EMTA ceases operations hopes for a comeback

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first_imgAlthough The Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Association (EMTA) has suspended activities for the next twelve months, founder and secretary David Beirman is hopeful of a return to activities in 2013.Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard Mr Beirman said he was “quietly confident” the association could turn things around and continue operations next year.“As founder, I was rather disappointed with the decision to shut down operations but unfortunately we did not have enough people that wanted to run the organisation,” he said. “Though rather than let it drop dead, we have garnered our forces within the membership and created a caretaker committee to encourage EMTA back on track.”Mr Beirman has faith in the company he founded 11 years ago in 2001. “We have the ability to move forward. We’ve run all our major events for 2012, including three important travel industry evenings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.”Citing a lack of time availability and the excessive amounts of information on the internet, attendance has been lacking at hosted events. “Agents don’t turn up to destination functions in the numbers they used to,” he added.“We used to have 300 plus coming to Melbourne and more than 100 attendees in other capitals but there’s been a steady decline in recent years.” Mr Beirman stressed tourism in the Mediterranean is “going pretty well” and EMTA has played a pivotal role in exposing the Med as a holiday destination.“It would be a pity for it to fold. We’ve been good for eleven years and would certainly like to see the EMTA continue operations,” Mr Beirman noted. “For many NTO’s and businesses, the EMTA has played an incredible role in showcasing the region. A lot of travel agents have benefited from attending our annual functions.“I’ll be encouraging people to step up to the plate and commit to the organisation.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img read more

Quirkiness plays full house for Nevada tourism

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first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J They say it’s the small things that count but for Nevada’s tourism industry it’s the EST bringing in the travellers including the quirkiest, loneliest and loveliest.Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard yesterday, Nevada Commission on Tourism deputy director Larry Friedman explained that while the State is often known for its Las Vegas thrills, its ‘quirky’ appeal is also gaining attention across the globe.Among the most popular of the quirky attraction, according to Mr Friedman is Highway 50 aka The Loneliest Road.Prior to launching the campaign in Europe, the highway didn’t play a role in local tourism but Mr Friedman said since being stamped as ‘bizarre’, it has seen a 25 percent spike in North European visitors looking to experience The Loneliest Road.For those who can make it past the Las Vegas quickie-marriage, one of the loveliest tourism attractions in Nevada is the city of Locklock.Taking its Cold War namesake and the ancient Chinese custom designed to keep one’s love in a never-ending chain, the city provides couples in love the opportunity to lock that love with a literal lock.Mr Friedman said the initiative has made way for travellers looking for something out of the ordinary.“Quirky is yes, getting attention,” the tourism director said.“It’s not for everyone but there are people who want to explore wide open spaces and take a quirky day walk.”Mr Friedman also said he believes Australian travellers are the perfect market for the US, find out why next week on e-Travel Blackboard.last_img read more

New brand promotes the pioneering spirit of outback Queensland

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first_imgNew brand promotes the pioneering spirit of outback QueenslandNew brand promotes the pioneering spirit of outback QueenslandToday Kinnon & Co launched a new tourism brand for its holidays and experiences. The ‘Outback Pioneers’ brand is designed to capture the essence of outback Queensland and its heritage.Owner and present day outback pioneer, Richard Kinnon, said they are building a world-class brand that will help give the region a stronger profile so people realise there’s more to Queensland tourism than beaches, reef and rainforests.“Our region of outback Queensland is somewhere people can come and discover Australia’s pioneering past and their own pioneering spirit,” Richard said.“Our remoteness is what has shaped the adventurous, resilient spirit over the years and what makes it such a great destination to walk in the footsteps of pioneers and experience what life is really like under our huge outback skies.“This is the third face of Queensland – rainforests, beach and our outback pioneer heritage.”Richard stresses that the Kinnon family remains at the heart of the new brand.“We’re not going anywhere. We’re all still working hard to give guests a genuine taste of the outback,” he said.The Outback Pioneers experiences, based in Longreach, include the Cobb & Co Stagecoach Experience – the only place you can gallop in a stagecoach on an old mail route, the Starlight’s Cruise Experience on the Thomson River, the Nogo Station Experience and the Winton Discovery Experience.Each of the experiences is packed with essential outback sights and insights – from stockman’s stew and bush poetry by the campfire to sheep-shearing at a historic station, to the story of local heroes Captain Starlight and Banjo Paterson.Interwoven through it all is the quirky outback sense of humour that the Kinnon family do so well. From the hilarious Harry Redford Old Time Show to crazy ad-lib moments, it’s as much about laughing in the face of adversity as triumphing over it.Outback Pioneers guests can stay at the Kinnon & Co Outback Accommodation, which includes the deluxe 4½-star Homestead Stables (opened 2016) and 4-star Pioneer Slab Huts (opened 2015) – an attraction in themselves.This new brand for a tourism business that started in response to drought – as a way for the family of graziers to subsidise their station – demonstrates the Kinnons’ continuing dedication to outback Queensland tourism.“We started the business ten years ago to subsidise the outback way of life we love but then we got enthusiastic about sharing our life with visitors and creating something special for them here.“We want to inspire our fellow Australians and our overseas visitors with the heritage of outback Queensland – and educate them on how important this land is to our country – and of course send them away with a smile on their faces,” Richard said.The Outback Pioneers 2017 brochure will be launched later this month. In the meantime, all the details are on the website at www.outbackpioneers.com.au Outback Pioneersfor information, visit Kinnon & Cofor information, visit Source = Kinnon & Co – Outback Pioneerslast_img read more

