Selma Hepp joins the ranks of top housing economists as she fills the position of Trulia’s newest chief economist.

Hepp fills the position of former Chief Economist Jed Kolko, who announced he would be leaving the company back in February after three and a half years in the position. The past news came just days after the online real estate company made official that Zillow (Z) was acquiring it. 

Selma comes to Trulia from the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors where she oversaw research and analysis of housing market and economic trends, surveys and the impact of real estate related regulatory and legislative policy.

“Over the years, I’ve admired the prolific and creative insights that Trulia uncovered about the housing market. I am thrilled to lead Trulia’s housing economics research team and am excited to build on the great work that has already been done. Under my leadership, Trulia will continue to publish new research that will help house hunters understand which trends really matter,” Hepp said.

Hepp served as a senior economist at C.A.R. and as an economist and manager of public policy and homeownership at NAR.

Additionally, she has worked as a research associate at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education.

Selma collaborates with the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate and the Realtor University Center for Real Estate Studies.

She earned her master of arts in economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning and design from the University of Maryland.

Both Stan Humphries, the current Zillow chief economist, and Kolko, welcomed her to the new position. 

Hepp is already dabbling in her own share of house hunting as she makes the move from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay area, which she blogs about here. Despite trying to move into one of the most notoriously expensive and unaffordable housing metros, she remains optimistic.

She writes:

I was able to find a sublease for a studio apartment in North Beach for three months – which would give me some time to really get to know the city and consider other locations around the Bay Area (many of my friends and colleagues suggested that I check out Oakland). But for now, I’m in love with my new home. In the coming months, I plan on soaking in all that San Francisco has to offer as I think about new ways of helping home buyers, sellers, and renters understand the housing market – all while enjoying my new view.

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