Karzai nominates new Afghan Cabinet members

first_img Top Stories Parliament must still approve the nominees. Ferdous said he had no information on whether more appointments were to come.Previously, people close to the administration had said they expected new appointees for attorney general and the head of the country’s election commission.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – An Afghan government spokesman says President Hamid Karzai has officially nominated four people to Cabinet positions proposed last week but so far held back from the rumored wider reshuffle.Administration affairs department spokesman Rafi Ferdous says Karzai officially filled four posts: former Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi as defense minister, former northern police chief Mushtaba Patang as interior minister, Border and Tribal Affairs Minister Assadullah Khalid as head of the country’s spy agency and former Kabul Gov. Azizullah Din Mohammad in Khalid’s vacated post.center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more


National Bank of Greece calls for Eurobank merger

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories Greek banks are under pressure to merge after experiencing severe damage from the three-year-old financial crisis and a major write-down in the country’s debt earlier this year.“Today’s public offer aims to create a broader banking group in Greece that will … stabilize the Greek banking system and provide the necessary financing to support Greece’s economic recovery,” NBG chairman George Zannias said in a statement.NBG said that together, the two lenders would have deposits of (EURO)87.9 billion ($114.3 billion), loans of (EURO)109.7 billion ($142.6 billion) and a network of 925 branches in Greece.Earlier Friday, Greek stock market authorities temporarily suspended trading in the two banks following media reports that a merger was possible.Anticipation of a deal fuelled a strong rally on the Athens stock market, with the benchmark general share index closing 5.05 percent up. The bank sector posted gains of nearly 10 percent.Shortly before the decision, NBG and Eurobank shares were up 4.5 and 5.5 percent, respectively.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project ATHENS, Greece (AP) – National Bank of Greece, the debt-crippled country’s biggest lender by assets, on Friday announced a public offer to merge with its largest domestic competitor, Eurobank.NBG said in a statement that the proposal called for Eurobank shareholders to receive 58 new shares for every 100 that they own. Eurobank CEO Nikolaos Nanopoulos said his bank’s board would examine the proposal “in a constructive spirit.” 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistcenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top holiday drink recipes Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more


Chile Allendes granddaughter wins her first race

first_img Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Parents, stop beating yourself up Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories In all, Chileans decided 345 mayor’s offices and 2,224 local council seats nationwide.With more than 90 percent of the vote counted, the ruling right-wing alliance was winning 37 percent of the seats, while parties of the divided left were winning 43 percent overall.Former President Ricardo Lagos called Sunday’s election, the first since Chile added five million new voters to the rolls by automatically registering all adults, the end of an era.By making voter registration automatic, Chile increased its electorate from 8.1 million to 13.4 million in the nation of 17 million. But with voting no longer mandatory, many stayed home, dismaying those who had hoped that so much social upheaval would lead to bigger changes.The old electorate had moved increasingly to the right as ever-fewer Chileans bothered to register and vote. After Sebastian Pinera’s 2009 presidential win ended 20 years of center-left rule, his center-right alliance agreed to expand the electorate only if the left agreed to make voting optional.Some analysts say the left’s concessions were a mistake, noting that wealthier people are more likely to vote even when it’s not mandatory. On Sunday night, the turnout appeared to confirm the left’s worst fears: in some districts, absenteeism reached 80 percent. The left’s biggest victory was in central Santiago, where Carolina Toha defeated Pablo Zalaquett of the ultra-conservative Independent Democratic Union. Toha served as former President Michelle Bachelet’s spokeswoman, and her father, Allende’s vice president, died after being jailed and tortured.Toha had sided with the students protesting for free, quality education in Chile, while Zalaquett ordered police to crack down on their demonstrations.“I will be a mayor for all,” Toha said in her victory speech. “Everyone will be listened to; no one will be excluded.”For many members of Chile’s student protest movement, which burst onto the scene last year with a series of massive demonstrations, this was their first chance to vote.The left also won in the capital’s upper-class Providencia district, where community leader Josefina Errazuriz ended retired Col. Cristian Labbe’s 16-year-hold on the mayor’s office. Labbe led Pinochet’s domestic intelligence agency during the dictatorship and has tried to bring Pinochet’s disciples back from the political wilderness.Center-right politicians held onto five other major cities, including Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, La Florida, Las Condes and San Bernardo, but they lost southern Concepcion, where the mayor was sharply criticized for her handling of the earthquake aftermath. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Associated PressSANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Maya Fernandez Allende, the granddaughter of Chile’s fallen socialist President Salvador Allende, won her first major political race on Sunday as leftist parties regained lost ground in municipal elections nationwide.The election featured millions of citizens voting for the first time after Chile greatly expanded its electorate, although absenteeism was also high.Fernandez, 41, defeated incumbent Mayor Pedro Sabat of the center-right National Renovation party in Nunoa, a district of the capital. A socialist and veterinarian by trade, she served on the local council in the district after growing up in Cuba, where her mother Beatriz lived in exile after President Allende died during Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 coup. Pinera called the absenteeism “a warning sign” for Chile’s democracy and pledged that his government will do all it can to increase participation in next November’s presidential elections.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more


