Survey Originators Thriving Despite Rules Regulations

first_img Share Mortgage originations are on their way up despite the onset of new rules and regulations, according to a “”recent survey””: by “”””: Also included: how top originators thrive in today’s tough market.[IMAGE]Polling 80 respondents from the top 1 percent of U.S. lenders, the Web site used a 50-question survey for those considered “”the best of the best.””The results? Three-quarters of those polled make $250,000 a year, even as many of the same lenders decry mortgage rules and regulations.Says in a “”statement””: on the survey: “”The loan officers are highly concerned with the growth of mortgage regulations, though the group has managed to succeed despite stiffer compliance requirements and more cumbersome loan processing.””The Web site reported survey respondents calling existing referral sources “”very effective,”” with virtually all of the participating lenders denoting customer satisfaction as “”very important”” – a contrast with a “”Leads360″”: survey released in August that found [COLUMN_BREAK]””only 21 percent of lenders follow up with borrowers””: within 24 hours of an initial inquiry.Survey respondents chalked up their gains to innovations like the iPad, smart phones, and social media, which help generate mortgage leads, they say. Speaking with _MReport_ for a “”past story””:, mortgage brokers credited Steve Jobs, late co-founder of “”Apple, Inc.””:, as responsible for much of the improvement seen in their business environment with the creation of mortgage apps, phones, and other inventions.Despite recent departures by major lenders from the “”originations””: and “”correspondent lending””: shares of market activity ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô notably, “”Bank of America””: and “”MetLife””: ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reported brokers and originators listing correspondent and wholesale lenders in their top third-party lenders.The survey arrives on the heels of several successive outlooks posted by trade groups and companies from across the industry. The “”Mortgage Bankers Association””: more recently forecasted that “”originations will plummet from $1.2 trillion over this year to $900 billion over the course of 2012″”: trade group said that refinance applications would drop $783 billion over next year, down from $1.1 trillion seen in 2011, with refinance originations dipping to $495 billion in 2012 and 2013.For a “”past story””:, _MReport_ chronicled the efforts of mortgage brokers and loan officers and their strategies to stay afloat in a bad market. Web site founders, broker-bloggers, and industry veterans underscored the importance of brand management strategies, technology platforms, and news sources like those above for their information. Agents & Brokers Dodd-Frank Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Disclosures Processing Refinance Reverse Mortgage Service Providers 2011-10-17 Ryan Schuette in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologycenter_img Survey: Originators Thriving Despite Rules, Regulations October 17, 2011 380 Views last_img read more

June Housing Starts Rise to Highest Level Since 2008

first_imgJune Housing Starts Rise to Highest Level Since 2008 in Data, Government, Origination Share Housing starts in June soared to their highest level since October 2008, surging 6.9 percent to 760,000, the “”Census Bureau””: and “”HUD””: reported jointly Wednesday.[IMAGE]Housing permits dropped 3.7 percent to 755,000 giving back half of May’s gain.At the same time, permits for May were revised up to 784,000 from the originally reported 780,000 and housing starts were revised up for both April and May, to 747,000 and 711,000 respectively from 744,000 and 708,000.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected 745,000 starts and 775,000 permits in JuneTotal housing completions in June rose to 622,000, a 2.6 percent increase from May’s upwardly revised 606,000.Even with the decline in permits, the housing data point to steadily improving residential construction activity. Starts have averaged 727,000 in the first six months of 2012 compared with 578,000 in the first six months of 2011, a 25.8 percent jump. For all of 2012 starts averaged 612,000 per month.Permits too have surged: an average of 737,000 per month in the first six months of this year, up 25.3 percent from the average of 588,000 for the same period last year.Completions too are up, averaging 599,000 for the first six months of this year, 5.8 percent[COLUMN_BREAK]of the 566,000 for the first six months of 2011.Single-family activity led the increase in starts, up 4.7 percent in June to 539,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the highest level since April 2010. Single-family starts have increased for four straight months and seven times in the last nine months.Multi-family (five or more units) activity accounted for most of the drop in permits, down 31,000 from May while permits for single family homes increased by 3,000. (The balance of the 29,000 month-month decline was a dip in permits for 2-4 unit homes.)Of the housing completions, builders completed 470,000 single-family homes in June, a 1.3 percent increase from the 464,000 completed in May, compared with 369,000 new home sales reported for May. With the month-over-month gain, total starts in June are up 23.6 percent from June 2011, the tenth straight month of year-over-year improvement. Permits, despite the month-over-month decline, are up 19.3 percent from year earlier activity, the fourteenth straight month of year-over-year gains. Total completions in June were up 7.2 percent from last year.The census data covered the same month for which the “”National Association of Home Builders””: reported builder confidence ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô measured by the Housing Market Index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rose to 29 (out of 100) from 28. Any HMI reading below 50 is considered to signal a contraction. Builder confidence for July as reported Tuesday by NAHB rose to 35, the highest level since March 2007.The national increase in starts ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 49,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô was led by a gain of 59,000 in the West and 14,000 in the Northeast, offsetting declines of 16,000 in the South and 8,000 in the Midwest.Permits fell month-over-month in three of the four Census regions, improving only in the West where filings rose 5,000 to 180,000. Permits were flat in the Northeast, fell 33,000 in the South and 1,000 in the Midwest.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Homebuilders Housing Permits Housing Starts HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2012-07-18 Mark Lieberman July 18, 2012 404 Views last_img read more

