Weekly News (February 3, 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          1.041
This week      2.625       2.290     2.490          1.105


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

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

On 5th Avenue in Manhattan, hints of Revival?

(WSJ   1/27)

  • After a very dark period, the sun is starting to shine again on Manhattan’s famed Fifth Avenue retail corridor between 49th to 60th Luxury retailers hope lower rents, vaccine rollouts, less Trump disruption.
  • Asking rents have tumbled about 18% from their 2017 peak to about $2500/sf. (At the 2017 peak the rent was about $3500/sf).  Luxury watch and jewelry maker Chopard recently signed a new lease for the Crown Building opposite the Tiffany & Co. store.  Toy maker Lego AS moved to a bigger store on Fifth Avenue, occupying 10,000 sf more than double its previous space.  Jeweler Harry Winston, which Swatch Group owns, signed a deal to nearly double its space on Fifth Avenue.
  • Not all retailers are bullish about their prospects on Fifth Avenue.  Valentino SpA is suing to terminate a roughly $19M a yea lease of a store two blocks south of Trump Tower.
  • Cho Cho Cheng, who is the founder of women’s designer label Chocheng, opened a boutique on Fifth Avenue location in late 2019, said “we have decided to keep the store and we hope it will all work out in the end, and we believe it is worth the effort”.


NYC allows opening indoor restaurants from 2/14/2021

(Korea Daily 2/1 )

  • The Governor Cuomo announced on 29th that NYC will allow opening indoor restaurants up to 25% capacity and till 10:00pm from 2/14/2021, which is Valentine’s Day.  Indoor restaurants have been closed for 2 months.
  • Currently Vaccination rate in NY is about 6.0% and Corona virus infection rate is 4.65%.
  • NYC’s infection rate is 5.27%. ( Manhattan:3.47%, Bronx: 7.06%, Long Island: 6.51%).


NYC, Coronavirus situation is under control?

(Korea Times  2/3)

  • First time after Coronavirus outbreak in March, 2020, the numbers of positives, hospitalized patients, death toll are decreasing.  As of 2/2, the hospitalized patients are little over 8,000 which was decreased from 9,273 two weeks ago.  The death toll was decreased 6%. Infection rate is diminishing for consecutive 25 days.
  • NYC public transportation is in full operation today after snowstorm.  School re-opened in-person class, and corona vaccination resumed today too.
  • The governor Cuomo said that Yankee stadium will be open as vaccine center for NYC residents and they will increase vaccination rate to African Americans and Latinos.
  • Meantime, US positives are 26,445,400 as of Tuesday.


In Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, office condo sold at $598/sf.

(NYT  2/3)

  • 9,697 sf office condo at 545 West 45th St between 10th and 11th Ave was sold at $5.8M recently.  Buyer is CredDent, a dental lab and brokers were Michael Rudder and Justin Harris of Rudder Property Group.
  • The 11 story building with 134,200 sf was built in 1910 and include 12-foot ceiling and new elevator.


Harvard, Yale, Brown universities start purchasing virtual currency

(Korea Times  1/28 )

  • According to Coindesk, those universities started investing their funds to virtual currency in 2019.  Even though the investment amount is small yet, but they started including the virtual currency to their investment portfolio.
  • Co-founder of Blocktower Capital said that many institutional investors understand Bitcoin and are moving into the investment to the virtual currency.
  • Harvard University is maintaining about $40B university fund which is the biggest in US and Yale University’s fund is about $30B, Michigan University’s fund is $12.5B, Brown University’s fund is $4.7B.


Biden Admin set to provide Vaccine to pharmacies

(Record   2/3)

  • The Biden Admin will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to US pharmacies, part of a plan to ramp up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains are starting appear, the White House said Tuesday: starting next week some 6,500 pharmacies around the country will receive 1 million doses.
  • CVS offers COVID-19 vaccines at some NJ locations to eligible recipients starting 2/11/2021: limited rollout of 19,900 doses provided by federal government will be available.  Patients must register in advance at CVS.com or through CVS Pharmacy phone app. (800 746 7287) and walk-ins are not allowed.


Amazon founder Bezos stepping down as CEO to become executive chairman

(Record/ WSJ   2/3)

  • Amazon announced Tuesday that founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO this summer, handing off the retail juggernaut to Andy Jassy, who runs the cloud computing business.
  • Bezos, one of the world’s most powerful business figurers and one of its wealthiest, will transition to the role of executive chairman. In a letter to employees, Bezos said as executive chairman he would focus on new products and early initiatives.
  • The surprise announcement came as Amazon reported record fourth-quarter sales that topped $100B for the first time.


Others/Tech News :
 SamSung’s Galaxy S21 reveals 3 models: 5G compatible  Available from 1/29/2021
 S21       $799 / S21+       $999 / S21 Ultra     $1,199



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