News

Landmark Links February 25th – Shrinkage

Must Read: After topping out in 2015, median square footage of newly-built homes has fallen 9%.  Expect this trend to continue as builders increasingly focus on the entry level, which is where the supply/demand imbalance is greatest.

Economy

Out Sick: The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the US supply chain for companies of all sizes as workers in China remain stranded and factories can’t reopen.  See Also: Coronavirus closures have brought millions of Chinese companies on the brink.

Race to the Bottom: Yield spreads are plunging across the globe – even amongst some of its most indebted countries – and are starting to raise alarms in some circles.

Commercial

Kink in the Supply Chain: The US warehouse sector will not be able to escape the negative impact from the coronavirusSee Also: The Cornavirus scare has turned Chinese cities into ghost towns.

The Worst Is Yet to Come? Regardless of the narrative about eCommerce killing main street, the fact remains that there is simply too much retail square footage per capita in the United States, meaning that things are likely to get quite ugly when the next economic downturn hits.

Residential

Out of Whack: It costs $750k to build a single affordable housing unit in San Francisco thanks to sky high land and labor costs and a bureaucratic web of regulations.

House Always Wins?  The US middle class has a massive percentage of their net worth (and total outstanding consumer debt) tied up in their homes.

Profiles

Snap Into It: Fancy Slim Jims are officially a thing thanks to crossfiters and paleo diets.

Revenge of the Nerds: Venture capital and famous investors are pouring money into e-sports organizations…and making a killing.

Fire Sale: Distressed investors are turning their sights on pools of impaired taxi medallion loans.

Playing Catch Up: Dog lovers have known for years that our companions have the capacity to experience love.  Science is finally catching up.

Chart of the Day

This is clearly headed in the wrong direction.

Savings

WTF

I Bet He Can’t Stand This: A man got high on spice and pain killers and hacked off his leg with a saw because Russia.

Temper Tantrum: A woman called 911 to complain that her parents had shut off her cell phone service because Millennials.

Down To Earth: A flat earther died when a rocket that he had built to take pictures of the earth to “prove” that it was flat crashed.  Unfortunately for him, earth is indeed round and it is also hard.  In related news, the 2020 Darwin Award leader has entered the proverbial clubhouse.

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

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