March 19, 2012 456 Views Agents & Brokers Capital Economics Fixed-Rate Mortgage Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bonds Mortgage Rates National Association of Home Builders Processing Service Providers Treasury Yields 2012-03-19 Ryan Schuette The potential for a lift in mortgage rates is unlikely to spell trouble for the housing recovery, according to a recent report.[IMAGE]””Paul Diggle””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/property-economics/paul-diggle.html, a property economist with “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, said in a note Monday that still-low home prices will help cushion the blow from interest rates.He said that the consultancy doubts that “”higher mortgage rates will derail a housing recovery”” that continues to benefit from higher home sales.Mortgage rates continue to linger near record lows, with 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages hovering at or below 4 percent for the past several weeks.Waning confidence in Europe’s ability to halt the debt crisis in Greece drives investors to U.S. Treasury debt, widening yields and allowing mortgage rates to remain at historic lows.The economist cited a “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/ forecast that said 30-year rates could rise above 5 percent.He also said that low home prices would help ensure that household income is able to absorb a lift in interest mortgage payments and monthly principal.””That would leave the monthly burden of servicing a mortgage at less than half of what it was six years ago,”” he said. “”Overall, the housing market recovery that appears to be underway is probably strong enough to withstand a moderate rise in mortgage rates.””Either way, mortgage affordability will still remain very favourable [sic],”” Diggle wrote. in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Higher Mortgage Rates Unlikely to Drown Housing: Group Share
in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Report Examines Abusive Practices, Offers Reform Ideas A new report from the “”Center for Responsible Lending””:http://responsiblelending.org/ (CRL) asserts that while changing reforms have mitigated the impact of pre-crisis lending behaviors, the mortgage industry still has a long way to go before it’s completely out of the woods.[IMAGE]The report, titled “”_The State of Lending in America and its Impact on U.S. Households_””:http://www.responsiblelending.org/state-of-lending/State-of-Lending-report-1.pdf, is the first in a series of three documents created to examine how the common working family is coping with debt and stagnant incomes. The report covers major CRL findings and incorporates research from the Federal Reserve, the Pew Research Center, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).The report suggests that although there are numerous financial risks associated with purchasing a home, homeownership is still one of the safest, most accessible ways to build wealth in the United States. The equity acquired through long-term homeownership is often used to pay for retirement, unemployment, college, and healthcare–all categories that receive relatively little subsidization from the government–making “”the American dream”” all the more important for families.However, poor consumer protection and predatory lending practices have made the achievement of that dream a problem for many households. According to CRL, the “”spillover”” cost of foreclosures brought on by the financial crisis has wiped out nearly $2 trillion in family wealth, turning back the clock on previous equity gains. That damage has yet to be addressed, the report says.CRL also points to evidence of discrimination in predatory lending. In general, non-white borrowers between 2004-2008 were much more likely to see risky features in their loans, including prepayment penalties and higher rates. For example, African-American borrowers were 2.8 times as likely to receive a high interest rate, while Latino borrowers were 2.3 times as likely to receive a loan with a prepayment penalty. The result, the report says, is the “”largest documented wealth gap ever between white households and families of color.””Adding to the problem is the fact that the current marketplace is leaning toward a dual mortgage market “”where only the highest-wealth borrowers with near-perfect credit can gain access to the conventional market, while lower-income and minority borrowers who can be successful home owners are relegated to more expensive FHA loans, or find credit largely unavailable.””With that risk in mind, CRL makes three recommendations going forward. First, “”[p]olicymakers should not weaken or undermine the mortgage reforms established in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, because this could result in future abusive lending and the possibility of a new foreclosure crisis.””Second, servicers and policymakers should promote reasonable foreclosure alternatives, including providing full and fair consideration to loan modifications.Finally, mortgage finance reform needs to keep a balance between borrower protections and broad market access. In the report’s foreword, “”Systemic Risk Council””:http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_detail.aspx?id=328809 chair Sheila Bair emphasizes the importance of these reforms and warns of the fallout that may occur if CRL’s recommendations go unheeded:””If abusive lending practices are not reformed, we again will all pay dearly,”” Bair writes. “”Abusive practices not only harm the family that loses its home to an unaffordable mortgage ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª they also profoundly harm neighborhoods, communities, and cities, and hold back our entire economy.”” December 12, 2012 455 Views Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Equity Investors Lenders & Servicers Loan Modification Prepayments Regulation Service Providers 2012-12-12 Tory Barringer
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-03-19 Tory Barringer March 19, 2013 449 Views Langley Federal Credit Union Adopts Symphony Platform “”Mortgage Cadence LLC””:http://www.mortgagecadence.com/home.aspx, a provider of Enterprise Lending Solutions (ELS) Technology and document and compliance services, announced that “”Langley Federal Credit Union””:http://www.langleyfcu.org/index.html (FCU) in Virginia will now use Mortgage Cadence’s Symphony platform to support its expanding mortgage program.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]According to a press release, “”Symphony is one of two comprehensive Enterprise Lending Systems offered by Mortgage Cadence and is known for both the enhanced experience it offers borrowers as well as the efficiencies it enables for mortgage lenders.””””Langley FCU’s newly vitalized mortgage lending program offers the tremendous opportunity to provide our members with the best in home financing experiences while at the same time positioning the credit union to be the leading lender in the area,”” said Dave Mariniak, VP of real estate lending at Langley. “”Being easy to do business with and providing exceptional service are two key aspects of our strategic plan, and this platform fits well with these goals.””””We are pleased to welcome Langley Federal Credit Union to the Mortgage Cadence and Symphony family,”” said Mortgage Cadence CEO Michael Detwiler. “”Symphony has served the credit union community well for over a decade. We’re proud to continue on and expand its tradition and track record.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Share