The Iran deal A look at what it does and problems remaining

first_img–Snapback sanctions: World powers must devise a formula among themselves for quickly reinstating sanctions if the Iranians break the accord. For U.N. measures, Russia and China traditionally have opposed any plan that would see them lose their veto power.–Research and development: An April framework between world powers and Iran was vague on permitted levels of research and development. For advanced centrifuges, the U.S. said Iran can engage in “limited” R&D. After 10 years, it said Tehran must adhere to an R&D plan it submits to the IAEA. Khamenei said Iran won’t even accept an initial decade of such restrictions, calling the demands “excessive coercion.”—POLITICAL CHALLENGES–Congress: The Senate can weigh in but voting ‘no’ won’t kill the deal, because President Barack Obama doesn’t need congressional approval for a multinational deal that is not designated a treaty. Lawmakers have 30 days to review the agreement, during which Obama can’t ease penalties on Iran. If negotiations drag on past July 9 without a deal, that review period extends to 60 days. If lawmakers were to build a veto-proof majority behind new legislation enacting new sanctions or preventing Obama from suspending existing ones, the administration would be prevented from living up to the accord. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home –Underground enrichment facility: The restrictions are more severe at Iran’s Fordo enrichment facility, dug deep into a mountainside and possibly impervious to an air attack by the United States or Israel. Here, Iran cannot enrich uranium or conduct uranium-related research and development for at least 15 years as the site becomes a nuclear physics and technology research center. Centrifuges running at Fordo must use other material that cannot be turned into bombs.–Breakout time: The enrichment constraints are designed to extend the time it would take Iran to amass enough material for a bomb if it secretly attempts to develop one. The so-called breakout time for Iran is currently around two to three months. The U.S. says the deal extends the timeline to at least a year in the first decade.–Plutonium: Iran must redesign a nearly built heavy water reactor at its facility in Arak so it can’t produce weapons-grade plutonium. The original core of the reactor will be destroyed or exported. The Iranians can’t build another heavy water reactor for 15 years.–Transparency: The U.N’s International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor Iran’s nuclear facilities and have access to the program’s entire supply chain. Inspectors can examine uranium mines and mills, and maintain continuous surveillance of Iran’s centrifuge rotors and storage facilities for unused machines. Iran must allow the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert nuclear work. It will work with world powers on a list of actions to help the IAEA resolve decade-old suspicions about past Iranian nuclear weapons work. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall VIENNA (AP) — World powers and Iran are back in nuclear talks, and this round may be the deciding one.After nearly a decade of international diplomacy, negotiators are trying to reach a final agreement by Tuesday that would curb Iran’s nuclear activities for a decade and put tens of billions of dollars back into the Iranian economy through the easing of financial sanctions. The deadline is a bit soft; if they reach a deal any time in the next couple of weeks, negotiators will consider it a victory. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Top Stories Comments   Share   ErrorOK ErrorOK But significant obstacles remain.Iran says it won’t allow inspectors to visit military sites and interview scientists to ensure Iranian compliance. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, also says he wants all economic sanctions lifted before the deal is signed, while the U.S., Britain, France, China, Germany and Russia must still agree among themselves – and then with Iran – on a much-slower schedule for rolling back sanctions and a plan for snapping them back into place if the Iranians are caught cheating.Meanwhile, Israel is threatening potential military action to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and Saudi Arabia’s Sunni monarchy is considering an atomic program of its own to match that of its Shiite neighbor.Here is a look at the emerging Iran agreement, the remaining obstacles and the political challenges it faces:—WHAT’S ON THE TABLE?–Enrichment: To ease the biggest threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, negotiators are limiting the number of centrifuges Iran can keep installed to a little more than 6,000 for 10 years. Of these, some 5,000 can be in operation; they can only include Iran’s basic, least efficient model for enriching uranium. Uranium can be enriched for energy, medicine and science purposes, as Iran claims are its goals. It can also be spun into material for a nuclear warhead. The deal locks in place restrictions on Iran’s enrichment so material stays far below weapons-grade. It also forces Iran to deeply cut its stockpile of enriched uranium over 15 years.center_img Sponsored Stories –Iranian hardliners: When Iran’s parliament voted last weekend to ban access to military sites, some lawmakers chanted “Death to America.” The scene underscored the deep opposition to any understanding with a country that hardliners in Iran refer to as the “Great Satan.” Backed by Khamenei, they will examine the deal for any sign of concessions. And groups largely beyond the government’s control, such as the Revolutionary Guard Corps, may not be keen to implement the requirements.–Israel: The Jewish state’s leaders have lobbied aggressively against a deal they see as paving the way to a future Iranian nuclear arsenal, which they consider a grave national security threat. Israel has threatened for years to attack nuclear sites if it feels the Iranians are getting too close to weapons capacity. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appealed directly to Congress to maintain sanctions pressure on Iran.–Saudi Arabia: The Saudis, similarly, say they’ll do whatever it takes to guarantee their security. Along with the other Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia is particularly concerned about Iran recouping up to $100 billion in blocked assets overseas and funneling some of that money into insurgencies and terrorist activity throughout the Middle East. The Saudis have been coy on whether they may start a nuclear enrichment program to match Iran’s capabilities in response to an agreement. –France: The French have taken a public posture of being even tougher on proliferation than the Americans. They delayed a 2013 interim agreement with Iran out of concern that the deal wasn’t tough enough on Tehran. French officials have made similar complaints about the current, emerging package and threatened to block consensus unless their concerns are addressed.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility –Sanctions: U.S. and European nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA verifies Iranian compliance. If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be re-imposed. U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iran will be lifted simultaneously with Iran fulfilling commitments related to enrichment, Fordo, Arak and other matters. Disagreements will go to a dispute resolution process.—AREAS OF DISAGREEMENT–Inspections: Iran is playing hardball on military installations that nations have long suspected of nuclear involvement. Khamenei this week rejected allowing inspections or allowing Iranian scientists to be interviewed. The government enacted legislation this week banning such access. The U.S. has backed off its talk of “snap” or “anywhere, anytime” inspections. But it says a deal hinges on monitors being allowed to investigate what they deem necessary and within a reasonable period of time.–Sanctions relief: Iran wants sanctions lifted up front; the West says Iran must first fulfill its responsibilities. Khamenei says the U.S. approach takes too long and would not include a “complete lifting of sanctions.” The Obama administration is hamstrung in how fast it can move because of Congress. It also is struggling to separate sanctions it will suspend in an agreement from others it wants to keep, such as those counteracting Iranian ballistic missile efforts or punishing it for its human rights and terrorism records. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more


