Saturday, March 28, 2015

Trend Czar

About This Blog

Unvarnished truth. Consultant Jonathan Miller (Miller-Ryan) has compelling views on the market, and he shares them with subscribers.
  • Potholed Thinking: What's More or Less

    More and Less The monthly jobs report tells a familiar story—the unemployment rate heads down, lots of new low wage jobs are created, the overall labor force has not grown appreciably as more baby boomers retire, and the small minority of people at the high end of the education scale (with graduate degrees) have the greatest opportunity to secure most of the wage gains, while everyone else treads water or loses ground… Employees of Wal-Mart,…

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  • The Real Threat To Malls

    America’s malls could be terrorist targets… That’s according to the head of U.S. Homeland Security… And this is supposed to be news as we approach 14 years after 9-11? Of course, Secretary Jeh Johnson was trying to make a point to a recalcitrant Congress that his agency needs to be funded to protect the country properly. Throwing a little scare into Americans might get their representatives to act. In particular, the warning signaled--watch out at…

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  • Productivity Without Wage Gains

    It’s always something, isn’t it? Now, the strong dollar restrains economic growth… Exports are off, imports are up… The trade gap widens... Savings from lower gasoline and heating prices offers some offset, but since a majority of Americans have little cushion in their bank accounts or retirement plans with many living pay check to pay check, spending is better but not off the charts.  After lagging in the post-recession malaise, car sales finally spurt. But…

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  • What is a Secondary Market?

    You know we are in the mature part of the cycle when institutional investors start hashing over just what is a secondary market. What they are really concerned about and trying to rationalize is buying assets in higher risk markets with suspect tenant depth and limited exit strategies if times go bad. And oh by the way that’s just about everywhere outside the leading 24-hour cities. It’s just a matter of degree of how risky…

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  • The Perennial Question: When Will Interest Rates Increase?

    It’s a new year (BTW a very Happy New Year to you) and the markets face the same question confronting them and us since recovery began.

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  • Convenience at a Price

    All the new apartment construction in-and-around the convention center in Washington DC is another example of sterile neighborhood development sweeping through our cities in a rush to create profitable 24-hour environments.

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  • Don't Get Greedy

    So to answer definitively the “What should I do now?” investment question previously posed, I say it’s time to hold with the caveat—sell anything sketchy or past its prime. I don’t think it’s a great time to buy and the always narrow development window is closing.

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  • "What Should I Do?"

    Some recent private chit-chat heard among a group of prominent real estate dealmakers: “Land prices are out of reach.” “I’m struggling with low yields.” “Opportunities are harder to find.” “You can’t make the numbers work on (building) condos.” “Not buying existing core assets.” “Spread compression is too much.” “It’s insane pricing on industrial.” “Underwriting is loosening.” “It’s a tremendous time to borrow.” “Debt has never been cheaper. “We’re seeing limited or no call protection--loans will come back to you.” …

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  • Infrastructure Spending Post Mid-terms: More of Less

    The new totally GOP-controlled Congress appears poised to continue the course for infrastructure policy set by the House during the last two sessions— in the politest terms that amounts to benign neglect. In fairness, most Democrats have been reluctant to raise the federal gas tax too or find other funding sources for the nation’s rapidly deteriorating roads, bridges and tunnels, not to mention rusting water lines and overtaxed sewage treatment systems as well as crumbling…

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  • Downtown LA Revival—For Millennials Only?

    You can pick up some of your most cogent, well-spoken market information from cab drivers… A hack in LA was no exception earlier this week. “It’s the smart young people who work hard and play hard who are moving into downtown.” And he should know—he shuttles them back-and forth between the Staples Center’s one-big open sports-bar scene and rental apartment towers, which spring up and shoehorn in among office buildings and decked parking garages east…

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