Weekly News (June 23, 2021)

This week’s Interest Rate (21st Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan )

   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      2.899       2.375     2.625          0.750
A month ago      2.875       2.250     2.490          1.576
Last week      2.875       2.125     2.490          1.499
This week      2.825       2.125     2.490          1.478


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

  • Potential home buyer — Have a pre-approval first before the shop.  Now we have 48hour underwriting turn-around times for regular loans.
  • 2021 Conventional loan limit: Conforming: $548,250/ Conforming high balance: $882,375


Eviction Moratorium may soon vary in NJ

(Record   6/23)

  • New Jersey’s eviction moratorium may end earlier than the current deadline of Jan 1, 2022, for families with higher incomes, under new amendments to a previously stalled bill that passed the Senate and Assembly budget committees Tuesday.
  • Under the compromise bill, tenants who missed rent payments would be protected through Aug.31, 2021, if their annual household income is above 80% of their area median income.  For renters who make less than 80% of their county’s median income, they could not be kicked out of their home before Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Under the current bill, for all homeowners, meanwhile, a foreclosure moratorium would end on Nov.15, 2021.
  • Renters would be required to certify under the penalty of perjury their household income, that they were unable to make rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that they applied for rental assistance programs they were eligible for.


NYC, Outdoor restaurants become trouble to the traffic

(Korea Daily   6/22 )

  • As more automobile traffic increases along with recovering economy in NYC, outdoor restaurants on the street side becomes hinderance to local traffic and even cause potential automobile accidents.
  • Especially the restaurants space on the street become stress to the public bus drivers.  Currently 1.2M passengers use public bus transportation daily which is about a half of pre-pandemic period. In the very near future if more passengers use the bus ride, then these problems become more serious.
  • Currently there are about 13,000 outdoor restaurants in NYC.


NYC might convert vacant hotels and offices to low income affordable residence

(Korea Daily   6/23)

  • The NY State has passed the bill (S5257.A6593.The housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act) and waiting for Gov. Cuomo’s sign.  Non-profit organization will take over those vacant hotels and offices in NYC by public funds and use them as affordable housings for low income residence.
  • In reality, about half of these housings will be allocated to the homeless people.
  • As of March this year, 226 hotels are not operating in NYC and about 40 of them will reopen in the summer.
  • According to Coalition for the Homeless, 16,390 homeless children and 53,199 homeless people are living in the city shelters now.


Z Gen moves to “Zoom town”

(Korea Time  6/23)

  • Z Generation in U.S., born in between 1997 and 2015, is moving into Zoom town, according to BBC.  After the pandemic period, 11% of youngsters with the age between 18 – 29 has moved nationwide while average moving rate is 5%.
  • They are moving out of big cities like LA, NYC and moving into relatively smaller towns such as Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, etc.
  • Main reason is affordability of Work-from-Home during and after the pandemic.  The are moving into the suburban towns where provides affordable, bigger house with reasonably good infrastructure.
  • Smaller towns about 40 towns are taking the opportunities by supporting their moving expenses and some towns are providing maximum of $15,000 for encouraging moving into the town.


U.S. Median Home Price went over $350,000

(NYT/WSJ/Korea Daily  6/23)

  • According to NAR report on 22nd, the median home price in May hit record $350,300, increased 23.6% compared to a year ago.  The existing homes sales fell 0.9% in May from April to 5.8M.
  • In May, home inventory in the market is 1.23M, fell 20.6% compared to a year ago.
  • Lawrence Yun with NAR said “Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales, but falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-home buyers out of the market”.


Blackstone Returns To Housing Rentals

(WSJ   6/23)

  • Blackstone Group, Inc has agreed to buy a company that buys and rents single-family homes in a $6B deal, a sign Wall Street believes the U.S. housing market is going to stay hot.
  • The investment firm confirmed Tuesday that it has reached a deal to acquire Home Partners of America Inc., which owns more than 17,000 houses throughout the U.S.  Home Partners buys homes, rents them out and offers its tenants the chance to eventually buy.
  • Blackstone was among the investment firms to buy houses in bulk in the aftermath of the subprime crisis, when lenders sold off foreclosed homes at market-down prices.
  • Blackstone’s deal for Chicago-based Home Partners shows that the investment firm is turning even more bullish on U.S. housing market.


Credit Card gives renters Path to Rewards

(WSJ   6/23)

  • A new credit-card concept would allow cardholders to pay and build credit on their largest monthly expense: Rent.
  • Bilt Technologies Inc., a real-estate startup, is joining with Evolve Bank & Trust and Mastercard Inc. to launch a credit card designed for renters. Users can accumulate rewards points through rent and other spending, with no fees charged when paying rent on the card, according to Bilt.  Rewards points can then be put toward rent and other purchases, even toward a down payment on a house.
  • Many landlords already accept credit cards, but they typically pass on processing fees to renters, often totaling about 3%.
  • For the typical card user spending $1500 on monthly rent for 10 years, Bilt estimates the accumulated points savings for a down payment would equal to $6000, which can go into the escrow account directly for the down payment.


Work Flexibility is Hardly a Holy Grail

(WSJ    6/22)

  • Many employees aren’t eager to go back to office, but companies have more to consider than their feelings.  As demand roars back across the U.S. economy and workers are flush with pandemic savings, the little guy is suddenly wielding more power.
  • Zillow allows more employees to permanently work remotely, betting such a policy will yield the best talent. Facebook said that all full-time employees who can do their jobs remotely would be able to do so more permanently with permission, in some cases even across international borders.  Shopify, Twitter, Dropbox, Instacart, and Slack have announced permanent remote policies for many of their employees.
  • A paper out of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago showed productivity with Work-From-Home fell by about 20% at a large Asian IT services company
  • Research from Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom reported that a WFH(work-from-home) study he ran in 2014 showed a 50% lower rate of promotion after 21 months compared with in-office colleagues.



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