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Weekly News (December 19, 2018)

1. Korean restaurants are moving out of 32nd St in Manhattan, NY

  • “Modern Korean Food” movement are spreading out to East Village, SOHO, West Village, Lower Eastside
  • “JeJu Noodle Bar” in West Village/ ”SooGil” in East Village/ ”Bang Bar” in Columbus Circle/ “Reception Bar” in Lower Eastside/ ”The Woo” in SOHO
  • The Reasons: 1. High rent 2. Changing Food culture  3. Globalization of Korean Food
  • More Korean chefs are having diversified cultural background
  • Korean food are known for good taste and healthy food

2. Rent is soaring in LIC and Astoria after Amazon’s new facility announcement

  • According to Elliman, rent is up in NE Queens (LIC, Woodside, Sunnyside, Astoria) : 10.3% up from last year to $2,868
  • Rent in Manhattan went down to $3,318 (5.1% down from last month, 1.3% down from last year)
  • Studio rent is up to $2,562 (11% from last year, 3.3$ from last month/ New tenat:9.5% Up from last year)
  • 1br rent is up to $2,942 (3% from last year /new tenant: 20.2% up from last year)
  • 2br rent is up to $4,037 (6.9% from last year /new tenant: 9.7% down from last year)
  • 3br rent is down to $4,075 (19.7% from last year / new tenant: 25% up from last year)
  • Rent in Queens is expected to moving up when Amazon employees are moving into LIC

3. NYC is still in economic growth

  • RGCP (Real Gross City Product) is increased by 2.7% for last 3 Qt in 2018
  • Lower than National GDP growth (GDP growth is 3.3%)
  • NYC job increase for the same period is 74,000 (low income:45,300 (61.2%), Middle income:$16,800 (22.8%), High income: 11,900 (16%))
  • Commercial Real Estate lease contracts is increased by 9.5%
  • Rent in down town is down by 28.6% / Mid town and Mid town South are increased by 15.9% and 32,4% respectively
  • Unemployment is 4.1% as of December 2018 which is lowest in history

4. Google’s Manhattan office is expanding

  • Total investment is $1B to secure 1.7M sf (Google Hudson Square)
  • 2 Buildings in South West-Village area (St. John’s Terminal between Holland tunnel and Pier 40)
  • Also Google purchased a building in Chelsea at $2.4B
  • Along with Chelsea and Hudson Square area, Google will double the work force for next 10 years
  • IT companies in West (Silicon Valley) are moving into East , NY area

5. E Mart In Korea purchased “Good Food Holdings” in California

  • E Mart is preparing opening “PK Market” in LA down town (opening will be during 2nd half of 2019)
  • Good Food Holdings owns Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres, Metropolitan Market, etc. 24 stores in LA and Seattle /revenue: $600M /total 3100 employees
  • E Mart’s purchase price was $275M
  • Vice Chair, Mr. Jung, YongJin mentioned that E Mart went to Vietnam and US market is wide open without much regulations

6. Home Insurance can include lost delivery mail

  • 26M people have experienced mail lost at least once (23.5M in 2015)
  • As Internet shopping is increased, mail theft is increased as well
  • Home owner or tenant can request adding the item – “lost mail delivery”
  • Typically home owner policy is $35/month for $100,000 coverage /apartment, $15 /month
  • Adding about 20% cost can cover “Lost mail delivery” item
  • Amazon might reimburse for lost mail for some items (Amazon will help using GPS tracker by police /Amazon uses Amazon Box: alternating receiving place)
  • Surveillance camera installation might be helpful / neighbor or next door can receive in behalf of owner/tenant

7. US Construction is Up in Apartment

  • According to Commerce Dept, the increase is entirely for apartment and new single-family houses fell
  • Housing starts rose 3.2% in November from last month to annually adjusted rate:1.26M
  • Despite this increase, it is down 3.6% from last year
  • Single family starts dropped 4.6% in Nov and down by 13.1% from last year
  • UE rate is five-decade low /income is rising more quickly but many buyers struggle to find affordable houses
  • Developers say that rising labor and material costs make it harder to build affordable properties

8. More Koreans are giving up US Citizenship

  • For last 3 Qt, 92 Korean gave up their citizenship (2.8% of total 3,296 in US)
  • 102 in 2014, 111 in 2015, 118 in 2016
  • Korean population is little less than 1% in US
  • The reason- to avoid tax tracking by US IRS
  • Accpording to FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), US Banks and Foreign Financial Institutions must report any customer, who has over $10,000, to US IRS
  • For unreported, they must pay Maximum 30% of interests income
  • For tax evasion, they must pay $100,000 or 50% of unreported tax whichever is bigger


Stephen Lee

He has been in Real Estate industry in about 20 years and has been Broker of Record for 9 years. His experience includes residential, commercial, and property management. Prior to involving with Real Estate business, he has been involved in the digital communication equipment industry utilizing his engineering background and education, including running own company. He has established C Land Realty in 2011 which has grown to staffing over 100 Real Estate agents and the annual transaction amount of over $110,000,000 today.

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