Judy Ross of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber, Wayne Mayor Christopher Vergano, Balu Patel, Ratilal Patel, Vishal Patel and Bhavesh Patel of Riverlink Hotels, and Jim Frenis of Prestige Hospitality Group celebrated the grand opening of the Courtyard Marriott Wayne FairfieldRibbon cutting at new Courtyard Wayne FairfieldPrestige Hospitality Group hosted a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the opening of the new 122-room Courtyard by Marriott Wayne Fairfield hotel in Wayne, New Jersey on July 26, 2018.Christopher P. Vergano, Mayor of Wayne Township, and Judy Ross, Vice President of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber, joined 263 Hotel Group, LLC and Riverlink Hotels, owners and developers, to mark the official opening of the new hotel.The property, adjacent to Wayne Plaza, has been the focus of various development plans for nearly a decade. At the ribbon cutting event, Christopher P. Vergano, Mayor of Wayne Township, recognized the Courtyard Marriott development team for their efforts and accomplishments.“Today’s celebration is the result of vision and hard work on the part of this team,” said Mayor Vergano. “On behalf of Wayne Township, thank you for the time and investment you made to create this successful development and exceptional hotel.”Located at 263 Route 46, the hotel is a Marriott franchise, managed by Prestige Hospitality Group of Albany, New York. The three-story hotel, which first opened its door to guests on June 14th, features an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor fire pit, fitness center and guest laundry. The hotel offers over 1,587 square feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 100 people.“The hotel is situated in an excellent location to capture the growing tourism and business hospitality opportunities in the Meadowlands region,” said Judy Ross. “We expect the Courtyard Marriott to be highly successful.”The Courtyard Wayne Fairfield features the brand’s latest lobby design, where guests can enjoy an open and modern environment outside of their rooms. The newly designed Bistro is the epicenter of the lobby, which fosters social connections and collaboration with more flexible and informal seating options. The Bistro offers guests a wide variety of “made to order” breakfast and dinner items, “grab and go” options, and also features an array of cocktails, beer and wine for guests to unwind at the end of the day.William Gomez, Chief Operating Officer of Prestige Hospitality Group served as the master of ceremony for the event and introduced the new hotel management staff. Maged Mosaad leads the hotel as General Manager and Stephanie Spano is the Director of Sales.At the event, Mr. Gomez read a Citation from the New Jersey Legislature, delivered from Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, congratulating the Courtyard Marriott Wayne Fairfield on the successful opening of the hotel.Background:Featuring an innovative lobby space as well as Courtyard’s latest contemporary room design, the new hotel provides flexibility and choices that allow guests to optimize and elevate their travel experience. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, the Courtyard Wayne Fairfield offers guests convenient access to the Willowbrook Mall, Montclair State University, and the New York metropolitan area.The new room design is intuitive and thoughtful, offering flexible yet comfortable spaces that enable technology. Upon arrival, guests can store bags on the “Luggage Drop” and plug personal devices into the “Tech Drop” ledge for seamless technology integration.Signature furniture and architectural elements replace traditional art in the new guestroom. The “LoungeAround” sofa offers a pop of color and a comfortable area for relaxing or for working. The new design also features a light desk on wheels, allowing guests to work from anywhere in the room.An upgraded, more spacious layout creates an enhanced bathroom experience. A “Shower Nook” housing shampoos and towels, makes amenities accessible without having to leave the shower.Throughout the hotel, guests can connect with ample electrical outlets. The business library features several computer terminals, along with a printer and separate computer stations dedicated solely to printing airline boarding passes and checking flight status.Green has been Courtyard’s signature color since Marriott launched the brand 30 years ago. Now it is even greener with the introduction of a guest recycling program for the environment. Receptacles for paper, glass, plastic and metal are conveniently located by side exits.About Courtyard by MarriottCourtyard by Marriott offers a refreshing environment that helps guests stay connected, productive and balanced. Intuitive services and design accommodate guests’ needs for choice and control. With more than 1,100 locations in nearly 50 countries and territories, Courtyard is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information or reservations, visit courtyard.marriott.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow @CourtyardHotels on Twitter and Instagram.About Prestige Hospitality GroupPrestige Hospitality Group (PHG) owns, develops and manages hotels and hospitality properties throughout the northeast. PHG is a full-service company providing hotel development and management services focused on people, product & performance. PHG provides operational, financial and strategic management services for a mixed portfolio of franchised and independent, full service and select service hotels. Headquartered in Albany, New York, PHG currently manages hotels in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and South Carolina. Prestige Hospitality Group can be found on the web at www.prestigehospitality.com Source = Courtyard by Marriott Wayne Fairfield Photo Credit: Kyle Cioffi
Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego cruise season turned out to be excellent which received over 70,000 cruise visitors and 251 cruise calls. The cruise season started in September 2014 and ended in February 2015, February was noted as the busiest month with 30,000 visitors.The figures supplied by the Antarctic Office from the Tierra del Fuego Tourism Institute indicate that until the end of February, 71,581 visitors had landed in Ushuaia in 251 cruise calls.“Most of the tourists that boarded in Ushuaia for a cruise hardly spent time in the province, and that is why the institute is working to see if we can change this and have the tourists spent time in other attractions here in Tierra del Fuego. Even when the real large cruises are not so frequent, we have seen an increase in the Antarctica cruises, and we are aware operators are doing their best to try and further advance this option”, said Gianfranco Guardamagna, Head of the Tierra del Fuego tourism office.
