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By Eric Heinz
Much of what was presented at the South Orange County Economic Coalition (SOCEC) presentation at the Outlets at San Clemente on Feb. 23 has been foreseen.
It’s still difficult for many people (at least for Millennials) to afford to buy a home, interest rates on home loans are likely going to rise, and the general population is getting older.
Anthony Teng, the dean of Advanced Technology and Applied Science at Saddleback College, gave a presentation that outlined some of the economic factors likely to affect South Orange County in 2018 and beyond.
Regional population age demographics have also been a concern, as Teng said many younger families are not able to afford buying houses either.
“We have some affordable housing, but most of it in South Orange County is high dollars,” Teng said. “The dollars get larger and the time on the market gets longer. Affordable housing sells fast, under 30 days. If they can’t find the real estate or housing here, they have to leave.”
San Clemente’s average home selling price is just under $1 million; Dana Point is about $1.2 million and San Juan Capistrano is about $946,000.
Inventory of homes on the market is another problem contributing to affordability, Teng said.
In summation, SOCEC stated economic growth is expected to rise 1.75 to 2.25 percent, but with interest rates increasing as well.
Following Teng’s presentation, Steve Craig, president and CEO of Craig Realty Group, which owns the Outlets at San Clemente; Ian Pullan, the vice president and general manager of Monarch Beach Resort; and Steven Thomas, the founder of Reports on Housing, gave a panel discussion related to their specific fields of expertise.
SOCEC serves 11 cities in South Orange County.
As the SOCEC is a supporter of the toll road traffic alleviation projects proposed in San Clemente, City Council did not send a representative from the dais. City Attorney Scott Smith was the only visible representative from the city.
The Toll Roads issue was not really addressed, with the coalition instead presenting a “need for transportation infrastructure to support economic growth.”
The full economic report for the year will be completed sometime in September.