Landmark Links April 7th: Trailer Park Trouble

Quote of the Day….. “Believe in hard facts and data, not what some 20-somethings say they might do 10 years from now.” – Ryan Severino on why older Millennials are leaving the urban core despite the popular narrative about how they never will.

Economy

Don’t call it a comeback: Left for dead a few years back, California now boasts 6 of the top 17 job markets for job growth in the US and accounts for 1 of every 8 new American jobs.

The BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover was extremely positive with openings up 23% year-over-year.

Corporate

The Oracle of Subprime?: Bombshell Seattle Times investigative reports paints Warren Buffett’s Clayton Homes as a ruthless subprime lender in the mobile home space.  See Also: Clayton Homes’ response.  See Also: revisiting subprime mortgages.

Where are they now: Wall Street implosion pariah CEO edition.

As startup valuations head towards the stratosphere VCs have created a new vehicle to invest in smaller amounts before a public offering.

Foreign Real Estate

Logistics facilities are a popular investment these days in Europe and there aren’t nearly enough class A warehouse buildings to satisfy demand: “There’s not enough product around here,” said Peter Higgins, divisional partner at property consultant Glenny LLP. “Hardly any stock was built during the recession. And any that was built was small. People are looking, but there’s nowhere to go.”  As you can probably imagine, this is leading to a major boom in a formerly quiet European real estate sector.

Cuba Libre: Developers and speculators are bum rushing Cuba in an effort to tie up prime real estate by skirting nationality rules in the hopes of cashing in once sanctions are lifted.  Even AirBNB is getting into the act.

Housing

Inventory: down, Prices: up

A primary feature in the current housing market is the divide between high end and entry level housing markets. Prices are mostly rising at the high end as demand outpaces supply and jumbo mortgage are relatively plentiful.  Stagnation is the buzzword at the other end of the spectrum as homebuilders focus less and less on the low end and many markets have been slow to recover from the bust.  Entry level buyers tend to spend a much larger portion of their income on food and housing expenses – both of which are rising – than wealthier Americans.  While inflation has been tame as a whole, certain categories have gone up much faster than others.  Areas of the economy that have experienced inflation over the past 5 years tend to disproportionately affect lower earners.

See also: One reason that there are so few homes for sale at the high end despite strong price growth and demand: capital gains over the exemption limit and an aversion to paying them.

California Mega Drought

The California dream has been built on virtual endless growth.  The mega-drought is testing the limits of that growth.  Wealthy cities like Beverly Hills and Newport Beach have been lagging when it comes to water conservation.  They are about to get a rude awakening with the governor’s mandate to lower water usage by 25%.  Things aren’t getting any better as we continue to deplete our groundwater resources.  Higher water prices are likely on the way but will they actually cause a reduction in volume?

Profiles

The real reason for the Apple Watch:  a solution to a problem that Apple created – “Our phones have become invasive. But what if you could engineer a reverse state of being? What if you could make a device that you wouldn’t—couldn’t—use for hours at a time? What if you could create a device that could filter out all the bullshit and instead only serve you truly important information? You could change modern life. And so after three-plus decades of building devices that grab and hold our attention—the longer the better—Apple has decided that the way forward is to fight back.

The Common Man’s Crown: Rise of the Baseball Cap.

True Story: Andre the Giant could have absolutely drank you under the table: “On the way back from the show, Andre requested beer. Roberts stopped and bought enough for the both of them — a six pack for himself, two cases for the big guy. Andre tossed back the majority of his alcohol, and Roberts recalls it didn’t even faze him. He didn’t even need to stop for a restroom break. “He wasn’t drunk,” Roberts said. “That was pretty amazing to me.”

Chart of the Day

How Americans spend their money by income segment:

Source: WSJ

WTF

All hail Lu Lu, the Ron Jeremy of the Panda world.  See also, he broke his own record less than 24 hours later.  WARNING: The expressions on the Panda’s faces are borderline NSFW.

Disgusting shit show: why would they play an opening night MLB game in a stadium with barely any working rest rooms?  More importantly, why were people dumb enough to actually go?

Landmark Links – A candid look at the economy, real estate, and other things sometimes related.

Landmark Links April 7th: Trailer Park Trouble

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