Did you know that there’s a Real Estate department at UC Berkeley? No, we don’t mean that Cal or the Regents are buying up foreclosed homes nearby. There is an actual academic department that studies and teaches real estate.
As an academic discipline.
To, among other students, real estate “professionals.”
At UC Berkeley.
The crown jewel of our taxpayer-funded college system.
Yes, there is an actual place called the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics and it’s part of Cal’s Haas School of Business. Here’s their mission statement:
The mission of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics (FCREUE) is to educate students and real estate professionals and to support and conduct research on real estate, urban economics, the California economy, land use, and public policy.
Well, that doesn’t have to be a crisis signifying the lack of integrity of academia, does it? If they study real estate in a disciplined, methodical and rigorous manner, the subject could certainly be well worth the effort.
Then again, maybe not.
In Tuesday’s SJ Mercury News, Professor Emeritus Kenneth T. Rosen, who is the chairman of the Fisher center, was quoted for a story on the improvement of home values in the second quarter . Let’s listen in on his brilliant observations on the problem of a stalled regional housing market due to negative equity:
“It’s becoming less negative as house prices are going up around the Bay Area… It only affects those people who bought at the peak two or three years. Part of the reason they have negative equity is that they borrowed a lot of money.”