Weekly News (March 17, 2021)
This week’s Interest Rate (11th Week)
(By Fairway Home Loan/ Time Mortgage)
|30 yr fx(%)||15 yr fx(%)||FHA(%)||10 yr Tr Y (%)|
|A year ago||3.375||2.875||3.250||1.651|
|A month ago||2.750||2.375||2.375||1.291|
Prime Rate:3.0% / Ref IR: 0.00- 0.25%
Interest rates is upward trend as of now. FOMC is on 2nd policy meeting of the year And it ends tomorrow.
2021 Conventional loan limit: Conforming: $548,250/ Conforming high balance: $882,375.
NJ Palisades Park Mayor, Chung will not run for the state assembly member
( Korea Daily 3/11)
- Suddenly, Mayor Chung announced he will not run for the State general Assembly member for the 37th.
- He mentioned that he will have to take care the current town issues which brought up by the State Comptroller’s 56 page report.
NYC Restaurant allows 50% indoor capacity
(Korea Times 3/11, 3/17 )
- NYC will allows 50% indoor capacity for restaurants from 3/19/2021. Currently NYC allows 35% indoor capacity.
- Other area in the state allows 75% from 3/17/2021.
- New Jersey allows 50% indoor capacity for restaurants, gym, hair/nail salon, etc. from 3/19/2021. It allows indoor gathering activity up to 25 people from the current 10 and outdoor social gathering up to 50 people from the current 25.
- The Mayor mentioned that they will lift the limit to access when vaccinated people are over 5M, thereby, herd immunity has been achieved while the current population in NYC is 8.19M. Currently 12% of NYC population got vaccine shots.
2020 Cash-out Refi in US increased 40%
(Korea Daily 3/16)
- Refinancing with cash-out is increased 40% in 2020 to $152.7B, compared to the previous year which was $107.8B. Home owners took advantage of increased home equity from the high proved home and low interest rates. The record is the highest since 2007 which indicates it went back to the level before the financial crises.
- According to NY Fed Reserve Bank, the average cash-out is $50,000 in 2020 while it was $59,000 in 2019. The portion for cash-out Refi was one third of total Refi.
Home Buyers are very competitive in current market with low inventory
(Korea Times/Stephen Lee 3/16)
- Severe competition is reported thorough out the country. A single home in Poles Church in VA received 129 offers and the buyer paid almost double the price.
- In local market is NJ, in order to compete and win a typical home between $400K – $600K, buyer must offer 5% – 7% higher than the list price.
- According to Redfin, competition rate of single homes is 58.7% and townhouse is 54.8% and condo is 44.6%.
- Offer strategies: 1) Waive contingency (inspection and appraisal contingencies) 2) Fast offer before open house through virtual tour 3) Good and effective communication with listing agent 4) Buyer will pay seller expense items 5) higher and faster deposit money 6) Auction techniques.
Lotte Hotel Seattle is selected in top 10 best new hotels in U.S.
(Korea Daily 3/16 )
- According to USA Today’s reader selection, “Lotte Hotel Seattle”, Korean corporate owned, is selected a one of 10 best new hotel in US and it is only one in West coast.
- The 44 story hotel is located on 5th Ave in downtown Seattle and opened in September last year. The 100 year old church building was converted to the hotel and stain glasses and over 4000 organ pipes are prominent features of the hotel.
- The major corporates’ head quarters such as Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, and offices of Apple, Disney, HP are located nearby.
February retails sales in US fall 3% from January
(Record/WSJ 3/17 )
- Americans spent less last month, partly due to bad weather in parts of the country that kept shoppers away from stores. Retail sales fell a seasonally adjusted 3% in February from the month before, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday.
- This decline comes after retails soars in January as people spent $600 stimulus checks sent at the last year.
- Retail sales are expected to rise again in March as many Americans get $1,400 direct payments, part of a $1.9T COVID-19 relief package that was signed inti law last week.
- The biggest drops were at department and the sporting goods stores, which fell 8.4% and 7.5%, respectively.
- Wider distribution of vaccines is also expected to boost economic growth in the second half of this year as people becomes less fearful of catching the virus.
Moderna, with Low doses, begins testing Vaccine in Young Children and Babies
- The drug company Moderna has begun a study that will test its COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12, including babies as young as 6 months, the company said on Tuesday.
- Many parents want protection for their children, and vaccinating children should help to produce the heard immunity considered crucial to stopping the pandemic. The American Academy Pediatrics has called for expansion of vaccine trials to include children.
NYT study shows ventilation (opening windows) and air filter in school are crucial
(NYT 3/17 )
- From the study initiated by NYT, the experts agree that good ventilation is most effective and practical way to rid a space of virus contaminants. The director of Harvard Healthy Buildings program recommends four to six air exchanges per hour in classrooms, through any combination of ventilation and filtration.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is urging communities to reopen schools as quickly as possible, but parents and teachers have raised questions about the quality of ventilation in public school classrooms to protect against the virus.