Morales facing defeat in key Bolivia vote early data

first_imgMorales, Bolivia‘s first indigenous head of state, promised to respect the official results of Sunday’s vote on whether he can run for re-election to extend his time in office to 19 years.But he insisted on waiting for full results to trickle in from rural areas where he has strong support.“We are going to respect the results, whether it be a No or a Yes. We always have respected them. That is democracy,” he told a news conference.“We are going to wait patiently for the final whistle from the electoral tribunal. We are optimistic,” added Morales, a keen football fan.Morales, 56, wants to run for another five-year term when his current one ends in 2020, to continue a socialist program credited with improving the fortunes of poor indigenous groups.Exit polls published by private media late Sunday indicated Morales narrowly lost the vote.An Ipsos poll for ATB television said the “No” vote had 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent for “Yes.” A survey by Mori for Unitel television gave the “No” vote 51 percent to 49 percent.Partial official results with nearly a third of votes counted on Monday showed about 62 percent for No and 38 percent for Yes.Vice President Álvaro García said the early official count was based on returns in urban areas.He warned the jubilant opposition to wait for all the results to trickle in from rural areas where Morales has strong support, and from voters abroad.The Supreme Electoral Tribunal said it expected to have an official result with 90 percent of votes counted within two days.Longest-serving presidentOpposition figures celebrated their projected victory.“Bolivia said no!” declared Santa Cruz Governor Rubén Costas.Samuel Doria Medina — defeated twice by Morales in presidential elections — said: “We have recovered democracy and the right to choose.”The early results “are showing strong support (for Morales) in the provinces, but in the main cities and even in the medium-sized ones, there is a strong ‘No’ vote,” said analyst Jorge Komadina.However, “the forces of the opposition are scattered” and lack a single leader, he said. “They are a disparate grouping of leaderships and political intentions.”Morales said ahead of the referendum that he was prepared to give up on a fourth term if voters rejected the bid.“With my record, I can leave happily and go home content. I would love to be a sports trainer,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with Spanish newspaper El País.Alleging ‘US hoax’In January, Morales became the longest serving president since Bolivia‘s independence from Spain in 1825 — rare in a country that has seen numerous military coups.He is one of a generation of Latin American leftist leaders who champion “21st-century socialism.”He has overseen robust economic growth, but opponents accuse him of presiding over corruption and investing in flashy infrastructure projects at the expense of health and education.Since first taking office, he has been strongly re-elected twice.Bolivia‘s mineral- and gas-rich economy has more than tripled in size during his decade in office.But his popularity has suffered over allegations that he used his power to influence deals in favor of CAMC, a Chinese engineering company that signed contracts worth $576 million with Bolivia.The president rejected the allegations as “a hoax by the U.S. Embassy” to discredit him, and insisted he had “nothing to hide.” LA PAZ, Bolivia — Early returns Monday indicated Bolivian President Evo Morales was facing defeat in a referendum on seeking a fourth term in power, but he sat tight pending results from his rural strongholds. Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Bolivian president asks to see child born to ex-girlfriend Bolivia announces plans for nuclear research complex Bolivia’s Evo Morales marks 10 years in office Bolivia’s Morales: The US abolished Costa Rica’s armylast_img read more

Recommended hotels and restaurants in Quepos and Manuel Antonio

first_imgQuepos and Manuel Antonio are one of Costa Rica’s top meccas of great hotels and restaurants, many with gorgeous ocean views, with options for all budgets and tastes.Today in Travel we conclude our six-part package on Quepos/Manuel Antonio, part of the series “Costa Rica’s Greatest Places,” with our recommendations for five hotels and five restaurants in a range of prices.Read the story in Travel. Facebook Comments Related posts:In search of new horizons and old turtle traps in Manuel Antonio Marina Pez Vela sailed a rough sea to calmer waters Manuel Antonio: Mangroves, monkeys and jumping off waterfalls History of Quepos/Manuel Antonio, from the conquistadors to the turistaslast_img read more

