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Weekly News (December 19, 2018)

1. Korean restaurants are moving out of 32nd St in Manhattan, NY

  • “Modern Korean Food” movement are spreading out to East Village, SOHO, West Village, Lower Eastside
  • “JeJu Noodle Bar” in West Village/ ”SooGil” in East Village/ ”Bang Bar” in Columbus Circle/ “Reception Bar” in Lower Eastside/ ”The Woo” in SOHO
  • The Reasons: 1. High rent 2. Changing Food culture  3. Globalization of Korean Food
  • More Korean chefs are having diversified cultural background
  • Korean food are known for good taste and healthy food

2. Rent is soaring in LIC and Astoria after Amazon’s new facility announcement

  • According to Elliman, rent is up in NE Queens (LIC, Woodside, Sunnyside, Astoria) : 10.3% up from last year to $2,868
  • Rent in Manhattan went down to $3,318 (5.1% down from last month, 1.3% down from last year)
  • Studio rent is up to $2,562 (11% from last year, 3.3$ from last month/ New tenat:9.5% Up from last year)
  • 1br rent is up to $2,942 (3% from last year /new tenant: 20.2% up from last year)
  • 2br rent is up to $4,037 (6.9% from last year /new tenant: 9.7% down from last year)
  • 3br rent is down to $4,075 (19.7% from last year / new tenant: 25% up from last year)
  • Rent in Queens is expected to moving up when Amazon employees are moving into LIC

3. NYC is still in economic growth

  • RGCP (Real Gross City Product) is increased by 2.7% for last 3 Qt in 2018
  • Lower than National GDP growth (GDP growth is 3.3%)
  • NYC job increase for the same period is 74,000 (low income:45,300 (61.2%), Middle income:$16,800 (22.8%), High income: 11,900 (16%))
  • Commercial Real Estate lease contracts is increased by 9.5%
  • Rent in down town is down by 28.6% / Mid town and Mid town South are increased by 15.9% and 32,4% respectively
  • Unemployment is 4.1% as of December 2018 which is lowest in history

4. Google’s Manhattan office is expanding

  • Total investment is $1B to secure 1.7M sf (Google Hudson Square)
  • 2 Buildings in South West-Village area (St. John’s Terminal between Holland tunnel and Pier 40)
  • Also Google purchased a building in Chelsea at $2.4B
  • Along with Chelsea and Hudson Square area, Google will double the work force for next 10 years
  • IT companies in West (Silicon Valley) are moving into East , NY area

5. E Mart In Korea purchased “Good Food Holdings” in California

  • E Mart is preparing opening “PK Market” in LA down town (opening will be during 2nd half of 2019)
  • Good Food Holdings owns Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres, Metropolitan Market, etc. 24 stores in LA and Seattle /revenue: $600M /total 3100 employees
  • E Mart’s purchase price was $275M
  • Vice Chair, Mr. Jung, YongJin mentioned that E Mart went to Vietnam and US market is wide open without much regulations

6. Home Insurance can include lost delivery mail

  • 26M people have experienced mail lost at least once (23.5M in 2015)
  • As Internet shopping is increased, mail theft is increased as well
  • Home owner or tenant can request adding the item – “lost mail delivery”
  • Typically home owner policy is $35/month for $100,000 coverage /apartment, $15 /month
  • Adding about 20% cost can cover “Lost mail delivery” item
  • Amazon might reimburse for lost mail for some items (Amazon will help using GPS tracker by police /Amazon uses Amazon Box: alternating receiving place)
  • Surveillance camera installation might be helpful / neighbor or next door can receive in behalf of owner/tenant

7. US Construction is Up in Apartment

  • According to Commerce Dept, the increase is entirely for apartment and new single-family houses fell
  • Housing starts rose 3.2% in November from last month to annually adjusted rate:1.26M
  • Despite this increase, it is down 3.6% from last year
  • Single family starts dropped 4.6% in Nov and down by 13.1% from last year
  • UE rate is five-decade low /income is rising more quickly but many buyers struggle to find affordable houses
  • Developers say that rising labor and material costs make it harder to build affordable properties

8. More Koreans are giving up US Citizenship

  • For last 3 Qt, 92 Korean gave up their citizenship (2.8% of total 3,296 in US)
  • 102 in 2014, 111 in 2015, 118 in 2016
  • Korean population is little less than 1% in US
  • The reason- to avoid tax tracking by US IRS
  • Accpording to FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), US Banks and Foreign Financial Institutions must report any customer, who has over $10,000, to US IRS
  • For unreported, they must pay Maximum 30% of interests income
  • For tax evasion, they must pay $100,000 or 50% of unreported tax whichever is bigger

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Stephen Lee

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