News

Landmark Links March 19th – Selfies Stick

Must Read: Real estate developers and architects are embracing social media in general and Instagram in particular as a way to draw attention to their projects.  As a result, new projects are now being constructed with Instagram-worthy features.

Economy

No Margin of Safety: A new survey found that 20% of Americans don’t have any savings whatsoever.

Stealth Mode: Seemingly minor events can reverberate through the economy in ways that often can’t be foreseen, making recessions extremely difficult to predict.  See Also: It’s been a long time since the last recession and that’s completely consistent with a trend that dates back to the 1800s.

Commercial

Late Adopter: Commercial real estate is famously slow to evolve with new technology.  However, a handful of startup tech companies are focused on everything from affordability to fostering community to instant purchasing.

Still Waiting: Believe it or not, investors are still waiting on clarification of major issues surrounding opportunity zones including “substantial improvement.”

Bumbling: How a long series of missteps brought Sears from the pinnacle of the retail world in the 1970s to completely losing the American shopper and eventually filing bankruptcy.

Residential

Backlash: Open concept homes have dominated the market for decades but some home owners are starting to miss walls.

Booming: In many – mostly suburban – areas of the US, new homes are popping up twice as fast as normal as strong regional economies, few barriers to entry, and relative affordability drive demand.

Alternative Use: Plenty of underutilized golf courses will eventually become parks and housing but home owners are not happy about it

Still on Top: Multifamily was the most actively traded US real estate asset class for the 3rd consecutive year in 2018 but limitations to the amount of available apartment stock in the value-add space will make it more challenging for investors to efficiently deploy capital in the space this year.

Profiles

All Clear: California is 100% drought free for the first time in nearly a decade.

Inspirational: Meet Tanitoluwa Adewumi, an 8-year old homeless refugee chess champion living in a NY shelter.  He’s the antithesis of the pampered adult children described in this New York Times story about how snowplow and helicopter parents are ruining adulthood for their kids.

Juggernaut: Brookfield Asset Management is buying a a majority stake in Oaktree Capital management for $4.8 billion in an effort to compete with Blackstone.

You Have to Pay The Right Person: This is probably the best take that I’ve read on the college admissions bribery scandal which is quickly becoming the Fyre Fest of 2019.

Fascinating: The twenty craziest investing facts ever.  Sample:

15. If you had invested from 1960-1980 and beaten the market by 5% each year, you would have made less money than if you had invested from 1980-2000 and underperformed the market by 5% a year (A Nicky Numbers Special)

Chart of the Day

The widely accepted narrative is that ecommerce is crushing brick and mortar retailing but actual growth and market share tell a different story.

Retail ecommerce sales growth worldwide and brick-and-mortar versus ecommerce share of retail (2021)

Source: Shopify

WTF

Gotta Hear Both Sides: A woman threatened hair salon employees with a machete and pooped in a police car after she was taken into custody because Florida.

Predictable: Microblogging site Tumblr banned pornography in December and subsequently lost nearly 100 million users or 17% of its total base.

Friend of the Year: An Oklahoma woman was arrested and charged with shooting contraband – including meth – over a prison fence with a t shirt gun.

Always the Ones You Lease Expect: A man with a giant neck tattoo broke out of jail, got caught then stole a cop car and escaped again. (h/t Henry Baskerville)

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

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