Weekly News (December 8, 2021)
This week’s Interest Rate (48th Week)
(By Fairway Home Loan )
|30 yr fx (%)||15 yr fx (%)||FHA (%)||10 yr Tr Y (%)|
|A year ago||2.625||2.375||2.625||0.921|
|A month ago||3.100||2.375||2.750||1.538|
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.
- 2022 Conventional loan limit: Conforming SFR : $647,200.00/ Conforming high balance: $970,800.00 / Confirming 2 Family: $702,000/ Conforming High Balance: $1,053,000
Cresskill, NJ Public School District still suffers from Ida Flood
(Korea Times 12/8 )
- Parents are planning to have a rally in front of the State capital building to demand prompt supports to resume the public school classes.
- The schools had severe damages from Ida Hurricane last September and about 1000 students could not returned to class rooms fully and rely on virtual classes.
- To fully recover the situation, there need about $19M: 75% will be supported by FEMA and the rest will be funded by the school district. However, in order to execute the budget, they need the resident vote which will be possible only in January, 2022.
New York will support distressed home owners
(Korea Times/Daily 12/8 )
- Hochul announced “NYS Home Assistance Fund NYHAF)” for the low to middle income home owners who could not pay mortgage, property tax, and utilities, etc. NY is the first state in U.S. to initiate this fund.
- The qualification for this fund is 1) the payment is behind more than 30 days, 2) family income is lower than 100% of AMI ( 4 family house AMI is $119,300 in NY), 3) owner occupied single family house, condo, coop, etc.
- The maximum support is up to $50,000 and this fund will be granted if the owner lives in the current house for next 5 years, and the total fund is $539M.
- T: 844 77 NYHAF
Still soaring high home prices in Queens, NY
(Korea Times 12/8 )
- The 3rd Qt home price in Queens, NY showed double-digit increase. According to Elliman, the median price in Queens in 3rd Qt was $689,750 which is up 2% from $599,000 a year ago while it shows 11.8% for the 1st Qt, 12% for the 2nd Qt this year.
- For NE areas (Flushing, College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Oakland Garden, Beech Hurst, etc), where Korean population is high, the median price is up 15.4% to $745,000 while it is up 1.5% from the previous Qt. The Condo median price in LIC was $1.032M which is up 17.2% from a year ago.
- Condo median price was $698,843 which is up 9.7% while coop median price was $320,000 which is up 4.6% from a year ago and 3.2% from the previous Qt.
Foreclosures become reality during cold winter season
(Korea Times 12/7 )
- According to Black Knight, those who had benefits from mortgage forbearance program were about 7.7M. Among these people, about a half could pay their mortgage payment. 23% of home owners either sold their homes or refinanced. 7% of them under re-negotiation with lenders or banks. The problem is that 3% of them, about 264,000 still are behind their rent and are facing foreclosures. In fact, 38,000 people are under foreclosure suits. Fortunately, among these people under foreclosure suits, 87% people have less mortgage balance than their home value, which makes them to avoid actual foreclosure action.
Expanded oversight eyed for all-cash real estate deals
(Record 12/8 )
- The Biden Admin is looking to expand reporting requirements on all-cash real estate deals to help crack down on bad actors’ use of the U.S. market to launder money made through illicit activity. The Treasury Department was posting notice Monday seeking public comment for a potential regulation that would address what it says is a vulnerability in the real estate market.
- Title insurance companies in just 12 metropolitan areas are required to file reports identifying people who make all-cash purchases of residential real estate through shell companies if the transaction exceeds $300,000.
- The metropolitan areas currently facing reporting requirements are Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, NYC, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
- The U.S. real estate market has long been viewed as a stable way station for corrupt government officials around worldwide and other illicit actors looking to launder proceeds from criminal activity.
Treasury Yields Fall Following Jobs Data
(WSJ 12/4 )
- Investors drove yields on U.S. government bonds to multimonth lows Friday, with worries about tighter monetary policy and the Omicron variant weighing on expectations for economic growth.
- The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note finished Friday’s session at 1.34%, according to Tradeweb. That is down from 1.477% at Thursday’s close and the lowest closing yield since Sept. 22. The 10-year yield, which typically moves with investors’ expectations for growth and inflation, dropped in recent sessions after emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant raised concerns of a slow down to the recovery. That added to worries high inflation could persist through a period of slowing growth.
- Yields, which fall when bond prices rise, swung between advances and declines after data Friday showed employers added a seasonally adjusted 210,000 jobs in November. That fell short of the 570,000 added jobs estimated by economists surveyed by WSJ. At the same time, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.2% In November, lower than economists’ expectations. Yields, then began falling later that session. While the headline jobs number missed economists’ expectations, some analysts and investors said that the increase in labor-force participation and the decline in the unemployment rate are positive signs for the U.S. recovery and unlikely to alter expectations for the Fed’s pace of reducing pandemic stimulus measures and raising interest rates.
- The 2-year Treasury note, which often climbs when investors anticipate tighter central-bank policies, finished Friday trading at 0.589%, up from around 0.27% entering October.
- The 30-year Treasury yield settled at 1.675% Friday, down from 1.768% Thursday and lowest closing yield since Jan. 4.
Inflation Surge, Hiring Gains Prompt the Fed’s Policy Shift
- Just four weeks ago, the Fed set in motion carefully telegraphed plans to wind down a bond-buying stimulus program by June. Officials now plan to accelerate the process at their policy meeting next week, ending it by March The abrupt shift opens the door to the Fed raising interest rates in the spring rather than later in the year to curb inflation, marking a significant policy pivot by Chairman Jerome Powell shortly after Biden offered him a second four-year term leading the central bank.
- Three more reports in the following days added to officials’ concerns: The Labor Department on Nov. 5 reported strong hiring in October and upward revisions to job gains in prior months without an accompanying increase in the number of Americans looking for jobs. That pushed the unemployment rate down to 4.6%. The rate fell further, to 4.2% in November.
- On Nov.19, Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida revealed during a Q/A session at a research conference that Fed could consider at its December meeting whether to end the asset purchases sooner than planned.
- A sharp run-up in home values, stocks and other assets has increased wealth for many Americans, fueling stronger demand and potentially allowing some to retire earlier than they had anticipated, tightening the labor market. Demand might rise higher still as the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
Markets Rebound On Hopes of Milder Variant
(WSJ 12/7 )
- S. stock indexes jumped to start the week, fueled by investors’ bets that the Omicron Covid-19 variant may cause milder illness than previously feared, renewing confidence in consumer and travel demand.
- The S&P 500 recouped nearly all its losses for all of last weeks on Monday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than regained what it had lost. Oil prices and bond yields also rose.
- Scientists and vaccine makers sent mixed signals regarding the severity of Omicron and how well existing vaccines may work against it.
- Investors are also weighing high inflation readouts and the potential for the Fed to hasten the reduction of its pandemic stimulus measures to combat the surge in consumer prices.
- S. chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci said on CNN that there didn’t appear to be a “great deal of severity” to the Omicron variant.
- “It seems like this is not going to lead to the worst-case scenario. I wonder if we’re being complacent, but the early indicators suggest we’re not”, said Fahad Kamal, chief investment officer at Kleinwort Hambros.
(NYT 12/8 )
Others/Tech News: SamSung merged the Smartphone unit with the home-appliance division.
- Desire to develop a full-fledged Galaxy device ecosystem that extends from it mobile devices into consumer electronic product.