Landmark Links September 4th – Not Going Anywhere


Lead Story…. Historically, American homeowners move every 5-7 years.  The transient nature of ownership has created it’s own economy of lenders, agents and service providers that benefit from Americans tendency to not stay in one place for too long.  That may be changing, at least in California.  Homeowners in the 2015 California Association of Realtors survey indicated that they intended to stay in their homes for a whopping 20 years (the 2014 response was considered high at 8.8 years).  Conclusion: supply could be low for a long time in California and a lot of more of it will likely need to come from new construction.


The Great Financial Wall of China: The Great Wall of China was built to keep invading Mongolians out.  Today, the Chinese government is trying to shore up a virtual wall of regulations and enforcement to keep capital from fleeing it’s increasingly unstable country for calmer locales.

Tight as a Drum: Closely-watched indexes are now signalling the tightest financial conditions since 2012.

“Self-Inflicted Instability”: Bill Gross has been calling for the Fed to hike rates for a long time but now believes that they have missed their window.

A Simple Primer For Understanding China’s Downturn: Tyler Cowan offers up this gem in explaining the dumpster fire that is the Chinese economy: “You can’t invest 45-50 percent of your GDP very well forever.”


Building Up: United States construction spending  is now at a post-recession high.

Disrupting the Disruptors: There is a case to be made that warehouse clubs like Costco and Sams Club have been done more to transform retail than even Amazon.


If you Can’t Beat ‘Em….: To say that for-sale housing starts have been soft during this recovery would be an understatement.  At the same time, multi-family starts have gone through the roof. What’s a for-sale residential developer to do?  Become an apartment builder.

One Less Headwind: There are a number of factors that have kept housing starts low. However, builders are now saying that availability of construction financing is not one of them.  We at Landmark are finding the same thing with many of the lenders that we work with.  If you have a project that you need financing for, we should talk.


Olympic Update: Los Angeles has officially been chosen as the US bid city for the 2024 Olympics! Here is what the city’s development plans look like should it be selected to host.

Groovy…Yet Sophisticated: Marijuana infused wine is the latest craze in wine making.

Eggcellent: The US has been struggling with an egg shortage that sent prices sky high after the worst outbreak of bird flu in American history.  To make matters worse, McDonald’s recently announced that it will be offering breakfast sandwiches all day for the first time in an effort to bolster slumping sales. The two biggest beneficiaries: college kids who can now sleep past noon and still get breakfast and the egg industry which will continue to benefit as the fast food behemoth’s move further exacerbates the shortage.


Long-form Link of the Day: From Vanity Fair – Is Silicon Valley in another bubble….and what could cause it to pop?


Score One for the Little Guy: it’s great to see a perpetual underdog like Tom Brady win for a change. Also, time for Goodell to go (90% sure this won’t happen).

Chart of the Day

China’s currency devaluation versus the dollar is tiny compared to what has happened to some others.


The First Rule of Fight Club….Is that you DO NOT talk about Fight Club.  Two daycare workers in NJ broke this rule when they instigated brawls among 4-6 year old kids at work, videotaped them and then posted the videos to Snapchat.  Now they are likely headed to jail.

The Most Canadian Thing Ever: Residents of Toronto set up a memorial, complete with a candle-light vigil for a dead raccoon near a city bus stop after Animal Control took 14 hours to pick the critter up.  The hashtag #deadraccoonto went viral and the sequence of pictures is hysterical.

People of Walmart, Kansas Edition: A Kansas woman got busted (and got a really bad case of frostbite) huffing a canister of an industrial-strength duster chemical used to clean computers.  In related news, I’m fairly certain that hell resembles a Walmart in Kansas.

When Porta Potties Fly: A British woman was in a porta potty at a marina when it was picked up by a forklift without her noticing (I have no clue how this is possible but I’m going to assume that alcohol was involved).  She thought that she had teleported when she exited the porta potty on the other side of the marina.

Looks like Someone Needs a Hobby: A bunch of people with no sense of humor and way too much free time are pissed off that Kermit the Frog’s new girlfriend is younger and thinner than his ex Miss Piggy.  It’s a good thing that there aren’t any real problems in the world so that people can get their panties in a bunch over trivial nonsense.

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

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Landmark Links September 4th – Not Going Anywhere

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