Weekly News (February 16, 2022)

Interest Rate (7th Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan)


   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      2.750       2.375     2.375          1.291
A month ago      3.750       2.875     3.375          1.841
Last week      3.850       2.999     3.750          1.805
This week      3.999       3.250     3.875          2.033

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

  • 3% Down payment for 1st home buyer is available.
  • 5% Down payment 2-4 units FHA program available
  • 15% Down payment 2 families -conventional program available.
  • Potential home buyer — Have a pre-approval first before the shop.  Now we have 48hour underwriting turn-around times for regular loans.
  • Self-employed borrower – Need to prepare 3 months business bank statements and the YTD Profit and Loss Statement. YTD income can’t decline more than 30% compared to last year.
  • 2022 Conventional loan limit:

Conforming SFR: $647,200.00/ Conforming high balance: $970,800.00

Conforming 2 Family: $828,700/ Conforming High Balance: $1,243,050


Rent in Queens increasing for 3 months under the Omicron.

(Korea Times 2/14)

  • Rent in Queens is in increasing mode since Nov 2021 and rents and leases increased by double digits in Jan 2022.
  • According to Elliman, the median rent in NE Queens in Jan 2022 rose to $2,950 which is up 19.4% from a year ago and 4.4% from the last month. The leases are 404 which is up 37.4% from 294 a year ago and 3.3% up from the last month.
  • The median rent in Manhattan rose to $3,550 which is up 18.3% from a year ago and it was in increasing for 3 consecutive months. The median rent in Brooklyn rose to $2,800 which is up 7.7%.
  • Some experts say increasing in new lease contracts shows positive signals for recovering rent market as Omicron situations subside.


Offices Shunned Even as Omicron Fades.

(WSJ  2/15)

  • Americans are dining again in restaurants, attending sporting events and flying throughout the country. But most are still steering clear of their office buildings, a sign that more than health concerns are keeping workers away.
  • Remote work remains the more popular option even as a number of states have outlined plans to roll back mask requirements at indoor venues, businesses and schools as the Omicron variant fades.
  • An average of 33% of the workforce returned to the offices during the first week of Feb in the 10 major cities monitored by Kastle Systems, which records building-access-card swipes, while it was 23% in Jan.
  • Meanwhile, the return rate to movie theaters in the first week of Feb was 58% of what it was before the pandemic. Restaurants were nearly three quarters as full as they were before the Covid-19, and air travel had recovered to about 80%.
  • Attendance at National Basketball Association games was 93% of what it was in Fed 2020.
  • Employers have also been reluctant to insist that workers return for fear of driving employees away during a labor shortage, corporate surveys show.
  • Many companies have planned “hybrid” workplaces – splitting time between remote and office work – in deference to the work-from-home preference of many employees.


Increasing Foreclosures: 139% Up from a year ago.

(Korea Daily 2/15)

  • According to ATOM Data Solution, foreclosure cases including NOD, Foreclosure schedule notices, in Jan were 23,204 which is up 29% from Dec 2021.
  • Usually, foreclosures are slowing down during Nov and Dec and they become active in Spring times, but this year foreclosure cases increase 139 % from a year ago due to end of moratorium and forbearance programs.
  • Some experts say current foreclosure level is less than the level in Jan 2020, before the pandemic period, but foreclosure cases will increase continually throughout this year so that the market will notice the difference.
  • Last month, foreclosed cases were 4,784 which is up 57% from the last month and up 235 % from a year ago. Among cities of which population is more than 200,000, Detroit had 1,013 cases, Chicago had 210 cases, New York had 129 cases, Miami had 113 cases, and Philadelphia had 107 cases.


Zillow Lost Big on House Flipping.

(WSJ  2/11)

  • Zillow Group said on 2/10 that it lost $881M on its algorithmic driven home-flipping business last year in its first earnings report since the real-estate company shut down that operation in the fall.
  • The full company, which includes Zillow’s profitable home-listing and advertising business, posted a consolidated net loss of $528M in 2021, mostly because of its home-flipping business, Zillow Offers.
  • Zillow cut about 2,000 jobs, or a quarter of its staff, and wrote down losses of more than a half-billion dollars on the value of remaining homes connected with Zillow Offers. Class A Shares of Zillow had fallen about 1.3% on Thursday as of market close.
  • There were some positive results for the real estate company which was able to capitalize on the red hot housing market. Revenue for the core segment of Zillow, based around home listings on its website, rose 30% in 2021 from the previous year.
  • Zillow said that it had sold or had agreements to sell more than 85% of its remaining inventory of homes from its defunct flipping business.


Building Lobbies make subtle changes for Covid Age.

(NYT  2/16)

  • After 9/11, the lobbies in many U.S. office buildings permanently changed as landlords beefed up security, adding cameras, turnstile, programmable elevators and other technological tools.
  • Now as more people return to offices, the lobby is changing again, this time with an emphasis on health and safety. Most notably, mobile applications tied to building security or operating systems are replacing plastic ID badges for workers and check-in process for the visitors. The goal is to digitally connect anyone entering the building while minimizing direct contact.
  • Landlords are focusing now on the convergence of functions on smartphones that will provide a contactless experience and encourage people return to work, and to return safely.
  • The cost is a big issue to connect mobile applications: for example, a project to retrofit an 18-year-old, 25,000-square-foot building costs around $5 a square feet. Complicating matter is the lack of unified system. The sector for building software solutions remains fragmented, with several property technology companies competing.


Shaper Sea-level Rise Forecast in New Study.

(WSJ 2/16)

  • Sea levels on U.S. coastlines are forecast to rise about a foot on average by 2050, surging with meltwater from ice sheets and glaciers as a result of climate change, federal scientists said Tuesday, such as National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Globally sea levels rose about 0.5 feet between 1920 and 2020, according to the report. Across the U.S. coast on average, in the last 100 years, sea levels rose about 0.9 feet.
  • Along the East Coast, the water will rise a few more inches compared with shorelines on the West Coast and Hawaii. The Golf coasts will be the worst hit, according to report – around New Orleans, for example, seas could rise about 1.5 feet.
  • Rising seas are forecast to prompt more frequent flooding events from high tides and storms over the next 30 years, according the report.


Stocks gain ground, oil prices fall as Ukraine tensions.

(Record 2/16)

  • Technology companies led a rebound for stocks on Wall Street on Tuesday as investors welcomed signs that tensions might ease over the Russian limitary buildup on Ukraine’s border.
  • The S&P 500 rose 1.6% and the Dow and Nasdaq composite rose 1.2% and 2.5 respectively. The gain snapped a three-day losing streak and nearly made up for all of its losses last week. The bond yields were mixed. U.S. crude oil futures fell, as did gold prices.
  • The rally came as Russia announced that some units participating in military exercises around Ukraine would begin returning to their bases.
  • Later that day, Russian president Vladimir Putin said Moscow is ready for talks with the U.S. and NATO on military transparency and other security issues.
  • Still President Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. had yet verified Russia’s claim of a troop drawdown.


* This is News Brief & Mini Seminar in youtube.




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