Weekly News (January 8, 2020)

This week’s Interest Rate (1st week)

(Time Mortgage)

 30 Y Rate: 3.625%/ 15 Year Rate:3.125%/ 10 Y Treasury: 1.811%/  Prime Rate:4.75%
Ref IR: 1.50- 1.75%


Parking meters in Palisades Park, NJ will be replaced after 5 years of operation

(The Korea Times 1/4/2020)

  • Since there are accumulated problems for 5 years which is contract period with MPS, the town has decided to replace the parking meters entirely.  The town will announce for open bidding in about 2 weeks.
  • The Governor ordered not to use of camera to issue ticket in August last year.
  • Some people related to the project mentioned that new meters might be installed during Summer.


The recall of Gloria Oh, council woman in Englewood Cliffs might be avoided

(The Korea Times  1/6/2020)

  • Englewood town clerk announced that the recall process is not proper, and therefore, not effective.  The recall application has been submitted after the election period while the original application has mentioned it needs to be voted at the election period.  The recall committee has submitted the application with more than 1200 residents signatures.
  • With this rejection of the application, Gloria Oh and Edward Aversa might be saved from the recall. It is not clear how the recall committee will react further.


Use of Plastic bags is prohibited in Paramus, Ridgefield, etc from this year

(The Korea Times  1/3/2020)

  • Paramus town will prohibit the use of disposable plastic bags and Styrofoam cups from the new year.  The fine for the 1st offence is $100, after 3rd offence the fine will be $500.
  • Ridgefield town will prohibit the use of disposable plastic bags and will charge for paper bags. The fine for the 1st offence is $50 and After 4th offence the fee will be $1000.
  • Other 32 town including Glen Rock in New Jersey will apply to the same type of town rules from this year.


NY State population is being decreased

(The  Korea Daily  1/2/2020)

  • According to Empire Center for Public Policy, NY State population is 19,453,561 as of 7/1/2019, which was decreased by 76,790 (0.4%) from 2018. NY, NJ & CT are the three states among 10 states which suffer a total population decline in US.
  • NY State is experiencing fourth consecutive annual decrease after 5 years of growth.
  • The reason would be increasing living cost, taxes, and housing cost.
  • More people are leaving and less people are moving in.
  • Another factor contributed, said NY Governor, is immigration policy by Trump administration.  The number of immigrants were 595,000 last year while they were 1,000,000 in 2016.
  • US total population was 328,239,523 as of 7/1/2019, which was increased by 1,500,000 from last year.  This shows only 0.5% increase which was the lowest in 100 years.


Florida is the most favorable place that NY resident would move to

(The Korea Times 1/3/2020)

  • While New York suffers the decline of population, Florida is the most favorable place to go (21.3%).  Their average salary was $90,301.  The second place is New Jersey(16%) and their average salary was $96,953, and most of them are commuters to New York.
  • 8% moved to North Carolina, 7% moved to Pennsylvania, 6% moved to Cal and Texas, 5.6% moved to Connecticut, 3.5% moved to South Carolina, and 3.1% moved to Virginia.


Forgiven Mortgage amount will be exempted from taxable income again

(The  Korea Daily 12/31/2019)

  • Normally, debt forgiveness results in taxable income, However under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, the home owner may be able to exclude up to $2M of debt forgiven on your principle residence, which was expired in 2017.
  • The Act has survived till 2020 by Trump’s signing the expense budget on 12/20/2019.
  • It will be effective retroactively for 2018, 2019 and one needs to consult tax professionals for details.


Residential Market will be still strong for next 2 years

(The Korea Times  12/28/2019)

  • According to the recent forecast by Freddie Mac, the residential sales will be increased by 100,000 homes in 2020.  They have forecasted 6M home sales in 2019 and forecasted 6.1M in this year, and 6.2M in 2021.  The chief economist Sam Carter of Freddie Mac mentioned that residential market will stay strong for next 2 years because of low interest rates, low inflation, and strong employment market.
  • Freddie Mac forecasted lower interest rates of 3.8% for 2020 and 2021, which is 0.2% lower than 2019, and home price increase of 2.9% in 2020 and 2.1% in 2021 while home price increase in 2019 was 3.2%.


First Home Buyers were increased in 2019

(The  Korea Times 12/28)

  • According to Genworth Financials’ report, first home buyers for single family houses took 39% of total buyers in 3rd Qt, 2019.  They purchased 591,000 homes which was increased by 9% from last Qt, and 1% from last year.
  • First home buyers show biggest increase (31%) in low priced houses ranging between $250,000 and $300,000.
  • Next year re-fi applications by first home buyers who purchased homes after 2017 till 2019 will be increased sharply.


In 2020, more home sales with higher price?

(The  Korea Daily  12/28)

  • Most economists forecasted positive residential market because of lower interest rates and buying power increase by strong employment market.  Most organizations forecasted the interest rates between 3.6% and 3.85% : Fannie Mai did lowest and Realtor.com did 3.85%, NAR and Freddie Mac did 3.8%, and MBA did 3.7%.
  • For home price, none of 6 organizations forecasted decrease of home price: Realtor.com did 0.8% increase, Fannie Mai did 4.1%. The rest did around 3%.
  • New construction homes were forecasted to 1.3M – 1.35M and Total sales were forecasted to 6.17M – 6.26M.
  • Home construction market shows positive mode: new home construction index shows highest number since 1999.  Baby boomers are moving into down-sized retirement complex which triggers to build more affordable retirement complex. Meanwhile it is true that baby boomer’s delay to move out of their homes is contributing low inventory in the market.


Pier 1 Imports will shut down 450 sites

(The Record 1/8/2020)

  • Pier 1 Imports will close down 450 stores among its 942 stores, the company announced on Monday.
  • According to Bloomberg, the company is preparing to file bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy filed last year includes other major brands like Forever 21, Payless ShoeSource, and Charlotte Russe.
  • When liquidation sales will start at stores is unknown at this moment.


Other/Tech News : CES 2020 in Las Vegas ( 1/7- 1/10/2020)

SamSung → No bezel TV
LG → Flexible OLED TV ( attached to the wall)
Uber and Hyundai à Joint Venture to develop Full scale flying taxi



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