Qatar Airways takes delivery of the Worlds First Airbus A350 1000

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first_imgQatar Airways takes delivery of the World’s First Airbus A350 1000Qatar Airways takes delivery of the World’s First Airbus A350 1000National carrier of the State of Qatar is the global launch customer for the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft featuring the revolutionary QsuiteThe state-of-the-art A350-1000 is the first of 42 on order, and was welcomed into Qatar Airways’ fleet at a ceremony in Toulouse, FranceQatar Airways today celebrated the delivery of the world’s first Airbus A350-1000 as the aircraft’s global launch customer before an audience of international media at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France. It is the first Airbus aircraft to be fitted with Qatar Airways’ revolutionary Qsuite Business Class seat.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, hosted a press conference in Toulouse to mark the delivery of the spectacular state-of-the-art aircraft to Qatar Airways, in the presence of Airbus President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Fabrice Brégier; and President of Defense Aerospace Rolls-Royce, Mr. Chris Chorleton.Qatar’s Minister of Finance and Chairman of Qatar Airways Group, His Excellency Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, said: “This is a very proud day for the State of Qatar, as Qatar AIrways becomes the global launch customer for the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft. The Airbus A350-1000 will be a wonderful addition to our national carrier’s fleet, allowing Qatar Airways to continue to set the highest standards of excellence and quality in the industry.Today’s delivery is a testament to Qatar Airways’ commitment to continued expansion.” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways always demands the very best for its customers, so it is right that we are the first airline in the world to take delivery of the very first Airbus A350-1000. This remarkable state-of-the-art aircraft will be the first of 42 to be flown on our expanding global route network. It will become a firm part of the Qatar Airways fleet, making us the biggest operator in the world of this aircraft type and maintain our status as flying one of the youngest fleets in the sky, with an average age ofjust five years.“The Qatar Airways A350-1000 will keep us ahead of the curve and allows us to continue to offer our passengers the outstanding levels of comfort and style that they expect from Qatar Airways. And at 23 feet longer than the A350-900, it will also enable us to substantially increase our capacity on the routes on which we operate it, offering 46 Business Class seats in our award-winning and revolutionary Qsuite, and 281 extra-wide 18-inch seats in Economy Class.“Combine this with its cutting-edge light-weight carbon composite design, incredibly fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, the additional revenue benefits generated by the A350’s lowest seat mile cost in its class, and its excellent reliability record, and you have an unbeatable aircraft on which we will offer our world-famous award-winning five-star service.”Airbus President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Fabrice Brégier, said: “It is a huge source of pride for Airbus to deliver the very first A350-1000 to our launch customer Qatar Airways.Bringing major advantages in fuel and cost efficiency along with unmatched passenger comfort, the A350-1000 is the ideal aircraft to showcase Qatar Airways’ legendary customer service. With its greater capacity compared to the A350-900, the newest widebody will play a major role on the carrier’s busiest long-haul routes and will contribute to strengthen their position at the forefront of the aviation industry.”The A350-1000 is the latest member of the Airbus wide-body aircraft portfolio. As the global launch customer, Qatar Airways will be the first airline to fly the A350-1000, which will go into service on the Doha-London route this month. Qatar Airways operates six daily flights between Doha and London Heathrow Airport. The airline was also the global launch customer for the A350-900 in 2014, and now operates 21 in its fleet.Compared to the A350-900, the A350-1000 features 44 extra seats, with a two-class cabin of 46 award-winning Qsuite Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring 80-inch fully flat beds and 22-inch HD in-flight entertainment screens. This will include 46 suites, with the middle suites able to convert to six double beds, and six quad suites. Economy Class will contain 281 seats, each 18-inches wide in a 3-3-3 configuration, with up to a 32-inch pitch. Each individual seat will feature an 11.6-inch in-flight entertainment screen, and extra space at shoulder level for passengers in window seats, thanks to the near vertical side wall panels. It offers enhanced levels of passenger comfort, thanks to the lowest twin-engine noise level of any aircraft, advanced air conditioning technology and full LED mood lighting.Two state-of-the-art higher thrust Rolls Royce Trent XWB-97 engines power Qatar Airways A350-1000, offering lower approach speeds. They were developed by Rolls Royce’ engineers with new technology in the engine’s core to provide a higher take-off thrust capability of 97,000lbs per engine, without compromising operating costs. As the world’s most efficient large aero engine, they save around $2.9 million per aircraft per year on fuel.Like the A350-900, more than 70 per cent of the A350-1000’s lightweight airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53 per cent), titanium and advanced aluminum alloys. The aircraft’s carbon fibre reinforced plastic fuselage results in lower fuel burn, as well as easier maintenance. The A350-1000 also features a distinctive all-new, six-wheel main landing gear and four per cent larger wings Qatar Airways operates a wide range of 118 Airbus passenger and cargo aircraft in its fleet of more than 200 aircraft. This includes nine Airbus A380s, 21 A350-900s, four A340-600s, 13 A330-300s, 13 A330-200s, seven A321-200s, 39 A320s and two A319LRs.As well as being voted Skytrax ‘Airline of the Year’ by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national flag carrier also won a raft of other major awards at last year’s ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft to a network of more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. The airline is launching a host of exciting new destinations planned for 2018, including Thessaloniki, Greece and Cardiff, U.K, to name just a few.Source = Qatar Airwayslast_img read more

