Economist Christopher Thornberg: Sonoma County’s economic recovery hinges on home building

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Subscribe

Sounding optimistic about Sonoma County’s ongoing recovery from last year’s devastating wildfires, respected economist Christopher Thornberg on Thursday urged local business leaders and elected officials to keep building houses.

Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, a Los Angeles economic research firm, acknowledged in his remarks during the county’s annual economic forecast breakfast that the wildfires pushed the North Bay housing shortage into a “crisis.”

Indeed, more than 5,200 homes countywide were destroyed in October 2017 during the Tubbs wildfire, the most destructive in California history. Thornberg projected Sonoma County would end up approving 2,500 to 2,600 building permits in 2018, a “fantastic” figure he said represented “a giant surge” in construction.

“My only wish for this community is that you make that same number appear for the next four years,” he said. “Because you should take this momentum and keep it going. It’s not just about rebuilding. It should be ‘rebuilding’ directly into ‘building.’”

Last November, in the wake of the historic Tubbs fire that ravaged the county, Thornberg urged local business leaders to rebuild soon to maintain economic growth. Data since then, he said, has shown the area’s economy has weathered the short-term chaos in the aftermath of the blaze.

“This region has pulled together, and you’re bouncing like nobody’s business,” said Thornberg, who made his 15th appearance at the county’s yearly economic breakfast. “It’s all about maintaining that particular momentum.”

The event, hosted by the county’s Economic Development Board, was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park.

Show Comment

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine