The average household size is growing in San Diego because adult children are continuing to live at home, a trend that is slowing a recovery in the local housing market, according to a new report from National University.
The university’s Institute for Policy Research said in the report released Thursday that San Diego region’s average household size rose from 2.7 persons per household to 2.8 since the recession began in 2007. That’s because the percentage of 18-to-34-year-olds living with their parents increased from 27 percent to 31 percent.
“To a large extent, young people are choosing or being forced by circumstances to remain in their parents’ home longer than they would have in previous generations,” the authors wrote. “Until rates of household formation return to historic rates, San Diego’s residential housing economy is likely to remain stuck in 2nd gear and unlikely to be the jobs engine it has been in years past.”
San Diego County’s population has grown by 129,926 since the recession, an increase of 4.2 percent. In contrast, the number of households grew only 1.7 percent. If San Diego’s average household size remained the same as in 2007, some 27,500 more households would have been added.
The combination of lower household formation, high unemployment and tightened lending standards crushed the local residential building economy, according to the report. From an average of 15,000-16,000 new housing units added per year, residential construction countywide cratered to lows around 3,000 and rose to only 8,315 in 2013, little more than half of the pre-recession level.
Employment in construction and other housing-related areas is starting to increase, but remains some 40,000 jobs less than before the recession, according to the report.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: