News

Landmark Links November 5th – Anchored

Must Read: We often hear statistics about home supply expressed in months of inventory.  However, that statistic looks a whole lot worse – and perhaps a lot more telling when taking population into account.  Adjusted for population, the inventory of homes for sale is now near the lowest level in 37 years of record-keeping, according to housing-data firm CoreLogic Inc.  This seems to be a self perpetuating problem since it leads to higher prices, which in turn makes it more difficult for younger, traditionally upwardly-mobile people to move.  In other words, don’t expect a the trend to change anytime soon.

Economy

Subsidized: Nearly 40% of 2019 American farm income will come from federal aid and insurance thanks to the impact from tariffs.  In addition, farm bankruptcy filings are up more 24% from a year earlier, at their highest level since 2011.

It’s About Time: The US Treasury is exploring a issuing a 50-year bond for the first time.

Wait and See: The Federal Reserve cut rates again last week but indicated that, short of a substantial change in economic outlook, they are done cutting (or hiking, for that matter) for the foreseeable future.

Graying: China’s median age will overtake America’s in 2020, putting tremendous pressure on a populace that could grow old before it gets rich.

Commercial

In the Dark: Supermarket chains are building so-called dark stores that look like grocery stores but are closed to customers and only service delivery and pick-up business.  In addition, some grocers are re-configuring the back of their stores into micro-fulfillment centers that are dedicated to pick up and delivery.

Blow-Back: A growing boom in self storage in recent years is running up against resistance from local governments who view the market as over saturated with units that take up a substantial amount of land and generate limited new employment.

Enabler: Adam Neumann was always batshit crazy but it was SoftBank and their virtually unlimited capital that ultimately fueled the WeWork bonfire.

Residential

Direct Beneficiary: The only real winner so far in the China trade war has been the housing industry which has benefited immensely from dropping mortgage rates.  However, if/when a new trade deal is reached, rates are likely to spike again, likely extinguishing the rally.

Up In Smoke: California is plagued by two major issues: wildfires and a lack of affordable housing. Each problem exacerbates the other.

Pushing on a String: The housing market needs more than just low mortgage rates if volume is ever truly going to rebound.

Profiles

Time for a Reboot? The Nationals impressive run to win their first World Series after losing superstar Bryce Harper to the Phillies may mean that its time to recast the Ewing Theory as the Harper Theory.

Can’t Turn the Corner: Restaurants have based much of their recent growth on consumer deliveries.  However, a recent catastrophic quarter from market leader GrubHub cast doubt on whether the food delivery service will ever be able to turn a profit and is making the sector look like another gig-economy dead end.

Ringing in My Head: The song ‘Baby Shark’ has made millions for the family behind the infectious tune.  I’m conflicted about this.  On one hand I respect the hustle.  On the other, my kids are hooked and this tune has essentially taken over my inner monologue.

Chart of the Day

IMG_4059

Source: CoreLogic

WTF

Take a Bite Out of Crime: A college freshman at the University of Northern Colorado (allegedly) took acid and tried to bite a police officer’s groin when he was arrested for “acting aggressively.” (h/t Dave Clarke)

Holy Shit: A San Diego police officer was sucker punched by a Halloween reveler dressed as Jesus who apparently got into the holy water.

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

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