently working to reduce and study one additional cost of homeownership: utility costs.According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans generally spend about $2,200 per year on energy bills, primarily on heating and cooling their homes. This cost is usually not factored into mortgage underwriting, “meaning that the value of energy efficiency has been overlooked in first lien financing,” Freddie Mac explained in an announcement last week.Freddie Mac is on a mission to change that with its GreenCHOICE Mortgage program, which it is continuing to build. Last week, the GSE announced further enhancements to the program, which provides financing for energy efficiency improvements and energy efficient homes. Families can obtain financing for energy and/or water efficiency improvements to their homes, which will help lower their overall utility costs.Freddie Mac believes its GreenCHOICE program ultimately “places families in a better financial situation and helps preserve home affordability over time,” the GSE stated in a November bulletin discussing the program.“Older homes tend to be more energy inefficient, which may raise the cost of homeownership and may make them more difficult to maintain,” said Mike Dawson, VP of Single-Family Affordable Lending Strategy and Policy at Freddie Mac.He continued: “GreenCHOICE Mortgages is part of a multiyear initiative to facilitate energy-saving improvements that could help families better sustain homeownership.”Freddie Mac is partnering with Rocky Mountain Institute, RESNET, the Institute for Market Transformation, and the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct further research and to promote further understanding of energy-efficient offerings.“With a deeper understanding of the value of energy efficiency, as well as an increased awareness of Freddie Mac’s solutions and underwriting requirements, lenders will have more opportunities to expand their green product offerings in the marketplace,” said Robert Sahadi, Senior Advisor to the Rocky Mountain Institute.Freddie Mac’s GreenCHOICE Mortgages program is a component of its broader “Duty to Serve” plan, which is aimed at serving underserved markets, including rural and manufactured housing and other affordable options for buyers and renters with very low, low, and moderate incomes. November 20, 2018 816 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Origination, Secondary Market Share
You might also be interested in Australia ups efforts against Queensland fruit fly … September 20 , 2018 Woolworths has also suspended sales of needles online, though they were still available on the website of Coles, its major competitor.Needles were first reported in strawberries in the state of Queensland last week, but they’ve since been found in all six Australian states, in at least six brands. There are also isolated cases of needles in a banana and an apple.Australia exports strawberries to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE, among others. One big retailer in New Zealand has already withdrawn Australian strawberries from sale.Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described those who have hidden needles in fruit as “cowards” and “grubs”, urging people to continuing buying strawberries with care.He also announced new laws will be introduced so people contaminating strawberries face more jail time.For more in-depth coverage of the strawberry crisis, please read our latest article: Solidarity against strawberry sabotage: Community lifts Aussie grower spirits AUSVEG welcomes first female ag minister … Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to … Australian police say that a mango was sold with a small needle in it, prompting fresh fears over the country’s fruit, CNN reported.A spokesman for police in New South Wales told CNN that a customer bought a mango with the sharp item inside it in West Gosford.The announcement comes on the same day Australian retail giant Woolworths temporarily pulled sewing needles from its stores after at least 100 reported cases of the objects being inserted into strawberries nationwide.”We’ve taken the precautionary step of temporarily removing sewing needles from sale in our stores,” Woolworths said in a statement. “The safety of our customers is our top priority.” AUS: Proposed Great Barrier Reef regulations ‘igno …