MBA Projects Purchase Lending Growth in 2013 as Refinances Slide

first_img October 24, 2012 447 Views Mortgage origination is doing even better in 2012 than the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””: (MBA) had anticipated, according to data from the trade group.[IMAGE]The association revised its estimate of originations for 2012 upward to $1.7 trillion. The revision is nearly half a trillion dollars above MBA’s $1.3 trillion projection in May this year.Growth is expected to fall off somewhat in 2013, with MBA forecasting $1.3 trillion in mortgage originations for the year, largely driven by “”a spillover of refinances into the first half of the year.””””We expected 2012 originations to be front-loaded in the first half of the year, with refis falling off with rate increases. Instead we saw the refinance market grow during the year due to a combination of low rates, thanks to QE3 and slowing global growth because of continuing problems in Europe, and adjustments in the HARP and FHA refinance programs,”” said MBA chief economist Jay Brinkmann. “”We expect 2013 refinance originations to play out like our original expectations for 2012, with a long tail of refis extending through the first half of the year followed by a rapid drop-off in the second half.””Purchase originations are projected to see more activity in 2013, climbing each quarter up to $585 billion from MBA’s revised 2012 estimate of $503 billion. On the other hand, refinance activity is expected to fall to $785 billion next year, down from this year’s revised $1.2 trillion.””The increase in purchase volumes will be driven by continued modest growth in the economy, an increase in [COLUMN_BREAK]owner-occupied sales financed with mortgages as opposed to cash purchases by investors, an increase in new home sales and a small increase in average home prices,”” Brinkmann explained.This, of course, assumes that the regulatory environment does not disrupt credit lending and that lending conditions don’t tighten further.Brinkmann also said the association expects mortgage rates to stay below 4 percent through the middle of next year, mostly do to the Federal Reserve’s commitments to keep them down. Based on MBA’s originations estimate, the Fed will be buying 36 percent of all mortgages originated in 2013. With originations projected to be front-loaded in the first half of the year, the Fed’s purchases in the second half alone may approach half of all mortgages originated in that time.In other economic forecasts, gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow, rising 2.0 percent in 2013 versus 1.6 percent in 2012. Brinkmann cited recent increases in residential fixed investment, echoing Freddie Mac’s forecast earlier in the week.According to MBA’s outlook, the employment rate will hover around 8 percent until the middle of 2013 before falling to 7.8 percent by the end of the year. Employment growth is unlikely to have a major effect on housing, as “”the broader measures of unemployment that are most predictive of the demand for housing are likely to remain stubbornly high.””There are several threats to the economy that may throw off these predictions, Brinkmann said, including ongoing economic slowdown in Europe, the slowdown in China’s growth that may impact neighboring economies, and the prospect of a war involving Iran and Israel that may disrupt the region and impact oil prices. The most immediate threat, however, is the approaching “”fiscal cliff”” that brings with it large tax increases and spending cuts.””The tax in particular would be devastating to economic growth,”” Brinkmann said. “”We believe that the entire package of tax increases and spending cuts, if left unaltered, would cut 3.5 to 4 percentage points from our growth forecast.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies GDP Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Service Providers Unemployment 2012-10-24 Tory Barringer in Data, Originationcenter_img Share MBA Projects Purchase Lending Growth in 2013 as Refinances Slidelast_img read more

