What I’m Reading
Only Game in Town: With few properties on the market during the pandemic, large real estate investors have had turned to stocks and bonds as a way to invest in distressed real estate.
Backstop: Calls for a new federally-backed insurance product to cover real estate pandemic-related losses have begun (h/t Steve Sims). This was inevitable since the vast majority of existing business interruption policies don’t cover pandemics. Any effective policy would probably needs federal backing as premiums would have to be incredibly high in order for private insurers to have the required capital to pay claims when the entire country shuts down at once.
Potholes: Toll roads have long been considered a safe segment of infrastructure investing. However, with the pandemic lowering traffic volume by 40% – 85%, they have been the recipients of ratings downgrades. With work from home taking hold in many industries traffic counts may not return to prior levels for an extended period of time.
Opportunity: Tech, catering and design companies are rushing to sell employers on fever scanners, box lunches and office floor-planning apps for social distancing. But it’s too soon to tell if they will work.
Dropped: The percentage of deals falling out of contract in US, European and Asian markets have jumped in recent months, while at the same time the total number of completed deals in those regions have sunk as well.
Chart of the Day
This helps to explain why retail sales were so strong in May.
Source: Alpine Macro
We Live in a Simulation: This was an actual headline in The Atlantic earlier in the week – My Little Pony Fans Are Ready to Admit They Have a Nazi Problem. Looks like I’m going to have to have a serious talk with my 3-year old.
Joyride: A 63 year old man was arrested for stealing an ambulance from a hospital because Florida.
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