Weekly News (May 19, 2021)

This week’s Interest Rate (20th Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan )

   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      3.250       2.750     3.490          0.718
A month ago      2.899       2.250     2.625          1.580
Last week      2.875       2.250     2.625          1.624
This week      2.875       2.250     2.490          1.647


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

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


NYC will go back to Normal

(Korea Times 5/17 )

  • From Thursday (5/19), no customer limit will impose for restaurants, gyms, stores, religious buildings except sport playground, theaters, etc.  And no mask will be required indoor and outdoor except public transportation, air lines, schools, and nursing homes.
  • From Monday (5/17), MTA goes back to 24 hour operation.
  • According to State Health Department, about a half of residents (49.8%) received at least 1st Over 18 years old, 61.6% received 1st vaccine and 51.9% received both 1st and 2nd vaccine.
  • The daily positives are 1,030 in NY State and 590 in NYC.


Mortgage rates declined under the inflation

(Korea Times 5/18 )

  • While recently consumer price has increased record high in 13 years, still 30 year-fixed mortgage rates is 2.94%, and 15 year-fixed rates is 2.26% according to Freddie Mac.
  • This historically low rates helps home sales even under the historically low inventory.
  • Most economists say this is odd situation and if the inflation rise continues the mortgage rates will likely rise as well.


New construction in April decreased 9.5%

(Korea Times   5/19)

  • The Commerce Department reported that new construction is decreased 9.4% in April from the last month to 1.57M year over year while experts forecasted 1.7M.
  • Construction projects shrunk due to the material costs including lumber soar and supply chain is disrupted.
  • Permit application in April was 1.76M year over year which is 0.3% increase from the last month.


Commercial Property revives in U.S.

(WSJ   5/19)

  • The U.S. commercial real-estate market has proved resilient in the pandemic, with prices falling far less than after the 2008 financial crisis and already showing of rebounding.
  • More than a year into the pandemic, high-rise building are largely empty.  About one of two hotel rooms is unoccupied.  Malls are struggling to attract shoppers.
  • Federal government put aggressive efforts to support the economy and banks have also offered delinquent owners some slack, rather than foreclosing aggressively.
  • Recently big global pension funds have been raising their allocations to commercial real estate, which brings enough cash to the market, and prices are already rebounding.
  • Between March and May last year, commercial real estate prices fell 11%, according to “Green Street”.  Prices since July have increased 7%, erasing more than half their pandemic declines. This turnaround stands in contrast to the 2008 financial crisis, when commercial real-estate process fell 37% and took years to recover.
  • Private investment funds focused on real estate had $356B in cash reserves April, and 29% of large institutions said they want to put a bigger share of their wealth in to real estate, while 5% said they want to reduce exposure.


Bang-up Home Depot Sales continue as a rise in demand

(WSJ    5/19)

  • Brisk sales to both professional buyers and do-it-yourself customers boosted growth, Home Depot executives said.
  • As the pandemic eases and the U.S. economy reopens, booming housing market is supporting sales-growth trends, which were initially fueled by consumers stocking up and doing home projects. “As home values flow, people feel good about investing in their home overall”, said Hoe Depot executive Craig Menear.
  • The average sales ticket rose to $82.37, from $74.70 in last year’s first Qt. Home Depot’s tally of customer transactions rose to $447.2M in the Qt, from the $374.8M a year earlier.


Tesla stopped receiving payment by Bitcoin, Elon Musk twitted

(Korea Times  5/17 )

  • CNBC reported that $365.85B worth of cryptocurrency has disappeared due to Elon Musk’s twit saying Tesla will stop receiving payment by Bitcoin.
  • Right before Elon Musk mentioned it on 5/13, total market value of cryptocurrency was $2.43T and it became $2.06T right after the twit.  Major player, Bitcoin’s price went down to $49,624 as a first time it went down below $50,000 since 4/24.
  • Experts said this is good example to show cryptocurrency’s volatility which is a major risk of cryptocurrency.


Others/Tech News: HyunDai Auto will invest $7.4B in U.S. for EV manufacturing  

  • Plan to make all EV in U.S. for HyunDai and Kia, aligning with Biden’s “Buy American”
  • Auto industry forecasts to produce 2.4M EVs in 2025, 4.8M in 2030, 8M in 2035.

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