September 2, 2014 488 Views Construction spending made a promising comeback in July with an 8.2 percent jump from last year, according to the Census Bureau.Total construction spending, both private and public, surged to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $981.3 billion, up from $906.6 billion in July last year.For private residential construction, the numbers reflected a 7 percent boost year-over-year, eclipsing new home data in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $358.1 billion.That continues one of the strongest ongoing upswings for residential construction spending since the financial crisis rocked markets and sent construction into a tailspin.Residential construction spending peaked earlier in July this year at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $364 billion, the biggest increase since spending began to fall in May 2008.The good news for construction spending sounds just as homebuilders saw new construction ride a 15.7 percent swell in July from estimates made for the previous month.Builder confidence similarly ticked up 2 percentage points in August, according to the National Association of Home Builders.But not everyone shares the optimism that the boosts in homebuilder confidence and construction spending would seem to convey.Writing about a housing survey for Fannie Mae, Doug Duncan, chief economist for the mortgage giant, cautioned last month that so-so employment gains and slipping home prices could mean some dampening for the recovery.”The continued cautious sentiment expressed across the range of consumer indicators this month gives weight to our view that the first phase of the housing recovery is decelerating,” Duncan said.He added that the deceleration would make 2014 “a year of mixed housing outcomes.” in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Census Bureau Construction Spending Homebuilders Housing Starts 2014-09-02 Ryan Schuette Share Residential Construction Spending Sees July Upswing
November 10, 2014 496 Views Movers & Shakers PrimeLending 2014-11-10 Tory Barringer Share PrimeLending Welcomes SVP, Regional Manager for Pacific Northwest in Headlines, News National home lender PrimeLending named Kelly Lee as SVP and regional manager for the Pacific Northwest.With more than 20 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, Lee has a track record of mentoring leaders and guiding sales teams to the highest level of achievement. Before joining PrimeLending, he served as VP of sales and EVP for a regional mortgage company, where he managed operations, including warehouse lines and investor relationships.Working from PrimeLending’s Portland metro branch in Oswego, Oregon, Lee is responsible for the company’s branch production and operations in the entire region, which includes Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.Al Velasco, EVP and manager of PrimeLending’s Western division, said he is “very pleased” to welcome Lee to the team.”He is a natural servant leader who has a track record of growing profitable branches in the Pacific Northwest region,” Velasco said.
2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking Federal Reserve Future Financial Prospects 2015-05-27 Seth Welborn May 27, 2015 484 Views Financial Prospects Gain Optimism for Future, Fed Survey says Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News, Origination, Uncategorized Individuals’ optimism regarding future financial prospects increased substantially from 2013 to 2014, while perceptions of current financial well-being improved only modestly, according to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve released Wednesday.The Fed’s 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking, which was completed by about 5,800 individuals last fall to provide insight into various aspects of Americans’ personal finances such as economic security, banking, credit access and usage, housing, household debt (including education and student loan debt), savings, and preparedness for retirement.The survey found that 65 percent of adult respondents said they were either “doing okay” or “living comfortably” as far as their personal finance situation, which represented an increase of 3 percentage points from the survey the previous year. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who said they expect their income to be higher in the next year jumped from 21 percent in 2013 to 29 percent in the 2014 survey.”In general, the majority of the population is continuing to recover from the financial crisis and the effects it had on their personal finances and financial well-being,” the Fed wrote in the report.Despite the reasons for optimism, however, the Fed said the survey’s findings “highlight that economic challenges remain for a significant portion of the population.” The survey indicated that many Americans are not prepared for economic emergencies or for the future. Just more than half of survey respondents, 53 percent, said they would be able to cover an emergency expense costing $400 without borrowing money or selling something. Nearly one-third of respondents said they have done without some type of medical care they needed in the last year because they could not afford it. Also, 49 percent of part-time workers surveyed and 36 percent of all workers surveyed said they prefer to work more hours at the same rate of pay if they could.Further indicating a lack of financial preparedness, the survey found that 31 percent of non-retirees (almost a quarter of them over age 45) had no retirement savings or pension. Less than half of adults who said they were saving for retirement said they were “mostly” or “very” confident they could make the right investment decisions to manage the money they saved. Thirty-eight percent of respondents who were not retired said they had no plans to retire, and among households with an income of less than $40,000 per year, 55 percent of respondents said they have no plans to retire or plan to keep working as long as possible.Homeowners generally remained positive in their attitudes toward housing; 43 percent of respondents said they believe the value of their house increased in the last year, while 39 percent said they expect home values to rise in their neighborhood in the coming year. Many of the respondents who rent said they wanted to buy a home but could not due to financial barriers; about half said the inability to afford a down payment was the biggest barrier to homeownership, while about 31 percent said the inability to qualify for a mortgage was their main reason for renting.Also according to the survey, 23 percent of adult respondents said they had some form of education debt, though it was not exclusively student loan debt; 14 percent of those with education debt said that some of the debt was on credit cards.For complete survey results, click here.
