Weekly News (February 24, 2021)

This week’s Interest Rate (8th Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan/ Time Mortgage)

   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      2.750       2.375     2.375          1.291
This week      2.875       2.375     2.500          1.359


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

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


New Jersey legalized recreational Marijuana

(Kore daily 2/23 )

  • New Jersey on Monday officially becomes 13th state to legalize marijuana, as Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law three bills putting into effect a ballot question overwhelmingly supported by voters last year.
  • This law makes legal for over 21 year old adult to keep less than 6 Oz of recreational marijuana.
  • It marks the end of tens of thousands of weed arrests annually and the beginning of a cannabis industry that could be an economic boom for the state and region.


Amazon Announced to build a distribution center in LIC

(Korea Daily   2/18)

  • The Amazon’s 20,000 sf storage and distribution center will be at 38-50 21st Street in LIC and will be open later part of this year.  After 2nd HQ project in LIC was rejected, Amazon continues to build its warehouse around NYC area this year: 330,000 sf in Red Hook, Brooklyn/ 150,000 sf in Hunts Point, Bronx/ 190,000 sf in Middle Village in Queens.  Also the company plans to build 1M sf massive new delivery station at 55-15 Grand Ave, Maspeth.
  • Meanwhile, Amazon got sued for not providing enough safety measures for coronavirus to their employees.  Also the prosecutor announced that Amazon threatened those employees who filed the law suit with illegal retaliation, but Amazon is denying the allegation.


6,620 sf building in Koreatown in Manhattan sold at $9M($1,359/sf)

(NYT  2/24 )

  • This two three-story building package deal was the first in 40 years for the buildings and are located at 54-56 West 31st Street between Broadway and Avenue of the America and were delivered vacant. This deal includes 18,572 sf of air right.
  • Buyer is Ken Lee and seller is Joyce and O’Reilly families. The broker was Alan Stenson of Brax Realty.


Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City is gone

(Korea Daily  2/18)

  • In 1984, the Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City was the biggest hotel around and have had such big events like Mike Tyson title match and Rollins Stones’ concert, etc.
  • The hotel was closed and demolished on 17th due to hardship of its operation.


New Jersey State supports rent payment for small business under 5000 sf 

(Korea Daily  2/24)

  • NJRA will support maximum $10,000 for small business in 66 towns when they prove hardship under COVID-19 – “Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant Program”
  • The program will be available only in those 66 towns that the State determined as redevelopment area.
  • njra.us/smallbusinessleasegrant


91% of NYC Restaurants and food establishment Biz are facing hardship for rent

(Korea Times  2/18  )

  • NYC Hospitality Association said that 91% of restaurants could not pay December rent.  45.2% could not pay the rent at all; 46.4% said they paid partial rent; Only 8.4% said that paid rent correctly.
  • 39.7% of landlords reduced rent; among them, 17.2 % of landlords reduced more than 50% and 41.4% of landlords reduced less than 50%.


Bitcoin’s total value in circulation is over $1T

(Korea Times/CNBC    2/22)

  • As of morning of 2/22, bitcoin’s value rose 3%, compared to 1 day earlier, to $54,000.
  • Bitcoin’s price rose 350% for last 6 months and it rose 64% in February alone.
  • Tesla has made about $1B in profit on its bitcoin investment, analysts estimated. The company is on a trajectory to make more from its bitcoin investments than profits from selling its EV cars in all of 2020. The company is registered as a manufacturer and not as an investment company.


Treasury Secretary Jenet Yellen warned about extremely inefficient bitcoin.

(Korea Times/ CNBC  2/23)

  •  Yellen issued a warning Monday about the dangers that bitcoin poses both to investors and the public, and also she said there remain important questions about legitimacy and             stability.
  • She indicates need of government control because  1) mining bitcoin requires users to solve complex mathematical equation using high-powered computer setups, which leaves huge carbon footprint  2) bitcoin also is considered to be a tool of those involved in a number of illegal activities because of difficult to trace  3) its volatility, as the cryptocurrency’s price has seen rapid peak and valleys during its existence  4) there is no method to levy tax on cryptocurrency profit so far.
  • MS Soft’s Bill Gate was in a position of criticizing bitcoin before, but he changed his position to a neutral recently.
  • Besides bitcoin, there are 8549 cryptocurrencies registered in the coin market in U.S.


Death toll due to COVID-19 went over 500,000

 (Record 2/24)

  • Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN Sunday “People decades from now are going to be talking about this as a terribly historic milestone in the history of this country, to have these many people to have died from a respiratory- borne infection”
  • S. has lost nearly as many Americans as during World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined.
  • Unfortunately more people will die from COVID-19.  The best way to honor them and their families is to continue – or start – to wear masks and socially distance.


Others/Tech News : Hyundai auto revealed indoor specification of EV(“IONIQ 5”)

  • Official challenge to Tesla
  • Motto: “Progress electrified for connected living”

Tiger Woods was survived from a severe car accident : Genesis  GV80 protected him. (From Youtube in Korean)   



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