Suspects uncle is focus of investigation into 1975 slayings

first_img WASHINGTON (AP) — A day after charges were announced in the 40-year-old kidnapping and slayings of two sisters from Maryland, investigators are turning their attention to the suspect’s uncle and others they say were involved in the crime and subsequent cover-up.At a news conference Thursday in Virginia, police and prosecutors said they believe 70-year-old Richard Welch sexually abused at least one of the Lyon sisters. Twelve-year-old Sheila and 10-year-old Katherine Lyon were abducted from a suburban Maryland mall in March 1975. Authorities believe they were slain in Bedford County, Virginia, within three weeks of their abduction. Their bodies have never been found. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Lloyd Welch is charged with two counts of felony murder during an abduction with intent to defile. Police have not said who they believe killed the girls, but the felony murder statute allows Lloyd Welch to be charged with murder because of his alleged involvement in the kidnappings. Mike Brown, the Bedford County sheriff, said Thursday that the girls were taken so that Lloyd Welch and his uncle could sexually abuse them.“They were killed in order for their captors to escape detection,” Brown said.Authorities said they believe people are still withholding information about the slayings.“Those that have been involved in the actual crimes or in the recent cover-ups, obstruction, non-cooperation, here’s what I would say: Examine your conscience,” said Randy Krantz, the Bedford County commonwealth’s attorney.___Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Garrett said his investigation points to now-deceased relatives as Lloyd Welch’s “more likely accomplices.”Newly unsealed police affidavits also provided chilling details about what may have befallen the girls, whose disappearance haunted the suburban Washington community for decades and made parents question whether their children were safe unsupervised.According to the documents, Henry Parker, another relative of the Welches, told investigators that Lloyd Welch arrived at the family’s Bedford County property in 1975 with two Army-style duffel bags that were covered in red stains. The bags, Parker told police, weighed 60 to 70 pounds each and smelled like “death.”Parker told police that the bags were thrown onto a fire on the property, according to the documents. During their search of the site, police found possible bone fragments, the documents show.Francke said Thursday that Parker was another person investigators are focused on, although he did not categorize Parker as a person of interest.Francke also described an “ongoing conspiracy” to conceal what happened to the girls. Police documents describe numerous conversations between Richard Welch, his wife and other relatives that occurred after Lloyd Welch was identified as a person of interest last year. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Richard Welch remains a person of interest in the case but has not been charged. His wife, Patricia Welch, has been charged with perjury following her testimony before a grand jury last year. Their nephew Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr., 58, a child sex offender serving a lengthy sentence in a Delaware prison, is charged with the girls’ murder.According to a police affidavit, Lloyd Welch has told investigators that he saw his uncle raping one of the girls at his home the day after they were kidnapped, and investigators are continuing to build a case against Richard Welch, authorities said Thursday.“There is other evidence out there besides what Lloyd Welch has said,” said Capt. Darren Francke, commander of the major crimes division of the Montgomery County, Maryland, police department.Richard Welch’s attorney, Carter Garrett, challenged that assertion, saying his client maintains his innocence and has been smeared by his nephew.“Given all the resources expended trying to verify and corroborate Lloyd Welch’s accusations, it’s clear to me that they’ve not been able to do so. Otherwise, my client, he would be under indictment right now,” Garrett said Thursday. “It strongly suggests that my client is telling the truth and that he didn’t have anything to do with the disappearance of these little girls.” 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Parents, stop beating yourself up Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories FILE – This file handout image provided by the Montgomery County, Md., Police Department shows photos from the original missing person/suspicious circumstances bulletin for the 1975 disappearance of two sisters in Maryland, Sheila Lyon and Katherine Lyon, who never returned home from a shopping mall. Police and prosecutors from Montgomery County, Maryland, and Bedford County, Virginia, will hold a news conference Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Wheaton, Md., to announce what they call “significant developments” in the 40-year-old case. (AP Photo/Montgomery County, Md., Police Department) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Sponsored Stories last_img read more


Industry jobs to spike

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Jobs in the industry are expected to boom this year with experts predicting up to 250,000 new positions to become available in the hospitality sector.According to Tourism Training Australia chief executive Bill Galvin school leavers and young adults will fill the roles, Adelaide Now reported.”Even though Australia competes with 140 other countries for tourism dollars, we are faring very well, particularly in tourism out of Asia,” he said.Of the 250,000 positions available Mr Galvin expects 113,000 to be in NSW and between 34,000 to 50,000 to be filled by school leavers.“I know that many parents and school leavers are entirely focused on university, but there are great careers for people in manufacturing and engineering,” Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW secretary Tim Ayres said.”An apprenticeship in a traditional trade is a very good start…you work in an industry with good wages, good conditions, and a qualifications framework that means there’s opportunity for career advancement.”last_img read more


ekit a hit with tourism industry

first_imgTourism e-kit, an on-line marketing tool designed specifically for Australian tourism businesses, has been downloaded over 250,000 times as tourism operators across the country look to increase their online presence. Launched in 2008 by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), the free Tourism e-kit is made up of 41 easy to understand tutorials, available in PDF and video formats. ATDW chief executive Liz Ward said she was “astounded” by the interest the tool had generated, revealing that the initial goal was to hit 10,000 downloads in the e-kit’s first year. “One of the great things about the e-kit, is that it suits every tourism business,” Ms Ward said. “The e-kit is updated every six months so that industry members are provided with the most up-to-date and reliable resource.”Ms Ward added that the continued support of all the Australian State and Territory Tourism organisations would ensure “the great tool continues to flourish”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more


