As a home seller or buyer, you might be wondering: Will the 2016 Presidential election affect the real estate market? The answer is Yes. And No.
YES, the next President of the United States will have the opportunity to have a direct impact on the real estate market. For example, the current administration looked to solve the high foreclosure problem with the Home Affordable Refinance Program. So it’s a good idea to follow the candidates’ proposed real estate policies. The National Association of Realtors remarks that Hillary Clinton has addressed current and future issues impacting real estate in a number of her speeches, including tax policy changes and secondary mortgage reform. “While Donald Trump’s only real estate-specific comments have been focused on building a wall,” says NAR.
According to Market Watch, an online source of statistics about the national housing market, history shows that election years have a direct impact on the stock market’s S&P 500 Index, which is where a lot of buyers store reserves for real estate purchases. Election years can increase the stock market’s “October surprises,” however this month has been relatively calm. “Hillary’s late October lead has settled-down a lot of investors,” reports Market Watch, “but if Trump surges, markets will react. The stock market likes nothing less than instability—which he is a personification of.”
Real Estate Magazine, produced by California’s Association of Realtors, quoted an industry expert as saying, “If Trump were elected, the world markets will react. Money will be lost. People will, most likely, recover losses—but how much will be lost and how long to recover? No one knows. We are in an unprecedented situation where the world has an opinion of what the right choice for our country is. Hang on to your hats.”
Market Watch feels the specifics of a national election matter, but says all election years are tricky. “The months preceding a national election have proven to slow a surging real estate market. Give people a reason to ‘wait and see’ and a lot of times they will do just that—especially when prices are at or near record highs. The election gets more people wondering what’s going to change. So they temporarily hesitate or jump in to buy, depending on their opinion of what’s going to happen if Nominee A or B gets elected.”
And there’s where the NO comes in. Real estate’s ups and downs are also about consumer confidence. Will rates go up? Will there be jobs? The presidential election merely reflects the current state of the Union. “If the economy that year is believed to be strong, markets do well and consumers confidently spend on housing,” says Watch. “If the year is weak, hesitation sets in. Inventory sits. Prices drop accordingly.”
Watch continues: “Economic growth remained subpar in 2015 and so far in 2016, but housing inventory was suppressed and caused higher prices. Most economists aren’t seeing pricing—or inventory—changing on a national scale in 2017.”
Real Estate Magazine says, “People still buy when change occurs: marital changes, trade ups/downs, family expansion, deaths, education, and job change are all drivers. Not everyone is playing the market or pinning their hopes on who will be the next Commander in Chief.”
Next week: How Jerry Brown is actively changing California’s real estate marketplace.