Landmark Links May 7th – Writing on the Wall


Must Read: Chronically under-supplied Southern California is on the verge of getting hit with a tidal wave of 2.76 million potential buyers and renters in the next 10 years as Millennials begin to turn 33 (the median age of a first time home-buyer in the west).  That’s the equivalent of 276k adults a year needing a home and represents an increase of 11.4% – 12.2% over the previous 10 years depending on the county, according to Zillow.  Meanwhile, the region continues to rack up an ever-larger housing deficit.  To say that we are unprepared for this future demand is an understatement, with the likely result being even worse affordability and more outflow of working class residents who can no longer afford to live here.


Limited Options: Interest rates have remained low in the midst of a long economic expansion.  As a result, the Federal Reserve will have less in their arsenal to fight the next recession when it inevitably comes.

Slowdown: In news that will likely delight NIMBYs, California’s 2018 population growth was the slowest in recorded history.

Productive Endeavour: Productivity growth has been growing with increasing speed over the past two years.


Evolve or Die: With big box retailers and department stores continuing to close, regional mall owners are focusing on adaptive reuse and smaller, more nimble tenants.

New Paradigm: The rising demand for delivery is forcing grocers and restaurants to re-evaluate their space needs.

Size Matters: In the latest round of Opportunity Zone guidance, Treasury allowed for the sale of assets within an Opportunity Zone without triggering capital gains tax.  This will be a major competitive advantage for larger, diversified funds versus smaller, single-asset ones.


Until You Qualify: Priced out of gateway markets, millennials are pouring into smaller cities and buying homes.

Matter of Scale: Concentrated poverty is a substantially larger issue than gentrification, yet it receives less attention.


The Gamble: Amazon is a dominate force in retail thanks in large part to it’s ubiquitous Prime subscription service.  However, the success of Prime was far from a sure thing when it first launched in early 2005 when Amazon was worth a mere $18 billion.  This oral history of Amazon Prime from Recode is fascinating.

Dark Money: Silicon Valley’s dirty secret is that it is awash in Saudi and Chinese cash, turning it into a geopolitical minefield for venture capitalists and startups.

Funny Money: Facebook is building a cryptocurrency-based payments system and is recruiting financial firms and merchants to help launch their payments platform.

Chart of the Day

This level of concentration is remarkable.


Source: The Atlantic


Heat of the Moment: A drunk man and woman were arrested having sex outside of a police station in broad daylight because Florida.

Expensive Crap: You can now purchase a resin-coated turd from 1997 Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm for $200 as a conversation piece for your coffee table.

Brilliant Disguise: A drug suspect tried to elude deputies setting up a perimeter around his house for a bust by bicycling away disguised in a woman’s blond wig because Florida.

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

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Landmark Links May 7th – Writing on the Wall

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