Landmark Links October 6th – Bulking Up


Lead Story…  Density is on the rise.  New homes are increasingly getting larger while lots are getting smaller as developers and builders try to squeeze out as much profit as possible.


Looking for an Entry: While wages have stagnated for decades, entry level labor is surprisingly tight as an ever-larger percentage of the US population has a college degree.  Here’s an argument that the wages of entry level workers could rise as more educated Millennials take the place of retiring  less educated Baby Boomers.

Not Immune: Friday’s weak jobs report showed that the US isn’t immune to the global slowdown and made the Fed smart for keeping rates at 0%.  It also made it doubtful that the Fed will raise rates this year.  See Also: The Great Stagnation is alive and well.


Hipster Havens: Meet the 30-something developers who have built up a $160MM multi-family portfolio in Seattle and LA by rehabbing smaller apartment buildings in areas where Millennials want to live.

Leveling Out: The latest multi-family data is indicating that the apartment boom might finally be leveling out as increasing supply sent 3rd quarter vacancies higher.


No One Actually Wants to Live in the Arctic Tundra (When the Oil Spigot Turns Off): Remember when North Dakota was hot (figuratively, not literally)?  Seemingly every out-of-town developer wanted to hightail it to Williston to cash in on the fracking boom and make 12% un-leveraged ROC’s on new apartment developments.  The problem: those deals had ridiculously high yields for a reason. Now that the oil market has tanked and exploration has slowed to a trickle, all of those newly built apartments, RVs and man camps are sitting empty because, without the oil money no one in their right mind would ever want to live there.

Drive Until it’s Cheap: A consistent theme in this recovery has been that well located, urban infill homes have gone up in value while more distant communities have stagnated.  According to John Burns, the distant suburbs have never been cheaper when compared to primary markets…….if you’re willing to commute.

This is Getting Confusing: Another consistent recovery theme has been gentrification.  As infill neighborhoods become too expensive, buyers are looking for cheaper urban core neighborhoods rather than going to the suburbs.  This infusion of capital into previously forgotten neighborhoods leads to gentrification.  However, not everyone is a fan since it can displace long time residents and drive up the cost of living.  The gentrification backlash has now spawned a backlash to the gentrification backlash.

Party Like it’s 2005: A bunch of people camped out in front of a new subdivision in McKinney, Texas in order to be first in line to purchase a new home.  I feel like I’ve seen this before….

Head in the Clouds: A NYC developer is betting that someone will buy a 12,400sf penthouse 54 stories above the ground for $130MM.


And Then Banks Wonder Why PeopleHate Them: The average ATM fee is now nearing $5 per transaction.

Cluster F&%K: Cars have become rolling computers and the software is so complex that no one really knows what the hell is going on under the hood.

Pick Your Battles Wisely: How the Church of Scientology fought the internet and lost.

Caffeine High: Why you should probably be drinking more coffee.

Chart of the Day


Video of the Day: Watch an idiot on a jet ski apparently attempting to win a Darwin Award get pulled out of the Manasquan Inlet in NJ by the Coast Guard during a small craft advisory this past weekend.  Hurricane Joaquin was offshore and this fool decided to go thrill seeking and the Coast Guard had to get him.  Your tax dollars at work.

Red Tape: Here are the states with the most arcane liquor laws.

Freaky Hipster Facial Hair: Beard competitions are increasingly becoming a thing.

Repent, the End is Near: A massive bee swarm ravaged an Arizona neighborhood, sending 4 people to the hospital.

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

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Landmark Links October 6th – Bulking Up

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