Landmark Links August 21st: Bat Shit Crazy

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Lead Story… San Francisco’s housing market has reached bat-shit crazy territory. Rents have increased over 12% in the last 3 quarters alone (and 57% since 2010) and only 10% of residents can afford a median priced home.

Economics

Federal Reserve Musings: From Greece to China, to slowing inflation, Something comes up every time that the Fed tries to raise rates.  Cullen Roche, in a must-read piece argues that, with inflation slowing, commodities crashing and wage growth still tepid raising rates now would be nuts.  However: The Fed currently has very little ammo left to fight the next economic crisis.

Grad School: Much has been made in these pages and elsewhere about ever-rising college debt.  One aspect that often goes unmentioned is that most of the largest debt loads are taken on by grad school students, some of whom will be able to repay it and others who will ultimately rely on some sort of debt forgiveness.  Grad school costs are rising even quicker than undergrad costs.  Graduate student borrowers represent 14% of students in higher education but account for a whopping 40% of student debt.  See also: Five facts about grad school debt.

Who is Forming Households:  Not who you would think.  A new study finds that Seniors, not Millennials are responsible for recent increases in household formation.

Commercial

Patience is a Virtue: Blackstone owns almost 50,000 houses and is planning on spinning them off in a REIT.  However, it’s holding off for now as other homes-for-rent stocks have taken a beating in recent weeks.

All In: During the recession, many single family builders ramped up their multi-family development operations.  It doesn’t look like they are going away any time soon.

Residential

More on Builder Confidence: The National Association of Home Builder sentiment survey is at a cycle high and has proven to be a remarkably accurate predictor of economic growth since the 1980s.

Forecasts: PIMCO is calling for 10% growth in housing over the next 2 – 3 years even if mortgage rates rise.  However: Bank of America disagrees.  See Also: Existing US home sales are at their highest level since February 2007 and townhouse construction is now at a 7-year high.

What Did You Pay for that Spot? I love it when i get to post things in the real estate section that would arguably be a better fit for WTF.  Parking spots ultra-high-end condos in NY, SF and Boston are now approaching the $1MM mark.

Stunning Report: The majority of mortgages still go to households with the strongest credit in this recovery.  Also, water is wet.  In Other Obvious News: People who are tired of winters in the Northeast are moving to Florida in droves.

Profiles

Ashley Madison Hack: Hackers leaked the names of 32 million members of dating website for cheaters AshleyMadison.com.  There were 15,000 government employee emails included in the data dump as well as at least one epic hypocrite.  I wish there were some way to buy stock in divorce lawyers.

Yelp: The crowd-sourced review website is now letting you review government agencies.  I love reading angry Yelp reviews.  This is going to be awesome.

Airstream: The iconic rounded metal trailers are cool again.  Does this mean that the hipsters living in them are doing so ironically?

The Skimm: How the best email news service in the world grew it’s newsletter organically.  Side note: if you don’t start your day reading The Skimm, you are missing out big-time.

Politics

Video of the Day: The Bad Lip Reading version of the first Republican debate is amazing.

Candidate Profiles: You know about Hillary, Donald, Sanders and Bush but do you know Deez Nutz or Limberbutt McCubbins?

Charts of the Day

San Francisco Housing Insanity

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median home sales

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WTF

FAIL: Formerly Fat Jared, Subway’s Mascot / Pitchman plead guilty being a pedophile earlier this week.  In light of the preceding sentence, the fact that Subway had a game on their iPhone app that let kids play with Jared’s pants is the marketing FAIL of the century.

World’s Dumbest Criminal: A Florida man (of course this happened in Florida) wanted for burglary taunted cops on Facebook which led to his capture.  Afterwards, the cops trolled the s&!t out of him on social media.  Touche.

Topless in Times Square: New York’s mayor is trying to open up Times Square to car traffic after body-painted topless women have taken over the pedestrian plaza.  Call me dense but I fail to see the problem here.

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

Visit us at Landmarkcapitaladvisors.com

Landmark Links August 21st: Bat Shit Crazy

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