US Southern Command supports Costa Rican indigenous communities

first_imgA group of 16 doctors, nurses, dentists and other specialists from theU.S. Southern Command are taking part in a joint humanitarian mission at an indigenous region in the Caribbean province of Limón.The group arrived in Telire on Tuesday in four helicopters and joined 30 Costa Rican physicians to provide free medical care to indigenous people at Telire, a remote community in the Talamanca mountain range, near the country’s border with Panama.Telire residents will receive health care services from specialists in preventive medicine, dentistry, pediatrics, ophthalmology and gynecology.The group will remain in the area until Nov. 5 in a mission known as “Operation Pura Vida.”Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata Vega welcomed the group in the city of Limón on Monday and said that humanitarian missions like this one are fundamental to improve health and security conditions for indigenous people. Misión humanitaria llega a Costa Rica para colaborar en zonas indígenas del país. Esto gracias a nuestra solicitud y apoyo @usambassadorcr pic.twitter.com/At5GAaSg90— Gustavo Mata Vega (@gustavomatacr) October 31, 2016 Related posts:World Bank: Zika will cost Latin America $3.5 billion in 2016 No shirt, no shoes, no hospital visiting privileges, says Costa Rican Supreme Court  U.S. volunteer specialists perform spine surgeries on 11 Costa Rican children Costa Rica restricts import, sale of baby walkerscenter_img Growing effortThis is the fifth time that Costa Rica has received assistance from the Southern Command, which is responsible for all U.S. military activity in Latin America.  The aid program started in response to a request by the U.S. Embassy in San José.The Public Security Ministry (MSP) in a news release said that humanitarian missions at indigenous communities and other remote areas have taken place for decades.The project began when officers from MSP’s Air Surveillance Service and the Drug Control Police learned about medical needs at indigenous communities during operations usually related to drug trafficking.Officers of the National Police, Border Police and citizens in recent years have joined volunteer groups on these humanitarian missions, MSP noted. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Zimbabwe minister detained over president insult

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likecenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk It is an offense under sweeping security laws to undermine the authority of the 88-year-old longtime ruler Mugabe.Insult offenses, with a penalty of a fine or imprisonment, are common. A Zimbabwean salesman spent four months in jail earlier this year after being found with cartoons of a naked Mugabe on his mobile phone.Mangoma was cleared last year on corruption charges he says were a political ploy.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Patients with chronic pain give advice HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – The Zimbabwe prime minister’s party says its minister of energy was detained for questioning by police on allegations he insulted President Robert Mugabe by wishing him dead.The party says Elton Mangoma, who is in charge of power and gasoline supplies in the troubled economy, was released later Wednesday. He allegedly said at a political meeting in May: “Mugabe die. Mugabe go.”last_img read more

Aussies spending up in Hong Kong

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J The strong Aussie dollar is doing favours for Hong Kong’s tourism industry, with Australians now the second biggest spenders in the region.Falling behind the Russians, Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific regional director Andrew Clark said the eight Hong Kong dollars to one Aussie dollar exchange rate has helped hoist Aussies into the second top spot in terms of spend per capita, with figures rising by 20 percent in 2011 over 2010.Speaking at the tourism board’s China New Year celebration last night, he explained the 20 percent increase was on top of a 20 percent jump in 2010 over 2009 and has placed Australia on Hong Kong’s radar.“Australia is very high on the radar in terms of the Hong Kong tourism industry,” he explained.“We have noted the extra spend.”As well as spending more, Aussies are also staying in Hong Kong longer with per night increasing 3.99 last year.In total Mr Clark said up to 645,000 Australian visitors stopped by Hong Kong last year, a fall of 0.5 percent compared to 2010.The drop was pinned to increased air activity from Middle Eastern carriers on the Kangaroo route, which resulted in a decrease of stopover numbers. Hoping to rebuild the minor loss, last night Mr Clark unveiled a new ad to run in Australia over May and April this year, targeting a growing number of young Australian professional travellers.The Regional Manager said the ad would promote Hong Kong’s summer to the leisure sector’s largest growing market, young professional travellers, a sector that has increased to 38 percent in the leisure mix.Check out photos from last night’s event by clicking here. last_img read more