IndiGo introduces 6E Pass services

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first_imgIndiGo​ has launched 6E Pass service where passengers will be able to purchase prepaid virtual flight coupons and use them as and when they want to​​ travel without having to worry about price fluctuations. This is yet another initiative from IndiGo in ​trying to ​offer affordable and hassle-free booking and travel experience.The 6E Pass is targeted at the regular flyers who want to take the advantage of the guaranteed fares and will offer great value to SMEs and self-employed business persons. 6E Pass comes in two variants to start with – National Permit and Regional Permit. While the National Permit costs ​Rs 42,000, the ​Regional ​Permit costs R​s​ 21,000 for all flights.The facility also comes with multiple payment options like ​net ​banking and ​debit and credit cards and EMIs.Highlighting ​this another pioneering endeavour of the airline, Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo said, “At IndiGo we are constantly striving to make our passenger experience courteous and hassle free. The objective behind 6E Pass is to make the journey of passengers more hassle free by setting a fixed fare for passengers that travel frequently but are uncertain about the dates and sector of travel. While we have started with variants for the SME and MSME segment, we will launch variants for other segments like students and inbound tourists in the future.”Customers can both buy and redeem 6E Pass flights through an exclusive website: 6epass.goindigo.inlast_img read more

Bahrain eyes at growing MICE market in India

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first_imgBahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) representative office in India in collaboration with tour operator Cox & Kings hosted 260 delegates from India Infoline Limited, a research service provider, to promote Bahrain’s tourism offerings, especially the MICE sector by attracting foreign investment and highlighting key differentiators.“Hosting the delegation from India comes in line with the BTEA’s strategy to promote the kingdom’s MICE sector by collaborating with its representative offices in order to provide delegates coming to Bahrain a deeper understanding of its rich history and ancient civilisation. This will further contribute to the development of the tourism sector to become a sustainable economic resource,” said Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer, BTEA.Organising this trip for both delegations comes as part of BTEA’s long-term strategy to further develop the kingdom’s tourism sector on a regional and international level under the slogan of ‘Ours.Yours.’ which contributes towards the kingdom’s economy and the 2030 Economic Vision.last_img read more

Senators Float Mortgage Interest Deduction Proposal

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first_img in Government, Origination, Servicing July 29, 2011 391 Views Senators Float Mortgage Interest Deduction Proposal Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing 2011-07-29 Ryan Schuette *_CORRECTION: The article previously projected that homeowners could see $1.2 million in tax hikes over the next 10 years. It has been changed to $1.2 trillion. A NAR statement has also been added._*Mortgage interest rate deductions, treasured by homeowners for their help with ownership and health insurance, may soon get the axe, as lawmakers struggle to raise revenue and gain the upper hand on the multi-trillion-dollar deficit. If a Senate budget plan works its way to the House, homeowners may see their taxes spike over 10 years, according to news reports.[IMAGE]The so-called ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£Gang of Six,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø an informal group comprised by three Democrats and three Republicans, moved forward with a “”proposal””:http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/~/media/Files/2011/A%20BIPARTISAN%20PLAN%20TO%20REDUCE%20OUR%20NATIONS%20DEFICITS.PDF that would slash mortgage interest rate deductions. The proposal projects savings by as much as $1 trillion in revenues and deficit cuts by some $4 trillion over the next decade. According to the “”_Associated Press_””:http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/20/3025945/bipartisan-tax-plan-trims-mortgage.html, the nation’s homeowners could see tax hikes by up to $1.2 trillion overall over the next 10 years.The proposal incorporated elements from the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission. It now awaits action from congressional committees, which would need to incorporate the proposal in legislation.[COLUMN_BREAK]In a “”statement””:http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/07/tax_benefits, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/, said that homeowners, already on the federal income tax hook to the tune of 80 to 90 percent, may see their taxes rise to 95 percent over the next decade if the proposal moves forward.””One thing that is indisputable is that eliminating the MID will lower the homeownership rate in the U.S.,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø Yun said. ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£While we must ensure that the conditions that led to the artificially inflated home ownership rate of the bubble years do not resurface, we also need to create the conditions for sustainable home ownership, which has been shown to provide myriad social benefits for families and communities,”” the NAR economist added.According to the “”_Washington Post_””:http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-government/bipartisan-tax-plan-targets-breaks-for-mortgage-interest-health-insurance-charitable-gifts/2011/07/20/gIQAkjsOQI_story.html, Donald Marron, director of the “”Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center””:http://taxpolicycenter.org/, called the proposal ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£a confluence of several factors. First, it’s such a large tax break. And the tax treatment of housing is much more favorable than we provide for most other investments people undertake.””Speaking to _MReport_, he says that it is uncertain whether the proposal, as is, will make it into legislation before either house of Congress. ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£You never know what happens in the backrooms of Congress,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø he says.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£I think this is an attempt to find a middle ground on taxes that emphasizes keeping rates low and broadening the base as much as possible, and I think that├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós a very positive aspect of it,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø said Eugene Steuerle, a former “”Treasury Department””:http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx deputy assistant secretary, also with the Urban Institute, according to the _Post_.Not many Americans would agree with the reductions, according to a “”_New York Times_/CBS poll””:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/business/30poll.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=homeownership&st=cse. The poll, released three weeks ago, held some 90 percent of Americans opposed deductions in mortgage interest rates, alongside other numbers reflecting that most of the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós homebuyers valued homeownership as an important asset.Marron says lawmakers will likely leave mortgage interest rate deductions out of any legislation going before Congress next week.last_img read more

Mortgage Rates Streak Past Records to Hit New Lows

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first_img Share Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Bankrate Debt Crisis Euro European Union Freddie Mac Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers Treasury Yields 2012-07-26 Tory Barringer July 26, 2012 434 Views Lingering worries about the European debt crisis continue to drive investors to U.S. government bonds, sending fixed mortgage rates down to another record low.[IMAGE]According to “”Freddie Mac’s””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.49 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending July 26, down from 3.53 percent the previous week. [COLUMN_BREAK]At the same time in 2011, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.55 percent.The 15-year fixed averaged 2.80 percent (0.7 point), a drop from 2.83 the week before.Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) actually saw a small boost, with the 5-year ARM averaging 2.74 percent (0.6 point), an increase from 2.69 percent the previous week. The 1-year ARM averaged 2.71 percent (0.5 point), up from 2.69 percent previously.””Market concerns over the strength of the economic recovery brought long-term Treasury yields to new lows this week, allowing fixed mortgage rates to reach record levels,”” said “”Frank Nothaft””:http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, Freddie Mac VP and chief economist.””Bankrate.com””:http://www.bankrate.com/ also posted record results for the fourth week in a row, with the 30-year fixed falling to 3.75 percent from 3.78 percent the previous week. The 15-year fixed fell to 3.00 percent from 3.04 percent.According to Bankrate.com’s data, 5- and 1-year ARMs averaged 2.89 percent, the same as the week before.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Mortgage Rates Streak Past Records to Hit New Lowslast_img read more

Capital Economics Price Gain Forecasts Under 5 Conservative

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first_imgprice,Capital Economics: Price Gain Forecasts Under 5% ‘Conservative’ The low supply of housing stock recently reported is giving “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/ reason to believe home price forecasts under 5 percent are actually conservative estimates.[IMAGE] Realtors in December expected prices to rise by about 3.5 percent over the next year, while consumer estimates were more modest at 2.5 percent for the same time period, the analytics firm noted in its monthly housing report. The estimates show a growing optimism among those groups. [COLUMN_BREAK] For example, in March 2012, Realtors expected prices to rise by about 2.5 percent and consumers projected a 1 percent increase, according to a chart in the report. But, with the low supply of inventory, Capital Economics anticipates much bigger gains. Recently, the National Association of Realtors “”reported””:https://themreport.com/articles/existing-home-sales-slip-in-december-prices-rise-2013-01-22 existing home sales in December fell to a 4.4 month supply, the lowest level since May 2005, while the “”new home sales report””:https://themreport.com/articles/steep-drop-in-dec-new-home-sales-2013-01-25 from the Census Bureau/HUD says there is a 4.9 month supply of homes for sale. “”At face value, the 4.9 the months’ supply of unsold stock currently on the market in December points to house prices rising by as much as 10% y/y. For now, our forecast is for a 5% rise during 2013,”” wrote Paul Diggle in the report. The tightening in supply is not expected to continue, however. Capital Economics says it expects to see a rebound in housing starts and for the number of willing sellers to rise, which means inventory will hit a bottom soon. The firm also noted the three major house prices indices– “”Case-Shiller””:https://themreport.com/articles/case-shiller-index-shows-sharp-year-year-gain-in-november-2013-01-29, “”FHFA””:https://themreport.com/articles/fhfa-prices-continue-upward-trend-in-november-2013-01-23, and “”CoreLogic””:https://themreport.com/articles/corelogic-records-biggest-home-price-gain-since-2006-2013-01-15 –posted yearly price gains at around 5 percent and as high as 7.4 percent in November. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing February 4, 2013 416 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Census Bureau CoreLogic FHFA Home Prices Home Values Housing Affordability HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers 2013-02-04 Esther Cho Sharelast_img read more

FHFA Citigroup Settle MBS Claims

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first_img May 29, 2013 461 Views The “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) and “”Citigroup””:http://www.citigroup.com/citi/ have reached a settlement over allegations of fraud in the selling of $3.5 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS).[IMAGE]A filing on Tuesday revealed FHFA had dropped its suit against the bank, having reached a settlement.[COLUMN_BREAK]According to FHFA’s original complaint, Citigroup and its affiliates misrepresented the credit quality and gave false statistical summaries of the groups of mortgage loans in securities purchased between September 2005 and May 2007, resulting in “”substantial losses”” to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the loans fell apart. FHFA, acting as conservator for the GSEs, filed suit against Citigroup and a number of other institutions in 2011 seeking restitution for those losses.A spokesperson for FHFA did not comment on the amount of the settlement or the terms, saying that it was “”satisfactory.”” A spokesperson for Citigroup remarked only that the company is “”pleased to put this matter behind us.””The filing ends one of FHFA’s 18 securities fraud suits filed in 2011, each one involving MBS sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In January, FHFA dropped a suit against “”General Electric””:https://themreport.com/articles/fhfa-general-electric-settle-claims-over-faulty-securities-2013-01-24 over $549 million in faulty securities. The remaining 16 actions have yet to be resolved, though the agency’s spokesperson said it “”remains active in settlement discussions with other parties that were subjects of these lawsuits.”” FHFA, Citigroup Settle MBS Claims in Government, Secondary Marketcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Citigroup Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage-Backed Securities RMBS Service Providers 2013-05-29 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Second Quarter Sees Prices Rising in 87 of Metros