ACTE Recognizes Three Under 33 Award Recipients at Australasia Educa

first_imgJake Hower, Managing Director, Business Travel Management, Australia “It is exciting to discover the brightest young professionals in our industry,” said ACTE Australasia Board Member Georgie Farmer.  “These award recipients are coming up with innovative approaches to ensure the industry’s evolution to embrace the challenges of today’s business traveller.” Aditya Loomba, Director – Business Development, ECOS Mobility & Hospitality, India Source = ACTE Belinda Doery, Regional Meeting Strategy Lead, MSD, Australia Awardees Honored for Innovative Ideas in the Travel Industry “Three Under 33” is an ACTE initiative designed to celebrate the next generation of industry leaders.  To qualify, nominees must be a promising industry professional, 33 years of age or younger.  This year’s outstanding “Three Under 33” winners for the Asia and Australasia regions are:center_img The nominations were extremely competitive for this year’s awards.  Additional information on the 2012 ACTE “Three Under 33” award recipients for the region include: At the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Asia Education Conference in Singapore this past August, ACTE’s Board Member representing Asia, Kurt Knackstedt and ACTE’s Board Member representing Australasia, Georgie Farmer  announced the 2012 “Three Under 33” award winners for the region.  During its Australasia Education Conference taking place this week in Sydney, Farmer and Knackstedt once again took the opportunity to recognize these talented young professionals. Jake Hower successfully leveraged video technology to balance his SME clients’ desire for a more personalized level of service against the need to control travel management costs. By introducing video chat capability client service representatives are able to interact with clients and provide relevant targeted information to each of them, while being able to maintain human interaction and connection Thinking about client relationship management in a different way Hower has been able to reduce the costs of servicing clients needs and pass the savings on to them.Aditya Loomba blended both best practices and creative problem solving to proactively recognise and meet the demands of the dynamic ground transportation market in India. Following terror attacks in India, Loomba obtained the numerous government and police clearances required to introduce the first ever Armored Bullet Proof Vehicles available on hire in India. He has also spearheaded the import of the first ever Chrysler Stretched Limousines in India to meet the needs of the growing luxury market. With more and more Corporate clients shifting to credit card as their preferred mode of payment, Loomba led the development of an advanced payment solutions that charges credit cards instantly at the end of the service and emails an invoice to the client. Belinda Doery was recognized for leading the implementation of a global, regional and local strategic meetings management programme in China, Singapore and Australia. She was responsible for the planning and end to end process mapping for centralisation of Meeting Services in China. The project has made a significant impact on business operations as the new standardised process, meetings technology, preferred supplier agreements and direct pay capabilities have transformed the way meetings are conducted. In addition, Doery designed and implemented the enablers for success such as payment solutions, technology and data platforms, stringent compliance controls and cost saving measures. Jake Hower, a graduate with Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME), was unfortunately unable to attend the Asia Education Conference in Singapore so he will be accepting his award for the first time at the Conference today in Sydney.  last_img read more


TTF call for PMC review

first_imgThe Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has called for a review of the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) in order to evaluate its impact on Australia’s travel industry. Despite the tourism industry’s positive reaction, the TTF believes further assessment is required. The federal government has committed to freezing the PMC at AU$55 for the full term of the current parliament, as part of the Coalition’s pre-election guarantees. Australia’s PMC is the second highest departure tax in the developed world. The PMC will net the government AU$890 million this financial year, while expenditure on passenger facilitation at international airports will only total AU$233 million.center_img Source = ETB News: P.T. “The PMC is a burden for international visitors that adds significantly to airfares, especially for budget-conscious leisure travellers from short-haul markets,” TTF chief executive Ken Morrison said. “The tax is poorly-designed, with the flat levy hitting the most price-sensitive visitors hardest, running contrary to efforts to attract more leisure visitors from markets in Asia,” Mr Morrison said.last_img read more


Visit the 19th Century Camden Park Historic Mansion

first_imgVisit the 19th Century Camden Park Historic Mansion, Only Open Once a YearVisit the 19th Century Camden Park Historic Mansion, Only Open Once a YearOne of Sydney’s oldest and most intact historic mansions will host a rare open weekend on September 16 and 17, 2017.Located in the historic Macarthur region, the 186-year- old Camden Park House opens its doors to the public just one weekend per year, as it is still the home of the descendants of the pioneering Macarthur family which built the colonial mansion.The weekend will see more than 2000 people flock to the historic house and gardens to get a taste of colonial life as they make their way through the dining rooms, drawing rooms, servants’ quarters and stables. With 80 rooms, many of which have their original furnishings, the Georgian mansion is impressive both architecturally and historically, and has been used as a location for films including the 1970 adaption of ‘My Brilliant Career’ starring Sam Neill.In addition to guided tours of the house and garden, activities on offer over the weekend include history talks, Devonshire teas, BBQ, gift and plant stalls, and a display by the Australian Armoured Vehicles Association.In 1835, pioneer John Macarthur – after whom the region is named – commissioned architect John Verge to design a house suitable for his family – one of the colony’s most prominent and wealthy clans at the time. The grand sandstone house was built by convicts assigned to the Macarthurs while the family lived at nearby Belgenny Farm. However, Macarthur died before the construction was completed in 1935 and his sons James and William Macarthur instead took up occupancy in the new house.Verge's striking Palladian design has stood the test of time as the house remains today largely as it was built.The mansion will be open from 12pm – 4pm on Saturday, September 16 and 10am – 4pm on Sunday, September 17, 2017, as part of the Camden Festival.Camden Park House Open WeekendAddress: Elizabeth Macarthur Ave, Camden, in Macarthur.When: 12pm – 4pm on Saturday, September 19 and 10am – 4pm on Sunday September 20Cost: House and garden tours $15 for adults, $12 for concessions and $40 per family. $10 for garden toursonly. Tickets available at the door.More info: Ph 4655 8466 or visit www.macarthur.com.au Source = Destination Macarthurlast_img read more