Starts Permit Data Show Shift to Multifamily

first_img Housing permits rose a sharp 4.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000 in February, to the highest level since June 2008, while housing starts edged up 0.8 percent to 917,000, the “”Census Bureau and HUD””: reported jointly Tuesday. Most–almost 62 percent├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ôof the increase in permits came in applications to build multifamily units.[IMAGE]Economists had expected the report to show 919,000 permits (up from the originally January report of 890,000) and 925,000 starts, unchanged from the original report. Permits for January were revised down to 904,000, while January starts were revised up to 910,000. Without the revision, permit activity would have shown a far steeper increase and starts a smaller improvement. According to the report, builders completed new homes at an annual rate of 711,000 in February, a drop of 0.6 percent from 715,000 in January, which was revised downward from the originally reported 724,000. Completions of single-family homes, though, increased 3.6 percent in February to 574,000, the highest level since June 2010, when builders completed 684,000 new single-family homes in the midst of the federal homebuyer tax credit incentive.The numbers are showing a distinct shift in housing preference. In the last two years, single-family permits have been below 70 percent of all permits, averaging about 65 percent. In the previous two years, single-family homes averaged 75 percent of all permits.Single-family homes accounted for 63.4 percent of all permits, but nonetheless, single-family permits rose to 600,000, the highest level since June 2008.Similarly, single-family starts continued a steady climb upward and also reached the highest level since June 2008. [COLUMN_BREAK]While the comparisons are favorable, the June 2008 activity came in the midst of a steady decline in residential construction. Single-family permits peaked at 1,798,000 in September 2005, almost three times the 605,000 single-family permits in in June 2008. Single-family starts peaked at 1,823,000 in January 2006, also almost three times the 647,000 single-family starts in June 2008.Similarly, single-family homes represent 69.5 percent of all starts in the last 24 months compared with 80.5 percent in the previous two years.Nonetheless, the absolute improvement in both permit and start and start data is good news for the beleaguered construction sector. “”Builder confidence””: in February, as measured by the Housing Market Index (HMI) compiled by the “”National Association of Home Builders””:, slipped one point to 46, the first decline in 10 months. The index reported Monday for March dropped again to 44, the first time the HMI has fallen for two straight months since July-August 2010.While new homes sales for February will be reported next Tuesday, today’s report included revised data for January that showed builders completed 554,000 new homes, 117,000 more than they sold. In the last 24 months, on average, builders completed 126,000 more homes than they sold each month, down from 156,000 more completions than sales in the previous 24 months.Total starts rose in two of the four Census regions, improving 36,000 in the Midwest to 132,000 and 16,000 in the Northeast to 103,0000. Meanwhile, starts fell 28,000 in the South to 463,000 and 17,000 in the West to 219,000.Single-family starts also rose in two of the four regions, increasing 10,000 in the Northeast to 59,000 and 7,000 in the South to 330,000 but falling 11,000 in the West to 130,000 and 3,000 in the Midwest to 92,000.Total permits rose in three regions, falling 18,000 in the Northeast to 81,000 but increasing 44,000 in the South (to 488,000), 14,000 in the West (to 232,000), and 2,000 in the Midwest (to 145,000).Single-family permits also rose in three regions, falling 11,000 in the Midwest to 91,000 while improving 14,000 in the Midwest to 319,000, 9,000 in the West to 141,000 and 4,000 in the Northeast to 45,000._Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. and again at 9:20 a.m. EDT._ Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Department of Commerce Home Sales Housing Permits Housing Starts HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman National Association of Home Builders Processing Residential Construction Service Providers 2013-03-19 Mark Lieberman March 19, 2013 430 Views center_img Starts, Permit Data Show Shift to Multifamily in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

LRES Announces Enhancements to Vendor Portal Website

first_imgLRES Announces Enhancements to Vendor Portal Website April 29, 2013 412 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Appraisals Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-04-29 Tory Barringer “”LRES””:, a national provider of commercial and residential valuations and asset management, announced new features to its vendor portal website intended to grant licensed appraisers the ability to manage their property appraisal orders more efficiently.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]The updated vendor portal website offers smoother workflow and transition to various site features, a more organized work queue based on priority of orders, and a dashboard with order counts by status, among other features. The site also offers new workflow management features, including the ability to search and view completed orders and work files by dates, addresses, order numbers, and payment status.In addition, the portal website now emphasizes special instructions/order due dates and provides unlimited access to engagement letters.””LRES places a premium on the strength of its vendor network, so we constantly look for ways to improve their user experience and work more efficiently,”” said Roger Beane, CEO of California-based LRES. “”The new features added to our vendor portal website create a more productive environment and user-friendly experience for our valued partners.””last_img read more

Equifax Approves of DocMagic eSign for Electronic Orders

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News DocMagic Equifax Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-06-03 Esther Cho in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology “”Equifax””: approved of “”DocMagic’s””: eSign for electronic 4506-T requests. This means Equifax clients can use DocMagic’s eSign for electronic signatures when submitting orders. [IMAGE]The IRS first began accepting electronic signatures January 7 for 4506-T forms, which are used by the mortgage industry to verify income during the application process. “”The IRS has very strict requirements for accepting these orders electronically,”” said Melanie Feliciano, chief legal officer for California-based DocMagic. “”Our eSign product [COLUMN_BREAK]meets these requirements and the team at Equifax has reviewed our product and confirmed that. Now, all DocMagic’s customers can place their orders for IRS 4506-T with Equifax and use DocMagic’s eSign technology to sign them electronically.””Submissions must be through an Income Verification Express Services (IVES) participant such as Equifax. According to a company release, in order for an electronic signature to be accepted, the submitter must also prove that the signer had sole control over the signature; the signer must consent to electronically signing, and the electronic signature must be unique to the individual and establish the signer’s intent to be bound by the terms of the 4506-T, among other requirements. “”Equifax customers are embracing electronic information requests, which has served to streamline their operations, saving them time and money,”” said Jeff Knott, senior director of poduct management at Equifax Verification Services. “”As an early advocate for this technology, we’re proud to offer our customers this opportunity to accelerate business and improve customer service. Our customers that depend upon DocMagic for documents and compliance will now find it easy to get the tax verification information they require.”” June 3, 2013 482 Views center_img Equifax Approves of DocMagic eSign for Electronic Orders Sharelast_img read more