The union government will focus more on promoting the coastal tourism circuit.“India has a long coastline of 7,500 kms which possesses rich culture and heritage. If this can be harnessed along with beach tourism, culture and pilgrim tourism, all states particularly coastal states like Odisha will be benefited,” said Minister of State for Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma.According to the Minister, India’s new initiative to deepen ties with Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries will definitely help to promote intra-regional trade and tourism among countries of the grouping. Noting that India has a great potential of promoting pilgrim and culture tourism under ‘PRASAD’ scheme, he says the NDA government is giving more stress on developing, deepening and strengthening relations with the IOR countries which have civilisation links with India.“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka is the example of the government’s initiative in this direction. The Prime Minister has given more importance to promote ties with our IOR neighbours who will not only strengthen the security of our vast sea lanes in Indian Ocean but also secure our age-old cultural relations with them,” he added.
ITP (International Tourism Partnership) is endeavouring to bring hoteliers and stakeholders together to identify and discuss the most pressing issues for the industry with special emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.In cooperation with stakeholder engagement specialists GlobeScan, ITP has launched a six-month project following the GRI G4 process whereby 200 external stakeholders will engage through online surveys and telephone interviews to deliberate on social and environment issues that concern the hotel sector.The results will inform an exclusive event in Hong Kong this September where hoteliers can meet and collaborate on these issues with a range of stakeholders. Through the process, hoteliers will be able to connect with industry players to gain first-hand insights into sustainability issues in the region.Fran Hughes, ITP Director, said, “Stakeholder engagement is essential if a business wants to really understand the key issues and develop an effective corporate responsibility strategy. But stakeholders and hotel companies can sometimes struggle to start what can be difficult conversations on challenging issues. ITP bridges that gap by bringing different groups together in a neutral environment to share learning and work together to develop practical solutions. It’s a win-win for all sides.To be held on September 27, 2016, this event will provide a platform for sharing the learning of the 2016 stakeholder interviews with a select audience of ITP member hotel groups. Besides, invited non-member companies and stakeholders will also be present including representatives from academic organisations, certification bodies, corporate customers, franchisees, government, industry bodies, sustainable business organisations, investors, owners, suppliers, trade unions and other bodies.
The Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer (VITO) India has revealed that from January to April 2017, the visitor numbers from India witnessed an increase across all key indicators. VITO India, following the surge, will organise roadshows in Ahmedabad, Pune, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Chandigarh in August 2017.Speaking about the Indian market, Sanjay Sondhi, Country Manager, VITO India, said, “India continues to be the second top source market for inbound visitors into Indonesia with a total number of 1,37,291 Indian arrivals, recording a growth of 17.55% over the corresponding period January-April 2016.”Elaborating on VITO’s plan for the Indian market, Sondhi added, “Moving forward for the year, one of our key focus areas is to tap the Indian wedding, family and luxury segments. VITO India will also focus on various segments such as student groups, senior citizens, sports enthusiasts, heritage and culture enthusiasts, leisure travellers and the lucrative wedding segment. Our target segment from India mainly consists of families, couples, business and weddings and we are mostly looking at the age group between 25-65 years.”
Pullman, a hotel brand of AccorHotels has announced the opening of its latest hotel in China’s heritage water town of Zhouzhuang, Jiangsu province. Zhouzhuang is situated in Kunshan City, Suzhou’s southeast. With picturesque lake views, the hotel is nestled within a 50 acre wetland park and gateway to the century-old water system that joins the Yangtze River.Boasting 174 guestrooms and suites with private balconies and panoramic lake and park views, the spacious rooms feature the signature. For weddings, events and meetings, the hotel has an 820 square metre grand ballroom and seven function rooms that can accommodate up to 1,350 guests.Michel Molliet, Chief Operating Officer, AccorHotels- Greater China, said, “The Pullman brand was launched in Greater China 10 years ago and over the years, the brand has established more than 30 properties within the region. As AccorHotels’ new generation of upscale hotels, Pullman Hotels & Resorts offers hyper-connected travellers the best-in-class business and fitness facilities, functional contemporary design and balanced dining concepts.”Lucy Lu, General Manager, Pullman Zhouzhuang, said, “The opening of Pullman Zhouzhuang is the first international upscale branded hotel in town. The hotel’s design is inspired by the architectural elements surrounding the canals, making it ideal for business and leisure travellers from nearby cities like Shanghai.”Dining options include La Lune Chinese Restaurant, featuring 18 private dining rooms serving Cantonese cuisine, an all-day dining restaurant Café 88, a Western-style bar V Pub and a Lobby Lounge featuring a selection of freshly ground coffee and artisanal pastries.