Deluxe spa cabins unveiled at the Broken Hill Outback Resort

first_imgSource = Broken Hill Outback Resort Deluxe spa cabins unveiled at the Broken Hill Outback ResortDeluxe spa cabins unveiled at the Broken Hill Outback ResortThe new $5 million Broken Hill Outback Resort has marked the unveiling of its new deluxe spa cabins, nestled in the Barrier Ranges, with an opening package offering a free dinner with wine.Outback NSW tourism company, Out of the Ordinary Outback, soft launched the resort, 13km east of Broken Hill, in September, 2018, with 40 camping and van sites but the completion of the 12 new spa cabins this month marks an official ‘coming of age’ for the ambitious project. Another 12 cabins will be completed by mid-2019.Surrounded by the rugged Barrier Ranges as a gateway to the outback city, the oasis-like Broken Hill Outback Resort is designed to help visitors experience the essence of the Australian outback in comfort.  The resort surrounds an old, stone hotel, now spectacularly restored by the Out of the Ordinary Outback group. The resort boasts a restaurant and bar inside the hotel, new cabins and caravan and camping facilities. Each of the new self-contained cabins offers a king bed, fold-out sofa, spa bath with desert views, a kitchenette, TV and an outdoor deck offering outback vistas and beautiful sunsetsAt the centre of the resort is the historic Mt Gipps Hotel, which was built in 1890 and popular with miners, soldiers, artists and travellers before closing in 1987. Out of the Ordinary Outback bought the abandoned hotel in 2015 and has completely restored and renovated the neglected heritage building, with the re-inspired ‘watering hole’ and its cool, wrap-around verandah already popular with locals and outback travellers for its cold beer, great meals and scope to relax and absorb the beauty of the outback.Perfect as a base for exploring the Australian outback, Broken Hill offers art galleries, famous festivals and a rich mining history, and the new resort is located close to Outback Astronomy, where guests can learn more about the extensive canopy of stars above. The resort is also an ideal spot to enjoy sunrises and sunsets over the rugged mountain ranges.While at the resort, guests can explore the region with Out of the Ordinary Outback’s local 4WD touring arm, Tri State Safaris, which can take visitors to the famous ghost town of Silverton and the rugged scenery and rock art of remote Mutawintji National Park.Cabin opening specialTo mark the opening of Broken Hill Outback Resort’s cabins, Out of the Ordinary Outback is offering a special package offering two night’s accommodation in the new spa cabins and one dinner, with the second dinner free along with a bottle of wine. The deal is available for $430 a couple. A one-night deal is also available for $215, including dinner for the first person and a free dinner for the second. Valid for stays until August 31, 2019, and conditions apply.* For more information, visit www.brokenhilloutbackresort.com.au or call 1300 688 225Based in far west of NSW, Out of the Ordinary Outback owns seven properties including the new Broken Hill Outback Resort, Copper City Hotel in Cobar, The Argent Motel in Broken Hill, The Tourist Lodge Warrawong on the Darling, Wilcannia, the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel and the Ivanhoe Hotel Motel.  Out of the Ordinary Outback also owns the Tri State Safaris touring company, which is based at the company’s own visitor centre in Broken Hill.www.outoftheordinaryoutback.com.aulast_img read more


More than 250000 Chinese visited Turkey in 2017

first_imgTurkey received a huge flow of Chinese tourists in 2017, more than 250,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey, up by drastic 47% from 2016.During the first two months of 2018, more than 57,000 Chinese visited Turkey, twice the number of the same period last year.Numan Kurtulmus, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism, said, “China-Turkey Tourism Year was launched in Shanghai recently, aiming to boost tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries. During the year, more than 60 activities including music performances, art and craft exhibitions, will be held in several Chinese cities.”The tourism year is expected to encourage more Chinese to travel to Turkey, and the number of Chinese tourists is expected to top 400,000 this year, Kurtulmus said.last_img read more


Jordan promotes itself as an ultimate family destination

first_imgThe beauty of Jordan lies in its mountains and beaches, castles and ancient churches, the urbanity of its people, and the richness of its culture which makes it the ideal place for a family vacation.Jordan is well- known for the warmth and friendliness of its people. Anywhere and everywhere you go, you will always find someone to assist you. Jordanians have always been eager to open their doors and welcome visitors to experience their country.Jordan caters to the vacationer who likes to combine a visit to an ancient site with a relaxing swim – so both the aspects are well taken care of. The activities and tourist locations make Jordan a country well-suited for tourism. From visiting the ancient site of Petra, camping in Wadi Rum, snorkelling in the Red sea, floating in the Dead Sea, mountain climbing in Wadi Mujib, to just shopping, these are just a glimpse of the complete set of activities available in Jordan.The country is blessed with a fantastic climate all year round, with autumn and spring being especially pleasant to visit.last_img read more


Home Prices Hold Steady in July Despite Economic Headwinds

first_imgHome Prices Hold Steady in July Despite Economic Headwinds The rocky economic landscape could give way to a smoother housing sector if recent home prices signal anything, with a major “”Standard & Poor’s””:http://www.standardandpoors.com/home/en/us/Case-Shiller index revealing Tuesday a marginal uptick in numbers over July. Economists chalked up the gains to a seasonal boost and suggested more stability may be on the way for a troubled housing economy.[IMAGE]The “”S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices””:http://www.standardandpoors.com/servlet/BlobServer?blobheadername3=MDT-Type&blobcol=urldocumentfile&blobtable=SPComSecureDocument&blobheadervalue2=inline%3B+filename%3Ddownload.pdf&blobheadername2=Content-Disposition&blobheadervalue1=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobheadername1=content-type&blobwhere=1245321043141&blobheadervalue3=abinary%3B+charset%3DUTF-8&blobnocache=true, representing a monthly data-gathering effort by S&P, track prices for single-family homes across the industry and housing economy.Although prices have fallen by 4.1 percent since July 2010, the indices reflected a 0.9-percent boon for measures of activity across 10 and 20 major metropolitan cities, the fourth such month in which numbers for houses went up.Prices leapt upward for 17 of the 20 listed cities, with Detroit and Washington, D.C., showing up Las Vegas and Phoenix with 1.2-percent and 0.3-percent increases, respectively. Of all the cities, the indices found prices crawling in Minneapolis, which stayed near rock bottom with a 9.1-percent crawl in figures for single-family homes.””While we have now seen four consecutive months of generally increasing prices, we do know that we are still far from a sustained recovery,”” David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s indices, offered in a statement. “”Continued increases in home prices through the end of the year and better annual results must materialize before we can confirm a housing market recovery.””He noted a 4.1-percent dip among 20 cities since July last year, alongside a 3.7-percent decline among 10 cities listed by the indices.The new price numbers offer a welcome reprieve for the still-sagging housing economy. A “”weak jobs report””:https://themreport.com/articles/housing-industries-freeze-alongside-zero-job-growth-2011-09-02 in August showed the economy adding as many jobs as it slashed. “”New-home sales””:https://themreport.com/articles/economic-worries-trample-on-new-home-sales-over-august-2011-09-26 from the Census Bureau sauntered back by 2.3 percent month-over-month over the same period.Still-weaker economic “”outlooks””:https://themreport.com/articles/fannie-us-recovery-flirting-with-new-downturn-2011-09-19 and “”forecasts””:https://themreport.com/articles/imf-slashes-gdp-forecasts-calls-for-housing-relief-2011-09-20, more recently published by “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and the “”International Monetary Fund””:http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm, sketch a rough picture of national and global GDP amid strengthening debt crises in Europe and trends that find U.S. consumers warier.””We still expect prices to fall back a bit later this year,”” “”Paul Dales””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/global-economics/paul-dales.html, a senior U.S. economist with “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, said in a note. “”And even when they do eventually stabilize [sic], a structural deficit in demand will prevent them from rising on a consistent basis until 2014.””He cited an alternative house price index released by the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/, which found single-family home prices chugging along at 0.8 percent month-over-month in July, a healthier 2.2 percent above the pickup in March.””In any case, even when prices finally stop falling, a rapid rebound is unlikely when banks are still reluctant to boost their lending and when widespread negative equity means households are unable to borrow,”” Dales said. Agents & Brokers Capital Economics FHFA Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability Investment Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Pending-Home Prices Processing S & P Index Service Providers 2011-09-27 Ryan Schuette September 27, 2011 420 Views center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more


