Weekly News (February 19, 2021)

This week’s Interest Rate (7th Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan  )

   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      3.375       2.875     3.250          1.651
A month ago      2.625       2.290     2.490          1.092
Last week      2.599       2.250     2.490          1.145
This week      2.750       2.375     2.375          1.291


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

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


H Mart opens at 144  Northern Boulevard, Flushing

(Korea Times  2/11)

  • Korea/Asian supermarket opens at 144-74 Northern Blvd. on 1/10/2021 which provides fresh produce, meat, seafood, Asian groceries, and housewares in 13,000 sf facilities.
  • The existing supermarket on 141 Northern Blvd will be still open till the new market is stabilized. The president, Brian Kwon boasts that the store provides 6000 grocery items.


Andrew Yang is top rating in the pool for the NYC Mayor democrat candidate

(Korea Daily  2/11)

  • Andrew Yang’s support shows 28% for Democrat candidate for the Mayor while the 2nd position, Eric Adams shows 17% from 842 respondents’ survey from 1/20-1/25.
  • The major issues for Mayor election includes  1) Coronavirus policy and Vaccination  2) Stabilization of Economy  3) Crime control and public safety and  4) Accessibility to public health insurance.


White House extends Relief on Mortgages

(WSJ/ NYT  2/17  )

  • The Biden Admin extended
    1) a federal moratorium on home foreclosures for another three months for federally backed mortgages through June 30, and expanded assistance for people behind on their mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic:
    2) an enrollment window for mortgage payment forbearance requests until June 30:
    3) providing up to 6 months mortgage payment forbearance for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30.
  • Some 2.7M homeowners have active forbearance plans – representing 5% of all mortgage holders – and more than a half of the plans are set to end of the plans for good in march, April, May or June, according to mortgage-data firm Black Knight Inc.  About 75% of U.S. mortgages are guaranteed or insured by the U.S. government, according the firm.


Home virtual tour attraction reduced

(Korea Daily   2/13)

  • According to NAR recent report, virtual tour popularity is dropped: selling and buying through virtual tour were 9% and 7% respectively in May 2020 and 6% and 4% in December, 2020. And NAR said that home buying as one of biggest investment through a virtual tour is not an easy decision and buying home through actual showing with keeping safety guideline is increased.
  • In California, the safety guideline includes  1) using Coronavirus disclosure form  2) using hand sanitizer  3) Keeping windows open if weather permits  4) Sanitizing door knob and touchable surface.


Nationwide Home price went up with double digits in big cities

(Kore daily 2/13 )

  • In 4th Qt 2020, home price went up in 183 big cities in U.S. without an exception.  Among 183 cities, 161 cities’ home price went up by double digit and in 8 cities in California shows 11-18%.
  • NAR reports that the single-family median price becomes $315,900, which is up 14.9% from the last year same period, which shows highest increase in recent years.
  • The most increased area includes Bridgeport in CT (39%), Pittsfield in MA (32.2%), Atlantic City (30%) in NJ, and Naples (29.9%) in FL.
  • Those highest median priced cities include San Jose ($1.4M), San Francisco ($1.14M), Anaheim ($935,000), Honolulu ($902,500), San Diego ($740,000), LA ($688,700), Colorado Boulder ($661,300), and Seattle ($614,700).
  • Increased home price is burden for home buyers, but it is diluted by current low interest rates.
  • The average income for median priced single home is $48,960 while it was $49,908 last year, and the average monthly payment is $1,040 while it was $1,020 last year.


Bitcoin trades above $50,000 for the first time

(WSJ    2/17)

  • Bitcoin surged above $50,000 for the first time on Tuesday, doubling in less than two months as the digital currency continues its torrid run higher.  Bitcoin traded as high as $50,584.85, before closing at $48,642.45, according to CoinDesk, up 0.95% for the day and $68% for the year, with a total value in circulation close to $909B.
  • From August through December, about 150,000 new bitcoins were minted, Brian Melville, head strategist at Cumberland estimated.  The firm calculated that about 359,000 bitcoins were bought in the same period and imbalance continued in 2021.
  • That buying demand has brought not only a price rally, but growing acceptance and recognition of an asset that was once an object of derision for regulators and lawmakers.
  • Critics said bitcoin is less of a currency and more a speculative fixation, and the its price might be due in part to manipulation: Bitcoin has very little practical use and doesn’t provide a steady income like a bond or stock dividend.
  • Regardless bitcoin continues to attract fresh attention. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said on Tuesday that the city was exploring the use of bitcoin, potentially paving the way for city employees to receive some of their salary in bitcoin and residents to pay fees and taxes with the digital currency.


Goldman Scahs is to offer digital investing tool

(WSJ  2/17)

  •  You used to need at least $10M in investable asset to draw the attention of wealth  managers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Now all it takes is $1000 and smartphone.
  • The company on Tuesday unveiled “Marcus Invest”, a low-cost digital platform that allocates and automatically rebalances individuals’ wealth across portfolios of stocks and bonds based on the models developed by the firm’s investment-strategy committee.
  • Marcus Invest is designed for mainstream investors who can meet an account minimum of $1000.  Goldman’s high-touch private wealth advisors charge clients annual advisory fees that can exceed 1% of the balances of its smallest accounts, but for Marcus Invest’s digital advisory services, customers pay 0.35%.

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