Consumers are much more confident these days about the U.S. economy and their personal finance situations. In fact, they have not been this confident in 15 years, according to one recent analysis.The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index for December rose to 113.7 (1985=100), up more than four points from November and up to its highest level since 2001. The Expectations Index spiked from 94.4 to 105.5 from November to December, according to the Conference Board.“Consumer Confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing Expectations which hit a 13-year high (December 2003, 107.4),” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers . . . Looking ahead to 2017, consumers’ continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized.”The Conference Board’s results were similar to those reported by the New York Fed’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations, covering December 2016. The internet-based survey of approximately 1,200 household heads found that the attitudes of consumers regarding their finance situation is improving—in fact, median expected household income growth increased from 2.4 percent to 2.8 percent from November to December after declining each month since August.“The increase was broad-based across education and income groups but most pronounced among lower-educated and lower-income respondents,” the New York Fed reported.With the expectation of income growth comes the expectation of more spending. Median household spending expectations moved up from 3.6 percent to 3.7 percent, equaling 2015’s share. Consumers were also more confident in the availability of credit, with 23.4 percent of households saying they believed that obtaining credit a year now would be easier—equaling December 2014’s levels.Earlier this week, Fannie Mae reported an increase in consumer optimism post-election, but at the same time consumer attitudes toward homebuying had retreated somewhat, primarily due to rising mortgage rates.“A spike in economic optimism in the immediate aftermath of an election is typical. Whether consumers will sustain this level of optimism into 2017 remains unclear,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share January 10, 2017 731 Views Consumer Confidence New York Fed U.S. Economy 2017-01-10 Seth Welborn Confidence in the Economy is Surging
Share In a survey released on Monday by LightStream, a division of SunTrust Banks, Inc., 59 percent of homeowner’s plan to spend money on home renovation projects in 2017.As reported by the survey, 42 percent of homeowners plan on spending $5,000 or more on home improvements and close to 23 percent plan on spending $10,000 or more.Outdoor home renovations continue to be No.1 in home improvement projects at 41 percent, while, home repairs and technology was reported at 32 percent. Bathroom updates (28 percent) and kitchen remodels (24 percent) closed out the top four of most popular home improvement projects. Fourteen percent of respondents lists garages as their most important project, while 7 percent listed pool installations.Meanwhile, 60 percent of homeowners intend to use their savings to finance renovation projects while 29 percent said they would use credit cards, a 16 percent increase from the previous year. Nine percent of homeowners plan to take out a home equity line of credit to pay for renovations while 7 percent plan to use home renovation loans, and 6 percent reported liquid investments as the payment option of choice.”Though credit cards typically advertise rewards, they may in fact have high interest rates or convert to higher rates after an introductory period. For large-ticket home improvement purchases, credit cards may not be practical. It’s important that consumers explore alternatives, such as a home improvement loan or home equity line of credit,” Todd Nelson, LightStream business development officer, said.Finally, 60 percent of millennial homeowners plan to spend money on renovating their homes this year, a 25 percent increase since 2014. Generation X led all groups with 72 percent planning to spend on renovations. The boomer generation, ages 55-64, intend on focusing on kitchen (12 percent) and bathroom remodeling (13 percent).Regionally, 64 percent of buyers in the West reported that they are planning a home improvement project in 2017—a 10 percent jump year-over0year. In addition, 61 percent of homeowners in the South and 56 percent in the Midwest and Northeast, also plan on spending money to make renovations on their homes in 2017. in Data, Headlines, Media, News Home Improvement Projects on the Rise Baby Boomers Generation X Home Improvement LightStream Millennial Todd Nelson 2017-02-27 Staff Writer February 27, 2017 575 Views
in Daily Dose, News Enhanced Vision Share May 29, 2017 749 Views 2017-05-29 Seth Welborn Financial professionals in the digital age are able to do something that was once impossible: see into the future. Using predictive analytics, a blend of statistical analysis and computer science, today’s financial professionals solve problems, improve processes, and understand trends in consumer behavior. For example, they can process credit card behavior to identify potential fraud before approving a charge, reduce churn by targeting unhappy customers, and identify customers for new products and services based on what they have purchased in the past. Predictive analytics is not complicated; it just requires data and the right tools.The mortgage industry has tremendous amounts of data. There is housing data, mortgage origination data, and servicing data, to name a few. The conditions are ripe for using predictive analytics.To illustrate the benefits of predictive analytics, we’ll examine one case example from publicly available Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae) data in the servicing space.Once a borrower is 90 days past due on his or her mortgage payment, the approved Ginnie Mae issuer and loan servicer has the option to buy out the nonperforming loan at par—100 percent of the unpaid principal balance (UPB)—from a GNMA pool. Then, according to the GNMA mortgage backed securities (MBS) issuer handbook, the issuer can employ loss mitigation tools on those loans to cure the mortgage back to performing status. If the loans re-perform, the issuer can re-securitize the loans into a new issue pool. If the price is greater than par, or 100 percent of UPB, the issuer can get an immediate gain on the sale of the loans, earning revenue.In many cases, the issuer has to buy out the loan to pursue loss mitigation strategies that change the terms of the mortgage (such as term extension or interest rate reduction). However, the handbook does not require a partial claim to alter the terms of the mortgage. In a rising interest rate environment, partial claims are likely to become a more prevalent loss mitigation strategy, leaving the issuer with more choices on whether or not to buy out nonperforming loans for a security.There is an opportunity to buy out loans in the early stages of delinquency if the issuer expects them to re-perform. The opportunity can be profitable if the issuer can effectively identify which loans to buy out and which loans to move through the foreclosure process. In the latter cases, issuers need to evaluate the cost of interest advances and property maintenance expenses. Also, GNMA issuers must be mindful of the delinquency ratios on pools that are monitored by GNMA. The delinquency ratio is the fraction of the loans in the issuer’s GNMA portfolio that are either in foreclosure or 90 or more days delinquent. Buyouts can be an effective way to manage delinquency ratios. These metrics in some cases incentivize the issuer to pursue early buyouts to reduce those ratios.To Buy Out or Not to Buy OutSo how can predictive analytics help GNMA servicers make a decision on whether or not to buy out a given mortgage? There is ample data on GNMA loan performance, and the data is available for download from GNMA’s website. All that remains is to predict which loans will turn around from nonperforming to performing. There are a variety of techniques that can be used