September 28, 2005

Uppity Academics

It’s doom and gloom Wednesday. Not only are the economists at UCLA’s Anderson school calling the peak of the California real estate market, they’re putting 50/50 odds on a statewide recession by the end of 2007.

California's housing boom appears to be peaking, and the resultant slowdown is expected to produce "weak growth" in the state's economy during the next two years and a possible recession by the end of 2007.

“There are some signs that the housing party is ending," said Christopher Thornberg, senior economist at the UCLA group and author of its California forecast.

Thornberg points to an almost doubling of homes on the market in the last six months, a flattening of sales activity and the increasing reliance on high-risk mortgages by buyers to acquire today's expensive homes. Property in California, he said, is now overvalued between 40% and 45%.

Although UCLA forecasters have consistently been more pessimistic about the housing boom and California's economy than many other analysts, their views are notable because they were among the first economists to predict the 2001 recession and to identify the current housing boom as a bubble.

Just remember, please don’t hate the player (or blame the messenger).

Peak for Housing Said to Be Near [LA Times]

First Published: September 28, 2005 11:30 AM

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