1B Fannie Mae Portfolio Hits Market

first_img$1B Fannie Mae Portfolio Hits Market As the second quarter comes to a close, a new $1 billion Fannie Mae bulk residential mortgage servicing rights (MSR) portfolio has hit the market.The announcement of the sale was made by Interactive Mortgage Advisors (IMA), which is acting as exclusive broker. The company describes the offering as “an excellent opportunity to focus and bid on newly originated MSRs with below market interest rates.”According to IMA, the weighted average note rate for the portfolio is 4.11 percent.Other quality characteristics include a wide geographic dispersion, zero delinquencies, a weighted average loan-to-value ratio of 72 percent, and a weighted average FICO score of 745.The servicing is a portion of recent originations from the seller, which IMA describes as a “well-known, established mortgage company with strong financials and solid reputation.”All written bids for the offering should be emailed by June 25 at 2 p.m. Eastern, IMA said. Prospective purchasers must be approved Fannie Mae servicers or have a structure in place with an approved servicer who can take ownership and service on their behalf. June 18, 2014 513 Views Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicing Interactive Mortgage Advisors Mortgage Servicing Rights 2014-06-18 Tory Barringerlast_img read more


Experts Prepare to Convene for Five Star Compliance Lab

first_img Compliance Five Star Institute TeleVoice Walz Group 2014-08-29 Tory Barringer On September 15, some of the servicing industry’s foremost experts in compliance will gather in Dallas to address the biggest challenges facing companies in the field.Directed by Steven Frie, director of structured finance at Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, the 2014 Five Star Conference Compliance Lab will feature a panel of experts tackling some of the most pressing issues of the day, speaking on topics ranging from the impact of the qualified mortgage (QM) and qualified residential mortgage (QRM) guidelines; how to balance state, local, and federal regulations; and the cost and consequences of compliance.Maria Moskver, chief compliance officer and general counsel at Walz Group, will be among the panel of experts participating in the event. Bringing more than 16 years of experience in the mortgage industry with the last seven focused exclusively in regulatory compliance, Moskver says she’s looking forward to exchanging perspectives and insights on best practices in the current environment.”There are compliance challenges for our clients, the servicers, and compliance challenges for us because we’re service providers to the industry, so that’s something we’ll be discussing from both angles,” she said.Moskver will be joined on the panel by nearly a dozen other experts in compliance, including Laurie Maggiano, program manager for servicing and secondary markets at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and former director of policy at the U.S. Treasury.Also in attendance will be Barry Hays, SVP and senior consultant for mortgage servicing at TeleVoice.Through the lab, Hays says he hopes to help relieve some of the burden businesses are feeling in a new era of regulation.”When you think about the panel, we’re covering a range of disciplines and different areas in which compliance is a focus,” Hays said. “I hope that we as a panel are going to be able to lift a little bit of the stress and provide some guidance based upon the experience of the servicers that we work with, guidance that will help make sense of the compliance burden and allow people to take the new regulations and apply them in more effective ways.”The 2014 Five Star Conference, hosted by the Five Star Institute, will be held September 14–16 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.Editor’s note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of MReport and theMReport.com. Share in Headlines, News, Uncategorizedcenter_img August 29, 2014 503 Views Experts Prepare to Convene for Five Star Compliance Lablast_img read more


OCC to Banks Dont Let Technology Come Between Us

first_img April 28, 2016 516 Views Share OCC to Banks: Don’t Let Technology Come Between Us in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Technologycenter_img The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has been a little down on technology as of late.In mid-March, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry declared in a public speech that so-called emerging “fintechs,” or financial technology companies, would not take the place of banks. On March 31, Curry spoke again of emerging fintechs and stressed the difference between “responsible” innovation and just plain innovation.On Wednesday, the OCC issued a bulletin to remind national banks and federal savings associations of their obligations when it comes to maintaining and retaining records—and allowing examiners access to those records, which includes not letting technology get in the way.“The OCC has become aware of communications technology recently made available to banks that could prevent or impede OCC access to bank records through certain data deletion or encryption features,” the bulletin said. “Use of communications technology in this manner is inconsistent with the OCC’s expectations regarding data retention and availability.”The OCC said that in order to meet its supervisory responsibilities, its examiners must be able to communicate freely with bank personnel and have timely access to banks’ records. The purpose of the bulletin was to remind banks that the OCC should have full and unimpeded access to a bank’s books and records pursuant to the OCC’s authority, and that access should not be limited by communications technology.“Certain available communications technology contains data deletion and encryption features that can be used to prevent or impede OCC access to a bank’s books and records,” the bulletin said. “For example, the OCC is aware that some chat and messaging platforms have touted an ability to ‘guarantee’ the deletion of transmitted messages. The permanent deletion of internal communications, especially if occurring within a relatively short time frame, conflicts with OCC expectations of sound governance, compliance, and risk management practices as well as safety and soundness principles.”Any technology used by bank management must allow the OCC’s examiners access to appropriate bank records, the OCC said. Banks OCC technology 2016-04-28 Seth Welbornlast_img read more


