The Race Continues: Economic Growth vs. An Economic Tantrum-Week 19

Land Market Summary by Segment:

Retail Land:

In the economic history of the world we have never seen a company like Amazon. Its’ tentacles seem to reach everywhere on a global basis. The closest we can come in history is the “company stores” and the vertically integrated companies that existed in the early 1900’s.

That concentration of power in one company or a few hands led to the “Trust Busters” populist movement in the late 1800’s and 1900’s. They gave us President Teddy Roosevelt. Economic vitality was enhanced.

I don’t know if history will repeat itself. While I can see the benefits to the American consumer of Amazon, I worry about it becoming too great a concentration of power in one company. Monopolies maximize profit via high prices.

It is obvious that Amazon is having a huge negative impact on some segments of retail, causing the closing of stores and creating unemployment. That will have an impact on the value of retail land… in some market segments.

Currently, we continue to see a demand for individual retail sites in higher income areas, but price sensitivity is occurring. Moderate and lower income areas have almost no demand for sites.

In these uncertain times, it is critical to remember that land is the source of all wealth. Every product that we humans consume originates with land. Not all tracts of land are equal in quality and portfolio management requires every investor to hold some cash for liquidity. But historically, long term the best investment is land.