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first_imgSecond Quarter Sees Prices Rising in 87% of Metros in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The national median home price showed its strongest year-over-year gain in more than seven years last quarter, according to the latest quarterly report from the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR).[IMAGE]NAR’s data shows the median price of an existing single-family home increased 12.2 percent year-over-year to $203,500–the largest annual improvement since Q4 2005. Prices were impacted positively by shrinking market share of lower-priced homes and distressed sales (which accounted for 17 percent of last quarter’s sales, down from 26 percent in Q2 2012).Prices also continued to benefit from tight inventory. According to the association, there were an estimated 2.19 million existing homes available at the end of the second quarter, down 7.6 percent year-over-year. The average supply throughout the quarter was 5.1 months compared with 6.4 months last year.””Higher interest rates are now causing sales to level out, but the tight supply conditions look to be with us for the balance of the year in most of the country,”” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “”Supplies in the low 5-month range can be expected for the foreseeable future.””He added that steady increases in new home construction will help relieve inventory shortage going into 2014, which should moderate price growth.[COLUMN_BREAK]Out of the 163 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) measured in NAR’s report, 142 (87 percent) showed median price gains based on closings. Fifty areas (31 percent) posted double-digit gains.Out of the remaining 21 MSAs, 20 reported price declines, and one was essentially unchanged.Despite the rise in prices, NAR reported potential buyers were generally still well-positioned to purchase a home last quarter. Using a series of set variables (25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest with a mortgage rate of 3.7 percent), the national median family income of $62,600 would easily qualify a buyer to purchase a median-priced home with a down payment between 5-20 percent, the group said.At the same time, the association noted rising interest rates may have actually helped some buyers by making it easier to qualify for a loan.””Refinancing activity has slowed down dramatically, yet banks have a lot of money and staffing resources, many of whom have less work,”” said NAR president Gary Thomas. “”Banks now have an incentive to increase loan origination, which means they may dial back overly restrictive mortgage lending standards that have been in place since the crash.””Existing-home sales–including single-family and condo–rose 2.4 percent quarter-over-quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.06 million, the highest rate since Q2 2007. Year-over-year, sales were up 12.3 percent.Regionally, sales in the Northeast were 9.1 percent above last year’s second quarter, while the median price was up 6.9 percent to $257,900. In the Midwest, sales rose 14.6 percent, and prices were up 7.9 percent to $160,600. Existing-home sales were up 15.1 percent in the South, with the median price rising 11.0 percent to $180,700. Finally, the West saw sales rise 7.4 percent year-over-year, while the median price increased 18.2 percent to $277,500. Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers 2013-08-12 Tory Barringer August 12, 2013 453 Views last_img read more

NetDirector Expands its Footprint into Loan Origination

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first_imgNetDirector Expands its Footprint into Loan Origination June 29, 2015 484 Views Share NetDirector, LLC, a provider of cloud-based data and document exchange services for the mortgage banking industry, recently signed an agreement with enterprise lending solutions provider, Mortgage Machine Services, to enable them to comply with the upcoming TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements, according to a recent press release.Mortgage Machine Services selected NetDirector because of its vendor neutrality and ability to swiftly build out the loan origination ecosystem, bringing together participants from loan origination systems (LOS), document management platforms, title companies, and other settlement services vendors, the release said.For more than ten years, Mortgage Machine Services has been providing mortgage bankers with tools and solutions, NetDirector said. Over the years, it has added functions and capabilities to its flagship LOS Mortgage Machine while focusing on its core business. The Mortgage Machine is now a tool that mortgage bankers need to manage customer acquisition, marketing, pricing, underwriting, closing, funding, shipping, secondary marketing, and business reporting.”Ensuring compliance with TRID is our top priority. In order to accomplish this, we needed to enhance our capability to communicate and collaborate with our service providers,” said Jeff Bode, president of Mortgage Machine Services, Inc. “NetDirector’s data exchange hub was the logical choice to connect us to all of our trading partners with their proven record in the mortgage banking industry.”According to the press release, NetDirector has been providing innovative and secure cloud-based data exchange solutions to the default servicing sector of the mortgage banking industry since 2005. NetDirector creates value for organizations by providing speed in transaction processing, reducing partner collaboration costs, and enabling greater responsiveness in serving customers.”We are excited about the opportunity of leveraging our integration expertise within the loan origination ecosystem,” said Harry Beisswenger, CEO of NetDirector. “We believe we can significantly reduce vendor integration costs by replacing the current direct interface model with a single connection hub approach. We offer a single source data mapping and interface support model that provides long-term integration reliability and portability for all network participants.”center_img Loan Originations Mortgage Machine Services NetDirector TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure 2015-06-29 Staff Writer in News, Origination, Technologylast_img read more

