Weekly News (April 3, 2019)

This week’s Interest Rate

  • 30 Y Rate: 4.000%/  15 Year Rate:3.625%/ 10 Y Treasury: 2.472%/ Prime Rate:5.5%


Edgewater contaminated site “Quanta Superfund site” fumes were harmful

(The Record)

  • When Edgewater residents complained last year about noxious fumes coming from cleanup work at the Quanta Superfund site, EPA officials said there was no health risk to the public. A new state health report says otherwise. Level of naphthalene were high enough to potentially cause harmful short-term health effects if they were exposed for more than 9 months, mentioned the report.
  • The report says also that naphthalene levels were as high as 1000 M gram. Levels over 500 M gram per cubic meter can cause respiratory damage.
  • If EPA continues to make sure that better work practices continues at the site, “short-term health effects associated with naphthalene are not expected.
  • Meeting on the health report will be held on 4/9 at Edgewater Community Center, 1167 River Rd, Edgewater. (2 sessions : 2-4pm, 6-9pm)
  • EPA can be reached through hot line for people at 201 807 0991.


Parking ticket issuing is dropped sharply in Palisades Park, NJ

  • Tickets issued between July – December, 2018 were 8,644, dropped by 33% from the same period last year. Some worry that it means less visitors in town, but mayor Chung said it is not the case: there was confusion of issuing tickets.
  • Tickets in Fort Lee increased by 1%(17,214) and decreased by 26%(796) in Leonia, but sharply increased by 97%(3,477) in Ridgefield.


Apartment building with 28,260 sf in Bronx sold at $4.2M ($148/sf, Avg.$175K/unit)

(NY Times)

  • The apartment is located at 910,918 and 928 Gerard Ave, Bronx. Three buildings have total 24 units with total of 28,260 sf. The buildings are all three-floor walk-ups. The complex is one block away from Yankee Stadium and has almost 71,000 buildable square feet over all.
  • New owner Prana Investment has taken over all existing leases in the buildings.


NY State requires to use Smoke Alarm detectors with 10 years life span from 4/1

  • New smoke alarm detector with 10 year life span or AC outlet plugged-in detector should be used for house sale or new tenant move-in. Existing detectors installed before 4/1/2019 would be good till when the change will be needed.
  • Often than not, residents remove the battery or remove the detector itself which would prevent alarming from the incident of fire.


NY State starts Internet Sales Tax according to the budget for 2020 fiscal year

  • It is also called “Marketplace Provider Tax”. Marketplace residents should pay tax when they order the merchandise through on-line. The exact tax amount was not announced and it will be depending on different area just like regular off line taxes. Currently NY imposes a total sales tax of 8.875% (4.5% NYC sales tax, 4% NY State tax, and 0.375% metropolitan travel VAT).
  • NY residents have not paid Internet sales tax for last 26 years. However, the Federal Supreme Court decided that state can impose tax to on-line buyers on June, 2018.


Mortgage program with less than 4% emerged in the market

  • Freddie Mac announced 30 year average rate of 4.06% this week while it was 4.28% last week, dropped by 0.22%. This is the recorded the lowest point since Jan, 2018. The dropping of 0.22% is the biggest drop in 10 years.  Freddie Mac’s chief economist Sam Carter mentioned it is a good news for real estate market while economy forecast was not that bright, and it will show more buying demand.
  • Some RE professionals says the market is affected by too high price and low inventory.
  • Last week, mortgage applications increased by 8.9% from the previous week.
  • More worries on the downward economy will move funds to US 10 year treasury bonds which lowers the yield, and consequently makes mortgage rate lower.
  • This trend of low mortgage rate might be continued for a while unless worries for downward economy removed.


Lower mortgage rate triggers more Re-Financing market

  • More homeowners applied for re-financing, especially homeowners with variable rate mortgage program move quickly. Mortgage industry inform, in general,that it is worthwhile if you can lower 0.5% – 0.75% through Re-Fi, especially with no point and no closing cost.  It is also beneficial to combine 1st and 2nd (Home Equity Line of Credit) mortgage with lower rate.
  • $1599.48 monthly payment for $300,000 with 30 year/ Payment with 4.94% becomes $1450.51 with 30 year/3.99% which means $168.97 monthly saving.


Warren Buffet CEO of Berkshire Hathaway says there will be no recession in US

  • Buffet mentioned relatively positive diagnose for US economy on 2/28 that growth rate is slowing down, but not reach to recession during CNBC interview. He also said growth rate is slowing down does not mean it goes different direction and economy is growing with slow steady pace.


April is “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month” including NY, NJ

  • Ticket will be issued for careless driving for texting, eating, touching hand phone, operating navigation, radio operation, make-up, etc. during 4/1 and 4/21. The program catch phrase is “U Text. U Drive. U pay”, but not limited to texting. It can include all other activities except just concentrating on driving.
  • 1st offence pays $200-$400, 2nd offence pays $400-$600, and 3rd office pays $600-$800 with 3 points.
  • In US, 9 people die a day due to careless driving.
  • In 2016, 3450 people died due to careless driving and 391,000 people injured.

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