Must Read: This quote from the Wall Street Journal about how crazy shopping Whole Foods has become since getting purchased by Amazon perfectly encapsulates the bull case for cold storage buildings:
Whole Foods Market, once a paragon of leisurely high-end shopping, has become a battleground where well-heeled shoppers fight for elbow room and choice salmon cuts with harried delivery couriers.
Hooked: Forget credit card debt, American consumers are hooked on installment loans – many of which are pushed by sketchy payday outfits that got into the space when regulators started cracking down on their primary line of business.
All In: Blackstone now owns 800 million square feet of industrial warehouse space as a massive online shopping play, more than half of which has been purchased in the past year.
Proceed with Caution: Data from both Real Capital Analytics and the CoStar Group shows sales volumes declining in most of the core CRE sectors (excluding only industrial and hospitality) as investors grapple with high prices.
Risky Business: Softbank is using cash from its own balance sheet (a publicly traded company) to bail out its WeWork investment made via Vision Fund (a venture where most of the equity comes from Saudia Arabia’s and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds). Of course, this is a massive conflict of interest but that’s just how SoftBank (and WeWork) see to roll.
Changing Landscape: iBuyers are changing the real estate landscape for rental investors in a way that will have far-reaching consequences for years to come.
Tailwind: Falling interest rates have ignited the mortgage market back to pre-crisis levels as lenders extended $700 billion of home loans in the 3rd quarter.
Fixer Upper: With people staying in their homes longer, has remodeling become a better barometer for the direction of consumer spending than home building?
Hovering: Parents are now using tracking apps to watch their kids at college because parents are crazy AF. I can’t wait until they start demanding to talk to their kids’ bosses once they graduate college as well.
Denial: Hedge funds keep losing assets but continue to hire fundraisers in an attempt to raise more.
Recurring Revenue: Lyft is making a bid for customer loyalty with a monthly-fee-based subscription service. See Also: Uber is making a deeper push into financial services by making digital wallets and upgraded credit/debit cards available to drivers.
Chart of the Day
Homeowners’ mortgage debt service ratio is the lowest in decades. That’s not the case for the US consumer debt service ratio though.
There’s Hope for All of Us: In the feel good story of the day, a longtime vegetarian living in Australia succumbed to her craving for a hamburger while pregnant with her first child, got hooked and has now started a new career as a butcher.
Realistic Fear: A South Carolina man (allegedly) stabbed a woman out of fear that she would feed him to zombies because drugs.
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