Israel Ministry of Tourism is pleased to announce Sammy Yahia’s appointment as the new Director of Tourism for India & Philippines markets effective June 3, 2019. He will be responsible to lead the tourism board’s initiatives in India while overseeing the development of policies and strategies to strengthen Israel’s reputation as a world-class tourism and travel destination.A champion marketer by profession, prior to his appointment to India, Sammy was the Director of Marketing & Communications for Israel Ministry of Tourism from 2012 to May 2019. During his tenure there, he was awarded ‘Employee of the Year – Civil Service Commission’ and a certificate of appreciation from the Minister of Tourism and the Director General for his valuable contributions. With an MBA in Marketing and Communication from the University of Derby, Sammy Yahia also completed his BA in Social Sciences, Sociology and Anthropology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.The new Director brings great expertise and know-how to the role with an extensive and holistic experience in tourism marketing, strategic government relations and investment facilitation. He will be instrumental in integrating the ideologies of the Israel travel industry with the Indian market to facilitate effective marketing strategies for the destination in India. Being at the helm, Sammy Yahia will help maximise all opportunities to achieve continued growth in tourist arrivals from India.Commenting on his appointment, Sammy Yahia said, “I am delighted to take on this new position and look forward to working closely with various partners in India by building on existing partnerships alongside initiating new ones. India has a rich heritage, culture and history, similar to Israel and is an exciting market for me to take charge of. I foresee ample opportunities for us to push boundaries and reinvent the ever-evolving and dynamic Indian traveller.”While talking about his vision for the India office, he added, “The arrivals from India have amassed expectations in the last few years to present some record-breaking numbers. While keeping the current momentum going, the goal is to place India as one of the top global source markets for Israel. Besides the metropolitan cities, continuing to capture Tier II cities would be the strategy to lure travellers to consider Israel for a leisure holiday offering dynamic experiences catering to varied interests. Having said this, our office will aggressively work towards increasing connectivity between India and Israel by introducing new airlines to service the route.”Hassan Madah has headed the Israel Ministry of Tourism’s Office in India office for over 6 years, starting in October 2012. He began his journey overseeing the outbound tourism from India to Israel and opened the Israel Ministry of Tourism India Office in Mumbai in August 2015. During his tenure, he has grown to love and understand the country and has developed effective and long-lasting ties with media houses, travel trade, airlines and more. With many accomplishments to his credit, Hassan Madah successfully achieved consistent growth from approximately 35,000 arrivals from India in 2014 to almost 71,000 in 2018. He moulded the perception of Israel from mainly being a pilgrimage country to a thriving leisure destination and ensured both segments flourished simultaneously. Under his leadership, companies like HDFC, Glenmark, UTI, Reliance, Yokohama Rubber Company, BMW, Porsche and Bombay Industrialist’s Association (BIA), among many others, have completed large scale MICE movements to Israel. Several visas, reforms like reduced documentation for FIT visas and Fast Track visa processing, were introduced during his tenure, while the historic direct flight of Air India from New Delhi to Tel Aviv commenced last year as well. In addition, Arkia, an Israeli Airline, announced direct flights to be launched from Goa and Kochi to Tel Aviv in September this year. Another highlight of his term is the first Bollywood Production, Drive (movie of Dharma Productions starring Jacqueline Fernandez and Sushant Singh Rajput) which was shot in Tel Aviv and Jaffa in 2017. He also initiated the visits of various well-known celebrities to Israel including Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Disha Patani, among others.Commenting on his term of office, Hassan Madah said, “Living in India is unique from other places in the world. Travelling around the country I have met many people and experienced the diversity here, where every part has something special to offer. In my travels, I have had the opportunity to develop a rapport and work with leaders in the travel industry to change the perception of Israel to a leisure destination, which has led to many tourism developments including 103% growth in arrivals to Israel from India in the last five years. Travel partners including members from travel trade, social influencers, and even Bollywood have travelled to Israel and found the country to be a vibrant destination with so much history, diverse culture and landscape they shot a scene in Tel Aviv. With Air India starting the direct flight from New Delhi last year and more airlines showing interest in connecting India with Israel, I am certain there are many great things that are in store for tourism between the countries. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to live and work in such a dynamic country with such warm and welcoming people and I am certain that Sammy will feel at home in India.”With the appointment of a new Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism hopes to surpass their achievements of last year – a whopping 21% increase in Indian tourist arrivals elevating India to the 12th position among top source markets for Israel worldwide.
Housing Ranks Only Behind Jobs for Voters: Survey in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Home Prices Home Sales Housing Affordability Jobs Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2011-12-09 Ryan Schuette December 9, 2011 504 Views Does housing matter to voters? A recent survey says yes ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and finds that housing policy will rank higher for voters than even national security come 2012.[IMAGE]””Houselogic.com””:http://marketreadyblog.com/tag/housinglogic-com/, a consumer Web site affiliated with the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR), polled respondents across the country for the HouseLogic survey it released Friday.About one-third of all voters want to hear proposals from presidential candidates that address housing policy.””We need to keep housing first on the nation’s public policy agenda, because housing and home ownership issues affect all Americans,”” “”Moe Veissi””:http://www.realtor.org/about_nar/fullbio_veissi, president of NAR, said in a statement. “”The results of this survey show that many Americans understand that.”” When asked “”What issue area will have the greatest [COLUMN_BREAK]impact on your vote in 2012?”” by pollsters, respondents replied by ranking their areas of concern.The results? Jobs and unemployment ranked first at 54 percent, followed by housing at 27 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the only two issues that placed in double digits.Making single digits, national security fell in line at 8 percent, health care placed at 4 percent, the energy and environment ranked last at 2 percent, and a nondescript “”other”” tallied 4 percent.””With unemployment still high, it is easy to see why so many Americans are concerned about the job market,”” Houselogic.com said in a statement. “”However, employment and the housing market are inextricably linked because economic growth and job creation cannot occur without a housing recovery.””The Web site said that housing fills in for more than 15 percent of the GDP, calling it a “”key driver of the national economy”” and estimating that the economy creates one new job with each two home sales.””NAR actively advocates public policies that promote responsible, sustainable homeownership, which will in turn support overall economic recovery,”” Veissi added. “”We want to ensure affordable, accessible financing; support tax policies that encourage homeownership; and help more people stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure through streamlined short sales,”” he said.A national trade group, NAR offers Houselogic.com as a platform offering free information to Realtors. Share
