Weekly News (August 11, 2021)

This week’s Interest Rate (32nd Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan )

   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      2.750       2.375     2.625          0.517
A month ago      2.799       2.125     2.490          1.370
Last week      2.650       2.000     2.375          1.169
This week      2.750       2.125     2.375          1.339


 Prime Rate:3.0% / Ref IR: 0.00- 0.25% .


  • Potential home buyer — Have a pre-approval first before the shop.  Now we have 48hour underwriting turn-around times for regular loans.
  • 2021 Conventional loan limit: Conforming SFR : $548,250/ Conforming high balance: $882,375 / Confirming 2 Family: $702,000/ Confirming High Balance: $1,053,000


Real Estate Development is booming in Northern new Jersey

( Korea Daily  8/11)

  • Among other on-going development projects, most interested one is “615 River Rd” in Edgewater: 1200 units, 14 story luxury apartment complex on 18.7 Ac lot.  Still this project is under the law suit with “SoJo”, Korean owned spa resort.
  • In Hackensack, with simultaneous multiple development projects, a total of 3500 units of apartments would be completed by the end of this year and the town would become just like “New Jersey Manhattan”, similar to Jersey City or Hoboken.
  • In Woodland Park(former West Patterson), Kushner Real Estate Group will develop 205,000 sf Class-A office building which will be occupied by Kearfott Guidance and Navigation. The property is located where I 80 and Route 46 intersect.
  • Others include 70 units of mixed use complex in Allendale, New shopping center and AAA Wholesale Group retail complex at former K-mart location In Lodi, New retail complex with CVS store, bank and New Valley hospital on East Ridgewood Street in Paramus, Wholefood Mart in Woodcliff lakes, 448 units of apartment complex in Park Ridge, Mixed use complex within commercial district in Ridgewood, etc.


Covid Threatens a Comeback in Manhattan

(NYT  8/11 )

  • Midtown Manhattan, which has been in the doldrums for much of the pandemic, has finally begun showing signs of life. But that progress may be threatened by spread of the Delta variant.
  • The push to reopen Midtown may face a setback with rising cases from the highly transmissible Delta variant, posing possible problems for New York’s financial recovery because commercial landlords pay about 10% of the city’s taxes.
  • Vacant office space in Midtown reached a record 47.4M sf in 2nd Qt this year, or 19% of total space, according to Cushman & Wakefield. And space available for subleasing swelled, peaking at 11.7M sf in early 2021.
  • What hasn’t changed is what has always made Midtown the star of the Midtown commercial real estate show: its central location and unmatched transit access. In addition, the buildings tend to be bigger, with expansive floor plates that can accommodate tenants with large numbers of employees.
  • Some believe that in the long run, Midtown will need to diversify the same way Lower Manhattan did over the last couple of decades, making the transition from being strictly 9-to-5 financial district to a 24/7 neighborhood.


Saks Fifth Owner teams with WeWork on Co-Working Spaces

(WSJ   8/11)

  • The owner of Saks Fifth Ave, Hudson’s Bay Co. plans to open it first five co-working offices next month in the New York area, company executive said. The venture, called SaksWorks, calls for WeWork to run co-working spaces in buildings by Hudson’s Bay.
  • Hudson’s Bay is hoping to profit from the rise of remote work, which most popular polls show many Americans want to continue doing at least part time. A survey of 9000 workers by consulting giant Accenture PLC earlier this year found that 83% of respondents described a mix of in-office and at-home work as ideal.
  • Hudson’s Bay is transforming current and former Saks store, and some of the spaces previously occupied by Lord & Taylor, into these WeWork managed co-working offices.
  • The Lord& Taylor, the nearly 200-year-old department chain declared bankruptcy in 2020 and said it would close all its remaining stores to operate exclusively as an e-commerce retailer.


Home Builders have sold more home than they can build

(WSJ    8/11)

  • Low interest rates and the search for more space to work from home helped push sales of new homes in late 2020 and early 2021. But builders have been hampered by labor shortage, steep lumber prices, material backlogs and a limited supply of land.
  • As a result, they could not increase construction quickly enough to meet demand. Many are effectively turning away business.
  • Recent data reflects the discrepancy between building and selling in new-home market. Housing starts, a measure of U.S. home-building activities, rose 29% in June from a year ago, according to the Commerce Dept. But sales of newly built homes fell 19%.
  • Many builders are waiting until homes are partially built –or even fully—built before selling them to take advantage of fast-rising prices and make sure they can control their costs.


U.S, Coronavirus positives reach to 100,000 a day

(Korea Times 8/10)

  • According to AP and CNN, U.S positives are more than 100,000 a day and it is the first time since 6 month ago, mainly because of Delta variant.  U.S. positives were 250,000 as record high in the beginning of January, 2021 and it came down to the level of 11,000 in June after vaccination began.
  • In NY State, the daily positives went over 4000. It was 4,385 on 6th while it was 2,143 on 2nd, which is almost doubled. Especially NYC is almost a half of the state’s positives.
  • According to John’s Hopkins Univ report, the death toll is 497 last week which is 40% increase compared to the week before.
  • The hospitalized patients are increasing as well: 64,250 on 6th which is about 4 times of 16,152 patients, the lowest time in June, 2020. They are increasing, especially in the areas of low vaccination rates such as Florida, Georgia, S Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc.  The hospitalized patient in these areas is about 41% of U.S.
  • (Korea Daily 8/7) In New Jersey, all students , teachers, and visitors must wear masks from September regardless of vaccination status, announce Governor Murphy on 6th.
  • (WSJ 8/9 )  Tesla told workers at its Nevada battery factory they will be required to wear a mask indoors starting Monday regardless of vaccination status.


Job openings hit the record high : over 10M

(Korea Times 8/10 )

  • As U.S. recovering is moving fast, Job openings for American companies are 10.1M in record high, according to U.S. Labor Dept in June. It exceeded Dow Jones‘ forecast of 9.1M
  • Among these openings, hiring in leisure and hospitality sector is 1.6M which is #1, and hiring in garment and social service sector is 1.5M, which is #2.
  • While consumer spending is increased sharply and companies are trying to keep up with the demand, but many people are not willing to come back to work.


Scandal Drives Governor Cuomo to Quit

(WSJ    8/11 )

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Tuesday after sexual-harassment allegations and a fast moving impeachment effort left him facing pressure to step down from even those closest him. The resignation came a week after a report by New York Attorney general Letitia James that said Mr. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal laws, created work environment and retaliated against at least former employee.
  • The 3rd term (for 10 years) Mr. Cuomo said his resignation would become effective in 14 days, after which Ms. Kathy Hochul, Lt. Gov. would succeed him. Hochul is to serve the remainder of Mr. Cuomo’s term which ends Dec 31,2022.
  • After law school, Andrew Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy, a daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, in 1990. The couple divorced in 2005 and have three grown daughters.
  • Cuomo is the second New York governor to resign in the past 15 years. In 2008, Eliot Spitzer left office amid allegations he patronized a sex worker.


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