What the Mortgage Industry Needs to Know About Housing This Year

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first_img March 4, 2016 616 Views in Commentary, Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News, Origination Between regulations, potential rate hikes, and the upcoming election, the mortgage industry will have plenty to focus on throughout the year. Dr. Umit Gurun, a Professor of Accounting and Finance at the Naveen Jindal School of Management at University of Texas at Dallas, provides MReport with insight on what the housing market picture may look like for the rest of the year.MReport: What will be the biggest change in the mortgage industry in 2016? Anything to be wary of or look forward to? Gurun: There will be three major events to watch for in 2016:Potential interest rate hikes by FED: Given the market turmoil in January, oil price plunge, most prominent macroeconomists seem to think FED will postpone interest rate increases to later years.Potential increase in housing supply: The housing statistics and building permits also do not seem to suggest builders will increase housing inventories, especially in the affordable housing market.Adaptation to new regulations in mortgage industry. Know Before You Owe (TRID) rule went into effect in late 2015. With this rule, it will be easier for the borrower to compare their loan products. As a result of this regulation implemented by Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (CFPB), I expect mortgage companies face increases in loan processing times (or hire more people to cope with regulation demand) and eliminate certain mortgage products, such adjustable rate mortgages.Dr. Umit GurunMReport: How will the upcoming election affect housing? If it will at all?Gurun: Several academic studies point out that president’s economic and employment policies will be absolutely important for the health of the markets, including real estate markets. We know little about who will run for presidency and what economic policy proposals are going to be, so it is perhaps a bit early to speculate on what to expect if the election is won by Democrats or by Republicans.MReport: How do you project the ongoing theme of low supply and high demand to play out in 2016? Any chance supply will make a comeback?Gurun: The building permit statistics in January 2016 does not seem to suggest a big supply of housing is coming to makeup for the shortage, especially in affordable homes market. Thus, I would expect the prices of existing houses to increase based on the intensity of bidding wars. I am, however, optimistic about a comeback of supply. If the prices increase to a certain level, supply side can not pass the opportunity to make profits.MReport: What is the most important aspect in the housing market that has your attention right now?Gurun: Increasing rental rates and barriers that make millennials hold out of housing market. I am expecting banks to come up with special products that would be appealing to millennial’s preferences to increase their home ownership. The rush to build medium to high-end apartment projects in cities is also a big shift in real estate markets.MReport: What will the homeownership picture look like in 2016? Can we expect to see some gains?Gurun: The homeownership rate dropped from 69 percent to 64 percent since the peak of 2007. The current level is pretty much the same level U.S. had between 1960 to 1995. For U.S. residents 35 and under, the ownership is about 36 percent. Given the home ownership preferences of millennials and the stringent rules on obtaining mortgages, I do not expect the homeownership to increase in the near term.MReport: The millennials are what people like to say are hesitant or unable to purchase homes. True or false? What’s you view on this? What’s really eating this generation?Gurun: Good question. You are right, everyone has a pet theory on this issue. I think the main drag is definitely consumer debt and high rental rates. It is tough for millennials to save money for down payment if they are buried under student loans and if they are paying high rents now. If mortgage lenders create products that would suit for these first time home buyers, it will definitely be a game changer. Millennials are also more likely to move to city centers and demand different type of residential properties for their needs. In other words, a lot of parameters have changed since the parents of millennial were in housing market. Perhaps we should say this generation is just different from their parents. Homeownership Housing Market Umit Gurun University of Texas at Dallas 2016-03-04 Staff Writercenter_img What the Mortgage Industry Needs to Know About Housing This Year Sharelast_img read more

The Week Ahead The Ripple Effect of the Housing Shortage

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first_img Demand Existing-Home Sales NAR National Association of Realtors Supply 2016-04-17 Staff Writer Share Goldman Sachs Q1 Earnings Report, Tuesday, April 19Goldman Sachs is scheduled to release its first quarter earnings statement on Tuesday, April 19. It looked like it was going to be a tough 2016 right off the bat for the investment banking firm, with the announcement in mid-January that the firm had agreed to a $5 billion settlement over the sales of faulty mortgage-backed securities leading up to the crisis.The settlement, with both federal and state regulators, was finalized earlier in April. It was the fourth largest settlement between the federal government and a financial firm over toxic RMBS sales.The forecast for Q1 earnings does not look promising for Goldman Sachs, either. According to Zacks Investment Research, a consensus of eight analysts’ predictions says that Goldman’s earnings per share (EPS) for the firm in Q1 will be $2.57—a nearly 50 percent decline from the firm’s EPS in the first quarter of 2015 ($5.94).Just how much will the recent settlement affect Goldman’s Q1 profits? If 2015 was any indication, it will likely put a substantial dent in them. Last year, a $3.37 billion settlement between Goldman Sachs and the RMBS working group resulted in a reduction in diluted EPS by $6.53 and return on average common shareholders’ equity (ROE) by 3.8 percentage points.Given the magnitude of the recent settlement, perhaps the question is not if Goldman’s profits will be down in the first quarter—but instead how much they will be down.The nation’s largest financial firms, many of which released their first quarter earnings reports last week, all experienced year-over-year declines in net profits.Here is the lineup for the week:Monday, April 18, 2016 Morgan Stanley Q1 Earnings ReportTuesday, April 19, 2016Goldman Sachs Q1 Earnings ReportU.S. Census Bureau Housing Starts8:30 AM (EST)Wednesday, April 20, 2016National Association of Realtors Existing-home Sales10:00 AM (EST)Thursday, April 21, 2016Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index9:00 AM (EST) The continuous imbalance of extremely low inventory levels and soaring demand is creating an insatiable gap in the housing market that is struggling to close. Existing-home sales have been a limbo since the start of the year mostly due to the lack of available housing options in market.In its latest report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing-home sales fell in February 2016 after reaching the highest annual rate in six months last month.The report found that existing-home sales decreased 7.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million in February from 5.47 million in January. However, the report noted that despite last month’s large decline, sales remain 2.2 percent higher than a year ago.Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR noted, “The main issue continues to be a supply and affordability problem. Finding the right property at an affordable price is burdening many potential buyers.””America is experiencing a housing shortage. Not only are there fewer homes available to buyers of all income levels, those just starting out or making their first foray into home ownership are worse off than they’ve been in years,” said Ralph B. McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia. “There are fewer homes available, an even if they can find a home, it’s likely to be more expensive.”Ten-X’s Residential Real Estate Nowcast  projects a rebound in existing-home sales for March. According to the nowcast, March existing-home sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.15 and 5.55 million, with a targeted number of 5.32 million, up 4.8 percent increase from the previous month and a 2.6 percent year-over-year gain.“Though U.S. home sales have seen significant volatility in recent months due to external factors, sales remain at a high overall level,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “The housing market stands on solid ground despite global economic volatility and weaker U.S. GDP growth, with the firmer labor market and enhanced household budgets from low oil providing a boost to consumer confidence.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination The Week Ahead: The Ripple Effect of the Housing Shortage April 17, 2016 514 Views last_img read more

