Weekly News (Dec. 23, 2020)

This week’s Interest Rate (51th Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan  )

   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      3.625       3.25            1.889
A month ago      2.750       2.375     2.625          0.857
Last week      2.625       2.375     2.625          0.908
This week      2.582       2.125     2.625          0.918

( This week rates provided by Time Mortgage)
 Prime Rate:3.0% / Ref IR: 0.00- 0.25%


NJ Coronavirus transmission rate is below 1.0

(Korea Times  12/22)

  • In NJ, coronavirus transmission rate lowered below 1.0, announced Governor Murphy on 12/21. ( Transmission rate 1.0 means one positive transfer to 1 person) It is the first time that transmission rate is dropped below 1.0 since 9/3/2020.
  • Governor Murphy emphasized the next 2 week period including Christmas and New Year is critical time period and asked to curtail indoor gathering and parties.


Moderna’s virus vaccine arrives at 18 NJ hospitals

   (Record  12/23 )

  • A Vaccine developed by Moderna, the second COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in U.S. arrived in New Jersey on Tuesday, a week after the first vaccine by Pfizer began to be administered.
  • One hundred front-line employees and physicians at St. Mary’s hospital in Passaic were among the first to be immunized.  The hospital will offer the shot to all 1600 employees and medical staff.
  • Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, meanwhile, anticipates getting 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine within the next week.
  • A field hospital wing constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers with help from FEMA on the campus of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center will serve as the vaccine distribution site. The facility can handle over 300 vaccinations per day.


Andrew Yang becomes #1 out of the opinion poll for the NYC Mayor candidate

(Korea Times  12/22)

  • The former presidential candidate for Democrat primary, Andrew Yang received 17% support which is 1% ahead of Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough president, with all other candidates at least 10 points back.  He has not declared his candidacy yet.
  • He sparked a huge following in the Democratic primary for president with his call for universal basic income.


Existing home sales fall 2.5% following summer boom

(Record  12/23)

  • The market for existing homes cooled slightly in November, the NAR said Tuesday, after climbing through the late spring, summer and early fall despite the pandemic.
  • Existing home sales fell 2.5% between Oct and Nov on a seasonally adjusted basis to 6.69M annualized units, which is the first decline since May, when housing market activity started recovering from the shutdowns of March and April due to the coronavirus lockdowns.


Real Estate For Data Center-Warehouses, a bright Silver Lining

(NYT   12/23)

  • A growing reliance on cloud services in the pandemic is driving a real estate boom in data centers.  The shift to digital work and play from home, hastened by the pandemic, has wreaked havoc on commercial real estate. But experts say it has also generated one surprising bright spot for the industry: data centers.
  • Real estate investment trusts focused on data centers delivered returns of 19% in the first half of 2020 – one of only two REIT sectors that showed growth, according to JLL.
  • The 9/11 in 2001, terrorist attacks and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 prompted many companies across a variety of sectors in New York, like finance and media, to rethink their information technology as a hedge against future disaster or damage.  Now, pandemic-induced office closures and remote work arrangements are spurring corporations to re-evaluate where and how they house their central nerve system.
  • The concerns are retrofitting their old structure to meet the new conditions such as higher foundation, more power distribution, and cooling systems.


Empty Hotels get a New Life as Rental Apartments

(WSJ   12/23)

  • Investors are buying hotels and turning into rental apartments, in the latest sign of how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the American real estate.  These buyers are trying to take advantage of the hospitality industry’s crisis by talking over struggling or foreclosed properties at bargain prices.
  • “We consider ourselves a building recycling company”, said CEO of Vivo Living who purchased 4 hotels in Arizona and N.C.  Many of Vivo Living is looking at are older motels with open-air corridors and staircases, shunned by big hotel brands.
  • In many cases, hotel rooms are just large enough to qualify as the smallest housing units allowable under the zoning law, said Jonathan Needle, president of real estate investment form Kairos Investment Management Co, which has lent money to converters.


30 Year fixed mortgage interest rates down to 2.67% lowest in history

(Korea Daily  12/19)

  • According to Freddie Mac, the mortgage interest rates recorded down to 2.67%, which went down 0.04% from the last week’s 2.71%.  Freddie Mac said this record is 15th record brake in this year.
  • This is the lowest rate since Freddie Mac started recoding the interest rates in 1971.
  • Compared to 4.94% in Nov 2018, 2.25% has been lowered for only 2 years.


#1 Task of Biden Administration will be Revival of  Domestic Corporates

(Korea Daily  12/18 )

  • According to KOCHAM online Zoom Seminar on 12/15, Biden administration will continue most of Trump admin’s project and policy: Revival of domestic corporates.  Therefore, US-China conflicts will go on: 1) US manufacturing will be boosted by controlled procurement and infra construction  2) High-tech communication and semi-conductor will be forced to use domestic parts.
  • Compared to Trump Admin’s US first policy, Biden admin will take cooperation with foreign alliances and clean energy projects will be higher priority.
  • Biden admin’s proposal on Tax reform is  1) Corporate tax increase from 21% to 28%   2) 10% credit benefit to US on shore corporate   3) 10% added Tax to US offshore corporate.


Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla says he sought Tesla sale to Apple

(WSJ  12/23 )

  • He divulged a news twist: he says he has contacted his Apple, Inc. counterpart, Tim Cook, to save his company when Tesla’s efforts to bring out its Model 3 brought the electric car company near collapse in 2018.
  • In 2014, Apple began working on its own car project, dubbed Project Titan, details of which emerged in 2015.  The project has gone fits and starts.  Apple has been making plans to begin production of an electric car as soon as 2024, according to a person who is familiar with the efforts.
  • Talk of an Apple-Tesla tie up has often circulated around Silicon Valley in 2015.  At that time, he told investors that he saw a path for Tesla by 2025 to be a valuable as Apple was at that time, which then was $700B.


Others/Tech News :


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