Freddie,Freddie Mac’s Portfolio Shrinks Despite May Growth June 26, 2012 436 Views Increases in all aspects of “”Freddie Mac’s””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ total mortgage portfolio led to a higher (but still negative) annualized growth rate, according to the GSE’s Monthly Volume Summary for May.[IMAGE]The summary showed that Freddie Mac’s total mortgage portfolio for the month shrank at an annualized rate of 9.4 percent, a drop from 14.1 percent in April but still far above March’s 2.9 percent contraction rate. The negative annualized growth rate YTD is 6.8 percent.The different contributors to the total portfolio all saw increases in May: Purchases and issuances increased nearly $5 billion, while sales and liquidations increased approximately $1.3 billion and $2 billion, respectively. Values of sales and liquidations are both in the negative. However, further increases could bring sales values into positive numbers in the coming months.While purchases/issuances and sales both increased year-over-year, liquidations dropped immensely-negative $45.4 billion compared to negative $26.7 billion in May 2011.[COLUMN_BREAK]The balance for May’s total mortgage portfolio was $2.02 trillion, a relatively small decrease from April’s $2.03 trillion but down year-over-year quite a bit from $2.13 trillion.Freddie Mac’s mortgage-related investments portfolio also saw some growth, showing an annualized growth rate of negative 19 percent and bringing the YTD rate up to negative 22.5 percent (compared to April’s negative 23.8 percent). May 2011 was the last month to date which saw a positive annualized growth rate (5 percent).The growth in the portfolio seems largely to have come from a major increase in mortgage-related purchases, which shot up from $1.8 billion in April to $6.8 billion in May. The aggregate unpaid balance was approximately $9.5 billion.Though purchases and sales led to the mortgage-related investments’ growth, the ending balance still fell nearly $10 billion from April. The balance for May was approximately $592 billion.Mortgage-related securities and other guarantee commitments shrank in May at an increased rate of 9.7 percent, continuing a drop that started in April. This decrease was triggered by a further drop in issuances from approximately $32 billion in April to $28.9 billion in May.Single-family refinance-loan purchases and guarantee volume was $22.1 billion, representing 72 percent of total mortgage portfolio purchase and issuances.The single-family seriously delinquent (90-plus days) rate decreased slightly to 3.50 percent in May (from 3.51 percent in April) while the multifamily delinquency rate increased to 0.26 percent (from 0.25 percent a month before).The GSE’s total number of loan modifications in May was 5,091, bringing the YTD total to 22,222. Agents & Brokers Freddie Mac Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2012-06-26 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share
Commentators Measure Progress Five Years After Crash Share September 17, 2013 388 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Barack Obama Dodd-Frank Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Regulation Service Providers 2013-09-17 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing “”President Obama””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/ spoke to the nation Monday–one day after the five-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse that kicked off the financial crisis–to tout the progress the country has made and to urge Republicans to action as a potential government shutdown looms.[IMAGE]In his speech, the president recapped the losses following the 2008 crash and noted the recovery the country has seen under his administration, pointing to improvements in employment and housing trends.The bigger topic, however, was the budgetary debate happening in Washington, which has some GOP members saying they won’t support any measure that doesn’t defund the Affordable Care Act. For those members, Obama took a hard line.””Congress’ most fundamental job is passing a budget. And Congress needs to get it done without triggering another crisis, without shutting down our government, or worse–threatening to not pay this country’s bills,”” he said. “”[I]n case there’s any confusion, I will not negotiate over whether or not America keeps its word and meets its obligations. I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States.””The president wasn’t the only person to mark the occasion–many other current and former government officials and analysts offered their own commentary on the country’s circumstances, and not all of it was as charitable.[COLUMN_BREAK]Speaking at an event in Texas, “”FDIC””:http://www.fdic.gov/ vice chair Thomas Hoenig pointed out that conditions on Wall Street still resemble those before the crash.””Now, five years after the crisis, we should not ignore that many of the conditions that undermined the economy then still remain in our financial system. These conditions include: a few dominant financial firms–those that are too big to fail–controlling an ever greater portion of financial assets within the US; continued government protections and related subsidies; and the continued reliance on a business model with its heavy use of debt over equity and increased risk in the pursuit of higher, subsidized returns on equity,”” Hoenig said.While the Dodd-Frank Act does include many regulations designed to create greater oversight, he noted that the laws “”mostly reiterate long available to supervisors”” while failing to address industry structure and incentives that govern firms’ behavior.””Thus, in comparing today’s financial system to that of 2008, I worry that the industry is more concentrated, that the system remains vulnerable to shock, and that the economy remains vulnerable to crisis,”” he said.On the industry side, “”NewOak””:http://www.newoak.com/ president and co-founder James Frischling echoed that concern, offering statistics showing that the six largest banks now have 67 percent of all assets in the U.S. financial system. Size, however, isn’t the only safety issue at play.””Money flows are also incredibly important, so the plumbing in the financial system or what is referred to as ‘repo market’ can’t be disrupted,”” Frischling explained. “”The disruption of the funding market contributed mightily to bringing Wall Street’s problems to Main Street and there’s concern that little has been done to regulate or make meaningful changes in that area of finance.””For our system to truly be considered safer, more focus needs to be paid to the pipes that keep the capital flowing,”” he finished.
