Video of the Day (and caption contest)….. – I guarantee this is the funniest video that you’ll watch today. Is the Owl the top of the roof in this video a banker, broker or developer? Leave your best caption idea in the comments section below and we will post the winner on Friday.
The Rodney Dangerfield Recovery: The economic recovery is now several years but you wouldn’t know it from reading many of the major news outlets. There are pockets of strength and weakness but this recovery basically gets no respect. There are several reasons for this. For one, part time employment remains high which is helping to keep a lid on wages despite a falling unemployment rate. In some stagnant regions like the industrial Midwest, the unemployment rate is falling for all of the wrong reasons. The good news? The job growth that is occurring is increasingly focused on higher paying jobs, mainly in the construction and health care industries. Also, demographic trends are looking increasingly positive. Millennials now make up the largest portion of workers in the US economy, finally overtaking Gen Xers and aging baby boomers. The influx of college-aged immigrants from China and India is likely to provide a tailwind to the economy by adding more skilled workers.
Commercial Real Estate
Ripe for Disruption: It’s no secret that the real estate industry is slow to adapt to technology compared to other industries. However, there are some recent signs that our industry is evolving in the direction of more tech-centric models. Crowd funding started to gain a foothold a couple of years ago and is really coming into its own. It will likely continue to now that some early development investments are generating returns, giving platforms a more solid track record to market off of. If there is one area of real estate that is most ripe for disruption, perhaps it’s the self-storage business. MakeSpace is attempting to become the Amazon of self-storage by offering quick pick-up and drop-off services while storing your property in locations where real estate is cheaper – think large warehouses in tertiary markets rather than buildings in urban areas.
We are now well into the spring selling season. Home builders are still mostly optimistic and see a recovering market, albeit a slowly recovering one. Prospective home buyers still face an uphill battle. Yes, credit conditions have improved a bit and the economy is better. However, there still just isn’t that much available to buy, especially if you are looking for something entry-level. In other words, expect bidding wars as the seller’s market continues. Fund managers are taking note of this trend and betting on companies that benefit from rising prices in the suburbs looking to benefit from millennials moving there once they have kids – again, so much that you read about Millennials just doesn’t hold up against hard data and the smart money knows this. They are much more like their parents than you think. Rising prices have caused many institutional landlords to slow down or stop buying houses to rent out. Several of them are moving out a bit further on the risk curve by providing bridge loans for flippers. Wall Street and Flippers together again. They apparently couldn’t get enough of each other during the last cycle. San Diego is attempting to do something about its lack of affordability by creating a Small Lot Ordinance similar to the one in LA. In other words, iconic Bungalow Courts are making a comeback. Los Angeles is going a step further. LAUSD is building affordable housing for its employees since they have been basically priced out.
Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink: Catalina Island is not often associated with large-scale development but the small island town of Avalon is becoming emblematic of the inherent conflict between development and extreme water scarcity. The Island, which has very little of its own water is partially supplied by a small desalination plant constructed in the 1990s. With reservoirs running near empty and rates rising a battle is brewing between residents and The Catalina Island Company, which controls all of the developable land in Avalon.
Glamorous Guzzlers: It’s so good to hear that Los Angeles’ celebrities are doing their part to reduce water usage (end sarcasm here).
Fake News, Real Business: How the satirical newspaper The Onion re-invented itself to become a force in the online world.
How Not to Win in Silicon Valley: You could create a billion dollar company and still walk away with literally nothing if your financing structure is shitty.
Chart of the Day
Millennials are now the largest group in the American workforce.
Source: Pew Research Center
Problem Solved: Necessity is the mother of invention. Last week we featured a story about a drug fueled orgy that took place in a Calgary family’s home after they rented it on AirBnb. Enter KinkBnb, a new website that bills itself as AirBnb for renters who want to throw an orgy meaning that this age-old problem has been solved. Word on the street is that KinkBnb is about to close a round of funding that will value it at $1.3 billion with the goal of going public early next year.
New Study Shows That Beards Contain Fecal Bacteria: I’m seriously considering shaving my beard after reading this. Also, you will never look at James Harden or any male hipster, for that matter, the same way again.
Landmark Links – A candid look at the economy, real estate, and other things sometimes related.
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