Thornberg Going Independent
According to this article, real estate economist Christopher Thornberg has left The UCLA Anderson Forecast to start his own business. Does this mean he will be more free to speak his mind vis-à-vis the housing bubble affecting much of California? He has already proven himself to be one to "call it the way he sees it"; just check out this video. Is Christopher Thornberg to the housing bubble what Robert Shiller was to the tech stock bubble?
Some choice quotes:
Some choice quotes:
Bearish real estate economist Christopher Thornberg, who says the Southern California housing market is a bubble beginning to pop, has left UCLA Anderson Forecast to strike out on his own.
"I wanted to start my own business and do things I wasn't able to do before," said Thornberg.
His new consulting firm, Los Angeles-based Beacon Economics, will prepare forecasts for regions he thinks are underserved, perhaps including San Diego, the Inland Empire, the Bay Area and Sacramento, Thornberg said. His partner at Beacon is San Francisco economist Jon D. Haveman of the Public Policy Institute of California.
Thornberg was one of the first economists to declare that the housing market was peaking. He did so in September...
Other market observers now agree that the market is cooling but are uncertain about whether it will result in a "soft landing" that won't disrupt the economy. Thornberg said his expectations are growing more gloomy.
Thornberg... insists that the real estate market is dangerously puffed up... "Look at what your house was valued at three years ago and what it is now. Is it really worth 70% more? The answer is no," he said. "There is no way you can justify the math."
"My guess is we're going to have a hard landing," he said. "It's ugly out there."
There has been large-scale overbuilding of homes and condominiums nationwide, he said. "And here in Southern California we have had this massive price appreciation that is just not justifiable by any kind of standards of reasonable economics," he said.
With interest rates rising in recent months and sales declining, "the bubble is popping, just like a bubble is supposed to," he said.