News

Landmark Links October 12th – Running out of Room

  Must Read: A 5% mortgage isn’t high by historical standards but it will certainly feel that way to buyers who have become accustomed to borrowing at rates below 4%.  This is a big part of the reason why home price growth has slowed as have sale transactions, despite still-low inventory levels. This is a recipe […]

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Landmark Links October 9th – The Great Compression

  “You can’t predict. You can prepare.” – Howard Marks Perhaps its difficult to remember now but there was a period between early 2010 and late 2016 when interest rates moved predictably in a downward direction – especially on the long end of the yield curve – every time potentially destabilizing geopolitical or economic event […]

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Landmark Links October 5th – Shaken to the Core

  Must Read: UBS Asset Management is out with a fascinating white paper about how core real estate investment will have to change substantially in today’s disruptive business environment.  Here’s a snapshot: “Consequently real estate assets are likely to become more asset management intensive and core income streams may face increased volatility. On the upside, […]

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Landmark Links October 2nd – Stagnation

  Must Read: I’ve been saying for months now that higher mortgage rates in a declining inventory environment would lead to higher prices and construction stagnation rather than a decline in home values.  Ben Casselman’s story from the NY Times this past weekend does as good a job of explaining how housing is defying textbook […]

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Landmark Links September 28th – Shot Across the Bow

  Must Read: Amazon has made it clear that they want to own the “smart home” space, releasing over a dozen new devices powered by Alexa.  Now the eCommerce behemoth is taking things a step further and dipping its toes in the home building business by investing in Plan Prefab, a company that uses sustainable construction […]

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Landmark Links September 25th – Outside the Box

  Must Read: Money is pouring into alternative lending funds in unprecedented amounts as investors seek both yield and protection in the late stages of a bull market.  These funds are beating banks on both proceeds and flexibility and the massive capital flows are driving borrowing costs down.  However, some have begun to question if the […]

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Landmark Links September 21st – Too Big to Fail?

  Lead Story: “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” – J. Paul Getty The not-so-subtle implication in the quote above is that a lender can easily foreclose on a borrower who has borrowed a small balance and defaults without risking its […]

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Landmark Links September 18th – Above the Law

  Must Read: The California Coastal Commission is unaccountable to taxpayers, corrupt and often capricious with the power it wields.  Making matters worse, commissioners hit with fines or judgements for breaking rules have those costs picked up by the same taxpayers who they don’t answer to. Economy Keep it Simple: Recessions happen when the economy runs out […]

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Landmark Links September 14th – Breaking Out the Big Guns?

  Must Read: HUD secretary Ben Carson has begun to talk about using federal power to discourage cities from using zoning to keep out poor people by requiring  that cities that receive federal housing grants reduce their use of exclusionary zoning.  If actually implemented, this would be a game changer in terms of allowing for production of more […]

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Landmark Links September 11th – Its All Relative

  Must Read: One third of people making $100k think that they are underpaid, according to new research.  Going to go out on a limb here and assume that this is largely because $100k is not very much money to live off of in most markets where $100k salaries are common. Economy Help Wanted: The […]

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