June 23, 2014 504 Views Share Massachusetts, Georgia Lead in April Price Gains Just ahead of Tuesday’s S&P/Case-Shiller Indices report, Black Knight Financial Services released its own Home Price Index (HPI) for April, recording a slight dip in price increases compared to March.According to Black Knight, the company’s latest HPI—based on April transactions—registered $236,000 for the entire United States, a monthly increase of 0.9 percent compared to March’s 1.0 percent gain.Compared to last year, Black Knight’s HPI was up 6.4 percent, representing a slowdown from 7.0 percent in March.Home price increases have come down from their highs of the last few years, owning in part to rising inventory and greater stability at the local level in many markets.Among all states, the biggest HPI gains were recorded in Georgia and Massachusetts, each of which posted monthly increases of 1.6 percent. They were followed by Maryland at 1.4 percent and then a handful of states all at 1.3 percent, including Delaware, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.While no states reported depreciation in April, Arizona saw prices steady at an index of $192,000, making it the only state in Black Knight’s report not to see a monthly increase in prices.At the metro level, seven markets posted new price peaks, including newcomer Nashville at $200,000.Out of the remaining six markets hitting new peaks in April, four were in Texas: San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Austin. The final two were San Jose and Denver, with the California market leading all others at an HPI reading of $743,000, thanks to the state’s low inventory levels. Black Knight Financial Services Home Prices 2014-06-23 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News
Federal Reserve Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association 2016-01-06 Staff Writer Shortly after the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise the federal funds rate in December 2015, mortgage applications started to fall. Is the Federal Reserve’s rate hike to blame or was it really just a seasonal drop off?The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday that for the week ending January 1, 2016, mortgage applications decreased 27 percent from two weeks earlier, according to their Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.The MBA said that this week’s results include an adjustment to account for the New Year’s Day holiday, while the previous week’s results were adjusted for the Christmas holiday.The MBA’s data showed that mortgage loan application volume, decreased 27 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index declined 50 percent compared with two weeks ago.On the other hand, the Refinance Index decreased 37 percent from two weeks ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 15 percent from two weeks earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 40 percent compared with two weeks ago and was 22 percent higher than the same week one year ago.”The collapse in refinancing activity in the final week of 2015 looks to reflect seasonal issues, rather than a reaction to the Fed hiking interest rates. Indeed, applications for home purchase held up and are now at their highest level in almost six years,” said Matthew Pointon, Property Economist at Capital Economics.The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 55.4 percent of total applications from 56.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.7 percent of total applications.The FHA share of total applications increased to 14.6 percent from 13.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.9 percent from 11.6 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.While it is tempting to want to blame the drop off in mortgage application on Federal Reserve’s decision to raise rates, Pointon believes that much of the decline is due to seasonal changes and other factors.”It is tempting to ascribe that collapse to the decision by the Fed to increase interest rates for the first time in nine years at their December meeting. After all, there is a tight relationship between mortgage interest rates and refinance activity. But that is hard to square with the data. The rate hike was widely expected and as such the rise in mortgage interest rates has been relatively subdued – they increased from 4.14 percent at the start of December to 4.19 percent by the end,” Pointon said.He added, “That may reflect homeowners reacting to news of the hike, rather than actual changesto rates. However, we suspect that seasonal factors are also playing a role.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination January 6, 2016 489 Views Share Mortgage Applications Plummet over Holiday Break
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians talks to Carson Palmer during the second half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 24 Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Perhaps the biggest question for the Cardinals is how will Palmer bounce back from a postseason in which he turned the ball over eight times (six interceptions, two fumbles), fueling the narrative that he is not a clutch postseason performer.“I’m sure he is as pissed as anybody and disappointed,” Arians said. “He will probably come back as determined as he did from (last season’s ACL) surgery.”A look at the Cardinals’ free agentsUnrestrictedILB Sean WeatherspoonCB Jerraud PowersQB Drew StantonTE Jermaine GreshamC Lyle SendleinG Ted LarsenS Rashad JohnsonLS Mike LeachOLB Dwight FreeneyOLB Jason BabinOLB Lamarr WoodleyRB Chris JohnsonDE Red BryantRT Bradley SowellS Chris ClemonsCB Corey WhiteRT Bobby MassieRestrictedS DJ SwearingerP Drew ButlerS Tony JeffersonWR Jaron BrownExclusive rightsDE Josh MauroILB Kenny DemensTE Darren FellsTE Ifeanyi MomahFollow Craig Morgan on Twitter – / 15 When the Cardinals finally move past the sting of Sunday’s 49-15 loss at Carolina, they will realize how much they achieved this season, including a franchise-best 13 regular-season wins, a third NFC West title, numerous offensive records and a berth in just the franchise’s second conference title game.With team president Michael Bidwill, GM Steve Keim, Arians and the core players all working in unison to create a culture never before seen in this franchise, it is tempting to view this season as a building block toward something bigger.It is also a dangerous belief.“When you have guys that are above 10 years in the league at critical positions, your window is very short,” said Arians, echoing a sentiment he voiced at the beginning of the season.Chief among those veterans is quarterback Carson Palmer, who will be 37 next December. No matter how good your culture is, if you don’t have an elite quarterback in the NFL, you’re not going to win championships.Palmer managed to stay relatively healthy this year, and he was joined in the NFL’s final four by 38-year-old Patriots QB Tom Brady and 39-year-old Broncos QB Peyton Manning so it is not far-fetched to believe Palmer can play at a high level for another couple seasons. TEMPE, Ariz. — During the season, coach Bruce Arians gives his players 24 hours to move past the last game, win or lose. As the Cardinals enter the offseason on the heels of a disappointing performance in the NFC Championship, the rules have changed.