News

Landmark Links June 13th – Pretty Much Useless

  Lead Story… There are basically three types of economic sentiment indicators: Mostly Useful – I put the NAHB Homebuilder Survey in this category.  When builders are confident, it typically means that they have purchased lots or are in the market to buy lots.  It’s typically a pretty good gauge of where housing starts are […]

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Landmark Links June 9 – Headed in the Wrong Direction

  Lead Story…  Regular readers of this blog have probably noticed that I’ve been geeking out over the past couple of weeks on articles about how inefficient the American construction industry has become .  I recently read an opinion piece by Bloomberg’s Noah Smith that looked for reasons why this is so (emphasis mine): There […]

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Landmark Links June 6th – Outdated

  Lead Story…. One constant throughout human history has been the increasing reliance on technological innovation in order to drive productivity.  From agriculture to manufacturing to software and technology, machines have gradually taken over jobs that people used to do as a means of adding efficiency and scale.  This has generally increased quality of living but has […]

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Landmark Links June 5th – Something Doesn’t Add Up

  Lead Story…. There’s an old joke about the food service industry that doesn’t appear to be attributed to anyone in particular and goes something like this: Q: How do you make a small fortune in the restaurant business?  A: Start with a large fortune. Sure, it’s more than a bit of hyperbole but the point gets […]

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Landmark Links June 30th – Looking at it Wrong

  Lead Story…. There are few issues in the world of real estate that have captured the collective attention of the financial press like that of Millennials and home ownership.  Coming out of the Great Recession, a popular but largely false narrative took hold that Millennials never wanted to be home owners and were content to […]

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Landmark Links May 26th – Backlash

  Lead Story…. Office has been a challenging commercial asset class in which to invest in recent years.  Re-tenanting and maintenance costs are sky high, and market vacancies are often in the double digits even in a good market.  However, perhaps the most challenging aspect of investing in traditional office space (there are subsets like medical […]

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Landmark Links May 23rd – Amateurs

  Lead Story…. I’ve written a lot over the past couple of years about how home building has not kept up with demand – especially along the coasts – and how it’s contributing to a massive affordability crisis. I’ve also noted how institutional buyers purchasing large home portfolios to rent and people staying in their homes longer, […]

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Landmark Links May 19th – Peniaphobia

  Lead Story….  Economic health is highly intertwined with demographic trends.  As people age they enter different saving and spending cycles that are fairly historically well established.  Generally speaking, people tend to save money during their peak employment years and spend that money in retirement.  The consumption of retirees boosts the economy which, leading to more […]

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Landmark Links May 16th – Catch Up

  Lead Story…  Over the past few years, I’ve often turned to the following chart from Calculated Risk as a guidepost for the US economy in general and the housing market in particular: Possibly the most under-discussed aspect of the housing crash is that it happened during a period of economic headwinds from a contraction of the prime […]

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Landmark Links May 9th – Stick to Your Knitting

  Lead Story… I was reading the Wall Street Journal this weekend and came across a story that reminded me of some of the best advice that I ever received: work hard enough at something to become an expert and then stick with what you know.  The WSJ story was written by Rob Copeland and Peter […]

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