for this analysis, including a relatively new algorithm called XGBoost.XGBoost has been drawing a lot of interest in the predictive analytics community, winning several international data competitions. The XGBoost algorithm works by systematically iterating through possible predictive models while reducing unexplained error at each step. At the end, the result is an estimated value with low error and outstanding predictive ability.To perform the analysis, the GNMA data was downloaded and modified to extract a list of all loans that were 90 days delinquent and received a loan modification. The outcome of the loan modification (i.e., re-perform or re-default) was added to the data as a binary indicator (0 or 1). Several economic variables were also included. The XGBoost algorithm was then applied to the data to create a model that predicted which loans would re-default following modification. If an issuer can effectively evaluate which loans will re-perform, then the issuer can target those loans to buy out from the pool and perform loss mitigation. Then, if the loans cure, the issuer can re-securitize them into new issue pools.After running XGBoost on the performance data, the tool revealed insights that weren’t accessible with more traditional techniques such as logistic regression. The graph in Figure 1 depicts the importance of various features for the GNMA algorithm. Figure 1 highlights the most predictive features on the top, with the less predictive features on the bottom. (The features here are shown in isolation, but the algorithm does take into consideration correlations between variables.)Home price appreciation from loan origination to first delinquency was the most important feature for predicting loan performance after modification. In addition, changes in the local housing affordability index and unemployment rate had modest effects, while variables like number of borrowers and unpaid balance of the loan weren’t as powerful for forecasting future defaults among these loans. In other words, by analyzing the data, we are able to deduce that economic variables are far more important than borrower characteristics in evaluating the performance of mortgages after modification.It is possible to benchmark these results against performance on holdout test data. After splitting the data 80-20, an analyst can train an XGBoost model on 80 percent of the data. The analyst can then compare the actual default rates against the XGBoost predictions for the remaining “unseen” portion of the data. Using a standard receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, it is possible to evaluate and compare model performance.An ROC curve works by plotting the true positive rate (how many predictions the model got correct) against the true negative rate (how many predictions the model estimated to occur that did not). The technique is often used for optimal model selection. The closer the curve is to a 45-degree line, the worse it performs. Here we see, in Figure 2, that the specificity (or the true positive rate), as well as the sensitivity (the true negative rate), are nearly ideal. The XGBoost model is nearly optimal.Compare these results with the ROC curve of a traditional scoring algorithm such as logistic regression, shown in Figure 3.The predictions from the traditional algorithm aren’t as accurate as those of the XGBoost model. The ROC curve from the traditional algorithm is much closer to the diagonal, meaning that the true positive and true negative rates aren’t performing as well. XGBoost has an advantage over the traditional algorithm in this holdout data set.The Future Depends on Predictive AnalyticsThe XGBoost model, like similar algorithms, is easy to implement. Once the mechanics of the technique are understood, and the parameters are tuned correctly, the model can be turned on a data set to produce accompanying predictions. The model can be updated continuously each month based on new data feeds. Pointing an XGBoost program toward a new data set and running it again is virtually all that is needed to refresh the results. It is also possible to retune the parameters for the update to further enhance the effects.A use case of this type of model would be to pursue early buyouts for mortgages that have a high probability of re-performing and potentially not pursue early buyouts for mortgages that have a low probability of re-performing, as long as this policy is consistent with GNMA servicing guidelines.This same technique can be used on a variety of data for alternative purposes. Predictive analytics can capture predictive power from internal data, whether that involves established and go-to data sets or whether that involves bringing together data from across an organization to make predictions. Predictive analytics can also help a firm leverage industry data and other outside sources to forecast trends or improve decisions. This case is a concrete example of how using the tool should result in higher return on investment on GNMA early buyouts.Considering the growing amounts of data available, the mortgage industry should pay attention to predictive analytics tools. Investing in the technology has proven to generate significant returns. GNMA issuers is just one group to which predictive analytics can be applied. Predictive analytics can be applied to many other techniques and tools to increase efficiencies within the mortgage industry. The future depends on it.
California Navel season ‘one of worst in history o … California: Heatwave to hit several major growing … You might also be interested in The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has established an Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis or OFF) quarantine in the Sacramento area of Sacramento County and Yolo County, California. The move comes in response to the confirmation of seven OFF from the Sacramento area by APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on August 21.This was after CDFA and APHIS previously confirmed two adults. All OFF were detected in residential areas. California table grape crop forecast down on sprin … “APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from the area in order to prevent the spread of OFF to non-infested areas of the United States,” it said.”In cooperation with CDFA, APHIS is establishing a new quarantine area, which encompasses approximately 123 square miles of Sacramento County and neighboring Yolo County.”Only small local host production occurs within the quarantine area and no major host crops are produced in the area. APHIS is working with CDFA and the Sacramento and Yolo County Agriculture Commissioners to respond to this detection following program survey and treatment protocols.” September 11 , 2018 The calm before the storm: Undersupplied U.S. tabl …
Getting into the spirit of truly ‘intrepid’ travel came easy for 13 Helloworld agents on a recent famil to Siem Reap and Hanoi, hosted by The Intrepid Group, with local leaders facilitating an experience for them that delved into the fabulous local culture, leaving many of the agents keen to return! Familshelloworld On the famil were: Linda Fraser—Woodonga Travel; Rebecca Wilde-helloworld Broken Hill; Hayley Blackburne-Travel Avenue; Tiahni Mansell—helloworld Mt Pleasant; Tara Wells-Boyter—helloworld Emu Plains; Meghan Walker—Travel Studio; Lyndsay Laverty—Mid Coast Travel & Cruise; Ashleigh Rowe—helloworld Shepparton; Amanda Kavanagh—helloworld Gladstone Central; Emily McDonald—helloworld Brookside; Lauren Bryant—Experience Travel & Cruise; Kolby Hughes—helloworld Westlakes Mall; Jasmine Levingston—helloworld Armidale; Simon Clark—helloworld VIC Business Manager; and Peter Miers—Intrepid Group Business Development Manager. Aside from the wonder of Angkor Wat, and exploring the vibrant streets of the old city of Hanoi, the agents were also able to visit several projects supported by the Intrepid Foundation and saw first-hand the power travel has in being able to transform peoples’ lives. Highlights included a Cambodian cooking class, and a tour on bicycles from central Hanoi out to the fields on the other side of the Red River.