Title Companies Navigate Murky TRID Waters

first_img How Some Companies Wading Through Heightened Regulations and  Operational Barriers Are Navigating Their Way to Title and Closing SuccessBy Xhevrije WestLenders and servicers are not the only ones finding themselves wading through the murky waters of regulatory compliance. Recent rule changes germinating in the mortgage industry have shaken up business as usual at title and escrow companies.For the sake of simplicity, title companies issue title insurance policies to assist in real estate transactions by ensuring that the acquisition or transfer of property interest can be affected with a maximum degree of efficiency, security, and safety. An escrow agent is responsible for the transfer of property from one party to another. They also secure the property and examine documents to make sure that the terms of the sale are met from both the buyer and seller during the transaction.As another (and valuable) piece in a borrower’s mortgage origination journey, title and closing companies have felt the effects of a prosperous housing market and new regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Some have had to adapt their businesses to the new way of life while still meeting the expectations of closing mortgage deals with speed. Although the path to compliance has not been easy, many have managed to stay ahead of the curve.Swimming Upstream in a TRID-Rich EnvironmentIt wasn’t a surprise that the 1,888-page TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule would result in administrative delays. But many didn’t anticipate the repercussions of the delays to be so wide sweeping. The results of a study released in April  by Washington-based Callahan & Associates found that a whopping 96 percent of the 200-plus credit union executives surveyed reported closing delays related to TRID over the past six months.Surveyed across 46 states, Callahan found a variety of reasons at the heart of the delays in the TRID implementation period. Half cited new lender workflow between title companies and members, as well as a refinement of processes and procedures as the primary catalysts in closing delays. A quarter cited compliance issues related to settlement, systems, members, and mortgage disclosures. Sixteen percent said that their own mortgage loan origination and core processing systems were not fully equipped to handle necessary updates, while 6 percent said their members were unable to provide documentation and other information in a timely manner.Additionally, open-ended survey responses noted timing issues with disclosures, difficulties integrating mortgage origination systems with core processors, and challenges with title companies, realtors, and other settlement agents, Callahan stated.All told, more than half of the respondents said new TRID regulations have added five or more days to mortgage closing, while the average number of days to close, according to respondents, is 42. The industry’s ideal average closing goal is 31 days.The title insurance and escrow settlement industry is experiencing a two-fold shift in its business environment: an exponential growth in local and federal regulatory oversight, coupled with unprecedented technological change, according to P.J. Ruokis, VP of Sales/Marketing, ATA National Title Group.“The lending and title industries have made great strides towards resolving those conflicts. Just as importantly, however, TRID has required substantial process changes and those will likely take much longer to fully implement,” Ruokis stated. “While these regulatory and technological changes are challenging, they are not insurmountable. The best settlement providers are mastering them while retaining their ability to provide dependable, timely and accurate service to their customers.”Larry Zielke, President of First Financial Title Agency of Minnesota, Inc., and managing partner of Shapiro & Zielke, LLP, and Tom Paschen, of the LOGS Group, noted that “TRID, and the changes necessitated in the processing of closings, is a significant challenge to the title and closing industry.”The Consumer Disclosure Form (CDF) and the redesigned settlement statement are confusing for many borrowers and lenders, and they cause (sometimes significant) delays in the closing and funding of new loans. There is a considerable amount of confusion on the TRID and CDF data, and its accuracy.New regulatory requirements are also causing title and escrow companies to continually update their procedures and workflows as lenders work to become compliant with TRID and the changes that it has brought to the loan origination process.“As standards for TRID compliance are more established and widely agreed upon, we should have a new ‘business as usual’ and that impact should decrease,” said Chad Mosley, COO of MCS Solutions. “The most lingering effect of TRID has centered on the lender preparation of the closing disclosure, and the operational changes that it has mandated.”Navigating the Muddy Sloughs of TRID UpkeepKeeping up with TRID has not only posed closing challenges at title and escrow companies but has cut into operations, costing more time, labor, and resources, which could result in cuts in revenue, according to Steven J. Melmet, Esq., CEO of Vendor Connect, LLC.“The industry is experiencing a lack of consistency in compliance requirements from one lender/investor to the next. There is significantly more scrutiny and paperwork required,” Melmet said. “Obtaining lender pre-approvals while gaining an appreciation for individual lender requirements is time-and resource-consuming which requires new disciplines for title and closing specialists”.While the industry has been able to absorb the battery of  regulatory changes, TRID has completely changed the name of the game. Cristy Ward, Chief Strategy Officer focused on consumer experience at Mortgage Connect, LP, explained that TRID upkeep and operational maintenance continues to be the center of focus for lenders and their associated title and closing partners.“TRID has been tough on the industry as a whole. Many lenders are still struggling with technology platforms and forced to create manual workarounds to process their transactions,” Ward said. “The title and closing companies that were committed to training their employees, used technology as a tool and not the solution, and focused more on TRID knowledge, education, and timelines did well.”Looking For Transparent DirectionAccording to Mark Myers, CEO of Meridian Title Corp., and Laura Levi Francesconi, SVP/Director of Meridian’s Corporate Development, the title industry’s very nature is to protect the public and the consumers it is serving. “Because our industry takes that seriously, it’s been a challenge to work with heightened regulations that do not provide transparent direction to the industry on how to comply,” both said in an interview.Regardless of TRID obstacles and operational challenges, title and closing companies remain focused on one common goal: Get closings done in a timely and compliant manner.Prior to the housing crisis, the title and closing landscape experienced a more competitive environment, more products were being launched by the underwriters, and technology was largely well received and leveraged in order to keep swimming. Since the crisis, there has been a retrenching of innovative products and technology, as well as companies becoming hyper focused on creating processes to comply with the CFPB’s regulatory guidelines.“The future is promising for those who choose to innovate in the title and closing space,” Ward said. “The lending process as a whole is overly regulated and that regulation has caused disruption to innovation. Those who will flourish in the industry must embrace innovation to meet the demands of growing demographic segments.”The title industry was more segregated prior to new regulations, Mosley added. Moving forward, we see the most success occurring when partnerships with lenders are solidified to provide customers with the highest level of service on their transactions,” he said. “That supports the ultimate goal of TRID, which was to create more transparency and a better customer experience. Ultimately, that will help the industry.”Weeding Out Bad Actors Makes For a Better Customer ExperiencePost-crisis, title and closing companies who always operated “above board” will continue to operate and strengthen the industry, albeit with operational adjustments to their labor costs and profit margins.“There is a sense in our industry that the heightened oversight could put some longstanding, smaller entities out of business due to the additional burdens, but it’s still too soon to tell,” Myers and Francesconi explained. “Those who knowingly succumbed to the less-than-ethical schemes pre-crisis have hopefully been weeded out of the industry, and we’re confident with the new regulations, will be more quickly identifiable moving forward.”The success of the title and closing industry will be highly dependent on building solid relationships, effective communication, technology innovation, and regulatory compliance.Vendor Connect’s Melmet says that the title and closing specialists have no alternative but to embrace changes brought about by the new regulations. “Companies need to be proactive in ensuring for success in our new regulatory environment,” he said. “Invest in personnel and IT resources to stay one step ahead of the ever changing regulatory demands of our industry.”Small companies rarely have the technological or regulatory knowledge or resources necessary to effectively compete in rapidly changing real estate markets.“The result of these challenges is that the trend towards title and settlement company consolidation will escalate,” Ruokis noted. “Economics will drive the trend but service flexibility will be improved through the process. Mid to large companies will simply have greater resources to meet the ever increasing technological and process requirements of their customer groups.”Communication is still of utmost importance among all the players to the transaction.Looking ahead, progressive thinking and planning will be key in helping title and closing companies comply with both state and federal regulations at the most affordable level.“Knowing the expectations of your lenders is key in this new regulatory era, then finding ways to meet the lenders’ expectations will be another key factor to success,” Myers and Francesconi said. “As millennials emerge as homeowners, it’s important that they understand the importance of having title insurance from a reputable, financially stable title company.”Ward added that title and closing companies will be successful in the future if they innovate in their service offerings by developing unique solutions through technology, process flow flexibility, and creativity in how they can enhance the consumer experience. “I believe there is a tremendous amount of opportunity in this space to make a difference,” he said.Editor’s note: This select print feature appears in the May 2016 edition of MReport magazine.  Title Companies Navigate Murky TRID Waters May 13, 2016 698 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Print Featurescenter_img Share Title & Closing TRID 2016-05-13 Staff Writerlast_img read more


