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Weekly News (October 2, 2019)

This week’s Interest Rate (39th week)

30 Y Rate: 3.750%/ 15 Year Rate:3.375%/ 10 Y Treasury: 1.635%/  Prime Rate:5.00%

Ref IR: 1.75- 2.00%


Pavement on 32nd street, Manhattan will be re-done 

(The Korea Daily  9/30)

  • K Town Chamber of Commerce and New York Korean Association had a meeting with Corey Johnson, speaker of NYC Council and Keith Powers (Dem. 4 District) to discuss the current issues on 32nd St such as drainage problems and bad odor.
  • Charles Yoon, president of NY Korean Asso. mentioned problems with drainage and smell issues become worse after new pavement ids done recently.  President Park of K Town Chamber of Commerce  added that it is impossible to drain the waste water through only two man-holes at 5th Ave and 6th.
  • The possible solution can be 1) re-pavement of 32nd st  2) cleaning with power water wash out of hydrogen  3) more frequent garbage pick.
  • Increase of number of garbage can was addressed and also $8.6 M budget was added for more frequent garbage pick, said one related to NYC town government.


Forever 21 finally filed bankruptcy, Chapter 11, according to Bloomberg

  • Forever 21 announced that they will go through re-structuring and closed stores in Canada, Asia, and Europe, but they will continue business in Mexico and Latin-America.  Globally, they will close down 350 stores including 178 stores in US, while they will continue operation of hundreds store in US, which were run by store landlords, and in Mexico, and in Central and South America as well as on-line operation


Korean Food Court will be opened at the Time Square in Manhattan, NY

(The Korea Times  10/2)

  • According to Bloomberg, Korean Food Court will be opened on 40th St between 7th Ave and 8th Ave, in Manhattan next Spring. KFF (President: Choi, Kyung Lim) invests on this project at the cost of $6M.  KFF is running JongRo BBQ (종로상회) and DonsBogam (돈의보감) on 32nd St.
  • The Food Court will take 23,000 sf at the ground floor of 12 story building and have 16 booths to introduce Korean food to the local and tourist community.


“WeWork” IPO will be delayed indefinitely

(The Korea Daily   10/2)

  • WeWork is going through tough time: IPO will be delayed indefinitely and CEO and co-founder, Adam Neuman has been resigned due to weird acts :walking around barefoot, drinking tequila and yelling to employees, and use of Marijuana.
  • When reviewing for IPO, deep profitability and governance structure issues surfaced.
  • WeWork was founded in 2010 and they have 528 sharing offices in 111 cities globally.
  • Once it was called “Uber” in real estate spaces.


Manhattan Apartment Sales and prices plunge; “Mansion Tax” is cited

     (The NYT  10/2)

  • Both the volume and the price of co-ops and condos in Manhattan fell sharply in the 3rd Qt, thanks in large part to higher transfer tax rates for luxury apartments went into effect in July
  • There were 2,562 sales in 3rd Qt, down 14.2% compared with the same period last year, and the median sales price fell 8.2% to $1,025,000, according to Douglas Elliman’s report.  Average DOM was 152 in 3rd Qt, the longest period since 2012.
  • In July, a flat 1% tax on sales above $1 M was changed to a staggered rate starting at $1.25% for $2 M sales, and up to 3.9% above $25 M.
  • Compared to the same period last year, sales were down in every price tier except for apartment below $500,000, which rose 4.8% to 352.  There were 757 sales between $1 M and $2 M, a decline of 4.7% over the same period last year, while the percentage of sales at all higher prices were down by double digits.
  • It’s a horrible market to be a seller and it’s absolutely fantastic to be a buyer.


Recent Lease: Jade Century Properties will move into 2,756 sf space at $55/sf 

(The NYT 10/2)

  • The building was built at 463 7th Ave at West 35th St.  Jade Century Properties’ annual rent is $151,580 for 2,756 sf at 16th floor. ($55/sf)
  • Other tenants includes NY Presbyterian Hospital, Dig Inn, Federal Express.
  • Tenant’s broker was Cogent Realty Advisers.


Uber co-founder, Travis Kalanick purchased a SOHO condo/Penthouse at $36.5 M

(The Korea Times  10/1)

  • The penthouse is located at 565 Broom Street and the size is 6,734 sf ($5,420/sf) with 3 out door terraces and roof top swimming pool.  The designer of the penthouse is Renzo Piano, Italian architect who designed New York Times Building.
  • This unit has Manhattan sky view and roof top has 20 feet hot water swimming pool.
  • The monthly maintenance fee is $25,474.


Trend of size of house becomes smaller again

(The Korea Times  9/30)

  • According to Data Track’s recent report, size of house was getting bigger from 1960 and started getting smaller from 2016.  Average size of house was 1660 sf in 1973.  After that, it was biggest in 2015 which is 2700 sf.  It was increased by about 1000 sf during 40 years.  This year it is now 2523 sf.
  • The number of family members in a household is getting decreased: 3.67 in 1948 becomes 2.55 in 2019.
  • In general, bigger size of house was needed because of bigger dinning room, luxury living room, separate study and entertainment space such as theater.
  • According to NAHB, size of house that most buyers wish was 2260 sf in 2003 and it becomes 2066 sf in 2018.  


US Manufacturing activities sank to decade low    

(The  Records  10/2)

  • US factory activities sank for the 2 straight month in September, hitting the lowest level in more than a decade as President’s trade wars take a toll on American manufacturing.  The institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, says that its manufacturing index dropped to 47.8% in September, down from 49.1% in August.
  • Anything below 50 signals that the sector shrinking.
  • The nearly 15-month trade spat between US and China has hit American manufactures especially hard, as business confidence weakens and global demands softens.
  • This month’s measure reported the lowest level of manufacturing activities since June 2009, the last month of the Great Recession.



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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