By late Tuesday, the blazes had burned 420,424 acres — about 656 square miles — and destroyed 1,155 homes, making them nearly as large as the fires in October 2003 that are considered the biggest in California history. Although only one death has been directly attributed to the fires, five others have been linked to them.
There was an interesting economic take on the eventual aftermath of the Southern California fires. In Tom Sullivan’s article Beyond the Flames in this week’s Barrons. Here’s synopsis from Seeking Alpha California’s Economy May Get Post-Fire Boost.
“It’s an oddity of economic accounting…but the sharp initial pain could possibly turn into long-term stimulus,” says Alan Gin, an economics professor at the University of San Diego. How? Insurers will absorb the bulk of losses, and the eventual rebuilding boom, helped by a generous doses of federal aid, is sure to pump hundreds of millions into the Golden State.
It looks like the region is going to need it. According to the RPX Monthly Housing Report that I author for Radar Logic, the data and analytics firm, the San Diego market has seen one of the largest price declines over the past year.
The decline in housing impacts everyone employed within the real estate industry, including construction workers, contractors/trades, architects, landscapers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, lawyers and probably a slew of other professions and occupations I can’t think of at the moment. This silver-lining scenario is not a zero-sum situation, but at least the potential economic stimulus is better than nothing.