“Now you’ve got (the) nine-month rule,” Arians joked. “It will linger, but there were so many good things, so many positive things that they far outweigh that.” Beyond that, all bets are off, and Palmer isn’t the only key player with double-digit years of NFL service. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald will be 33 next season, when he enters the final year of his contract. Fitzgerald proved his worth on the field again this season, and his worth in the locker room is unquestioned.“Our window is not like other teams where you’ve got young franchise players in place for a long time,” cornerback Jerraud Powers said. “Carson is a hell of a quarterback but how much longer does he have and how much longer does Fitz have to continue to play at these high levels?“There’s no question we feel the urgency to win now.”Keim told The Doug and Wolf Show on Monday that he is already beginning work on improving the roster for next season. The GM’s track record suggests that is exactly what will happen.“You don’t get to be 13-3 with a bunch of slouches,” Palmer said. “There’s great players, there’s great coaching and the way we work is as good as I’ve been around so the foundation is definitely here.“The one thing you can look back on is we’ve gotten better each year and that’s something that Steve Keim and Bruce can be proud of. We just need to continue to improve and take that next step.” Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Is there a particular group that stood out to you and needs to improve?“No. 1 thing is turning over the football, 5-1, that’s an issue. I thought we played physical, and we knew it was going to be a physical game. But I would say probably on the back end, again with a little bit of miscommunication, again, when you hold Todd Gurley to 41 yards, I thought we were physical up front against the run. (Case Keenum) got the ball out quickly, and then there were some things again in coverage, whether it was in position to make a play and you don’t or it was a busted coverage or a missed tackle or two. I would say that the back-end probably didn’t play as good as other areas. I thought Deone Bucannon played well, I thought Kevin Minter made some mistakes, whether it was leverage in coverage and that sort of thing. There were signs in different areas that still makes me believe that No. 1, we still have a talented football team and No. 2, we have time on our hands yet at the same time we can’t mess around. We’re in a position that we all know, it better start changing quickly.”Do you think this team misses Rashad Johnson? “No, I mean I think we have enough leaders back there and guys that can get people lined up and can do the right things, it’s just a matter of execution, no different offensively, as we’re trying to get the ball down field and so many times we were in position to make plays, and you have the ball on the 42 yard line, David Johnson fumbles. You have the ball on the three and you don’t score a touchdown, you know, you drive in and you throw an interception in the end zone. So there’s a number of things we continue to do to shoot ourselves in the foot, and they’re all reoccurring, and it’s surprising to me because we had a good practice last week, it was physical, felt like we had a good week of preparation, but that’s not carrying over to the field. We knew what type of game we were going to have yesterday, and again I think some of it was positive, because it reinforces the fact that there are some things we can do that will give people issues, but at the same time, finishing and minimizing mistakes is still an issue.” What did you think of the pass rush?“We created some pressure and again, (Keenum) got the ball out so quick. I would say one of the things that bothered me was when we got pressure, we’re doing a poor job of keeping our eyes up as we rush. We’re getting guys that are consumed in blocks, or creating pressure whether it’s speed to power or bull rushes, and now all of a sudden we’re giving a quarterback an opportunity to sidestep and get a lane and get out of the pocket, or to slide and find throwing lanes when we have pressure on him. So we got to do a better job of getting our eyes up and creating havoc and making it tougher for him to move around in the pocket.” When is it time to panic and what does it look like?“Panic to me is a word when you do things out of the realm, where you need to do things unorthodox, and I don’t think we need to do that. I think we have some good football players who need to play better, and guys who need to get their heads straight in terms of preparation off the field, the mental side of it. I think we played with urgency and physicality, this past game, it’s just like I said, the little things, attention to detail, which is hurting us.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo General manager Steve Keim joined Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, as he does every morning following a Cardinals game, to discuss what happened against the Rams and what the team needs to do to move on to Thursday night.What’s wrong with the Arizona Cardinals?“Well I’ll say this: I never envisioned this kind of start. I don’t know that anybody, fans or anybody in the organization would’ve envisioned this. In the past we have won home games, like the Patriots, and like this game, so we’re close. (1:30) We make critical mistakes at critical times, and instead of being 3-1 we’re sitting at 1-3. Now the difference is, is those were different teams and this is a different time. So now we’re facing adversity for the first time, this kind of adversity in the three years we’ve been together, and we’ll find out what we’re made of quickly. The tape yesterday was interesting because there were actually a lot of good things and I know that’s hard to believe. When you put up 420 yards against their 288, 26 first downs versus their 12, we did some good things, particularly against Todd Gurley, minimizing his yards, moving the ball up and down the field, again, some of the same things are plaguing us, which is difficult to deal with, whether it’s a blown coverage or giving up a big play. Marcus Cooper’s in position, he just doesn’t make a play on that ball. Tony Jefferson’s over top and slips, and there’s a big play for a touchdown. The list goes on of things that happen like that. Getting off the field on third down, those sort of things, and all of that needs to improve.” How do you feel about Robert Nkemdiche being inactive again?