TRYP Hotel leading Brisbane

first_imgTRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel has been recognised as the top-performing hotel in Brisbane by Booking.com in Excellence Awards.The hotel was recently presented the 2014 Booking.com Award of Excellence after achieving an impressive overall guest review score of 9.4 /10 in 2014.The Award of Excellence is presented annually by Booking.com to properties around the world, in honour of their achievements over the previous year as measured by their overall guest review score.Not only was TRYP Fortitude Valley Hotel’s score well above the national average, it was the best score in Brisbane, which is a good result for the young hotel, which opened its doors in September.All of Booking.com’s guest reviews are from within the last 14 months and are written by real guests after their stay.TRYP Hotel general manager Warren Cullum, said the entire team at TRYP is thrilled to receive this esteemed award.“This is a reflection of our focus on providing impeccable customer service to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. Our ‘Own the City’ culture here at TRYP revolves around providing guests with an authentic and immersive Brisbane experience,” Mr Cullum said.“While we are extremely proud of this achievement, and certainly pleased to be recognised as the top hotel in Brisbane, the award is also a great motivation for all of us to continue our constant endeavour for perfection.”A total of 4,617 Australian properties received a 2014 Award of Excellence with an average score of 8.64 across all properties.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

The Peninsula Hotels partners with Harrods

first_imgThe Peninsula Hotels partners with HarrodsFor the second consecutive year, two of the world’s most luxurious heritage brands, The Peninsula Hotels and Harrods come together as part of its “Pop-Up-Flowers” campaign.The partnership celebrates Harrods’ first concept garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (19-23 May), the start of the European summer and the emergence of The Peninsula Hotels in London, the group’s next European destination.Running until the end of June, the window display (image below) features a collection of hand and laser cut, folded and sculpted sakura cherry blossoms created by internationally renowned British paper artist Zoe Bradley. Bradley’s experience has seen her work with brands including Dior, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and The Royal Academy.Guests are also invited to enjoy “More Time… with our Compliments” – an accommodation offer where guests receive a complimentary third night when a minimum stay of three consecutive nights are booked at The Peninsula New York, Paris and Bangkok.Please get in touch if you are after more information or visit www.peninsula.com/harrodsSource = The Peninsula Hotelslast_img read more

DreamTrips Vacation Club Named Africas Leading Travel Club

first_imgDreamTrips Vacation Club Named “Africa’s Leading Travel Club”For the second consecutive year, DreamTrips™ Vacation Club eclipsed competitors for the coveted title of “Africa’s Leading Travel Club” during the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony. Hundreds of hospitality industry leaders gathered for the event, which was held on Saturday, June 20 at Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Baie Lazare, Seychelles.DreamTrips’ was recognized for distinguished service and product offerings in the Africa and Indian Ocean regions within the last year. Nominees in other Africa and Indian Ocean travel categories included Saint Regis, Carlton, Avis, and Air Mauritius.“This is great news for DreamTrips,” WorldVentures Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer Wayne Nugent said. “Our DreamTrips team works relentlessly to curate group vacations to some of the most coveted destinations in the world, while delivering excellent customer service. It’s wonderful that our peers and customers chose our product.”Since 1993, World Travel Awards has celebrated excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Last year, DreamTrips won four regional awards in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony is the second stop on the annual Grand Tour which visited Dubai earlier this year, and will include stops in Sardinia, Bogotá, Turks & Caicos, and Singapore before arriving in Morocco for the Grand Finals in December. DreamTrips Vacation ClubSource = DreamTrips Vacation Clublast_img read more

