At PSAR’s 2015 Housing Market Overview, held in a packed room at the PSAR East County Service Center, Hepp told PSAR members that overall homeownership rates are declining throughout the state, especially among first-time buyers and millennials ages 18 to 34. “Even with improvements in the economy, our homeownership market is in trouble,” said Hepp.
Hepp also told PSAR members that an income of $93,593 was needed to purchase a median-priced home in 2014, a contrast to the 2012 amount of $56,324. She also said only about 27 percent of home shoppers in San Diego County were able to purchase a median-priced home during the 2014 fourth quarter.
Hepp said total student loan debt carried by younger Americans has nearly tripled over the past decade, resulting in another drag on home sales. Also, young adults are getting married and having children later in life, which has led to a delay in home purchases.
A 2014 survey of homebuyers asked which activities they would prefer instead of repeating the home mortgage process. Among the choices: gain 10 pounds (23 percent); spend 24 hours with the person you most dislike (12 percent); get a root canal (7 percent); spend a night in prison (7 percent).
At C.A.R., Hepp works with the Research and Economics Group, which produces comprehensive research and analysis of housing market and economic trends, member and consumer surveys and the impact of real estate regulatory and legislative policy. She is a recognized expert in the latest academic research in housing, as well as international housing markets.
Prior to joining CAR, she was an economist and manager of public policy and homeownership at the National Association of REALTORS®. She also worked as a research associate at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, and was an instructor at George Washington University.