“Well he’s not 100 percent healthy, but there’s no doubt, he’s got to continue to grow and get better as a player, and again, more so the off field stuff of studying the game and understanding the defense and that sort of thing, but now that the ankle is getting better, hopefully we’ll see more of him.”How did the offensive line play?“Surprisingly when you study the tape, there were some guys who got beat, but I thought for the most part we played fairly well. It’s no secret that Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn are two of the better players in the National Football League, in fact, Aaron Donald is amazing, some of the things he can do. I thought we did a really good job in the run game, being physical, creating run lanes for (David Johnson) and Chris Johnson. In the pass game there was some pressure, there’s no doubt about it, but I think they gave Carson enough of a pocket, other than a few snaps, to be able to throw the football effectively.”What do you as the general manager do at 1-3? Do you get angry?“Yeah man I’m a competitor. There’s nothing about it that makes me happy. I’ve been here long enough to go through tough times, and to know that the past few years that we have a chance to create sustainable success, and I hold myself accountable as anybody and I’ve got to do a better job, and it’s OK to take this thing personal, it’s my job, and there’s no doubt that it starts Thursday night of getting back on track against the 49ers.” LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals general manager Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) breaks up a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brian Quick (83) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) What is Carson Palmer’s condition? “He went through the concussion protocol, but I haven’t talked to Tom Reed yet and our medical staff, so I will follow up this morning and find out a little bit later.”Is the team showing intensity during the week?“Well they certainly did last week, coach was all over them, and they played fast and they practiced physical. It was one of our more physical Wednesdays of the season for sure, but that’s got to continue to ramp up. Obviously we’re in a mode right now where we got to figure out what we’re doing wrong, and there’s no doubt we’re spending every second trying to figure that out. The good news for us again is that there’s a lot of football left to be played, as disappointed as all of us are. You can look at the positives and try to build on it, but there’s no doubt, there’s a lot of disappointment around here, both inside the building and with our fan base, and that should be expected.”Have you scheduled any meetings in hopes of finding out what’s wrong? “I personally don’t but I know Bruce (Arians) will. Bruce will talk to the captains and the leaders, and I know those guys will have some player-only meetings to make sure that they’re all on the same page. There was definitely anger in the locker room after the game, in a good way. In a way where, we have competitors in there and everybody needs to do a better job and look themselves in the mirror. We’re all accountable for this thing, we just got to get it back on track and play our brand of football, and our brand of football, even though it’s a different year, is to finish games like that, minimize mistakes and win at home. That’s embarrassing that we’ve lost two home games that were so close, knowing that our fans brought it and were there in full force for us.” Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals dropped their second home game of the season against the Los Angeles Rams, 17-13.The Rams scored the go-ahead touchdown following a big punt return from Tavon Austin with less than three minutes remaining. With Carson Palmer out due to a concussion, backup Drew Stanton was called upon, but he was unable to lead the Cards to a game-winning drive.Next up for the Cardinals is a Thursday night tilt with the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Comments Share Your browser does not support the audio element. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories 0 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Palmer’s two picks bring his season total to 13 and places him fourth in the NFL in interceptions. This marks his fourth multi-interception game of the year, the most he’s has had since his first season with the Cardinals in 2013 (seven). – / 31 Both of Palmer’s interceptions occurred in the first quarter, with the first coming on the opening drive for the Cardinals. After securing a first down, Palmer tried getting the ball to Larry Fitzgerald near Miami’s 49-yard line, but found rookie Mike Hull instead. Ryan Tannehill took the gift from Palmer and scored the first touchdown of the game, a 28-yard pass to Kenny Stills.The second hiccup by Palmer happened at the 1:17 mark of the first quarter, where he again tried feeding Fitzgerald, but was picked off by Bacarri Rambo.Pro Football Focus gave Palmer a passing grade of 52.7, and stated that while the quarterback didn’t perform at his best, it was good enough given the weather conditions.When his offensive line could keep Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh off him, Carson Palmer was steady, if not explosive in the moist conditions in Miami. When the Dolphins’ pass rush got to Palmer (16 of his 37 dropbacks), the Cardinals’ offense and Palmer saw their performance drop off significantly. Palmer completed only four of his 12 pass attempts under pressure, good for only 3.4 yards per attempt.However, the quarterback has been arguably ineffective all year with a 20:13 touchdown to interception ratio. To put that into perspective, Palmer turned the ball over in the air 11 times last season, but supplemented that by throwing a career-best 35 touchdowns. A rain-soaked day in Miami, with the season on the line, was not an ideal time for Carson Palmer to have one of his worst games of the year.The 36-year-old completed only 18-of-33 passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 26-23 loss to the Dolphins. Palmer’s 145 yards were the least the quarterback has thrown since his 129-yard performance in a Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks last season — a game in which he only played the first half. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looks to pass, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Franchising Jones could force the Cardinals to part ways with Campbell, one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in football. He turns 31 this year.Campbell finished this past season third on the Cardinals with eight sacks, though he led the team with 26 QB pressures and 27 QB hits. One of the veteran leaders, it was at one point assumed he would move on after the season, though his strong play coupled with the inconsistency of first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche has led to speculation that Campbell may not be done in Arizona just yet. Whenever asked about his future, Campbell has consistently said he understands it may lie with a different organization but hopes that is not the case.The next Cardinal on Clayton’s list is safety Tony Jefferson, who he put at No. 28.It seems like every safety who plays for the Cardinals becomes a solid player. Jefferson had a great year.Jefferson was a full-time starter for the first time in 2016, and he responded by tallying 92 tackles, two sacks, five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was playing under a one-year contract signed as a restricted free agent, and is, like Jones and Campbell, hopeful his career in Arizona is not finished. It’s doubtful too many people envy Steve Keim these days.The Arizona Cardinals’ GM is tasked with rebuilding a team that slipped from 13 wins in 2015 to seven in 2016, with the task potentially being made more difficult due to the volume of free agents the team will have to make decisions on.Naturally, not all will be retained, which is a fact head coach Bruce Arians acknowledged the day after Arizona’s season ended in Los Angeles. The final player to land on Clayton’s list is linebacker Kevin Minter, who was placed at No. 41.Minter is a good inside linebacker whom the Cardinals need to re-sign.Minter finished second on the Cardinals in 2016 with 95 total tackles, while also posting a career-high 3.5 sacks with eight QB pressures and eight QB hits. A three-year starter (though he was limited in 2014 due to injury), Minter said he has never seen a team with so many free agents before but would like to find a way to remain in Arizona.The Cardinals, with four players in Clayton’s top 50, are tied with the New England Patriots for having the most players on the list. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories “This is always a tough day, because when it comes to an end it comes to an end, and when you’re not putting a ring on your finger, saying goodbye to some players is hard,” Arians said. “Obviously you never have the same team back.”With more than 20 players set to hit the open market, Keim has his work cut out for him, especially when you consider how valuable at least a handful of them are.Last week, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal listed three Cardinals among the top 25 free agents, while now, ESPN’s John Clayton has them with four in the top 50.The highest ranked Cardinal, according to Clayton in the piece for ESPN Insider, is linebacker Chandler Jones, who is at No. 4.Coach Bruce Arians has already stated the Cardinals’ intentions. Arians said Jones, who had 11 sacks this season, will be franchised if he doesn’t get a long-term deal.Indeed, Arians has said the team will use the franchise tag on Jones if a long-term deal is not agreed to, though Jones — who posted his second consecutive double-digit sack season in 2016 — noted he would like to continue his career in Arizona.The next player on Clayton’s list is defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who is at No. 10. 0 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Go back to the e-newsletterThis month, Budapest skincare brand Omorovicza will partner with Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest for a pop up store, running from 26 to 29 October 2017. Guests will experience a selection of treatments from the new Omorovicza Midnight Menu to celebrate the arrival of their Midnight Radiance Mask. This brightening overnight mask is formulated with active ingredients to gently exfoliate the skin while promoting cell renewal and fighting hyperpigmentation.The Omorovicza Midnight Menu is designed to prepare the skin and body for a natural restorative sleep. Comprising three sections, the treatment begins with a back massage followed by a 30-minute facial. Visitors can choose from The Detoxifier, a deep cleansing facial; The Brightener, a facial to boost complexions; The Restorer, a strengthening treatment for ageing skin; The Revitaliser, an overnight workout for the face; or The Hydrator, which restores moisture levels to help hydrate the skin overnight. It also includes a choice of two 10-minute enhancers to further relax and restore the body and mind. Visitors can choose from an Eye Cooler, Face Soother, Scalp Retreat, Neck Lift or Feet Relaxer. Each treatment is completed with the application of the Midnight Radiance Mask, which is left overnight on the skin.The treatments will only be available during the evenings from 5 to 10pm to coincide with the body’s Circadian rhythm.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterAdding a new level of sophistication and further cementing Nanuku Auberge Resort’s position and its overall product delivery in place at the very top of the Fiji resort listings, 13 new luxury one- and two-bedroom Auberge Beach Villas are on schedule for their official opening in October this year.One of the biggest resort developments to take place in Fiji in recent times, work is underway on the beachfront site project following a traditional ground-breaking ceremony conducted by local chiefs, village elders and other local dignitaries.When complete and ready for guests, each of the Auberge Beach Villas will come complete with state-of-the-art kitchens, private swimming pools and open terraces, fronted by a three-kilometre-long white-sand beach and the resort’s own pristine house reef.An added benefit for guests staying in an Auberge Beach Villa is the opportunity to combine an intimate and very private villa-style holiday in their own environment or, as desired, take full advantage of the fact they also have access to a full resort offering an award-winning restaurant and bar, a spa and wellness centre and a myriad choice of both on- and off-resort activities.A very proud Nanuku Auberge Resort GM, Sascha Hemmann, said the ground-breaking event represented a watershed moment for Fiji’s tourism industry.“There can be no doubt we raised the bar considerably when we first opened our doors under a ‘Nanuku Resort & Spa’ branding in early 2014,” Hemmann said.“The changes that have taken place since then, including a major rebranding as part of the internationally acclaimed and highly respected Auberge Resorts Collection, have truly positioned us in place as one of the most desirable resorts to be found in Fiji and further afield in the South Pacific.“When complete and ready for guests, we are beyond confident that our new Auberge Beach Villas will take that reputation even higher, in the process taking both our standing as a true luxury resort offering a definitive outer island experience to levels previously unseen in this part of the world.”Lead image: Artist’s impression of Nanuku’s Auberge Beach VillasGo back to the e-newsletter