Qantas and Uber make airport trips more rewarding

first_imgQantas and Uber make airport trips more rewardingQantas and Uber make airport trips more rewardingQantas customers will be able to earn points on Uber trips to-and-from eligible airports in Australia[i] (opens in new window) by booking on the latest version of the airline’s app.From 3 November, an Uber icon will appear in the booking section of the Qantas app for customers to request their airport ride.The partnership means Qantas Frequent Flyers can manage their whole travel experience through the Qantas app, from booking their flight through to leaving home, boarding their flight and then making their way to their end destination.To recognise and reward the loyalty of higher tier members, and extend the benefits they enjoy when they fly, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Uber are offering different earn rates.When taking an Uber to-or-from eligible Australian airports, Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn:1 Qantas Point per dollar spent on airport Uber rides (Bronze members)2 Qantas Points per dollar (Silver members)3 Qantas Points per dollar (Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members)In addition, members who sign up to Uber for the first time and book a ride via the Qantas app will earn 2,000 bonus Qantas Points on their first Uber trip anywhere in Australia.Qantas Chief Customer Officer Olivia Wirth said feedback from customers indicated Uber is an increasingly popular way to travel to-and-from the airport, and that it made sense for the airline to offer a more seamless experience through its app.“We’re pleased to welcome Uber as one of our Frequent Flyer partners. We know it’s a service our customers already like using and now they have the ability to earn Qantas Points on their rides to and from the airport.“Our focus is how we can make people’s entire journey more seamless, and incorporating the option to order an Uber through our app helps do that.“Today’s announcement means millions of our Frequent Flyer members will be able to book their flight, their ride to the airport and their hotel on the Qantas app, and earn points from all three of them.”Uber General Manager for Australia and New Zealand David Rohrsheim said customers were increasingly looking for brands to work together to make their life easier.“More than three million Australians rely on Uber to get around their city and we’re always looking to make it easier and more valuable to do so,” Mr Rohrsheim said.“We’ve now established Uber pick-up and drop-off spots at all major Australian airports, so this was a natural next step in improving the rider experience for us.“We know Qantas shares our passion for great service and we’re pleased to partner with them to offer a simpler and more rewarding travel experience for Australians.”For more information on the partnership and how to book an Uber through the Qantas app visit qantas.com/uber Source = Qantaslast_img read more

Mount Lofty House breaks new ground with ultraluxury development

first_imgMount Lofty House breaks new ground with ultra-luxury developmentMount Lofty House breaks new ground with ultra-luxury developmentSouth Australia will soon have a new boutique hotel with the commencement of the final redevelopment stage at award-winning Mount Lofty House, part of AccorHotels’ MGallery by Sofitel brand.Named ‘Sequoia’, the development, which will sit separate from Mount Lofty House, will include 15 luxury villas which will be positioned on the front escarpment of Mount Lofty Estate, and will capture unparalleled views of the Piccadilly Valley. Each of the spacious villas will have private balconies overlooking the valley, fireplaces and views from every angle, whether it be from the bathroom, bedroom or lounge area.The development of Sequoia is part of a $14 million upgrade of Mount Lofty House, which has seen the construction of the triple-hatted, multi-award winning Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, the introduction of the Stables Day Spa, and a new heritage inspired entry to the estate.Also part of the upgrade, work is well underway on refurbishing all existing rooms of Mount Lofty House, which will elevate the property to an all-suite hotel. The refurbishment of the guestrooms is expected to complete in February 2019, while Sequoia is scheduled to open mid-2019. The hotel’s Piccadilly Panorama Event Centre is also undergoing a redesign which will be completed by the end of 2018.General Manager of Mount Lofty House, Jesse Kornoff, said, “Construction has now started on Sequoia and we are all incredibly excited by the development as it will add an entirely new level of guest experience on the estate which has been synonymous with decadence and celebration in Adelaide for 170 years.“The Sequoia development will rival some of the best boutique hotels in Australia and together with the refurbishment of the rooms at Mount Lofty House, we are confident that Mount Lofty Estate is going to become a destination in its own right”.Mount Lofty House offers guests a truly unique experience, showcasing South Australian produce, history and lifestyle within 15 minutes of the CBD. From this gateway among the gardens, visitors can tour some of the best wine regions in the State and taste the seasonal flavours of SA as winter weaves its way through the Hills. Source = Mount Lofty Houselast_img read more