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In order to conserve space I won’t be commenting on all the picks made, save for a quick synopsis in between divisional picks.1. Kansas City Chiefs- Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&MI wouldn’t be shocked if the Chiefs went defense with Star Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd, or surprised everyone and took Geno Smith because Andy Reid is crazy. But Joeckel is the favorite right now it seems, and it makes sense… I guess.2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Geno Smith, QB West VirginiaBlaine Gabbert has no ties to the coaching staff in Jacksonville anymore, and this is a great way for a new regime to start off. Smith has all the characteristics of a franchise changer, and he could be just that for the Jaguars.3. Oakland Raiders- Barkevious Mingo, DE LSUWhether it’s Sharrif Floyd, Dion Jordan or Star Lotulelei, I don’t see the Raiders going any other direction than defense unless Geno Smith is available.Mingo gives the Raiders the pass rusher they are yearning for and should be a dynamic addition to the Raiders defense that is lacking.4. Philadelphia Eagles- Eric Fisher, OT Central MichiganDion Jordan seems to be the consensus pick here, and when that happens, much like Joeckel to KC and Floyd to Oakland, that means it’s either a smokescreen that everyone’s bought or they aren’t hiding what their intentions are. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share 19. New York Giants- Cornelius Carradine, DE Florida State20. Chicago Bears- Arthur Brown, ILB Kansas St21. Cincinnati Bengals- DJ Fluker, OT AlabamaMy thoughts: the Steelers replace Mike Wallace, the Cowboys get DeMarcus Ware some help along the defensive line for their transition to the 4-3 defense, the Giants restock the defensive end position, the Bears get their replacement for Urlacher in the draft at pick 20, and the Bengals replace one Crimson Tide right tackle with another.22. St. Louis Rams- Jonathan Cyprien, S Florida InternationalThe Rams end up strengthening two weaknesses, and growing stronger in perhaps the toughest division in the NFL.23. Minnesota Vikings- Andre Hopkins, WR Clemson24. Indianapolis Colts- Datone Jones, DE UCLA25. Minnesota Vikings- Manti Te’o, ILB Notre Dame26. Green Bay Packers- Tyler Eifert, TE Green Bay27. Houston Texans- Keenan Allen, WR California28. Denver Broncos- Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State29. New England Patriots- Robert Woods, WR USC30. Atlanta Falcons- Desmond Trufant, CB WashingtonMy thoughts: the Vikings need to replace Percy Harvin and Jasper Brinkley, and do so with two solid first round additions. The Colts’ 3-4 defense gets its pass rusher in Datone Jones, the Packers are able to add another weapon for Aaron Rodgers, the Texans will finally get some help at the wide receiver position, while the Patriots get a weapon on the outside for Tom Brady — and a dynamic playmaker at that. The Falcons round out the picks with a replacement for the departed Brent Grimes. We’re through with the meat of the free agency period and into the point of the offseason where most teams begin to focus in on the draft, set up their boards and decide on who will be the answer for their team.In mock draft 2.0 we still don’t know for sure who the Chiefs are taking at one, which team is going to get their quarterback in Geno Smith and, most importantly, who is going to be the pick for the Cardinals at number seven. While Jordan makes sense in what the Eagles want to do defensively, I think Fisher is the pick here because he will bring that athletic versatility the Eagles desperately need for the Chip Kelly offense.The other possibility that no one is talking about is Lane Johnson. He is a superior athlete to Fisher, albeit not by much, and may be have the highest ceiling of any of the tackles in the draft.5. Detroit Lions- Ezekiel Ansah, DE BYUI changed this pick back and forth between Ansah and Lane Johnson probably ten times before I left it with the freak defensive end. The reason is simple: Ansah plays a more important position, and the Lions need a guy who could get after the quarterback. When taking a chance on getting to the quarterback or protecting, you typically see teams err on the side of getting to the quarterback.6. Cleveland Browns- Dion Jordan, OLB OregonCould you imagine the different ways that Ray Horton could have fun with Jordan? Man, the Browns defense is going to be a joy to watch in the near future.7. Arizona Cardinals- Lane Johnson, OT OklahomaThe more I look at the draft unfolding, the more I see the Cardinals having a decision to make at the seventh pick. My thoughts: The Bills signing Kolb makes the quarterback market dry up slightly, but he needs weapons, and Austin is the ultimate weapon. The Jets need a pass rusher, and a quick fix, as head coach Rex Ryan is on borrowed time. With the signing of Andy Levitre, the Titans have moved their needs, and getting a cornerback like Milliner would be a great addition. The Chargers get Phillip RIvers some protection with maybe the best player in the draft. Meanwhile, in South Beach the Dolphins are closing in on being good, and getting stronger at the corner position is a must. The Buccaneers and Panthers add disruptive forces at the defensive tackle positions, and the Saints round out the picks with a new defensive quarterback for the Rob Ryan defense.16. St. Louis Rams- Jonathan Cooper, OG North CarolinaWhile Chance Warmack waited impatiently for his name to be called first he may have competition