Do presidential elections hurt home sales?

July 29, 2016 – Unease and nervousness over the contentious presidential race is convincing many Americans to hold off on buying or selling a home until after Election Day on Nov. 8.

This is hardly a new phenomenon. Realtors have long noticed that homebuyers and sellers cool their heels during presidential election years.

“People do use an election as an excuse to delay selling or buying a home,” says Florida Realtor Cara Ameer in a article. “Having worked in real estate through several presidential election cycles, I have observed that it can seem harder in an election year to move properties. People have fears and concerns, whether perceived or real, about an election outcome that may have them putting their real estate process on pause.”

A political campaign also has two candidates who tend to talk about all the things wrong with the economy along with other issues. That constant messaging, whether true or not, can also make Americans pause and think.

However, that also makes an election year a great time to buy or sell a home says Ameer.

After all, less inventory means more opportunity for home sellers, which might lead to multiple offers and push up the selling price.

While a national phenomenon, an election may not impact local sales, however.

Housing markets are very localized, subject to microeconomic shifts, while the election takes place on a much larger macroeconomic scale, says real estate expert Kurt Westfield at WCE Equity Group. In other words, the presidential election may have nothing to do with home prices in a particular area, and be determined more by simple supply and demand.

With interest rates remaining low, says Ameer, “this definitely seems to be the year of buying a home, no matter what candidate ultimately wins.”

Source: (07/25/16) Dutton, Judy

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