Wyndham accelerates Vietnamese expansion with new Ramada Hotel

first_imgWyndham accelerates Vietnamese expansion with new Ramada HotelWyndham accelerates Vietnamese expansion with new Ramada HotelWyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchisor and leading provider of hotel management services, continues to expand its footprint in Vietnam with the signing of Ramada by Wyndham Halong Bay View, a stylish new hotel overlooking one of the world’s most iconic seascapes.Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020, Ramada by Wyndham Halong Bay View will be located in the heart of Halong City’s main tourist area, overlooking the breath-taking island scenery of Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Developed by Hong Quan Develop and Consultants JSC and owning company Lac Hong Construction & Investment JSC, this 200-room waterfront hotel will provide the perfect base for the rising number of guests visiting this alluring destination.Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province, where Halong Bay is located, welcomed 7.5 million visitors in the first half of 2018, including 2.5 million international travelers. This marked a 14 percent increase compared to the same period last year.When open, Ramada by Wyndham Halong Bay View will elevate the standard of upper-midscale accommodation in the area, with a collection of well-appointed facilities. These include an infinity pool, a 1,000m² spa and fitness centre, retail outlets, and a rooftop garden. Guests will also be able to unwind in a choice of restaurants and bars, including an all-day restaurant, a specialty seafood outlet, a restaurant with its own wine and cigar lounge, and a sky bar located on the 34th floor providing stunning views over the bay.Ramada by Wyndham Halong Bay View will offer easy access to all local business and leisure attractions, including the Halong Bay Cruise Boat Terminal, SunWheel Halong, Bai Tho Mountain, Yet Kieu Lake, and more.The hotel’s launch will also coincide with a major expansion of infrastructure at Halong Bay, including the recent opening of a new highway that has slashed the travelling time from Hanoi down to just two hours, and the construction of a new international airport just 50km from Halong City.“Vietnam is one of the world’s most exciting emerging destinations, with strong economic growth, rising affluence and improving infrastructure all contributing to record visitor arrivals. As one of the country’s most iconic attractions, Halong Bay is a ‘bucket-list’ destination that draws international travellers from all around the world. As a result, the destination – like Vietnam as a whole – is in need of more international standard accommodation in a range of different market segments. With our collection of world-class brands, including Ramada by Wyndham, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is perfectly positioned to meet this demand,” said Joon Aun Ooi, president and managing director, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, South East Asia and Pacific Rim.Ramada by Wyndham Halong Bay View will complement the existing Wyndham Legend Halong Bay, making Wyndham Hotels & Resorts one of the only international hotel groups to offer a choice of accommodation in this attractive destination. The company is also planning to launch many exciting new hotels and resorts in key business and leisure destinations all across Vietnam in the near future, as the company undertakes a strategic, multi-brand expansion of its nationwide portfolio.When open, Ramada by Wyndham Halong Bay View will participate in Wyndham Rewards, the simple-to-use, revolutionary loyalty program from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Named a best hotel rewards program for the past three consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report, Wyndham Rewards offers members a generous points earning structure along with a flat, free night redemption rate – the first of its kind for a major rewards program. Learn more at www.wyndhamrewards.com Source = Wyndham Hotels and Resortslast_img read more

Soraya Homchuen

first_imgOTM is a very good platform where we improve every year. We have been participating since many years and this year we are campaigning for ‘Discover Thainess year 2015’. We are trying to promote the essence of Thainess, which comes in seven categories, and we have 23 sellers from Thailand, including Thai Airways.last_img

Paris continues to lure travellers

first_imgParis registered 16.4 million footfall in the very first half of the year and is set to lure more travellers, as confirmed by a senior official.The hotel visits rose by 12.5% as compared to 2016, in the very first three months of 2017, due credits to the Russian and Japanese visitors who amplified the tapping of the footfall.The overseas visitors were 16% up and the French tourist number was 9.9%, whereas Japanese tourist count saw a remarkable shoot escalating to 62% this year, running in the second position were the Russians with 51% followed by Chinese at 40% for the same time frame of 2016. Around 11.2% more hotel rooms were booked for the business visitors in the first trimester of 2017.As per a French broadcaster, events like the Paris Air Show, plus a stimulus of €8 million for the tourism sector, including increased security has given Paris this huge number of tourists.Nearly more the 7% of France’s national income is curated by tourism industry and in the Île-de-France region about half a million people have jobs related to tourism.last_img read more