DocuTech Names Director of Implementations

first_img Share DocuTech Movers & Shakers 2014-05-02 Tory Barringer in Headlines, News, Technology DocuTech Names Director of Implementationscenter_img May 2, 2014 490 Views DocuTech Corp., a specialist in compliance and documentation technology, announced a promotion among its ranks: Justin Summers was named director of implementations and professional services for the Idaho-based firm.Summers has served in a variety of project management and implementation roles during his career. In the past, he worked as project manager for DocuTech and previously served as director of information technology business operations for Melaleuca.Stepping into his new role, Summers is now responsible for process improvement, technical solutions, and workflow analytics, putting his experience to work to support DocuTech’s continuing growth.“As DocuTech continues to grow and the regulatory environment tightens, the implementation of our products and services requires an unprecedented attention to detail for our growing customer base,” said Scott K. Stucky, chief strategy officer. “Justin’s extensive project management experience and knowledge will ensure we continue to deliver for our clients, enabling them to satisfy regulatory requirements.”last_img read more

Beige Book Economic Growth Steady Real Estate Mixed

first_imgBeige Book: Economic Growth Steady, Real Estate Mixed Share The economy continued to grow on a “modest to moderate” track over the last month, with consumer spending and job growth fueling improvements in other economic sectors, according to the latest update from the Federal Reserve.In its most recent Beige Book report, the Fed recorded moderate growth in half of its 12 districts, including Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco. Contacts reported modest growth in New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, and Kansas City.The standout was Boston, where “reports from business contacts painted a mixed picture of economic conditions.”With two weeks to go until the Federal Open Market Committee’s next policy meeting, Wednesday’s report further bolsters the popular prediction that the central bank will vote to end its monthly bond-buying program and look ahead to raising short-term interest rates. There’s one more Beige Book due this year—scheduled for release December 3—which could offer a clearer glimpse into a timeline for rate hikes.Overall, most Fed districts characterized local growth in consumer spending as slight to moderate, the central bank reported, “and at a pace roughly similar to that reported in the previous Beige Book.” Spending was particularly promising in the Boston, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas districts, which all saw moderate growth.Employment growth was also more or less the same as in September’s report, with most districts reporting difficulty for some employers in finding qualified workers.Wage growth was described at most around most districts, though some reported upward pressures for certain industries and occupations, including skilled labor in construction and manufacturing.In construction news, reports were mixed nationwide, though homebuilding improved in many districts—including Cleveland, where single-family construction starts reached their highest level year-to-date. Growth was more tepid in districts like Philadelphia and Richmond, while New York contacts reported sluggish single-family construction numbers but improved multifamily starts.Home sales data was also mixed. According to the Fed, real estate contacts in Atlanta indicated existing-home sales and prices were ahead of last year, while San Francisco saw sales stabilize since the last report. Meanwhile, sales in Chicago came in lower than last year, while growth in home prices and rents slowed.Finally, banking conditions continued to improve since the last Beige Book release, though consumer loan demand leveled off in several districts and rose only slightly in others. The Fed noted that refinance demand for all types of consumer loans was down in New York, Philadelphia, and parts of Richmond.Credit quality was largely stable relative to September’s report, with New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco reporting improvements. Meanwhile, credit standards remained generally unchanged, though contacts around Philadelphia “said that heated competition for loans was resulting in a slight rise in credit risks.” Beige Book Federal Reserve 2014-10-15 Tory Barringercenter_img October 15, 2014 464 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, Newslast_img read more

Decofrutedited by wwwfreshfruitportalcom Freshf

first_imgDecofrut/edited by is not responsible for the information provided by State of the Market. The contents only reflect analysis carried out by Decofrut. You might also be interested in Northern Hemisphere market report for Week 42 (ending October 19)center_img October 25 , 2018 last_img

You might also be interested in

first_img You might also be interested in The Indian table grape industry can now export to Australia, after authorities from the Oceanic country approving conditions for import.Australia’s Department of Agriculture granted access in November, according to India’s Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).The approval followed a meeting of authorities from the two countries in the Indian capital New Delhi in September.The phytosanitary protocols for import have been uploaded to Australian Agriculture Ministry’s BICON website and include requirements for cold treatment.”The exporters are advised to adhere to conditions applied as per BICON and export grapes to the importers with valid import permit,” APEDA said in a letter dated Dec. 19.”It is further advised that all exporters must ensure that packaging, labelling and other regulatory requirements of Department of Agriculture, and Water Resources, Australian Government are strictly adhered to.”The Indian table grape season typically lasts from around December through March.  December 24 , 2018 ‘World’s first’ automatic mango harvester develope … Australia ag robotics startup Agerris raises US$4. … Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to … South Africa: Maluma Symposium to draw larger inte … last_img read more