Tourism of Chile The National Service of Tourism of Chile (SERNATUR) has appointed GTI Tourism to drive its sales, marketing and PR activities in Australia, effective immediately.GTI Tourism will focus on trade engagement, consumer marketing and public relations to generate year-round interest and demand for holidays to Chile amongst Australians. The targeted strategy will also aim to increase length of stay and spend of Australian visitors, and overall position Chile as a standalone destination.“We have ambitious goals to grow our inbound tourism numbers and we believe the Australian market is an important part of achieving this,” said SERNATUR, trade and press manager, Adrien Champagnat.“Australians are prioritising international travel and have a thirst for the type of adventurous, nature-based holidays Chile has to offer. With air capacity continually increasing, there has never been a better time for Australians to visit.”
Sunday’s 23-7 loss to the San Fransisco 49ers was a quick,swift kick back to reality for the Arizona Cardinals. During the Cardinals six-game losing streak head coach KenWhisenhunt stressed giving the players time to learn thenew schemes. He said it was difficult for a newquarterback to learn a new system. The six-game losingstreak was about growing and maturing as a team.Then the Cardinals won two in a row, including a surprisevictory in Philadelphia, and people started to believethat the team was finally turning the corner andWhisenhunt’s words were having some effect. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories 0 Comments Share What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Whisenhunt was back to his old sayings on Arizona Sports620’s Doug and Wolf.“Defensively we have to continue to grow,” Whisehunt said.“We didn’t play as well against St. Louis defensively lasttime but we’ve made strides over the last couple of weeksin growing up as a defense.”If the Cardinals don’t beat the Rams on Sunday, that two-game winning streak will look more like a fluke than asign of improvement. “We have to do a better job coverage-wise in the secondarythis week than we did,” Whisenhunt said. “We didn’t have agreat week, coverage-wise, against San Fransisco, we hadsome technique breakdowns and that’s an area we have toimprove.”Technique breakdowns happen because the players are eithernot good enough or they are under-prepared. The loss to the 49ers reminded people that these Cardinalsstill have a long way to go. If they can’t bounce backsuccessfully, count on Whisenhunt’s hot seat to get alittle warmer. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
Top Stories When asked about Peterson’s contract extension, which made the 24 year old the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, Dockett didn’t hesitate to lavish some lofty praise on his teammate.“He’ll definitely be a future Hall of Famer,” Dockett told reporters at Cardinals Camp in Glendale on Wednesday.He went on to offer his two cents on the loud debate over who, exactly, is football’s best cornerback — Peterson, Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, New England Patriots’ Darrelle Revis or someone else — saying there was “no question” that his teammate was on top.“I’m not going to say no one else is better than him,” Dockett said of Peterson. “He works his tail off. He’s a dominant corner. He’s smart. He’s one of the most athletic guys in the league. And he plays hard.”Question after question came Dockett’s way about Peterson, his greatness and the size of his contract, and the quick-to-speak defensive lineman never shied away from the task of heaping votes of confidence upon his teammate. And he made a point of emphasizing Peterson’s work ethic and drive, above all else. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “He’s definitely deserving of everything he has earned,” he said. “He’s one of the young leaders around here. “He plays lights out. We knew the day would come. He’s one of those guys that’s humble and willing to prove to people that he’s the best corner in the league.”Then, as if in an effort to put Cardinals fans at ease that Peterson won’t be changed — on or off the field — by his suddenly magnified paychecks, Dockett offered a brief anecdote about the teammate he believes is Hall of Fame-bound. “He came in the locker room after he signed and you couldn’t even tell that he signed for that much money, because he was like, ‘I’m just ready to go to work.’” – / 13 The Arizona Cardinals didn’t sign Patrick Peterson to a record $70 million deal with the expectation that he’d slump into mediocrity, of course.Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim and the rest of the organization expects the opposite — the greatness Peterson has shown the league since he was drafted in 2011.And one member of the organization in particular, fellow defender Darnell Dockett, expects a high level of that greatness. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
GLENDALE, Ariz. — A funny thing happened on the highway to Super Bowl LI in Houston. The Cardinals’ bus blew a tire.New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels schooled Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher with a ball-control game plan, the Cardinals’ first-team offense was missing in action again, Arizona’s special teams were dreadful and Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo dinked and dunked his way to 264 passing yards and a 23-21 win at University of Phoenix Stadium. Too bad it was 107 degrees at kickoff. It might have helped to open the roof in Glendale and allow all that hot preseason hype to escape.“Obviously, a very disappointing loss,” coach Bruce Arians said. “We didn’t really play well enough in any phase — special teams, offense or defense — to win this game.”The Cardinals still had a chance to win until rookie long snapper Kameron Canaday’s snap was low and kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide-left with 41 seconds remaining.“Any time you lose a game it is a tough pill to swallow,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “We came out too slow, and when you have to win it with a late field goal, you’re obviously behind the 8-ball.”It’s fair to call this loss troubling. The Cardinals’ supposedly improved defense missed a number of assignments, it couldn’t cover the Patriots’ bread and butter crossing routes or short passing game, it couldn’t get off the field on third down (New England was 10 of 16) and it couldn’t sustain any pressure on Garoppolo despite the trumpeted offseason trade for outside linebacker Chandler Jones, who had a sack and a fumble recovery but was a non-factor for most of the game. