Landmark Links May 5th – NIMBYs Gone Wild

Quote of the Day…..  – “The issue with existing batteries is that they suck.  They’re expensive, they’re unreliable … stinky” – Elon Musk of Tesla on why batteries are the next frontier of technological innovation.

Economy

Missing Misery: Despite what most would classify as a sluggish economic recovery at best, the Misery Index (sum of the unemployment rate and Consumer Price Index inflation rate) is now at its lowest level since the 1950s.

Demographic Disconnect: It’s no secret that the Great Recession caused birth rates for US women to drop.  A new study finds that the results are even worse than previously thought and that the recession accelerated an already notable trend in lower birthrates.

Mega-Drought

From the beginning, California’s history has been characterized by innovation.  While the drought might very well result in innovations in how we store and consume water, it is also likely to change California in other less positive ways.

Commercial Real Estate

#NoFilter: Long a fixture in residential sales, commercial real estate companies are beginning to use Instagram as a more prominent marketing tool for selling properties.

Housing

While US homeownership is at a 25 year low, there are plenty of signs that investors have taken up the slack.  According to RealtyTrac, non owner-occupant buyers reached a new high of 36.8% in Q1 2015.  In related news, Blackstone Group, the largest institutional owner of single family homes in the US is planning on bringing its single family rental platform public in the next two years.  Part of the reason for the falling homeownership percentage is a fear that Americans have about getting ahead financially.  Per a new WSJ/NBC News poll that has interesting implications for the upcoming presidential campaign, Americans are now more concerned about economic mobility than income inequality by a greater than 2-to-1 margin.  Based on recent trends, immigrants from China and India apparently don’t share this concern.  They have now both overtaken Mexico in the number of people immigrating to the US.  Many of these new immigrants will likely be headed to LA.  They (along with current residents) will be dealing with the ongoing housing shortage there which isn’t getting any better.  Just last week, a lawyer representing a group of NIMBYs convinced a judge to halt two towers in Hollywood (h/t Tad Springer) over concerns that the 500 apartment units, hotel and retail would have too large an impact on traffic in the area.  The NIMBYs also tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to convince the judge that the project was being built on top of the Hollywood Fault.  So it’s back to the drawing board for Millennium Partners who now has to basically start from scratch and complete a new Environmental Impact Report.

Profiles

Game changer: Tesla announced last week that it will be releasing a new home and business battery that can store solar power generated by rooftop panels later this summer.  It’s an innovation that has been a long time coming and will likely continue the trend towards a wider adoption of solar power versus conventional sources.  Expect to see more homebuilders offering this as an option in the near future.

Chart of the Day

Misery Index is the lowest that it’s been since the 1950s.

Screen Shot 2015 05 04 at 11.04.42 AMWTF

Down the drain: I hope that you didn’t waste $100 on the crappy boxing match this weekend when you could have watched this amazing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out version of it for free.

F&$k yeah!: In the most important news of the day, people who receive annoying drunk text messages from their exes rejoiced as Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be the first major operating system with a middle finger emoji.

How to get your billionaire next door neighbor to buy your house for more than it’s worth.

Meet the least interesting man in the world.

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

Visit us at Landmarkcapitaladvisors.com

Landmark Links May 5th – NIMBYs Gone Wild

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