Argentine lemon industry expects first exports to

first_img Argentine lemon industry expects first exports to … You might also be interested in The seedless lemon brand LemonGold will launch in one of South Africa’s high-end retailers in June. LemonGold follows in the footsteps of the globally successful ClemenGold mandarin brand.Seedless lemons are not new to the local or international agricultural market. But previous South African consumer-facing offerings have not been backed by strong branding, according to brand owner ANB Investments.“In the current marketplace success for fresh produce growers does not only rely on good quality fruit or smooth logistics and especially not on low prices,” says Marius du Plessis, CEO of ANB Produce and Marketing, the commercialization and marketing arm of South African based ANB Investments.”It has increasingly more to do with strong branding backed by marketing excellence and the strength of the complete value chain supporting the process. Consumers increasingly base their trust and consequently their buying behaviour on reputation and visibility of brands. We are now ideally positioned to handle the distribution and marketing of this innovative brand.”According to the company, the brand has already found a sweet spot in the German and Irish markets at premium retailers where the seedlessness of the product addresses culinary frustrations experienced by chefs, home-cooks, health enthusiasts, mixologists and lovers of all things lemony.“ClemenGold has trail-blazed its path to sit proudly on the shelves of retailers such as Edeka in Germany, SuperValu in Ireland, Spinney’s in Dubai and various significant Chinese establishments, and our superior value proposition in conjunction with sound business sense from our export partners Core Fruit give us significant bargaining power,” says Marius du Plessis says.The trees are said to be able to yield up to seven harvests per year. How it all startedAccording to Viresh Ramburan, Citrogold Director, the company recognized the potential of seedless lemons as a game changer in the lemon cultivar category many years ago and procured cultivars that could fill this product need from breeders in South Africa in 2002 and Australia in 2010. Argentine lemons: “Tough” second U.S. export seaso … Argentina’s citrus crop still “paralyzed”, light e … center_img The cultivar from Australia, registered as 3X97, also called 2PH seedless lemon, is proving to be more popular with growers in South Africa, it said.In 2013 AJ Esser, the CEO of ANB’s fruit growing business, Indigo Fruit Farming, visited Australia to investigate new citrus cultivarsAlthough the main focus was on mandarins, a visit to Kevin Parr who was growing 3X97 in Queensland, Australia, brought seedless lemons onto the agenda.“Kevin had trees in production and the external quality, the large fruit set, high juice content and of course the seedlessness caught our attention. Back in South Africa I convinced our partners that we should become part of the 2PH seedless lemon story.”Indigo consequently planted 205 hectares of 3X97 and others followed with now close to 2,000 hectares currently licensed by Citrogold in South Africa.“We’re currently harvesting from our first trees and the demand for the seedless lemons from around the globe is huge. The cultivar is still in its infancy in South Africa and still needs to prove itself, but in Australia the trees can flower 4 to 7 times a year and can yield up to 80 tons per hectare” says Esser.According to Viresh Ramburan fruit of the cultivars are consistently seedless, with great juice content. Insufficient plantings of these seedless lemon cultivars in the early years meant most consumers were unaware of the product.“Now with the focussed marketing efforts being undertaken with LemonGold seedless lemons, combined with commitment of leading growers towards plantings of seedless lemon cultivars, we are excited that consumers will see, experience and love the conveniently seedless benefits of these products,” he says. May 30 , 2019 World’s leading lemon exporter gains access to Ind … last_img read more

When you hear underground attractions do you th

first_imgWhen you hear “underground” attractions, do you think of nightclubs and other attractions that only the “in the know” know about?Well, the people at are talking about things that really are under the ground, like the catacombs in Paris, an underground salt mine with a mini-golf course in Poland to a crystal-filled cave in Mexico.Read on for more on these underground treasures.last_img

CorsicaJoy DoddsMediterranean Musings

first_imgCorsicaJoy DoddsMediterranean Musings Near our cliff-top hotel is a square with a monument brought back by the French Foreign Legionnaires in 1963, another example of the town’s history which straddles so many centuries.Hotel Genovese stands in an exquisite location in the Quartiere de la Citadelle, with 180-degree vistas of the water below. Recently renovated with style and aplomb, it offers everything from state-of-the-art suites and balconies outlooking the harbour to a magnificent pool area surrounded by a medieval stone wall. Bliss! And to add to the appeal, the hotel cats languish on couches, roam on the terracotta roof tiles (or are they on guard against pirates??) and explore the garden terraces in the pool area, representative of this oh-so-laid-back sanctuary.The Office de Tourisme, located in Rue Scamaroni, named after a Resistance hero, is adjacent to an ancient steep walkway, the Patrol Path or Chemin de Ronde. This medieval promenade of the ramparts lies in the heart of the Old Town upper city, and leads both down to the waterfront as well as to the Marine Cemetery at the far end of the Promontory overlooking the Straits of Bonifacio.Medieval history is everywhere, including the arsenal built in 1492 at the site of the Saint-Laurent Chapel built by the Knights Templars during the Crusades. Today it is the site for the weekly local market. Another 12th century chapel of Saint-Jacques is today an auditorium for local events and cultural exhibitions. Yesteryear and today, blending seamlessly, a la Bonifacio.View from Hotel Genovese, out to the Haute Ville and overlooking marina.The city’s shops sell an interesting collection of fashion and household goods, from those with a nautical flavour to casual bags and gear, and even specialised knives and cutlasses – perhaps from those heady pirate days!While Ajaccio may be the capital of Corsica, without a doubt its Picturesque Capital is the historic town at the extreme south of “The Island of Beauty”, a true open-air museum. Beyond the town lie 20 finely-sanded beaches and rare landscapes with protected national parks on land and sea. The waters off the island are a yachtie’s dream, not to mention larger cruise ships that populate the Mediterranean during the warmer months.The writer enjoying local seafoodTake a tip and visit places like Bonifacio and Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda during the spring and autumn before the hungry tourist hordes materialise and when the locals are relaxed and super-friendly, emitting that warm Mediterranean charm before the high season commences “en force”. Read Joy Dodds’ Mediterranean Musings Part 1 and Part 2. Nothing on Earth can prepare the eyes for the entry by sea into Corsica’s Bonifacio harbour. Towering white cliffs, reminiscent of those at England’s Dover, are in this case topped with medieval stone walls, bastions and fortifications, arising dramatically out of the Straits of Bonifacio.Approach of ferry from Sardinia into BonifacioThis stunning medieval vista atop limestone cliffs is suddenly interrupted by our landing at the maritime terminal, where a string of up-market restaurants, wine bars and perky boutiques spread out along Quai Comparetti. Nearby Two Emperors’ Street commemorates the visits of both Bonaparte and Charles V and dates back to ancient times when the Republic of Genoa ruled Corsica. The nearby Genoa Gate features a drawbridge built in 1830, when French domination commenced.Notwithstanding the beauty of the water’s edge and its buildings, without a doubt the jewel of Bonifacio is its Haute Ville in the Old Town. One of its most ancient buildings is the Torrione, built in 1484 as a fortification and originally erected on the Casteletto built by Boniface, Marquis of Tuscany in the 9th century, and who gave his name to the town. Nearby is Escalier du Roy d’Aragon, the Stairway of the King of Aragon, sculpted steeply into the cliffs. Legend has it that the 187 steps were built overnight during a siege in 1420.last_img read more