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (29) is hit by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) “The good thing about it is it’s just Week 1. We have 15 regular season games to go. We’ve got to stay with the process. We know it’s a recipe that’s proven for success.”Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter – / 55 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona’s kickoff returns left it with consistently poor field position, there was the missed field goal and the first-team offense looked much like it had during the preseason; a shell of the unit that was last seen for certain game on Dec 27. against Green Bay.“It went in spurts,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “We had it going for a little bit but nothing sustained.”All of those issues will be addressed when Arians and his staff reconvene on Monday, but championships aren’t won in September. So tap the brakes on your freeway drive into hysteria. A lot of good teams have stumbled out of the blocks over the years and righted the ship in plenty of time for a playoff run.Arians insisted the Cardinals were ready to play on Sunday; they just didn’t play. That doesn’t mean the season is lost. That doesn’t mean the Super Bowl is out of reach. It just means the Cardinals lost a game in Week 1 of a very long season.“There’s lots that should stick with us,” Fitzgerald said. “We can’t just roll the ball on the field and come out there and expect to win against anybody — backup quarterback, no Rob Gronkowski, no (Rob) Ninkovich. They were playing at half-mast and they came out here and took it to us at home. That’s just a prime example of what you’re dealing with in the National Football League. You have to come and play for 60 minutes against whomever you play or you’re not going to come out victorious. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
There’s a pretty good chance you are not familiar with Adam Shaheen.The Arizona Cardinals, apparently, are trying to better acquaint themselves with him.A tight end from Ashland (it’s in Ohio), Shaheen is an intriguing prospect whom NFL.com’s Gil Brandt reported will have private workouts with the Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share The tight end class is one of the deepest we’ve seen in years, but I think Friday morning of draft week — the day after Round 1 ends — there will be teams vying to get near the top of Round 2 to take this tight end.Last season, the 6-foot-6, 278-pound Shaheen caught 57 passes for 867 yards and 16 touchdowns. The previous season, as redshirt sophomore, he hauled in 70 passes for 803 yards and 10 scores.If you are wondering why such a talented and intriguing prospect would attend a small school such as Ashland, Brandt writes that when leaving high school, Shaheen was 210 pounds and wanted to play basketball.When his father reminded him that there were exactly zero 6-foot-6, back-to-the basket forwards in the NBA, he switched sports and went to the closest school to his home.The Cardinals do not necessarily have a clear need at tight end, having just re-signed Jermaine Gresham to a four-year deal. However, they parted with Darren Fells, and 2014 second-round pick Troy Niklas has struggled with consistency and injuries. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Photo by Ashland University
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact GLENDALE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through.“OK, after reviewing the film, as poorly as I thought we played we were winning 7-to-3 when I took the starters out of the game. Did not like the way we started the game but I liked the fact that when we left the game we were winning. Some young players did not play as well I hoped, especially those two inside backers — Haason (Reddick) got better. He looked more like a linebacker and blew a couple of coverages that led to easy receptions. Budda (Baker) got better but still got victimized with his eyes in the backfield one time on a bootleg and he was too far off down there on that touchdown pass but he got better in the game. He’s going to get better — both those guys, he and Haason, will get better the more they play. 1 Comments Share (AP Photo) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “Oh yeah. Any time you make an explosive play of 40 yards or more, that makes you look. He can really catch the football, and he’s not shy about putting his face in there.”What does Hubert do so well that he seems to get open all the time?“He’s quick and he’s fast. A lot of times we had some running plays called. They stacked it up. Threw out to him and he made the first guy miss. Those were cheap yards but good yards.”What have Ross and Aaron Dobson added to the receivers room?“Jeremy is just a solid player, does everything right. Textbook all the time. Aaron showed the ability to go behind people all spring. It’s a shame he hasn’t had a chance to play.”Is it tough for David Johnson coming off the field so early? “He doesn’t like it. He’ll like it in November.”Will he see limited snaps against the Falcons?“Yes.”So he’ll be the one exception?“And Larry (Fitzgerald) probably. I don’t think after this many years Larry needs to be tackled. And if we throw it to him they’ll probably tackle him so probably won’t throw it to him.”With Anquan Boldin announcing his retirement today, what comes to mind when you think of him as an NFL player? I know you didn’t get a chance to coach him. When do you think he can practice?“Hopefully that last week of preseason.”How is Reddick doing on pass coverage?“When he’s on the right guy he’s doing really well. When he doesn’t have Karlos in there saying, ‘That’s your guy, go get him’ then he struggles a little bit. Scooby was worried about himself. He couldn’t help him too much. So, yeah, that part of it has been fine, when those two are in there together.”When is Bynes coming back to practice?“Hopefully today. We should get about five guys back today.”With the tight ends, was it poor blocking?“Yeah, very, very poor technique. I can’t think of any of them that blocked very well, even backside cutoffs, easy blocks we didn’t block very well.”Is there any thought of giving Bynes more of rotational role given his experience?“Yeah, he looks like he’s earning one so we’ll see how that goes.”Is training camp too long?