Lead Story…. With rates at record lows and instability abroad, elite foreign investors have increasingly targeted trophy apartment properties as a way to move their capital to safer harbors. However, all is not well as the rush of foreign capital is making some areas like downright un-affordable for domestic buyers. There’s also concentration risk as investors ponder whether it’s really healthy to have 80% of new home buyers in a market like Irvine coming from China.
Confidence Conundrum: The two main measures of consumer confidence are diverging. Here’s why.
No One’s Buying: US exports, hurt by a strong dollar are keeping a lid on growth.
Connecting the Dots: Based on historical data, interest rates could stay low a lot longer than anyone thinks.
Shocking Revelation of the Day: It’s often difficult to sell illiquid assets.
Shameless Self Promotion: I was interviewed in Globe Street this week!
Office Space: Nationwide office vacancy continues its slow and steady fall.
New Mortgage Rules: New regulations that will overhaul the mortgage industry could make it even more difficult to get a home loan. Contra: Lenders are crying crocodile tears when it comes to new mortgage regulations.
Feeding Frenzy: Private equity is rushing in to buy up what’s left of troubled mortgages as the search for yield continues.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Here’s a list of the most expensive home for sale in every state. See Also: Despite recent weakness at the ultra high end, JP Morgan is financing a three home ultra-luxury development on a Bel Air hillside where prices start at $115MM.
Yelp for People: A new startup called Peeple that bills itself as “Yelp for People” is about to launch meaning that everyone that you know will now be able to give you a review and a 1-5 star rating – whether you want them to or not. I’m sure that all citizens of the internet will utilize this service in a civil and productive manner. Please go easy on me.
Rehab Riviera: The story of how Southern California became the rehab capital of the US.
Data Trolling: Everybody’s favorite whistle blower Edward Snowden joined twitter this week in an effort to bring attention to how personal data is used by social media sites. He had 1 million followers within the first 24 hours but only follows one account: his BFF the NSA. (h/t Tad Springer).
Chart of the Day
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane….It’s a Dead Cow: The man who turned his dead cat into a drone is new building a helicopter out of a cow. (h/t Ingrid Vallon)
Worst Hair Day Ever: Builder’s foam makes a really terrible hair product, as one Russian woman recently found out.
Hero: Check out this dolphin diving to retrieve an iPhone for a Miami Heat dancer after she dropped it in the water.
Landmark Links – A candid look at the economy, real estate, and other things sometimes related.
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