Quite the honest blunt answer from the soontobe

first_imgQuite the honest, blunt answer from the soon-to-be second-year Cardinal. Mathieu’s reply seems to acknowledge that’s he has come a long way, but that his work is not yet finished. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The user, who calls himself Chris, was either trying to poke fun at “The Honey Badger’s” past reputation, or perhaps he was just saying Gordon could learn from Mathieu’s rehabilitation.Either way, the Cardinals defensive back apparently looks at when he is tagged in a Twitter post, because he directly replied back the following.“@Cryan215: Josh Gordon needs to start hanging out with @Mathieu_Era” oh no , I am still in recovery my self— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) July 7, 2014 Former NFL star Deion Sanders noticed Mathieu’s response, as he tweeted a bit of affirmation to the Cardinals safety.@Mathieu_Era lolol. You’re a fool man. That’s hilarious. I pray all is well my man. Truth— DeionSanders (@DeionSanders) July 7, 2014 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories USA Today says that the Browns drafted Gordon in 2012 knowing he had drug issues in college at Baylor and Utah. He served a two-game drug-related suspension at the beginning of the 2013 season, and before being arrested Saturday, was already facing a ban of at least one year under the league’s drug policy, although the receiver has appealed the ruling.After news of Gordon’s arrest started trickling in, the 23-year-old receiver began trending on Twitter. One user of the social media site mentioned Gordon and Mathieu together in a single tweet.Josh Gordon needs to start hanging out with @Mathieu_Era— Chris (@Cryan215) July 7, 2014 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Tyrann Mathieu knows about off-the-field struggles. Fortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, the LSU product appears to have put those issues behind him, having not been a distraction since the entered the NFL as a third-round draftee in 2013.Someone who is struggling from similar issues that used to plague Mathieu is Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns. The NFL’s leading receiver in 2013 was pulled over for speeding over the weekend and subsequently arrested for DWI.last_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling (AP Photo/Matt York) 0 Comments   Share   Moala, an undrafted free agent out of Utah State, previously spent time in Denver Broncos training camp before he was cut in August 2016. He has since worked out for several other NFL teams, including the Panthers, Packers and Chiefs.Moala played his final two years at Utah State and in 2015 earned All-Mountain West honors his senior season by recording 50 tackles to go with 4.5 sacks.Heading into preseason play, Moala (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) and Anau (6-foot-3, 282 pounds) provide depth behind an expected regular-season tackle rotation that should include Frostee Rucker, Corey Peters, Rodney Gunter and Xavier Williams, among others. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Defensive tackles Peli Anau and David Moala have joined the Arizona Cardinals for training camp, the team announced Tuesday.Arizona also announced it reached an injury settlement with cornerback Elie Bouka, who is out with an ankle injury. Bouka was a 2016 third-round pick in the Canadian Football League.Anau, an undrafted rookie, hails from Phoenix and attended Horizon High School before he played his college ball at Northern Arizona. As a senior, he was an FCS All-American for the Lumberjacks after totalling 55 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more


first_img 0 Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals released running back Adrian Peterson Tuesday.He was acquired from the New Orleans Saints in October after David Johnson was placed on injured reserve with a broken wrist he suffered in Week 1.As part of the trade, the Cardinals sent New Orleans a conditional sixth-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Related LinksArizona Cardinals expected to waive running back Adrian PetersonArizona Cardinals officially sign quarterback Sam BradfordThe 32-year-old appeared in six games for the Cardinals in 2017, rushing for 448 yards and two touchdowns on 129 attempts. He also had nine receptions for 66 yards. His season was cut short after he was placed on injured reserve due to a neck injury he suffered in the Cardinals’ Week 12 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars.According to, the Cardinals are freeing up over $2.88 million in cap space by releasing Peterson.With the league year set to begin on Wednesday, there is expected to be multiple roster moves made early in the week.The move was first reported to likely happen on Jan. 31 and again on Monday. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson (23) runs with the ball chased by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half of an NFL football game at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter On 1 September 2015