Fannie Expecting Q2 Rebound Again

first_img Share It’s becoming a familiar pattern in the economy, according to Fannie Mae: a solid fourth quarter followed by a flagging first quarter and projections of a solid rebound in Q2.The GSE’s May Economic and Housing Outlook report, released Tuesday, stated that Fannie Mae expects the national GDP in Q2 to grow by almost 3 percent, and the year overall to grow 2 percent. This projection follows Q1 numbers that drooped after a solid Q4.In Q4, the GDP grew by 2.1 percent, followed by a first quarter in which the GDP’s growth rate dropped to 0.7 percent. This is the fourth consecutive year in which first quarter growth slowed from the fourth quarter, partly reflecting ongoing seasonality issues, Fannie reported.Housing was a bright spot during the first quarter, and home sales performed well going into the spring season, thanks to solid labor market conditions and a recent retreat in mortgage rates, Fannie reported. Meanwhile, businesses will likely increase production in an effort to rebuild inventories, turning inventory investment into a positive for, instead of a large drag on, growth.Unemployment stayed level at 4.7 percent from Q4 to Q1, but is expected to drop to 4.5 this quarter. A year ago, the rate was 4.9 percent.While Fannie expects year-over-year housing starts to cool a bit in Q2‒‒a projected 1.24 million, down from 1.253 million units, compared to last year‒‒the GSE at the same time expects existing home sales and total home sales to increase. Fannie is calling for existing sales to reach the cusp of 5.7 million units, up from 5.6 million units in Q1; and for total home sales to reach 6.3 million units, up from 6.2 million.New home prices are expected to hit a median $330,000 in Q2; existing homes $253,000. Each price point would be an increase of $20,000.“Positive demographic factors should continue to reshape the housing market, as rising employment and incomes appear to be positively influencing millennial homeownership rates,” Duncan said. “However, the tight supply of homes for sale continues to act as both a boon to home prices and an impediment to affordability.”Despite some recent troubles for in the retail sector, Fannie reported that incoming data suggest consumer spending growth will pick up this quarter. Fannie projects personal consumption expenditures to rise from 0.3 percent in Q1 to 3 percent by the end of this quarter.“Once again, our full-year growth forecast remains intact as the economy grinds along, with the prospect of material policy changes appearing to be delayed,” said Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. “We expect consumer spending to resume its role as the biggest driver of growth in the second quarter amid improvements in the labor market. Fannie Expecting Q2 Rebound. Again. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img May 16, 2017 569 Views Economic Outlook Fannie Mae Q2 projections 2017-05-16 ScottMorgan1last_img read more


Mortgage Payment Increases Outpace Home Sale Prices

first_imgMortgage Payment Increases Outpace Home Sale Prices in Daily Dose, Data, News, Origination August 28, 2018 499 Views Home prices have been on the rise, but interest rates are rising even faster. According to a report from CoreLogic, while the U.S. median sale price has risen by almost 7 percent over the past year, the principal-and-interest mortgage payment has risen by 14 percent, rising twice as fast as prices.More accurately, the U.S. median sales price of $226,674 in May 2018 rose by 6.7 percent and the average mortgage payment rose 14.3 percent, due in part to a 0.6 percent rise in interest rates. Additionally, the CoreLogic Home Price Index Forecast predicts a five percent increase in home prices year-over-year in May 2019.Between May 2018 and May 2019, mortgage rates are predicted to rise by around 0.31 percentage points, while the median sale price will rise 2.4 percent in real terms over that same period. This means that the inflation-adjusted typical monthly mortgage payment would rise from $929 in May 2018 to $986 by May 2019.With mortgage payments expected to rise, home prices may not catch up, especially as, according to First American, home prices seem to be reaching a “tipping point”. In a report covered on MReport, First American noted that home price appreciation is slowing down, though not quite to a peak.We’re seeing the first indications that price appreciation may be slowing, but the underlying fundamental housing market conditions support a natural moderation of house prices rather than a sharp decline,” says First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming.House-buying power has increased by around 55 percent since 2006 while prices are just 1.3 percent higher over the same period. Fleming believes that the strong economy will prevent the tipping point from turning into a recession.For more, find the story from CoreLogic here, and the First American story here.center_img Home Prices Inflation interest Mortgage Payments 2018-08-28 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more