Weekly News (September 15, 2021)

This week’s Interest Rate (37th Week)

(By Fairway Home Loan)


   30 yr fx(%)  15 yr fx(%) FHA(%) 10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago      2.875       2.375     2.625          0.672
A month ago      2.750       2.125     2.375          1.253
Last week      2.874       2.125     2.490          1.365
This week      2.800       2.125     2.490          1.285


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

  • 3% Down payment for 1st home buyer is available.
  • 5% Down payment 2-4 units FHA program available
  • 15% Down payment 2 families -conventional program available
  • 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 SFR: $548,250/ Conforming high balance: $882,375
  • Confirming 2 Family: $702,000/ Confirming High Balance: $1,053,000


FEMA adds walk-up site in Bergen as the state works to recover from Ida

 (Record 9/15)

  • The agency has opened walk-up sites across the state for residents or business owners affected by the storm. Disaster recovery Centers opened in Bergen and Mercer counties on Tuesday. A 3rd site in Hunterdon County, will open on Wednesday
  • Staff from FEMA and the state office of Emergency Management will be on hand to answer questions about disaster assistance and provide literature explaining how to make home repairs or better protect your home from weather-related damage
  • Bergen County site:
    • Ciarco Learning Center, 355 Main St. Hackensack
      • Open Tuesday, Sep 14
      • 7 am to 7pm, Mon through Sat
    • Passaic County site:
      • Civic Center, 19 Warren St, Little Falls
        • 7am to 7pm, Mon through Fri
        • 8am to 4pm, Sat and Sun


Apartment Rents Keep Rising

(WSJ 9/15)

  • Despite a yearlong national eviction ban and continuing pandemic, it has rarely been a better time to be a big apartment-building landlord. National asking rents rose 10% in August, measured annually, according to Real Page, a rental-measurement software company, which analyzed more than 13M professionally managed apartments
  • That marked the first double digit increase in more than 30 years this data has been collected, and in several hot cities the rent increases were much greater than the national figure
  • Fast-rising rents reflect several factors, analysts say. Younger adult who lived with family last year now are renting their own apartments, in many cases as they prepare to head to the office. Middle income workers who have been priced out of the scorching housing market have little choice but to pay higher rents. Limited growth in new apartment supply, meanwhile, can’t keep up with demand
  • Multifamily-property values have increased 13% since before the pandemic, according to real-estate securities advisory Green Street. More money is being invested than in any other type of commercial real estate, according to data company Real Capital Analytics


48% of Renters Worry They’ll Never be Able to Buy a Home

(Lending Tree’s Report   8/31.   Korea Daily 9/13)

  • While owning a home has always been a major dream of American consumers, rising home prices have made homeownership even harder to attain – perhaps more attractive
  • Though most consumers (88%) would rather own their home than rent, nearly half of those who rent currently fear they’ll never own a home, LendingTree found through 2,050 consumer surveys
  • LendingTree’s findings are 1) 88% of Americans would rather own a home 2) Consumers want the ability to customize their homes. The most popular reason for people wanting to own a home is flexibility to do what they want with the space. 3) Renting is not without its perks, and many people like someone else to be responsible for maintenance and repairs. Shirking responsibility for maintenance or repair cost attracts the most (48%) consumers to renting. 4) Down payments are the biggest barriers holding back those who want to own a home but don’t currently – 54%.  5) 48% of renters are worried they’ll never be able to own a home


DACA recipients are discriminated for buying homes in NJ

 (Korea Times 9/10)

  • Those people with DACA (Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals) policy are not able to get fair chance to buy home and get the fair mortgage loans in NJ
  • NJ LAD (Law Against Discrimination) does not specify the exact terminology for immigration status. Some home owners have rejected the offer by DACA case buyers who have SS # or TIN (Tax Identification Number) even though they offered much higher price above the listing price
  • Also, some mortgage lenders often do not allow lending to DACA case applicants
  • Immigration and civil rights advocates voice that this discrimination has to be brought up and change the policy in NJ


Record Job Openings can Last a While before a Turnaround

(WSJ 9/9)

  • Even with the rise of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, there are still plenty of jobs to be had in U.S. The question is how willing people are to take them and how anxious employers are to fill them. The Labor Department on Wed reported that on the last day of July, there were a seasonally adjusted 10.93M job openings in the U.S or 1.3 jobs for every person counted as unemployed – a record for both measures
  • One factor behind that jump on job openings; Employers made fewer hires, bringing 6.67M people on board in July versus 6.83M in June. That brought the ratio of job openings to hires – a measure of how hard it is for employers to find workers – to a record 1.64. Additionally, the number of people quitting their jobs edged higher, suggesting that renewed worries about Covid-19 were starting to make people more reticent about working
  • Companies might not be looking out workers with the same urgency since the early summer. And until the Delta wave subsides, many Americans’ willingness and ability to go on the job hunt will be diminished. One can therefore imagine job growth remains cool for a while longer and then suddenly getting very hot


Fast wage increase might push further inflation

(Korea Times   9/9)

  • According to CNBC report on 7th, wage increase might affect continuing inflation increase while job openings are limited. New job openings in non-agriculture sectors in August was 235,000 while Bloomberg’s forecast was 730,000, but wage per hour increased 0.6% from last month which was double of the forecasts. This indicates 4.3% wage increase from a year ago
  • Especially in leisure and hospitality sectors, wage increase was 1.3% form a month ago and 10.3% from a year ago
  • The unemployment of 5.3% and sharp wage increase will crease pressure to further inflation which will trigger the tapering policy soon, said Citi Group’s recent report


U.S. Incomes Declined Last Year as Virus Took Toll

(WSJ 9/15)

  • Americans last year saw their first significant decline in household income in nearly a decade, government data showed, with economic pain from the Covid-19 pandemic prompting government aid that helped keep millions from falling into poverty
  • Median household income was about $67,500 in 2020, down 2.9% from the prior year, when it hit an inflation-adjusted historical high. It came as the U.S. last year saw millions lose their jobs and national unemployment soar from a 50-year low to a high of 14.8%
    • The last time median income fell significantly was 2011, in the aftermath of the 2007-09 recession
  • The Census bureau said that traditional poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4%, which is about 32.7M, an increase of 1% from 2019 and the first increase after five consecutive years of decline. For four-person household, the household of poverty was about $26,000 in 2020


Relator Group Seeks to Block U.S. Probe of Industry Practices 

(WSJ  9/14)

  • The main trade association for real-estate agents sought to block a broad Justice Department investigation of industry practices, after an antitrust settlement between the two sides fell apart this summer
  • The move on Monday underscores the growing pressure the residential real-estate industry is experiencing, mainly over the estimated 5% to 6% commissions that agents still receive from any home sales despite technology-driven shifts on house hunting and other changes
  • The Justice Department said in July that it was withdrawing from a proposed Trump Admin settlement with the NAR over the alleged anticompetitive practices. Department staff attorneys believed the initial probe was too narrowly focused and the proposed settlement too favorable to the industry because it didn’t sufficiently address the way buyer-broker commissions are set
  • NAR remains hopeful the DOJ will honor its agreement said NAR President Charlie Oppler,a Realtor from Franklin Lakes, NJ and chief executive of Prominent PSIR
  • As pressure mounts on the industry, president Biden has pushed the FTC to launch its own moves. In an executive order targeting competition problems, he said the FTC should consider rules to curb “unfair tying practices or exclusionary practices in the brokerage or listing of real estate
  • News Corp., owner of the WSJ, operates Realtor.com under license from the NAR

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