for the first guard to be drafted. The Rams upgrade their offensive line with an elite athlete at guard in Cooper. Getting Cooper allows the Rams to upgrade the running game and passing game.17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Tennessee18. Dallas Cowboys- Sylvester Williams, DT North Carolina Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 31. San Francisco 49ers- Margus Hunt, DE SMUWhile the 49ers aren’t necessarily in need of immediate help on the defensive line, adding Hunt will allow them to slowly transition from Justin Smith, and who better to learn from than Smith himself.32. Baltimore Ravens- Kevin Minter, LB LSUThe Ravens get their replacement for Ray Lewis on the field in form of the play making inside backer from LSU. Sit and wait for a player like Johnson, Chance Warmack or Jarvis Jones that may be considered reaches at that point, take the best player of value available like a Dee Milliner, Star Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd, or move down.Teams like San Diego, Tennessee, Carolina and Miami could all be interested in making a move up; the Cowboys made a similar move last season and gave up a second round pick, so could the Cardinals make a smaller move and gain a third and still get a player they want in Warmack, Cooper or maybe even Johnson. It is intriguing, but not something I will mock because trades are tough to predict.That means the Cardinals take Johnson, the same as what I mocked last time. Wouldn’t be my choice, but is a reality based on what the first six picks in the draft may end up looking like.8. Buffalo Bills- Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia9. New York Jets- Jarvis Jones, OLB Georgia10. Tennessee Titans- Dee Milliner, CB Alabama11. San Diego Chargers- Chance Warmack, OG Alabama12. Miami Dolphins- Xavier Rhodes, CB Florida State13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Star Lotulelei, DT Utah14. Carolina Panthers- Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida15. New Orleans Saints- Kenny Vaccaro, SS Texas
“No, not at all,” Arians joked when asked if he’d miss the venerable stadium located on the western shore of the San Francisco Bay. Although Arians is new to the Cardinals, there are likely many in the organization who feel the same way, solely based on the team’s results there.The Cardinals are just 5-14 as the visitors at Candlestick, and only 3-11 since moving to the Valley in 1988. The Niners have won the last four meetings between the teams in San Francisco by an average score of 29-8.Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer, who attended his first NFL game at Candlestick, feels a little different about the stadium.“I do have an affection for it, growing up in California, you saw a lot of games on TV at Candlestick,” Palmer said. “I’m excited to play there.”This will be Palmer’s second career game at Candlestick. The first came on December 15, 2007, as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer completed 19-of-31 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough as the 49ers prevailed 20-13. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Candlestick Park has been part of the National Football League since 1971.That will change next season as the San Francisco 49ers will relocate to the brand new, $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara in time for the 2014 season.The Arizona Cardinals are preparing for their final trip to Candlestick Park as they’ll meet the 49ers Sunday in an important early-season NFC West matchup.Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians doesn’t feel all that nostalgic about the stadium they call “The Stick.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories 0 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
Fitting really that on the day the Arizona Cardinals inducted former safety Adrian Wilson into the Ring of Honor, the defense would take center stage, a spot Wilson enjoyed for so many years during his All-Pro career.Behind four takeaways, including pick-6s by Justin Bethel and Tryann Mathieu, two sacks and a safety, the Cardinals blitzed the San Francisco 49ers, 47-7, before a soldout University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Cardinals have won three straight—two in a row at home—and 13 of the past 17 meetings.In last year’s matchups, both Palmer and Drew Stanton suffered season-ending injuries; Palmer on Nov. 9, Stanton on Dec. 11.Overall, the Cardinals are 36-35-2 all-time in a series that dates back to 1937. – / 42 San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) is tackled in the end zone for a safety by Arizona Cardinals strong safety Deone Bucannon (20) and Kevin Minter, bottom, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo STAT OF THE GAME14: The number of points scored by the Cardinals defenseHE SAID IT“If you relax, I’ll be looking for new people. Put your foot on their throat,” head coach Bruce Arians