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Weekly News (February 5, 2020)

This week’s Interest Rate (6th Week)

(Fairway Asset)

30 Y Rate: 3.450%/ 15 Year Rate:2.99%/ 10 Y Treasury: 1.651%/  FHA:3.125%
Prime Rate:4.75% / Ref IR: 1.50- 1.75%


“SOJO” Spa Club in Edgewater filed the suit against  the town government

(The Korea Daily, Korea Times  2/5)

  • SOJO claims that the town approved the new development project 1200 unit apartment complex at 660 River Road without consensus of town residents.  This development project will be at former ‘Hess” site and this building will block the Manhattan view from SOHO roof top.
  • Size of SOJO Spa is 140,000 sf and 300 employees work at the building.  The owner EunRae Cho (조은래) has built this Spa in 2017 by bench marking famous Japanese hot spring resort.
  • There has been various rumors and complaints on the relationship between the town and multiple developers regarding approval of the development projects.


Edgewater clean up site(Quanta) may produce odors from soil solidification

(The Record  2/5)

  • EPA officials are alerting people near the Quanta Super Fund site that they may smell naphthalene odors as soil solidification and removal is completed.  Starting this week, the soil work will occur outside protective tents at 115 River Rd.  The work will remove 10% of soil that cannot be contained under a tent because of physical features that prevent setting up tents.
  • Naphthalene is reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogen.  During active soil solidification outside the tent, residents may experience odors from release of naphthalene vapors, especially on warm days or when walking past the site on the east side of River Rd, said EPA officials.
  • Resident can report concerns about the vapors or odors 24 hours a day using community hot line number 201 807 0991.


Forever 21 is being sold at $81M finally

(The Korea Daily/Korea Times  2/5)

  • Finally it is being sold to the consortium with Brookfield Properties, Simon Property Group, etc at $81M for all assets of Forever 21.  Forever 21 has filed the bankruptcy in September, 2019.
  • It is contingent upon the court approval.  Also if there is another offer before 7th, then they will have to go through a bid.
  • Forever 21 had operated about 800 stores in 57 countries worldwide.


NYC, Construction Boom again?

(The  Korea Daily 2/5)

  • NYC new construction permit applications are increased by 27% from last year to 26,547 which is highest number since 2008.  Especially it is increased to 5500 in Bronx, which is up by 50% from last year, which is highest since middle of 1980.
  • The reason for this push is known as reaction from worry of reducing tax benefit soon, rather than response by natural demand increase, analyzed RE experts.


Office leasing picks up in Midtown, but slows elsewhere in Manhattan

(The TRD  Feb )

  • Midtown office leasing hit a new all-year high in November with 2.75M sf in leases inked, up 36% from the last month and 58% year-over-year. (Average $87.03/sf)
  • Midtown South saw a total of 430,000 sf in leases inked in November, down 4% from the last month and 38% YOY. (Average $83.67/sf)
  • Leasing activity in Lower Manhattan totaled 330,000 sf in November, down 3% from the month ago and down 27% YOY. (Average $62.79/sf)


Immigrants’ contribution to Economy: NY is #1 among other states

(The Korea Times  2/1)

  • According to WalletHub, by survey through 4 categories of Workforce, Socioeconomic Contribution, Brain Gain & Innovation, and International Students, NY received 70.84, CA received 68.01, NJ received 66.87, MA received 66.36, and MD received 61.52.
  • Categorically, NY States got #1 in Brian Gain & Innovation, and International Students, #3 in Workforce, #6 in Socioeconomic Contribution.
  • New Jersey got # 1 in Workforce, #4 in Brian Gain & Innovation, #5 in Socioeconomic Contribution, #22 in International Student.


Positive forecast in 2020 Residential Market & Variables

(The MiJu  1/31-2/6)

  • In general 2020 Residential market forecast looks good, However important variables can affect the market.
  • Re-Fi boom is being continued longer than expected.  FOMC on 1/29-30 decided to keep RRI/ Mortgage I Rates will not be increased for a while this year/ 2019 Re-Fi amount was $$67.8B while it was $45.8B in 2018/ 82% of loans issued between 6 month ago and 25 month ago are eligible for R-Fi.
  • Residential economy is increased/ Mortgage lenders made big profits and lending records → lowering closing(buying) cost/ Buyer will buy homes and keep them if income is increased properly/ No sign of significant income increase
  • Increase of home buying: Low mortgage I rates will trigger younger people (M Gen) to jump into home buying market.
  • Non-QM will be introduced more to the market:
  • More home buying with Gig economy: 36% of work force is gig economy workers: Internet based freelancers, part-time/short term jobs such as Uber drivers.  Mortgage lenders already has adopted self-employee access law before it is approved by authority.


Other/Tech News : Electric car “Telsa” stock soars

(The NYT  2/5) 

  • from $650 to $887- a gain of 36% in 2 says.
  • Burnt $1.1B in the half of last year : struggled on delivery
  • ARK investment management firm forecasted Telsa stock can be $7000 in 5 years.




Stephen Lee

He has been in Real Estate industry in about 20 years and has been Broker of Record for 9 years. His experience includes residential, commercial, and property management. Prior to involving with Real Estate business, he has been involved in the digital communication equipment industry utilizing his engineering background and education, including running own company. He has established C Land Realty in 2011 which has grown to staffing over 100 Real Estate agents and the annual transaction amount of over $110,000,000 today.

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