Weekly News (May 20, 2020)
This week’s Interest Rate (21st Week)
(Time Mortgage )
30 Y Rate: 3.250%/ 15 Year Rate:2.75%/ 10 Y Treasury: 0.718%/ FHA:3.490%
Prime Rate:3.0% / Ref IR: 0.00- 0.25%
Fort Lee, NJ opens Coronavirus testing to all residents
(The Record 5/20)
- The mayor Mark Sokolich said through video announcing that the borough is conducting its own coronavirus testing , open to everybody and anybody who wants to be tested and lives in the city.
- Residents will need to give two copies of their driver’s license and two copies of their insurance card to the physician’s medical team at the date of testing.
- The testing will be done at 540 Main St from 9 am to 3 pm everyday except Sunday and expected to be completed by June 9.
- The state’s first case was a Fort Lee man, James Cai, admitted to Hackensack University Medical Center on 3/4, and has been released later.
NJ, Garden State Plaza Mall will re-open on 21st
(The Korea Times 5/20)
- According to the State Governor executive order, 18 retail stores and restaurants in the Garden State Plaza mall will open partially for pick up services. Customers will order phone or on-line in advance and pick up the goods or food at a designated place between 11 am and 7 pm from Monday through Friday.
Queens rent market is almost frozen for two months
(The Korea Times 5/19)
- According to Elliman brokerage company, April total rentals were 48 while it was 151 a year ago, which means 68.2% decrease. The previous month total rentals were reduced by 50%. Total rentals in LIC, Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside was 100 in April while it was 285 a year ago.
WeWork’s valuation, once $47B, has dropped to $2.9B
(Jason Shim/ TRD 5/20)
- The company’s biggest backer, SoftBank, revealed the revised valuation — last reported at $7.8 billion following its failed initial public offering — on Monday, Bloomberg reports.
- During the coronavirus crisis, the co-working company has clashed with its tenants, some of whom have asked for a break on rent or sought to terminate their leases. WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani said on CNBC’s Squawk Box last week that the company has paid rent at 80 percent of its locations, while collecting rent from 70 percent of its members.
118 years old JC Penny filed the bankruptcy
( The Korea Times 5/19)
- According to NYT on 16th, the mega-department store JC Penny filed the bankruptcy in TX. JC Penny could not pay back $29M which was due last month. Once at a peak time, JC Penny operated about 2000 stores in US.
- The company’s revenue has been down due to Amazon and Coronavirus hit the company to unrecoverable situation. The company has closed 850 stores and laid off 85,000 employees.
- In this month, J Crew and 113 year old Neiman Marcus have files bankruptcy as well.
One out of four restaurants might close down for good through Coronavirus
(The Korea Daily 5/19)
- According to OpenTable’s (on-line reservation site) survey, 1 out of 4 restaurant owners are thinking of closing down their restaurant permanently. US Restaurant Association announced restaurant industry has lost $30B in March and $50B in April. Bloomberg forecasted the restaurant industry will lose 9.6M jobs.
- CEO of Open Table mentioned that restaurant business is not a simple operation, especially under the Coronavirus situation.
House price is moving up in spite of COVID-19 crisis
( The Korea Times 5/20)
- According to recent NAR report, house price went up by 7.7% in 1st Qt, compared to the last year same time. The median price in 1st Qt is $274,600 nationwide. The increasing of single house is nationwide phenomena and the house price of 96% homes is increased during 1st Qt while it was 94% last year same time.
- Especially Southern and Western states show double digit percentage increase.
- This price increasing phenomena is due to the lack of inventory. Lawrence Yun mentioned that there is no sign of decreasing prices due to COVID-19.
- In general, real estate market has a longer cycle than other sectors. Therefore, the price increasing will be continued for a while.
For Home Builders, it is better kind of recession
( The WSJ/The Record 5/20)
- New construction industry is also affected due to the pandemic, however home builders mood have brightened a bit this month. The NAHB said that its measure of builder sentiment rose in May after plumbing its lowest levels in eight years in April.
- Even though it has initial shock such as groundbreaking is dropped by 30.2%, for builders it still does not come to close to what they experienced after the housing bust and financial crisis, when they were at the epicenter of the problem.
- The homeownership rate, which peaked at 69.2% in 2004 now stands at 65.3%.
- Heading into the coronavirus crisis, new-home construction activity remained muted by historical standards.
Facebook launches Facebook Shops – on line shopping platform
( The WSJ 5/20)
- Facebook is making a big push into online shopping through Facebook Shops, enlisting small businesses to sell their wares through its platform and giving them access to its technology at the same time the Coronavirus pandemic has upended business world-wide.
- The virtual shops will appear on the businesses’ Facebook and Instagram accounts and, eventually on the Messenger and WhatsApp messaging tools.
- Zuckerberg said “it was the people who use our apps who envisioned social commerce and we are helping them make it a reality”