said at halftime according to Paul Calvisi on the Arizona Cardinals radio network.NOTEDAlex Okafor exited the game briefly after suffering a finger injury midway through the third quarterPalmer’s 300-yard passing performance was his ninth in 25 games with the CardinalsPalmer has thrown multiple touchdown passes in eight of his last nine starts and 16 of his last 20For the first time in team history, the Cardinals have three pick-6s in the season’s first three gamesFor the first time since 1969, the Cardinals reached the 40-point mark in consecutive gamesFor the first time since 1923-24, the Cardinals have started 3-0 in back-to-back seasonsAmong the Cardinals’ inactives included running back Andre Ellington and guard Mike IupatiUP NEXTOnce again, the Cardinals find themselves hosting a division opponent.They welcome St. Louis on Sunday, Oct. 4. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning four hours earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Top Stories The Cardinals (3-0) scored 24 points off turnovers.Carson Palmer passed for 311 yards and two touchdowns in winning his NFL-best ninth straight start. He improved to 16-2 in his last 18 starts.Palmer’s number-one target was once again Larry Fitzgerald, who finished with nine catches for 134 yards and two scores.Fitzgerald was the Cardinals leading receiver for the third straight week.The ground game excelled as well.Chris Johnson topped 100 yards, ending with 110 on 22 carries including two touchdowns.The Cardinals’ 3-0 start is their second in as many seasons.THE GOODThe “Larry” chants began early as No. 11 was targeted three times on the opening drive, including the first two snaps of the game. Fitzgerald caught passes for 21 yards and 13 yards before the offense was forced to punt. Fitzgerald now has at least one reception in 166 consecutive regular season games (173 including playoffs), a franchise record and longest active streak in the league.Quite the first quarter for Fitzgerald, who finished with five catches for 90 yards, a career-best first-quarter mark, surpassing his previous high of 75 yards. Three of those catches—23, 16 and 17 yards—came on the Cardinals second offensive possession, which ended with a Chris Johnson six-yard touchdown run, his first with Arizona, that made the score 21-0 with 14:56 to play in the first half. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires And because 13 is considered an unlucky number, Fitzgerald recorded his 14th career score against the Niners on an eight-yard catch to make it 47-7 with 5:15 to play in the fourth quarter. It was Fitzgerald’s second touchdown of the game and fifth of the season, more than any player in Cardinals history through the season’s first three games.THE BADIt’s not often heard, but referee Tony Corrente called out No. 68, left tackle Jared Veldheer, three times, all on the same drive in the first half, because of penalties. The first was a holding call, which negated a 44-yard catch by Michael Floyd; and then a pair of false start mistakes. The Cardinals were penalized four times in the first half.A low punt plus good return equaled excellent starting field position for the Niners late in the second quarter. The punt by Drew Butler traveled 34 yards and lacked hangtime, allowing Jarryd Hayne to run 37 yards to the Cardinals 19. Three plays later, Kaepernick scored on a 12-yard rush, making it 28-7 Arizona with 2:03 to play in the first half.Let the record show Palmer finally hit the ground via a sack with roughly five minutes to play in the third quarter. Arik Armstead came off the edge, beating right tackle Bobby Massie for the sack, the first one allowed by the Cardinals offensive line in the season’s first 10-and-a-half quarters. On the Cardinals very next possession, Johnson added his second rushing touchdown, this time from a yard out on third down. Through three drives, Johnson had carried the ball 10 time for 63 yards with his second score giving the Cardinals a 28-0 lead with 7:49 to play in the first half. He finished with 110 yards, his seventh career 100-yard game. As a team, the Cardinals closed with 139 rushing yards.No team has scored more defensive touchdowns than the Cardinals since 2013. They added their 11th and 12th in the first six minutes of the game. First, Bethel, playing his first defensive snap of the season, intercepted Kaepernick and returned it 21 yards for a score; and then Mathieu recorded his first career pick-6 with a 33 yard run back. Mathieu added a second interception in the second quarter.On the first play of the second half, the Cardinals recorded their fourth takeaway of the game. It was Jerraud Powers with the interception of Kaepernick. Four plays later, Palmer found Fitzgerald in the end zone for a four-yard score, his 13th against the Niners, more than any other player against San Francisco. Fitzgerald also went over 100 yards receiving for a second straight game for the first time since 2011.