Total Mortgage Adds New National Sales Manager

first_imgTotal Mortgage Adds New National Sales Manager “”Total Mortgage Services, LLC””:www.totalmortgage.com/, has announced the appointment of a new national retail sales manager. Joining Total Mortgage with more than 25 years of industry experience, Neil Bader will now be responsible for leading the company’s retail origination channel.[IMAGE]Prior to teaming up with Total Mortgage, Bader performed as the national retail sales manager at “”Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company””:www.ghmc.com/ where he built and expanded the entity’s national retail operations. In his new role, Bader is charged with leading and growing Total Mortgage’s retail channel nationwide, and he will report directly to the company’s president, John Walsh.In addition to his sales position with Guaranteed, Bader has also worked for “”Wells Fargo Home Mortgage””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/mortgage/ as its area sales manager in New York. During his time with the company, Bader’s retail and private mortgage banking teams grew into the largest volume originator in the New York region. Commenting on Bader’s hiring, Walsh said, “”Neil is a focused and experienced mortgage professional, who has demonstrated consistent success in expanding and managing sales teams, while increasing their production in the most responsible manner.””Walsh continued his positive statements, adding, “”We are excited to have someone with Neil’s entrepreneurial and leadership background to help us build out our retail production platform. Our ability to close mortgages in 21 days or less is a tool that Neil will utilize in expanding this channel.””Earlier in his career, Bader operated as the chief executive for Skyscraper Mortgage Company after joining the entity in 1989 as a sales manager. Following Skyscraper’s merger with IPI in 1999, Bader took over as the chief executive for the resulting conglomerate, “”IPI Skyscraper””:http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=24269866, during which time he oversaw $2.5 billion in originations. Bader has acted as the vice chairman of “”Habitat for Humanity NY””:www.habitatnyc.org/, and he is still an active member of its board of directors. While serving Total Mortgage, Bader will be based in Milford, Connecticut. Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologycenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-01-12 Abby Gregory January 12, 2012 393 Views last_img read more

FICO Study Reveals Rising Demand for Credit

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology FICO Study Reveals Rising Demand for Credit Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Credit Standards Demand Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-01-15 Abby Gregory January 15, 2013 450 Views center_img Share According to a recent study from “”FICO””:http://www.fico.com/en/Pages/default.aspx, U.S. banks are anticipating the end of the “”household deleveraging”” trend observed among consumers during the past five years. The company’s latest quarterly survey revealed that bankers are expecting an uptick in customers’ demand for credit. [IMAGE]Conducted by the “”Professional Risk Managers’ International Association””:http://prmia.org/on behalf of FICO, the report found that financial professionals “”expect the supply of consumer credit to satisfy the growing demand.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Additionally, results showed that the majority of respondents “”believe the supply of financing for auto loans, credit cards, new mortgages, small business loans, student loans, and mortgage refinancing will meet or exceed consumer demand over the next six months.””FICO noted that 61 percent of bankers polled project a rise in requests to increase credit lines in the next six months, while the same percentage expect new credit requests from consumers to escalate during the period. The current results represent the highest on record for FICO in the 11 quarters since the survey was established, and additionally, the quotient of bankers predicting an elevation in credit card balances – 59 percent of respondents – reflects the second-highest figure seen in the survey’s history.””These results indicate that 2013 could be the year that Americans begin to embrace credit again, after the considerable deleveraging we’ve seen since 2008,”” noted Dr. Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs. “”With both the job market and real estate sector showing signs of life, American consumers may again be willing to fund their lifestyles by taking on more debt. And it appears that banks are willing to oblige,”” Dr. Jennings concluded.last_img read more

