Weekly News (February 10, 2021)

This week’s Interest Rate (5th Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan  )

   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      3.625       3.125     3.375          1.811
A month ago      2.625       2.375     2.625          0.921
Last week      2.625       2.290     2.490          1.105
This week      2.599       2.250     2.375          1.145


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

2021 Conventional loan limit: Conforming: $548,250/ Conforming high balance: $882,375



Citi Field starts Vaccination from today

(Korea Times   2/10)

  • MTA, LIRR makes a stop at Mets-Willets Point station in front of Citi Field, which is in Queens, Flushing and becomes a vaccination center from today.  Usually Mets-Willetts Point station operates only when there is a game.


Homeowners face to end to Aid: Mortgage Forbearance

(WSJ  2/10)

  • Mortgage forbearance plans, which allows borrowers to postpone payments on federally backed mortgages during the pandemic, are set to expire in the coming months.  The relief programs, largely designed to last a maximum of 12 months, are set to expired in the coming months, a serious challenge for borrowing who are still out of work or are earning less than they did pre-pandemic.
  • More than half of 2.7M active forbearance plans are set to end for good in March, April, May or June, according to mortgage – data firm Black Knight Inc.
  • Lenders are supposed to work with borrowers when forbearance plans expire, and there are rules to constrain them from making borrowers pay back all their missed mortgage payment at once if the loan is government-backed.
  • The HUD (The Department of Housing and Urban Development) plans to announce additional relief measures for home owners in the coming week.


“Opendoor” IPO crowned CEO Eric Wu a billionaire

(TRD  Jan )

  • The company, found in 2014, uses an algorithm to buy and sell homes for a fee of between 6 and 8%. It is a leading iBuyer, or instant home buyer, in a hot – but nascent – slice of the residential market, accounting just 0.5% of U.S. home sales last year.
  • By 2019, Opendoor had raised $1.3B from investors.  It sold 19,000 homes that year, generating $4.7B in revenue.  But it also lost $339M.  When the pandemic hit, it suspended home-buying and laid off 35% of staff before the housing market came bouncing back.
  • Opendoor is the leading iBuyer in a nascent sector, “leaving plenty of opportunity for expansion” said Jason Helfstein, an analysist at Oppenheimer & Co.  He projected iBuying, which accounted for 0.38% of U.S home sales in 2019, could capture 3.52% of the market by 2030.


Online Grocery shopping drives up sales at Ocado

(Record   2/10 )

  • Ocado, one of largest internet only grocery retailers, said Tuesday that sales rose 35% during the last fiscal year as the pandemic accelerated the shift toward internet shopping.
  • The company, which is based in Britain but has been expanding with partners in the U.S., Europe and Asia, said sales jumped to 2.19B pounds ($3.02B) in the year through November from 1.62B pounds a year earlier.


Tesla purchased $1.5B worth Bitcoin

(WSJ/ Korea Times  2/9)

  • Tesla announced in the recent SEC report that the company decided to update its investment strategy to provide more ROI and purchased $1.5B worth Bitcoin.
  • The company said that they can use Bitcoin to pay for Tesla cars very soon.  If then, Tesla will be the first auto maker who uses Bitcoin to sell its cars.
  • The news sent the price of Bitcoin up 25% from Sunday to intraday record of $48,226 on Tuesday.  For Bitcoin bulls, the announcement was the latest sign of validation for the burgeoning digital currency.
  • Bit coin has been slow to take off as a form of payment.  The cost of using Bitcoin, and volatility, have made normal, day-to-day transactions impractical.  For users who might want to buy something small like a $4 cup of coffee at Starbuck, Bitco9in is an unattractive payment option because of the associated fees.  The median transaction fee is currently around $5.40, but the average is more than $11, and it varies widely, depending on network traffic.
  • Companies like BitPay automate the process, handling the back-end logistics for digital-currency payments.  Unlikely cash wirings, which can take days to process, Bitcoin transactions close quickly, usually in a matter of minutes.


U.S hiring in December plunged even as job opening tickled up 

(Record   2/10)

  • S. employers cut back sharply on hiring in December, particularly industries slammed by the pandemic such as restaurants and hotels, as virus infections soared and government responded with tighter restrictions.
  • The number of available jobs rose slightly and layoffs fell, according to Labor Dept’s Tuesday report.  Employers cut hiring 6.6% in December, to 5.5M, said the report.


Reddit’s 5 second Super Bowl Ad honored ‘underdogs’ in GameStop frenzy

(Korea Daily   2/10)

  • Reddit’s 5 second ad during Super Bowl Sunday that celebrated its users involved in the recent GameStop stock-trading frenzy might have struck football fans as glitch.  It wasn’t.
  • Here’s what that message said: “Wow, this actually worked.  If you’re reading this, it means our bet paid off.  Big game spots are expensive, so we couldn’t buy a full one.  But we were inspired and decided to spend our entire marketing budget on five seconds of airtime.  Powerful things happens when people rally around something they really care about.  And there’s a place for that.  It’s called Reddit.
  • Roughly three quarters of the decline occurred in a category that includes restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos, concert halls and entertainment venues.  Warehousing and shipping firms also slashed hiring, the report found.


Others/Tech News :
HyunDai Car ceases negotiating with Apple, Inc for iCar
 – HyunDai Car stock lost $1.08B in KOSPI
– Apple didn’t like that HyunDai could not keep NDA

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