Credit Unions Kick Lending Up a Notch

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first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Share June 3, 2016 613 Views Credit Unions Lending National Credit Union Administration 2016-06-03 Staff Writercenter_img Credit Unions Kick Lending Up a Notch Mortgage lending among credit unions experienced significant gains for the first quarter of the year, but their supervisory agency cautioned that these institutions should monitor risks.The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reported Friday that loans outstanding among credit unions rose 10.7 percent in the year ending in the first quarter of 2016.NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger said, “The credit union system again experienced solid performance during the first quarter of 2016. “With an influx of deposits, federally insured shares at credit unions also neared the $1 trillion mark coming in at $991.7 billion.”According to the data,total loans at federally insured credit unions reached $799.5 billion at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 10.7 percent from one year earlier. First-mortgage loans outstanding increased 10.4 percent to $327.9 billion, while other real estate loans grew by 3.9 percent to $74.3 billion. The loans-to-shares ratio was 76.1 percent at the end of March, up 2.7 percentage points from a year earlier but down for the quarter due to an influx of member deposits.“As credit union lending has increased, long-term investments have declined and reduced the system’s interest rate risk,” Metsger said. “However, delinquency and charge-off rates are slightly higher than a year ago, and member-business loan delinquencies are rising even more. Credit unions making such loans should take note and ensure that they perform proper due diligence to mitigate the risk.”With the uptick in orginations, credit unions’ delinquency rate also rose to 71 basis points in the first quarter, up 2 basis points from a year earlier. However, the NCUA noted that the delinquency rate for fixed real estate has been down for the last four quarters. The system’s net charge-off ratio increased slightly to an annualized 52 basis points in the first quarter, up from 47 basis points at the end of the first quarter of 2015.Net income at credit unions totaled $9.2 billion on an annualized rate in the first quarter of 2016, up 3.5 percent from the $8.9 billion reported last year at the same time, the report said. Total assets in federally insured credit unions rose to more than $1.2 trillion at the end of March, up 7.1 percent for the year.The NCUA reported that credit unions remain well capitalized, with 97.8 percent reporting a net worth ratio at or above the statutorily required 7 percent. At end of first quarter of 2016, 0.7 percent of federally insured credit unions were less than adequately capitalized. In addition, the credit union system’s aggregate net worth ratio was 10.78 percent at the end of the first quarter, down 3 basis points from a year earlier.”The first-quarter data shows credit unions continue to shine by delivering exceptional value and exemplary service to their members,” said B. Dan Berger, President and CEO of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). “American consumers are voting with their wallets and demonstrating their extraordinary satisfaction with credit unions’ first-rate products and top-notch financial services. While small credit unions want to continue to be part of this trend, they are being especially hard-hit by an endless tide of regulatory burden. The impact is undeniable–at the current pace we are losing nearly a credit union each business day.”last_img read more

Want to Rent an SFR Property Itll Cost You

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first_img August 1, 2016 502 Views Want to Rent an SFR Property? It’ll Cost You in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Sharecenter_img Rents for properties backing single-family rental (SFR) securitizations climbed by 5.4 percent in June from their prior contractual rents, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings’ June 2016 Performance Summary Covering All Morningstar-Related Securitizations.In fact, Morningstar’s data showed that the rents on properties backing SFR securitizations outpaced year-over-year increases on three- and four-bedroom RentRange, LLC median rents—and that the average contractual rents in top SFR metros are mostly higher than their property-level RentRange estimates.The analysis aggregates rent changes across 24 SFR securitization and nearly 93,000 properties, according to Morningstar.The 5.4 percent increase on rents for properties backing SFR securitizations is actually down slightly from a revised 5.6 percent in May, but still higher than the RentRange benchmarks of 5.0 percent for 3-bedroom homes and 4.8 percent for 4-bedroom homes.Though lease expirations across the 24 transactions leveled off in June, overall vacancies rose for the third straight month due to a higher number of lease expirations in preceding months, according to Morningstar. Despite the slight increase in vacancy rate across the 24 securitizations the vacancy rate remained low at 4.7 percent.Delinquency rates for the 24 transactions averaged 0.5 percent as of the end of May, holding steady from the previous month. While the retention rates remained strong for full-term leases, the retention rate on month-to-month (MTM) leases showed some deterioration as of the end of May, the most recent data available, according to Morningstar. On MTM leases, 10 out of 24 transactions reported a retention rate of 80 percent or higher as of the end of May—down from 17 out of 24 transactions with a retention rate of 80 percent or higher in April. Morningstar noted that turnover rose for the fifth consecutive month, largely due to seasonality; more leases tend to expire in the summer months.Click here to view Morningstar’s complete report. Morningstar Credit Ratings Rents Single-Family Rental Securitizations 2016-08-01 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Borrower Credit Risk Continues to Improve

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first_imgBorrower Credit Risk Continues to Improve in Data, Featured, News Credit Risk 2017-09-28 Joey Pizzolato CoreLogic released on Thursday its Q2 2017 Housing Credit Index (HCI) report, which measures the increase or decrease in credit risk for new home originations based on six factors, including: borrower credit score, investor-owned status, documentation level, debt-to-income ratio, condo/coop share, and loan-to-value ratio.Year-over-year, the HCI is up 20 points to 117. As a point of reference, credit risk for the second quarter of 2017 is still within range of the time period the index was normalized—from 2001 to 2003.“Mortgage risk for new originations increased modestly in the second quarter of 2017, but much of this rise was due to a small shift in the mix of loan types to more investor and condominium loans, which have slightly higher risk attributes,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Despite the somewhat higher risk of new origination loans, purchase mortgage underwriting remains relatively clean with an average credit score of 745 and low delinquency risk.”Broken down, the individual attributes contributed to the overall HCI in the following ways:Average credit score for homebuyers increased 9 points year-over-year, from 736 to 745. Homebuyers with lower-than-average credit scores (640) amounted for only 2 percent of total population compared to 25 percent in 2001.The average debt-to-income ratio remained unchanged from Q2 2016 to Q2 2017 at 36, but homebuyers with a DTI ratio of 43 or higher was down slightly from 25 percent a year ago to 22 percent in 2017. Loan-to-value ratio dropped by nearly 2 percent to 85.5 percent to 87.4 percent. However, the amount of loans with an LTV rate of 95 percent or higher increased by almost half of its 2001 figure.To see the full Housing Credit Index Report for Q2 2017, click here.center_img Share September 28, 2017 598 Views last_img read more

