Landmark Links December 11th -Drop Dead


Lead Story…. The FHA released its conforming loan limits for 2016 which contained a special message for high price priced coastal California (and inland empire) markets – drop dead.


On the Bright Side: Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride, possibly the most savvy economics blogger out there still sees things going the right direction… long as you take a step back from all of the noise.

True Contrarian: Just about everyone out there assumes that rates will rise over time after the Fed tightens this later month. However, we are in uncharted territory trying to tighten as the rest of the world loosens monetary policy. HSBC is making a compelling and highly contrarian case that rates will actually FALL as the Fed tightens. See Also: Europe is still in the early innings of the negative interest rate experiment.

Collateral Damage: Why China will get hit the hardest by an appreciating dollar.

Distress: We haven’t heard much about distressed assets lately but they may be making a comeback in 2016 as commodities and foreign economies continue to struggle.  Oaktree’s Howard Marks says that the distressed debt market now resembles the post-Lehman era.  See Also: Zombie oil fields are now a thing that we can expect to hear more about.


Stampede: Rich Chinese investors are buying up American hotels, strip malls and high end condos to rent out. They don’t particularly care about yield, only that they get money out of China ASAP.

Too Damn High: Last year, 49% of US renters paid 30% or more of their take home income in rent. 26% paid 50% or more. The good news: in 2014, apartment developers built at a quicker pace than any time since 2002. The bad news: most of those units are high end and we need a lot more lower end product. We could and should be building a lot more but that won’t happen due to restrictive zoning in the cities where we need development the most. Thanks a lot NIMBYs.


Steal Your House: Thanks to the growing trend of real estate records being stored online, deed fraud is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence.

Fore! In the comedy Caddy Shack, Rodney Dangerfield’s character famously stated that golf courses and cemeteries are the worlds biggest wastes of prime real estate. The verdict is still out on cemeteries but he may be proven right when to comes to golf courses. Private courses are struggling big time and are increasingly becoming targets for residential redevelopment.

Outdated: The so-called sharing economy is going to wreak havoc on California land planning, most of which is based on traffic count assumptions for land uses in the 1970s.

Wrecking Ball: Wealthy home buyers are paying millions of dollars to buy well located homes – only to tear them down and build custom homes in their place.  (Local Newport Beach note – if you have any doubt about this, drive down to Peninsula Point.  It looks like a construction site.)


New Life: Technology has breathed new life into an age-old Wall Street scam – the pump and dump.

Heros: Check out these new apps that fight parking tickets for you.

On the Throne: Meet the company trying to bring high-end Japanese toilets mainstream in the US. In other words, if you can afford a $2,400-$10,000 toilet it will literally wash your ass for you.

The Best (or worst) Reviews that a money Can Buy: Companies and individuals that write reviews-for-hire are the bane of online review sites and the businesses/products found on them.

Chart Of The Day

Gator Aid: A robber who went missing and was last-seen hiding in a pond was eaten by an alligator. Because, Florida.

Winged Bandits: Meet the father and son combo who stole $41k in chicken wings from a restaurant.

Video of the Week: Watch a cat body slam a small child. Because cats are assholes.

Popcorn: The world’s most wanted drug lord, escaped Mexican prisoner Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman just declared war on ISIS for disrupting Middle Eastern drug shipments. Sit back and enjoy.  This could be fun.

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

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Landmark Links December 11th -Drop Dead

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