The senior economist who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” after correctly predicting the 2008 financial crisis derided transplanted New Yorkers for moving “stupidly” to Sun Belt states during the pandemic.
Nouriel Roubini, an economics professor at New York University and CEO of consulting firm Roubini Macro Associates, thinks those who fled the Big Apple to Florida or Texas would have been wiser to move to the Midwest.
“A lot of real estate will be stuck because of global climate change,” Roubini told the “Odd Lots” podcast on Bloomberg. “People stupidly moved from New York to Miami and from San Francisco to Austin, but Florida will be flooded and Texas will be too hot to survive there.”
The latest data on migration trends from the past few years shows that tens of thousands of Americans have moved from high-tax states like New York, California and Illinois in favor of more affordable locations like Florida, Texas, the Carolinas and Georgia.
But Roubini thinks they made a mistake, telling “Odd Lots”: “Literally, there are maps that show that half of the U.S. in the next 20 years will be underwater on coasts or too hot, or droughts or wildfires, to be living in it. ”
“So there will have to be massive migration from the south and the coast to the only part of the US that will survive climate change. [which] it’s the Midwest for essentially Canada,” he said.
“So there will be trillions of dollars in real estate assets that will be damaged by essentially global climate change.”
Roubini urged investors to opt for real estate assets as well as short-term government bonds, inflation-linked bonds and gold. He said these are “assets that will protect them from inflation, political and geopolitical risks and environmental damage.”
Roubini said the real estate sector is “a good hedge against inflation as long as monetary policy is not too tight.”
He predicted that the Federal Reserve, which has aggressively raised interest rates in an effort to cool smoldering inflation, would eventually “fall” with the increases.
“I think real estate is going to outperform equities because of the nature of being a fixed supply type of asset, which is short-term,” Roubini predicted.
He urged investors to take climate change into account.
“You have to find the types of investments in the right parts of the United States,” Roubini said.
His comments were transcribed by Fortune.