Commercial Real Estate on Track for Moderate 2014 Growth

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Commercial Real Estate GDP Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Service Providers 2013-11-22 Tory Barringer November 22, 2013 427 Views Commercial Real Estate on Track for Moderate 2014 Growth in Datacenter_img Commercial real estate (CRE) patterns are expected to continue on a “”steady but modest”” growth path, the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR) predicted Friday in its “”quarterly CRE forecast””:http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2013/11/modest-growth-seen-in-commercial-real-estate-markets.[IMAGE]NAR’s recent CRE Quarterly Market Survey shows leasing activity up 2 percent in the third quarter compared to the second, with sales levels also rising. The association attributes the improvement to an economic pickup in Q3.””Jobs are the key driver for commercial real estate, and the accumulation of 7 million net new jobs from the row point a few years ago is steadily showing up as demand for [COLUMN_BREAK]leasing and purchases of properties,”” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. However, Yun said, “”the difficulty of accessing loans remains a hindrance to a faster recovery.””Analyzing the CRE market’s growth, NAR noted increased interest in more expensive properties. Sales of commercial properties costing more than $2.5 million rose 26 percent in the third quarter compared to last year, while sales for properties costing less than that were up 11 percent.Over the next year, NAR expects to see vacancy rates fall in three out of four commercial sectors, edging up only slightly in the multifamily segment (up 0.1 percentage point to 4.0 percent). NAR forecasts vacancy rates of 15.4 percent (from 15.6 percent) in office markets, 8.6 percent (from 9.2 percent) in industrial markets, and 9.9 percent (from 10.4 percent) in retail markets.As far as rents go, the association projects gains all around. In the office space, rents are expected to increase 2.4 percent in 2013 and 2.5 percent in 2014; in the industrial sector, rents are projected to rise 2.3 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year; retail markets are expected to see average rents up 1.4 percent this year and 2.2 percent year; and apartment rents are forecast to increase 4.0 percent for 2013 followed by 4.3 percent growth in 2014. Sharelast_img read more

VirPack Touts Newest Enhancements to Doc Management System

first_imgVirPack Touts Newest Enhancements to Doc Management System In Virginia, document services provider VirPack announced the latest upgrade to its Document Management and Delivery System.The new update brings the system to Version 3.3 and continues VirPack’s mission to deliver innovative features that reduce labor costs, improve accuracy, and increase origination and delivery efficiencies.“VirPack’s Document Management and Delivery System remains well ahead of the rest of the industry, but we wanted to open that gap even wider, and with this new release, we have done that,” said CEO Michael Coar.“We are constantly speaking to our customers, lenders and our partners for ways to enhance the solution. Their recommendations were the basis of several upgrades that make the technology easier to use, more flexible, improve efficiencies, and deliver competitive advantages to them,” Coar added.The upgrade adds a pack of enhancements, including loan checklists, image tags, status-based access controls, automated assignment of tasks, and more.“Too often lenders rely on the document management features that their loan origination system provides. LOS vendors simply do not have the time and expertise to develop the type of robust platform that is required, especially considering the heightened regulatory scrutiny that lenders of all sizes face,” Coar went on. “In contrast, we are down in the trenches with our customers, and focused on improving our enterprise-wide document management system every day.” in News, Technology February 21, 2014 573 Views center_img VirPack 2014-02-21 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Flatness Projected for December New Home Sales

first_img Mortgage applications for purchases of new homes fell again in December, but an early estimate projects actual sales numbers held steady from November.The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Thursday that applications for new home purchases fell 0.4 percent month-over-month in December. The survey results, which are based on application data from mortgage operations of homebuilders, don’t include any seasonal adjustments.Despite the drop in applications, MBA estimates that new home sales in December came to an unadjusted 28,000, flat from November, while the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate moved up 2 percent to 409,000.Joel Kan, associate VP of industry surveys and forecasting for the group, explained that the sales data also includes estimates for all-cash transactions.The Commerce Department estimated last month that new home sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 438,000, coming in between economic projections of 460,000 and MBA’s prediction of 401,000.The government’s estimate for December new home sales, due January 27, will include a revision for November. Though the methodology between the government’s reading and MBA’s estimate is different, revisions in the last year have tended to be for the worse.On a brighter note, MBA projects that sales in January and February will lift slightly as the housing market comes out of the annual holiday slowdown.”We had a low point, so any amount of activity will show up as a gain, but you have to start somewhere,” Kan said.Conventional loans made up 70.8 percent of new home purchase applications in December, MBA reported, up from 69.3 percent in November. Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accounted for 15.3 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively, each down from the last survey.The average loan size for new homes last month was up to $311,398, meanwhile, a more than $4,400 dollar increase from November. January 15, 2015 528 Views Commerce Department Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association New Home Sales 2015-01-15 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img Flatness Projected for December New Home Sales Sharelast_img read more