“Um, yeah. I mean, traditionally four’s enough. When you go five (weeks) — it was really good for our young players just so that we could get them in pads and play football and teach them, especially our young linemen, offense and defensive linemen.”How come you decided to go five weeks? The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “Fierce competitor. That shot he took in New York and came right back and played. He made that catch in the Super Bowl to setup what I thought was going to be a Hail Mary that scared the (expletive) out of me. Luckily (LaMarr) Woodley got the sack, for us, not for the Cardinals. Any time I think of ‘Quan, everybody said he couldn’t do it, too slow, this or that, was a quarterback, all that, but he’s way up there in the stats for the great ones. Just an unbelievable competitor.”He talked about wanting to help people in society?“He’s one of those great guys that sets examples for all these younger players on how you play the game and how you take care of the people that the game’s taken care of so you can go take care of more people.”Besides Bynes, who else do you expect to be back at practice?“Dobson, (Brittan) Golden, Bynes, Rudy Ford. I think everybody but (Philip) Wheeler.”John Brown is OK?“He’s going to practice. He will leave for a funeral after today’s practice and meet us in Atlanta.”What about Jarvis Jones?“Jarvis is close. Not yet.”You might’ve heard that there was an eclipse today.“Yeah. You know not to look at that damn thing, right? I know you looked at it. I actually was driving over here while it was going on and I did not look. Not without the proper eyewear.” Top Stories “Offensively, I didn’t think our running backs really ran that well. There were some holes that we just didn’t hit. They would’ve been four or five-yard gains that we tried to bounce around for nothing. Offensive line played OK. Our tight ends did not play very well nor did our outside linebackers. Some of those runs that they got were our outside linebackers trying to do too much, jumping out of their gaps, not staying gap-sound and turning it back. Easily correctable things.“The best thing about the game nobody got hurt.”How do you look at the inside linebacker position? There still seems to be some unknown about Deone Bucannon.“I haven’t been counting on Deone. That’s going to be a blessing. We’re counting on Karlos (Dansby) and I think he’ll be fine. Haason has gotten better. Josh Bynes has been a great find. Scooby (Wright), when he’s played his own position not a new position, was OK and played well on special teams. I don’t look at it as a gloom or doom thing because I think Karlos will be fine.”Could Bucannon be activated off the physically unable to perform list this week?“Yes. But it doesn’t mean he’ll practice. If we bring him off it will be so he can start doing walk-throughs.” “Because we have to go home and practice outside. I don’t want to do that myself. Ninety guys in a bubble just don’t work. You’d be stepping all over each other. It’s so much easier to just stay here.”You said after the game that Carson Palmer wasn’t sharp. Was that just an off night or something else?“A little bit of both. Not studying them to the extent of what coverages they were going to be in, who was where and not putting a thorough gameplan together to beat their coverages, just running some of the stuff we’ve been working on. It just didn’t pan out.”You will gameplan this week for the Falcons?“We’ll have a full four days of Atlanta Falcon prep. Traditionally our third preseason game is our get-ready game.”Will the starters play the first half?“We’ll see. I would hope not, that we’d play well enough that we’d get 30 plays in and get out.”Was Chris Johnson missing things or he wasn’t making the one guy miss?“A little bit of both. He had a couple of runs where he bounced and could’ve just crammed it up in there for four or five and I think the one could’ve been as much as 10 or 12. Pressing a little bit.”Does he still have the burst that he used to have? Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “I’ve seen it in practice, yeah. There’s been a bunch of times he’s exhibited it, yeah.”Did you just want Kerwynn Williams to concentrate on the return game? He didn’t have a carry in the game.“Yes.”Have you found a punt returner in Williams?“I think Kerwynn has done a really fine job. He’s had two plus-10s in back-to-back games. He’s pretty fearless back there, and it’s different tackling a running back than a receiver, a guy that can make you miss and he’s got some tackle-breaking ability and he has that.”Will you have the players pick captains?“When we get down to 53.”Any players jump out to you after watching the film?“I think Kareem Martin had a hell of a game. (Robert) Nkemdiche had a really good game. Other than the penalty, Olsen Pierre, we just got to teach him not to tackle him by the head when you get there. The guy just really ducked into it, but. Little ‘Smoke’ (Chris Hubert) had a heck of a game, other than that crazy interception play. (Jeremy) Ross had a really good game. (Blaine) Gabbert had a really good game. Ricky Seals-Jones had a nice run. All he had to do was catch it.”With Ross, did that game do him some good with where he stands? Follow Craig Grialou on Twitter
Palacio TangaraGo back to the e-newsletter >Oetker Collection CEO Frank Marrenbach has announced the brand’s expansion into the Americas with the launch of two new hotels, in São Paulo and New York:“Today therefore, I am delighted to announce our expansion into the Americas; with not only one, but two extraordinary projects in two extraordinary cities: New York and São Paulo. With these two new properties we continue to carefully expand Oetker Collection portfolio whilst remaining truthful to our promise – not to just open new hotels, but to create true masterpieces. Guests will experience the levels of Oetker Collection quality and service to which they are accustomed and can trust that we will offer them a very special sense of place in both destinations.”Palácio Tangará, São Paulo: Opening 2017Palácio Tangará will open its doors in the spring of 2017. Built in the surroundings of the highly regarded Burle Marx Park, whose gardens were designed by Roberto Burle Marx, the hotel will offer 141 spacious guestrooms – including 55 suites – all with views overlooking the park.An acclaimed chef will drive the hotel’s dining experiences and there will be a signature restaurant, chef’s table, a bar, a wine cellar, a lobby and lounge bar, all with outdoor terraces.Additional facilities will comprise 11 function rooms, including a ballroom for up to 360 guests with terraces overlooking the park. The fitness centre and spa will have a private garden and there will be indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as a kids’ club.Timo Gruenert, Chief Financial Officer Oetker Collection notes, “After our successful partnership in the Caribbean with Eden Rock – St Barths, the re-opening of The Lanesborough earlier this year and the prospect of an opening in New York, we are thrilled to launch a hotel in São Paulo, which