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Weekly News (Februray 20, 2019)

 

  1. A Co-op apartment on 3008 Edwin Ave in Fort Lee got fire at 4pm on 2/14/2019
  • Total 90 households and 45 units burn down. 300 people evacuated (about 13 – 15 Korean family)
  • They will be homeless for several months. Near building (3001 Edwin Ave) got damaged by smokes and some residents are evacuated to temporary housing as well
  • KAAFL (Korean American Ass. in Fort Lee) is helping actively those people in need
  • Donations are being collected: KAAFL $2000, C Land $1000, P.I. Art Center $1000…

 

  1. RE Agent, JooHyun Ban(40) in Tenafly got 6 month Jail sentence
  • JooHyun Ban Is a nephew of KeeMoon Ban, former UN Secretary General
  • The charge is for bribing $500,000 to Middle East government executive to make a deal for sale of “Landmark 72” in Vietnam, which is worth of $800M against FCPA and Fraud
  • JooHyun was working as RE agent in Manhattan and the commission for the deal was a few Million dollars

 

  1. Real Estate market Long Island City, NY got hurt due to Amazon HQ2 plan drop
  • Local brokerage house informed 4 developers might re-consider transactions
  • During 5 weeks after Amazon HQ2 announced, residential asking price went up by 18.8%
  • NYC Mayor blames Amazon for their abrupt decision to cancel the plan
  • Amazon got feeling of not-welcoming

 

  1. NYC allows basement unit as legal rental unit
  • NYC Council passed trial law for allowing legal basement rent in East New York area in Brooklyn on 2/13/2019
  • It will be effective 120 days after Mayor Bill de Blasio signs off.
  • NYC is making revision for building codes and fire code, construction codes for next 3 years accordingly
  • Also NYC provides funds to home owners with low interest rate for basement modifications according to the codes
  • NYC HPD used to prohibit basement as residential unit due to lack of sun light and heavy moisture

 

  1. NYC started issuing summons to Airbnb
  • The city wants to investigate if they do illegal hotel business and asks to submit about 20,000 listing infomation
  • NYC law specifies that less than 30 day short terms stay is allowed only when owner lives together
  • Airbnb says that they also try to find out illegal business within their business

 

  1. Scarsdale, Westchester County is the 2nd richest town in US
  • Bloomberg News announced richest 100 towns: #1 town is Atherton, CA which ranks #1 for 3 years. Google/Facebook top executives live in this town which is one of Silicon Valley towns
  • Average income in this town in 2017 is $450,696
  • Scarsdale’s average income is $417,335 which was raised by $30,000 from last year
  • #3 is Cherry Hills Village in Denver, where Peyton Manning who plays quarterback of Denver Broncos lives
  • Short Hills in Essex Co, NJ is #6
  • NY has 13 towns and NJ has 18 towns ( Bergen county has 7 towns)

 

  1. NYC Economy is growing stronly
  • 4th Qt RGCP(Real Gross City Product) indicates 3.9% growth, biggest since 2nd Qt 2017 which was 1.4% higher than forecast of 2.5-2.7%
  • Strong fundamentals are job creation and historically low unemployment
  • The city created 35,300 jobs during 4th Qt which is Up by 3.2% from last year same period which is much higher than 2.1% nationwide
  • Type of job creation are healthcare job: 11,000 (Home care: 7000), Education servies:6,500. College/University employment:4300, Leisure/Hotel:4600(Bar and restaurant:2900), Other services: 3600
  • NYC unemployment rate is 4% while US rate is 3.8%( perfect employment) while Queens shows 3.3%, Manhattan is 3.4%, Staten Island is 3.8%, Brooklyn is 3.9% and Bronx shows 5.3%
  • Commercial lease rate rose 54.1% sharply from last year while downtown shows 85.6%, midtown south shows 61%, midtown shows 33.2% increase. Rent is up in midtown south and downtown while midtown is dropped
  • Residential sales is dropped-Manhattan dropped by 3.3%, Queens by 10%, Brooklyn by 5.8% while price went up (Manhattan shows 3.5% up, Queens by 2%, Brooklyn by 5.2%)

 

  1. US Dollar is still strong
  • Usually raising IR triggers currency value because money flow are seeking for high IR
  • US Fed is slowing down IR increase which indicates US dollar value becomes weaker
  • The reality is contrary that UD dollar value raised 1.81 during last 2 weeks
  • Dollar index is 97.129 which shows dollar value among major 6 currencies in the world, while dollar index was 94.2 in July 2018
  • Slow economy elsewhere in the world triggers dollar value increase
  • CNN reported people deem US economy is better than elsewhere makes US dollar strong, considering safe asset protection

 


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Stephen Lee

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