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How a Donald Trump presidency could help -- and hurt -- San Diego

Posted at 6:14 PM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-09 21:31:05-05

SAN DIEGO - Many working San Diegans are now asking what a Donald Trump presidency means for their jobs, paychecks and ability to buy a home.

Lynn Reaser, a former chief economist at Bank of America, said San Diegans could benefit, but also take a hit, from Trump's policies.

She said Trump wants to increase infrastructure spending, which could mean better paying jobs and wage gains in San Diego -- and that's in addition to more defense spending.

However, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act could cost some jobs, but everything is still uncertain.

"Just because, I think, whenever you have a new person in office there's going to be a lot of new changes, new policies, that I'm not sure what the repercussions of either would be at the time," said Megan Thiesse, a senior at Point Loma Nazarene University, who will soon be looking for a job.

The average San Diegan now earns about $26.50 an hour, and that's not always enough to support a family, cover the rising rents and save enough for a down payment on a home.

The median price is now nearly $500,000.

Reaser, now chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University, said it's uncertain whether Trump's policies would help people buy a home.

The Federal Reserve has been keeping interest rates low since the Great Recession, but its board has two open spots, and Chair Janet Yellen's term expires in 2018.

Reaser said Trump will likely pick people who want to bring rates back up to normal.

"As a saver you should see higher interest rates, which will be good news for savers, but also means for borrowers, such as people looking for a home mortgage, that higher rates would be coming, and they better lock in some lower rates now," she said.

The average savings account is paying interest of less than one-tenth of one percent. Meanwhile, the average rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage is 3.5 percent, among the lowest in history.