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Weekly News (February 21, 2018)

1. Leonia, NJ, traffic ban for non-residents → Leads to Protest 

  • The mayor said town will change the sign contents → Residents and Customers may enter…
  • About 80 Business owners protested and demonstrated on the street, requesting that the ban should be lifted
  • The policy to ban detour traffics has created bigger problem → Critical damages on business

2. Palisades Park, NJ → Good signal for the First Korean Mayor 

  • Chris Chung was elected as Mayor candidate in the Democratic party meeting
  • Chris Chung received 40 votes out of 71 (Current Mayor got 31) → Might lead to win
  • Bergen County support → If Bergen county support achieved, he will get the first position in the Ballet
  • 3 Korean candidates (Jong Chul Lee, Pual Kim, Yoonku Woo) will fight for 2 council member seats

3. Manhattan SPA, owned by Korean, was shut down due to illegal prostitution 

  • In Time Square, ‘Elis Spa’ between 40th St and 7th Ave shot down by authority on 13th
  • Sting operation by a police → Negotiate at $60 for a sex → Repeated same arrest twice → shut down the store
  • In 2016, 2 owners arrested for arranging prostitution
  • Open advertisement : ’20~24 years old Asian girls provide service: massage and sex’

4. Investors in Korea are looking into US commercial properties (Interview by WD Park)

  • Korean government announced higher tax for real estate investors : Two type of taxes:
    1)Property tax (low) and 2) General RE tax (Depending on the value of the property)
  • They start looking into US commercial market with more or less than 5% Cap rate
  • Kangnam area in Korean provides 3~4% Return rate (Properties in good location goes under 3%) (Properties in rural area go with 7~10%)
  • Unclear political situation is one of reason that investors are interested in US properties
  • They deem US has much less regulations and almost no interferences from government
  • EB-5 immigration investment is another avenue to come to US and do RE business
  • They like less risk than high return à could expand to development as they are familiar with local environment

5. Home building jumps in Jan 

  • Groundbreakings on new homes jumped 9.7% last month → Highest level since Oct 2016
  • 33 Million in January from 1.21 Million in December (1.24 Million in Jan 2017)
  • Single family rose 3.7% and Condo / Apartment rose 19.7%
  • Northeast went up by 45.5%, West went up by 10.7%, South went up by 9.3%, but Midwest dropped by 10.2% → Builders haven’t been putting up homes fast enough to in meet demand
  • According to Standard & Poor’s (Corelogic Case-Shiller Index, US home prices went up by 6.2% in Nov from a year earlier
  • The National Association of Home Builders / Wells Fargo builder sentiment index read 72(Usually 50 is good rather poor / The index has been above 60 since September 2016)

6. Renters increased sharply for last 10 years  

  • 23 Million renters increased between 2006 and 2016
  • In 2006, 20 cities among 100 has more renters → In 2016, 42 cities has more renters
  • Newark : 74%, Jersey City: 70%, Miami: 68%, DC:65%, Boston: 64%
  • US nationwide, 36% are renters

7. Rent payment records will be reflected to Credit Score 

  • The system might be helpful to low credit score renters
  • The target is 27 apartments renters in South Bronx → Called ‘Making Rent Count’ program
  • About 600 renters registered → Rent payment records will be sent to credit companies
  • NYC starts from low income area first → spread to wider area

8. Non-immigration Visa entry form Korea to US continues to grow for 3 years 

  • 2015: 73,402 → 2016: 77,370 → 2017: 79,107
  • B1,B2, E, F, H (Job), J (Exchange Program), L (Corporate Tr),M (Vocational school), O (Specialist), P (Art& Athletic), R (Religion), etc.
  • 2007: 448,636 → In 2009 during financial crises, dropped to 122,370 (70% down) → Reduced to 73,000 in 2014
  • But H visa dropped from 3945 (2015) → 3654 (2016) → 2812 (2017)
  • F visa dropped from 30,565 (2015) → 28,491 (2016) → 25,678 (2017)


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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