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >On 1 September 2015, Thredbo announced a 72-hour September snow sale to celebrate the optimum conditions Thredbo skifields are experiencing. The sale includes the release of the 3 Day Flexi Pass for only $199 for Adults, saving $140, and $109 for under 18/65+.The 3 Day Flexi Pass will be valid until the end of the season and can be used for skiing or snowboarding for any 3 days in Thredbo.Thredbo is offering other spring promotions during the month of September, including:Kids Ski Free – with any full paying adult’s 3- or 5-day lift passTorah Bright 3 for 2 Beginner Pack – back on sale giving beginners an extra day of skiing or snowboarding for freePay 4 Stay 5 – during the September school holidays and enjoy a free night and day, when you pay for 2 nights and a 2-day lift passGo back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Located in Singapores

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterLocated in Singapore’s downtown Civic and Cultural District is the architectural gem, once discretely known as Capitol Building and Stamford House, about which many locals fondly reminisce. Today, after years of meticulous restoration by acclaimed architects and updated with refreshing modern touches by famed interior designers, its glories will be revived as it unveils as a luxury haven, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore. Promising to be an oasis of tranquility in the heart of the city underscored by its signature bespoke hospitality, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore will welcome guests for stays from 01 October 2018.The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore is nestled at the centre of the continually revitalised luxury heritage lifestyle destination, Capitol Singapore, encompassing an exclusive 39-unit residential tower, a premium retail mall and the iconic Capitol Theatre.Beautifully restored, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore features a design that stays true to the buildings’ colonial Art Deco and Victorian aesthetics while stylishly capturing contemporary beauty and elegance to be a true masterpiece. Each design element infuses homely warmth into the space while giving the feeling of understated grandeur, underscoring its stately past. Precise lines and geometric shapes are a recurring design theme, a nod to the Art Deco style of the early 20th century, when Capitol Building was first built. Travertine limestone columns, high-gloss piano rosewood lacquered finishes and Italian marble floors showcase the richness and opulence of Victorian design and are beautifully juxtaposed against muted warm tones, lightly embossed champagne-coloured wallpaper and the integration of Chengal wood flooring from the original building.High, corniced ceilings, dramatic archways and grand windows offer sweeping views of the city and an abundance of natural light that shifts with the day, lending an almost ethereal glow to the space. Lamps and cornices in each room have a patterned design, customised to represent the scales of Singapore’s mascot, the Merlion, in a subtle tribute to the nation.The Kempinski ExperienceUpon entering The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, a luxurious residential living is beheld. Be greeted by the Lady in Red, a signature Kempinski brand ambassador who embodies a dedication to impeccable personal service and superb hospitality, representing the epitome of timeless European elegance.The 157 rooms and suites are each marked by intricate detailing and light-filled, high-ceiling interiors. Spanning almost 50 unique room configurations, forgoing the typical unit-oriented hotel typology, each area is thoughtfully designed, working cohesively within these conservation structures. In all eight room categories, guests can expect spacious living spaces including a luxurious bathroom with free-standing, deep-soaking bath, Sonos audio system, a generous work desk area, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages from the minibar, complimentary Wi-Fi and much more. For guests staying in suites, complimentary daily gourmet breakfast and a promise of a 24-hour stay await.Wellness and relaxationThe ultimate retreat awaits at The Spa at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, where the fusion of modern therapies and traditional Asian massages has been fine-tuned to blissful perfection. In-room spa treatments are also available for a truly indulgent experience.Fitness enthusiasts can maintain a workout regime at the Gym, kitted out with state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment, or simply lounge back for a refreshing afternoon break at the outdoor saltwater relaxation pool, a quiet escape ideal for a relaxing dip, or a moment to rejuvenate.Meetings and eventsThe Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore offers event spaces that can be delicately tailored for groups of varied sizes, from an intimate gathering with 12 guests in the charming Private Room, to 220 guests in a theatre-style setting in the elegant Salon. The latter is situated on Floor 4 of the hotel, and features striking pitched ceilings and an 18-metre, hand-painted Chinoiserie designer wallpaper by de Gournay, featuring vibrant, balanced and contrasting colours that create an aura of happiness and joy. Celebratory galas and cocktail parties commence at the pre-function area for 120 guests, with an open show kitchen for an interactive dose of theatre.Gastronomic experiencesThe selection of culinary treasures at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore centres around high-quality products, creative techniques and an exceptional selection of wines and spirits, reflecting the brand’s origin as a wine merchant in the 19th century. The hotel will present exciting food and beverage offerings on property and at the adjacent Capitol Piazza in the months to come, anchored by its signature restaurant, conceptualised by a three-starred Michelin chef. More details will be released at a later date.The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore is located at 15 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178906. Special opening rates begin at SGD 568++.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Nobu Hotels has arrived

