Weekly News (April 4, 2021)
This week’s Interest Rate (14th Week)
(By Fairway Home Loan/ Time Mortgage)
30 yr fx(%)
15 yr fx(%)
10 yr Tr Y (%)
A year ago
A month ago
Prime Rate:3.0% / Ref IR: 0.00- 0.25%
- Self-employed borrower: Need to prepare 3 month business bank statements and the YTD Profit and Loss Statement. YTD income can’t decline more than 30% compared to last year.
- Interest rates is upward trend as of now. Investment property and the 2nf home product’s interest rate went up more than a primary residence. Fannie and Freddie are making a big adjustment for the program.
- 2021 Conventional loan limit: Conforming: $548,250/ Conforming high balance: $882,375
Workers in Palisades Park Municipality told to return over $200,000
- The borough is seeking reimbursement of over $200,000 after scathing comptroller’s report found that officials were improperly paying employees for unused sick time. The mayor and Borough Council made changes like amending white-collar contracts, issuing gas cards to department heads only and instituting an oversight committee.
- The report found that in 2018, the borough made over $109,000 in sick leave payouts to 27 employees who, under a 2010 law, should not have received them. In 2019, $95,000 was paid to 22 employees. Most payments were between $3,000 and $5,000, the report said. The mayor Chung said “Our business administrators have spoken to employees, and we are making plans to see how to implement the reimbursement process”.
- Some residents say it’s all too little, too late. The newly formed Stop Corruption Association of Palisades Park is demanding more oversight and transparency. The group has gathered more than 700 signatures on a petition asking for the Bergen County prosecutor’s office, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the FBI to further investigate the borough and the comptroller’s findings.
ADM developer, Triple Five Group defaulted last year on mortgage payments
(WSJ 4/7 )
- It defaulted the mortgage payments for American Dream Meadowland after the mall closed for months during the pandemic and many retailers failed to make full rent payments.
- That default enables Triple Five’s lenders to seize their collateral: 49% of the revenue generated by the developer’s Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., and West Edmonton Mall in Canada, two of the largest and more successful malls in North America. Triple Five group pledged JP Morgan Chase Bank and Goldman Sachs Group for 49% interest in two malls revenue to secure the construction loan $1.67B.
- Triple Five Group still has 51% of control and lenders are not interested in operating the malls.
Manhattan Residential Market is waking up
(Korea Times 4/7)
- According to WSJ, Urbandix reported that 1500 residential deals in Manhattan have been made in March, which was the highest record in 14 years for a monthly record.
- Cocoran Group reported that 3700 deals were made in Manhattan during 1st Qt 2021 which is up by 58% and this is the highest record since 2007 for a quarterly record. These numbers show that people are coming back to NY after the pandemic exodus.
- Main three reasons: 1. Low interest rates 2. Decreased price 3. Vaccination
- According to Elliman, the median price in Manhattan in 1st Qt was $1.55M which was 4.7% lower than a year before.
- A survey reported that only 10% of office workers have returned to office as of March 2021 and it will 45% in September 2021
Current crazy residential market is more active than 2006
(Koreas times 4/6 )
- NAR reported that the median price in Jan was $303,900 which was increased by 14.1% compared to a year ago and it was the highest record for January sales. In Feb the median price was $313,000 which was up by 15.8% compared to a year ago.
- The main reasons are 1) Low interest rates 2) Market entry for M Gen as they are going into thirties 3) House demand due to COVID-19 4) Decreased new construction since financial crisis Less people who sell their houses.
- Well Fargo’s chief economist mentioned that it is very surprised this fast, sharp price increase in early stage of economic recovery.
High expectation for $2.25T Infra Investment by Biden Admin
(Korea Times 4/6 )
- NEC chair, Brian Deese added his positive opinion on Biden’s infra investment that this huge investment will create more and better employment through those projects on roads, about 10,000 bridges, broad band communication networks, manufacturing investment, more than 500,000 charger station for EV, clean energy investment, etc.
- If this bill passed the congress, it will create 19M jobs and it will be biggest job investment since World War II.
80,000 US off-line retailers will be closed down in 5 years
(Korea times 4/7)
- According to CNBC, about 80,000 retailers will be closed till 2026 across US, which is about 9% of total retailers in US. The main reason is e-commerce through Internet, which takes about 18% of the total sales now, but it will be 27% in 2026.
- Among them, the largest number of closed stores will be garment retailers which will be about 21,000.
- Meantime, the retailer store owners are gathering a coalition to fight against Amazon. “Small Business Rising” will demand antitrust regulation to politicians against Amazon.
- WSJ said that this fight will not be easy because Amazon spent $18M for lobby activity last year. The positive news is that Biden’s admin is favor to Anti-Trust regulation and Timothy (Shiou-Ming) Wu who is right wing legal scholar was named the president’s special advisor for Technology and Competition Policy. And also Lina Kahn, Colombia University professor, specialized in antitrust is elected a member of FTC.
Financial Firms launch Bitcoin Trade Group
(WSJ 4/7 )
- Fidelity Investment Group Inc. and several other financial firms are forming a new trade group that aims to shape the way bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are regulated.
- The Crypto Council for Innovation will lobby policy makers, take up research projects and serve as the emerging industry’s voice in championing the economic benefits of digital currencies and related technologies.
- Earlier this year, the total market value of bitcoin, the most popular digital currency, touched $1T for the first time though still the market’s future remains far form settled.
- Square, an electronic-payments company, has been adding bitcoin to its corporate balance sheet. And the firm’s CASH App consumer-finance platform allows users to buy and sell the digital currency. Coinbase, founded in 2012, is the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. The company, which serves 43M customers in 100 countries, plans to go to public this month.