News

Landmark Links March 29th – Mismatch

Must Read: Private real estate investors are sitting on record amounts of cash and finding it difficult to place it in deals that meet their return criteria  within the deadlines they promised investors.  These funds will be stuck either asking for additional time to place the capital or will be forced to return it.  This is what happens late in the cycle when fundraising continues to increase while returns continue to decrease due to ever-higher asset values (thanks to both a strong economy and the aforementioned cash pouring in).  It’s a classic example of a positive feedback loop that will continue to work until it doesn’t.

Economy

Warning Signs: One by one, global bond markets are flashing the same warning signs as yields plunge.  See Also: The persistence of low inflation has apparently become too much for the Fed to dismiss, especially now with the economy deceleration.  But See: What if the yield curve inversion is more about the unprecedented Fed’s dovish flip-flop than actual economic weakness?

Contrarian: Plenty of people are now predicting an eminent recession but Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics doesn’t seen one in sight.

And Now We Wait: The yield curve only becomes a reliable recessionary indicator once it has been inverted (on average) for a 3-month period.

Commercial

Can’t Break the Trend: WeWork’s revenue doubled last year thanks to it’s rapid expansion and it’s losses did as well.  I still can’t understand how this is sustainable long-term.

Scraping the Bottom: The CMBS delinquency rate fell below 3% in February, a reminder that commercial real estate markets are showing few signs of stress.

Residential

Drive Until You Qualify: Left for dead a decade ago, millennials and retirees are spearheading an exurb revival driven by low housing costs in spite of longer commutes.

Taking Another Swing: Lawmakers are re-introducing a bill which failed to make it out of committee last year that would allow temporary visas for construction workers.

When It Rains, It Pours: The FHA is tightening loan standards, adding another headwind to builders trying to target the low margin entry-level market.  But See: Weekly mortgage applications are surging on lower mortgage rates.

Profiles

One Man’s Trash..: Meet the companies that are making money on your online returnsSee Also: A whopping 74% of American consumers go to Amazon when they are ready to buy a specific product.  But See: The retail apocalypse isn’t as bad as you think it is.

Expect Delays: Uber and Lyft are cutting driver pay in an effort to at least appear that they can someday become profitable as public companies.  Drivers are fighting back.

Pivot: From credit cards, to news subscriptions to streaming media, Apple’s event earlier this week showed that the company has visions of becoming the ultimate middle manSee Also: Apple’s new focus of becoming a service company as iPhone revenues stall out seems to be a lot more about other companies than the tech giant itself.

Chart of the Day

I think that I may have posted this a while back but here’s an update.  A truly remarkable chart.

Screen Shot 2019-03-22 at 11.40.40 AM.png

Source: Collaborative Fund

WTF

He’s Not Wrong: A naked man tried to board a flight, claiming that it would make him more aerodynamic because Russia. (h/t William Bussey)

Frivolous: A gag gift that shoots confetti penises into the air when opened has sparked a lawsuit over emotional distress mainly because people lack a sense of humor.

Distracted: A grandmother crashed her car, propositioned a cop and was arrested for DUI after leaving her 6-year old grandson at home to go drinking with friends because Florida.

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

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