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterNobu Hotels has arrived in Mexico with the opening this week of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos. Perched beachfront on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos features 200 guestrooms and suites that blend contemporary Japanese minimalism with locally-sourced Mexican materials and natural finishes.The property is home to a luxurious spa with Natura Bissé products and, what all Nobu Hotels must have: a spectacular Nobu Restaurant and Bar with ocean views, making this the third Nobu restaurant in Mexico.Custom-made furniture, wood-soaking tubs, shoji-inspired closet doors and Japanese lanterns all reflect Japanese-Mexican fusion at its finest.The foundation of Nobu Hotels is deeply rooted in creating memories around the enjoyment of exceptional food; world-famous Japanese cuisine married with seasonal ingredients and the mastery of Chef Nobu. Indulge in Nobu’s signature dishes, from rock shrimp tempura and miso black cod to yellowtail sashimi with sliced jalapeno peppers. The property will also house a Malibu Farm restaurant, serving up simple, farm-to-table dining that is fresh, organic and locally sourced when possible.Opening special rates are priced at approximately US$465 per night.Founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, with operations spanning five continents, the Nobu brand thrives in the world’s capitals as the ultimate destination lifestyle experience. The first Nobu Hotel opened in 2013 as a boutique hotel within Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Nobu Hotel City of Dreams Manila opened in 2014, Nobu Hotel Miami Beach in 2016 and the Nobu Ryokan Malibu, Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch, Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay and Nobu Hotel Palo Alto opened in 2017 and Nobu Hotel Marbella opened in 2018. Also set to open in 2019 are properties in Barcelona and Chicago, with Warsaw recently announced for 2020.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Lead image Nurazah Jalaludin Deputy Director Ba

first_imgLead image: Nurazah Jalaludin, Deputy Director; Baizuri Baharom, Deputy Director; Musa Yusof, Director General and Mohd Khalil, Head of Consulate, Malaysia, SydneyGo back to the enewsletter</p Go back to the enewsletterTourism Malaysia this week returned to Australia with a three-city roadshow after a period of hibernation, in the lead up to its ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ international campaign. The new drive aims to attract 30 million overseas visitors to the country, and a visitor spend of RM100 billion (AU$34.4 billion) in receipts next year.The roadshow visited Perth, Sydney and Melbourne before heading onward to Auckland, New Zealand.Director General of Malaysia Tourism, Datuk Musa Yusof, lead the delegation which comprised 25 organisations from Malaysia, including tourist boards, hotels and resorts, products and airlines. Partners and sponsors were Terengganu Tourism, Sarawak Tourism Board, Desaru Coast, Legoland, Malindo Air and Malaysia Airlines.In Sydney at a media briefing on Tuesday, Yusof said that the roadshow and upcoming marketing push was aimed at showing that Malaysia was back “after a period where we were silent in the market”. He said that following the “mishaps” of Malaysia Airlines in 2014, it was crucial that the country not remain out of sight, or out of mind of global international markets.Yusof told LATTE Tourism Malaysia would be launching a new campaign focused on ecotourism and cultural attractions from September, working with partners including Flight Centre, STA and Perth-based retailers.The new campaign will have a greater emphasis on digital, with Yusof saying the organisation would partner with the likes of Expedia and and other OTAs to push the promotion, based on “affordable and value-for-money holidays in Malaysia”.“We want to remind Australians that Malaysia is a beautiful and culturally diverse country with many fascinating tourist attractions. We are a peaceful nation and welcome tourists from all over the world.”In 2018, a total of 351,500 Australians visited Malaysia (up 0.1% on the year prior), contributing to the overall visitor number of 25.8 million international tourists. The average length of stays for Aussies was 6.2 nights. Malaysia is aiming to boost that number to 378,500 Australians in 2019.Datuk said there was no shortage of direct air seats between Kuala Lumpur and Australia, with Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and Malindo Air offering 121 return services every week, or 32,565 seats. Next week, Malindo Air will commence a new Adelaide-Kuala Lumpur service, via Bali (Denpasar), boosting capacity even further.Singapore Airlines, Qantas and other airlines also provide a variety of non-direct air service options.Key highlights of the roadshow were Terengganu, Sarawak, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air.Among the partners were Desaru Coast and LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.Desaru CoastDesaru Coast is a revived tourism development spanning a 17km beachfront in Johor. The integrated destination offers a combination of newly opened and under construction hotels, resorts and villas, an entertainment and retail hub, conference centre, championship golf courses and an adventure waterpark. Properties include The Westin Desaru Coast Resort (opened on 2 April 2019), Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast (24 September 2018) and soon, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas and One&Only Desaru Coast.The precinct is a golfer’s haven, home to The Els Club Desaru Coast and offering 45 holes of golf across two clubs.Desaru Coast is easily accessible by land, air and sea.More at Malaysia ResortLaunched by Merlin Entertainments seven years ago, Legoland Malaysia Resort will next month open SEA LIFE Malaysia: the only SEA LIFE park in Asia Pacific that will combine the interactive aquarium concept with LEGO elements. SEA LIFE will feature a special Malaysia Rainforest habitat zone which will be home to marine life found in Malay waters, such as the Bala Shark, Rasbora and Tinfoil Barb.A new 2-day Combo ticket will be introduced (priced at AU$108 per adult and AU$86 for children) at LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort to ensure visitors have ample time to explore the attractions.More at