Blueberries in Charts Finding opportunities in th

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first_img Blueberries in Charts: Finding opportunities in th … Chilean kiwifruit shippers have faced challenging conditions in Europe and China this year due to greater competition with local fruit.Subsole commercial manager Oscar Villegas said that while it has been a good season in terms of fruit production – with a high dry matter level and large sizing – there were some issues in key markets.”In the Northern Hemisphere there was a greater volume of kiwifruit in storage, which meant that Chilean kiwifruit sales in the open market have been slower and with prices below those of last season,” he said.In Europe, supplies from numerous countries including Italy, Greece, France, Spain and Portugal were in the market until the end of June, he said.Chilean Kiwifruit Committee president Carlos Cruzat said Greece has produced one of its largest crops ever, supplying about 180,000 metric tons (MT) to the European market. That figure is also Chile’s total export estimate for this season, up 10,000MT from last year.”In general, the U.S. and Latin America have behaved more or less similar to how they usually do,” he said, adding that Europe had been “less attractive” than last year.Villegas explained that the domestic production in Europe had pushed Chilean kiwifruit sales “toward the summer”, which he noted in typically the period of lowest consumption due in part to the hot weather and competition with local summer fruit.Chilean shippers faced similar issues in China, which has been investing in kiwifruit storage technology and infrastructure and was also able to hold onto domestic supplies until June, putting pressure on Chilean fruit for much of the season.It’s not all bad news, however, with India a standout market this season. Chile forecasts slight dip in citrus exports for 2 … You might also be interested in Chile scores access to Chinese pear market … This story is exclusive to Fresh Fruit Portal. If you would like to reproduce any elements of it on other sites or publications, please make a request to our editorial team at news@freshfruitportal.com Chilean clementine season sees greater volumes of … Cruzat said that exports to India have grown exponentially, increasing from just 200MT four years ago to several thousand tons this campaign.”It’s a big volume and a challenge to be able to move it, so we’re doing a promotional campaign in India so people can learn about kiwifruit,” Cruzat said.Villegas highlighted that the challenge with India is understanding the market’s consumption capacity so as to avoid an oversupply situation.In July, Tarun Arora, director of India-based importer-distributor IG International, said the India kiwifruit market was under “tremendous stress” amid heavy imports from Chile and New Zealand.Long-term plansSpeaking about the future of the Chilean kiwifruit sector, Cruzat highlighted there were various initiatives in place to bolster the country’s competitivity.”The committee changed the harvest parameters this year and raised the requirements for dry matter and soluble solids,” he highlighted as one example.The industry is also working in the orchards to improve fruit quality in a bid to fetch higher prices in international markets and get on a more level footing with New Zealand.”This is a year where we have had a strategy of producing good quality kiwifruit and placing them in formal programs with pre-agreed volume and prices, which differs strongly to the kiwifruit that are sold in the open market all over the world,” he said.Other initiatives that the Chilean Kiwifruit Committee is developing are focused on pollination and establishing a nationwide harvest forecast system.Cruzat added that they are also working on introducing red and yellow varieties.Photo: Shutterstock.com August 08 , 2018 last_img read more

It meant a lot to Cardinals fans many of whom wer

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first_imgIt meant a lot to Cardinals fans, many of whom were fairlytalkative on the way out of the stadium, and it pushedLarry Fitzgerald’s record to 3-2 against the team insilver and blue. Winners of the last three, it goes without saying thatFitzgerald likes seeing the star on his opponent’s helmet.Of course, none of the victories have been easy.Arizona beat Dallas 27-26 on a Jay Feely field goal in thefinal seconds last season, and 30-24 after a blockedpunt/touchdown in a 2008 overtime battle. The latestvictory was, in reality, just par for the course.“They’ve been great,” he said, “they’ve all gone our way.You can’t argue with those results.”No you can’t, and you also can’t argue with the fact thatthe Cardinals, playing in front of a sold-out stadiumfilled with plenty of fans rooting for the visitors, did alot Sunday to re-establish a true home field advantage. After all, the Cardinals won six home games in 2007 and2008, before winning just four in 2009 and 2010. Theystarted just 1-2 at University of Phoenix Stadium thisseason, but have won their last two tries.“We take a lot of pride playing here at home,” Fitzgeraldsaid. “This is our home building and we always want tocome in here and play well. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories “I’m not saying we don’t want to play well on the road,but especially when you come home in front of your homecrowd you want to get wins.” Comments   Share   Winning football games is always enjoyable, but beatingthe Dallas Cowboys is…umm…extra nice. Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb said he didn’t think it would bebefore the game, but once he walked off the field awinner?“Absolutely,” he said. “All my friends probably had Dallasjerseys on. They’re die-hard, so I’ll be happy to slapthem in the face whenever I see them.”The Cardinals topped their one-time division rivals 19-13in overtime Sunday, giving the Cowboys a long plane ridehome and their fans, many of whom were in attendance, aquiet exit from University of Phoenix Stadium. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more