is going to have it all: unique location, exceptional building, creative cuisine and the legendary Brazilian smile.”A New York MasterpieceA ‘New York Masterpiece’: Opening 2018Further north in the Americas, in Manhattan, Oetker Collection will open a ‘New York Masterpiece’ in the spring of 2018. Minutes from Central Park, the hotel will be located in the heart of the city, at 550 Madison Avenue, between 55th and 56th Street.The 43-storey postmodern skyscraper was created by the famous Philip Johnson and is an iconic New York landmark. The hotel will feature 170 rooms including 60 suites set across eight floors. There will be a cosy yet stylish bar with lounge area, a gourmet restaurant, a spa, a fitness centre and a 25m pool.Located above the hotel, from floors 21 to 43, the owning company of the building, the New Yorker Chetrit Group, will create a total of 115 luxury apartments to be sold to highly influential clientele from now onwards. These apartments are decorated by world famous designer Robert Stern and will be serviced by Oetker Collection as well.Go back to the e-newsletter >
Jet2 will launch a new service between Newcastle and Split in 2009.The airline will launch cheap flights to Split, the coastal Croatian city, from May 2nd, departing from Newcastle International Airport.This brings the total number of flights from the carrier out of the Newcastle hub to 13.The airline’s Phil Meeson said: “Croatia is a fantastic addition to the schedule from Newcastle. The city of Split offers everything for the holidaymaker, from culture and history to beaches and nightlife.”With its Italian influences and miles of clean beaches, Croatia is fast becoming one of Europe’s leading holiday hot spots.”Jet2 recently announced a host of new flights for its summer 2009 schedule, featuring seven routes from Leeds Bradford Airport.Destinations added to the 2009 roster include Avignon, Geneva, Krakow, La Rochelle, Paris and Prague.The carrier also recently increased the frequency of flights from the Leeds hub to Malaga in Spain. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedNew flights to Monastir announced by Jet2.comCheap flights carrier Jet2.com will launch new flights to Monastir from Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle.New cheap flights from Edinburgh to Europe announcedNew cheap flights from Edinburgh to Europe announcedJet2.com launches new flights to Newquay and JerseyJet2.com has launched new flights to Newquay and Jersey from Belfast International Airport.
New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineWhy even think about staying home for the holidays when the 5-star addresses of Dorchester Collection will be celebrating in style? The stars of the luxury hotel group will be primped for the season with artistic decorations, unique delicacies and exclusive packages for holiday travelers. So pack your stockings and your luggage with care and discover what’s to be uncovered through Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year from London to Paris and Milan to L.A.:Wonderful World of Disney at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris: All eyes will be on Hôtel Plaza Athénée this holiday season as the most fashionable hotel in Paris unveils the Magic Window from Disneyland Paris. Like an Advent calendar coming to life, the hotel façade will light up with a dazzling display of visuals and sound and a new Prince and Princess stepping out of the window to greet enchanted passersby each Wednesday at 5:30pm from December 1-22. The excitement continues inside with Head Pastry Chef Christophe Michalak’s annual Christmas Log. Inspired by the Plaza Athénée children’s pedal car, this Christmas ‘log’ resembles a sports car, complete with chocolate wheels and bumpers and a sugar windshield.Making Scents of the Holidays at The Dorchester, London: It’ll be a holiday for the senses this year at The Dorchester. Look for colorful decorations throughout the Dorchester Collection property, with scents of cinnamon, ginger and orange in the air as The Florist creates hand-woven Christmas Wreaths from fir cones and assorted seasonings. (Available at The Shop; delivery available within London.) Youngsters can layer the hotel’s Children’s Christmas Tree with cookie decorations while a dedicated “Christmas Expert” will be on hand to aid with festive arrangements, such as priority tickets for the annual Christmas Grotto at Harrods. The Promenade will be dressed to a “tea” with Nutcracker Afternoon Tea for little ones and Festive Afternoon Tea for adults – including Champagne! – with multiple seatings daily from November 20 to January 2.Discover the Joys of Shopping at Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan: Turn holiday drudgery into delight with a Christmas Shopping Package at Hotel Principe di Savoia. The striking address overlooking Piazza della Repubblica provides guests daily complimentary in-town limousine shuttle service to the shops and an exclusive Principe Shopping Card offering 10% off purchases at the hottest boutiques in Milan’s Fashion District. With your shopping complete, return to the hotel for a relaxing massage for two and hot chocolate at the new Il Salotto lobby lounge. Guests also enjoy access to the Club 10 Fitness and Beauty Center.Eat, Drink & Be Merry at The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles: Exceptional holiday feasts are on the menu at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Join those who have made Thanksgiving and Christmas at The Polo Lounge a tradition with four courses – $99 for adults, $55 for children. Or, take turkey and all the trimmings “To Go” with a spread for 6-8 revelers for $440 with delivery within a five-mile radius of the hotel for $75 per order. Wherever you choose to dine, take the edge off the season with Homemade Eggnog at Bar NINETEEN12 in different flavors daily through December.Log Onto Holiday Tradition at Le Meurice, Paris: Three Michelin-starred Chef Yannick Alléno has put a delicious twist on holiday Yule logs with the Black Trumpet Yule Log at Le Meurice in Paris. The luscious dessert layers Trompettes de la mort mushrooms with chocolate and praline. The Black Trumpet Yule Log serves four and will be available December 1 – January 2 at Restaurant Le Dali for 60 euro. The historic property also celebrates with Christmas Tea Time at Le Dali, where a special pastry buffet will be available each afternoon from December 1, 2010 to January 2, 2011 (45 euro). Celebrate the season’s major events at Le Dali or at Restaurant Le Meurice, where Alléno will spread holiday feasts worthy of his pedigree on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.www.dorchestercollection.com/