The Post- Real Estate Boom Economy

Don Bauder has a typically wide-ranging and entertainingly cranky piece in the San Diego Reader on what a post-real estate boom San Diego economy will look like.

Right now, 7.27 percent of San Diego’s jobs are in construction, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. That’s up from 6.21 percent in 2002. Another 1.81 percent of local jobs represents people working in real estate offices, up from 1.67 percent in 2002.

So that means 9.08 percent of total jobs are in real estate, but that’s only part of the story. That percentage does not capture mortgage bankers and brokers — and the county is full of them now — or real estate entrepreneurs working on their own. It’s possible that close to 12 percent of San Diegans work in real estate one way or another. By contrast, a mere 1.7 percent work in biotech and 1.2 percent in computers and electronics.

As a related aside, I sometimes feel like San Diego County is more than merely “full” of mortgage bankers and brokers. Some Sorrento office buildings I’ve recently visited have been wall-to-wall with offices of such folks, making it feel more like an infestation than anything else.


  1. “Post real estate boom”?
    I was thinking of hacking up a greasemonkey script to substitute “market” for “bubble” on Infectious Greed, but now that you’re editing yourself, you’ve popped my enthusiasm for that hack :)

  2. Sadly, perhaps, I’m not editing myself — I wouldn’t know how — so you can be sure the word bubble (and bust, and crash, etc.) will appear again in future. After all, describing the recent U.S. enthusiasm for real estate merely as a “market” strikes me as clinical and bloodless, sort of like calling a Metallica concert “loud”. So … you better keep working on that GM script.
    Anyway, other than annoyance at such colorful and overused language’s lack of scientific definition — which is, I think you’ll concede, an over-high standard in the first place — what’s your real beef? Is it abuse of words like bubble and crash? If there are better short and blunt ways of describing historically-unusual rapid price appreciations and/or depreciations, I’d cheerfully hear …
    Then again, maybe you are an even more orthodox economist than I am in that you believe that market enthuasisms — read: bubbles and busts — don’t exist. And the words themselves? Placeholders from lazy, fear-mongering wordsmiths.

  3. 1.2 percent in computer/electronics ? 0.75 % or more would be courtesy qualcomm. I see an entire eco-system around our(qualcomm) offices in sorrento valley.

  4. Venkatesh,
    The eco-system you refer to may seem larger than it is. I think the question to ask here is how does San Diego County compare to other high-tech corridors (Boston, Silicon Valley)? And what can be done to encourage technology to grow as a percentage of the County’s jobs?