Stonegate Mortgage Builds Executive Team With 3 New Hires

first_imgStonegate Mortgage Builds Executive Team With 3 New Hires In addition, Stonegate also appointed Michael Giampaolo’s as EVP, Stonegate Direct. Giampaolo joins Stonegate Direct from IMPAC Mortgage Company, where he served as VP, Consumer Direct Lending, and was responsible for managing the direct-to-consumer retail call center business nationwide. Prior to that, he has held positions as SVP of Retail Sales at Mission Hills Mortgage, SVP of Retail & Wholesale Lending at Financial Freedom, SVP of Wholesale Lending at IndyMac Bank and EVP of Wholesale Lending at Washington Mutual Bank.”Stonegate Direct’s mission is to deliver a simple mortgage solution for those consumers looking to purchase or refinance a home and complete their mortgage application online,” Giampaolo said. “Launched in October of 2014 as a division of Stonegate Mortgage, our focus is to streamline the mortgage process by providing direct-to-consumer offerings, including access to mortgage advisors, products and services 24/7 across the country.””We are extremely pleased to have Michael join Stonegate Direct and lead our efforts to grow the direct-to-consumer business,” said Jim Smith, Stonegate Mortgage President and COO. “His extensive mortgage industry background, reputation for leading high performing business units and strong execution skills make him a perfect fit to continue building our platform. I look forward to working closely with him and his future contributions to Stonegate Direct.”Stonegate Mortgage also named John Pantalone as SVP, Eastern Division Manager-TPO. In this role, he will lead and support the Eastern region’s Third Party Origination sales teams, while creating and implementing growth strategies. Pantalone has been a member of the Stonegate Mortgage team since 2011. Previously, he worked as a Managing Partner at REOsure Real Estate Services, and as an Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations for NovaStar Mortgage. His long-time experience in management and TPO sales within the mortgage space qualify him for this role.Steve Landes, Stonegate Mortgage EVP, National Director of Sales and President of NattyMac, Stonegate’s wholly owned warehouse subsidiary, said, “Throughout his more than 5 years with Stonegate Mortgage, John has demonstrated high quality performance and leadership in the channel. His extensive knowledge of the mortgage industry along with his management experience and dedication to both other employees and to customers ensure that he will continue to uphold Stonegate’s reputation as a leader in the mortgage space.””It has been an exciting journey to watch Stonegate Mortgage grow in the TPO channel, establishing a platform with an unparalleled national presence,” Pantalone said. “In my new role as Eastern Division Manager, I look forward to being a part of this continued growth and to consistently serving our customers with innovative, efficient and effective technologies.” Executive Hires Stonegate Mortgage 2016-03-10 Staff Writer in Headlines, News March 10, 2016 525 Views Stonegate Mortgage Corp., a publicly traded mortgage company focused on originating, financing, and servicing U.S. residential mortgage loans, recently appointed Carrie Preston, current Chief Accounting Officer, as its CFO. Preston replaces Robert Eastep, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.”Carrie’s twenty years as an industry veteran and specialties in accounting, auditing and financial reporting for publicly-traded companies make her a valuable addition to our executive team; I look forward to working closely with her as we continue to both maintain and grow Stonegate Mortgage’s reputation as a leader in the mortgage industry,” said Richard A. Kraemer, CEO of Stonegate Mortgage.Preston is a CPA and joined Stonegate Mortgage in October 2014 as Chief Accounting Officer, where she was responsible for leading the accounting and Securities and Exchange Commission reporting teams, as well as managing technical accounting research and key aspects of compliance. Prior to this, she consulted for Stonegate Mortgage for Sarbanes-Oxley and financial reporting, and served as CFO for Union Mortgage Group, Inc., and SVP and Controller of Saxon Capital, Inc.”Stonegate Mortgage is rooted in strong financial principles and compliance, key components in creating long-term shareholder value,” Preston said. “Those factors make the company well-positioned for future financial success, and I am looking forward to assuming my role as CFO for the company.” Sharelast_img read more