Influenza of 1918 and San Diego Real Estate

When the disease surfaced again that fall, it was far more severe. Scientists, doctors, and health officials could not identify this disease which was striking so fast and so viciously, eluding treatment and defying control. Some victims died within hours of their first symptoms.
             — The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 (National Archives)

Judging by the following sign on an abandoned downtown San Diego mortgage firm’s offices, the pricking of the San Diego real estate bubble was like arrival of the pandemic flu of 1918: It happened so fast that one firm was still hiring as it went bust.

san diego real estate mortgage bubble


  1. An interesting picture to go along with your overall bearish outlook on real estate, but the truth is that the aforementioned mortgage company moved down the street to take over a better real estate spot. How do I know this? I live down the street. I really wished they would have gone out of business though. Real estate brokers and their financing pals took over downtown a few years back driving up business rents and were more frequent than a Starbucks’ shop.

  2. Ah, they moved? If so, I stand corrected.

  3. Still, the picture tells an interesting story, even if inaccurate. :) Maybe they moved to make room for new hires.