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Is the U.S. presidential election slowing down home sales?

By Mike Wheatley | July 28, 2016

What with the Presidential Election dominating the headlines and airwaves, one expert believes that the drama may be deterring some homeowners and buyers from making a move until its all finished.

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Photo Credit: changsterdam via Compfight cc

Interestingly, it’s not unusual for elections to cause some buyers and sellers to wait. “Realtors have long noticed that home buyers and sellers cool their heels during presidential election years,” notes an article in Realtor.com.

The article also points out that many worry about what impact the new administration will have on real estate markets, and the economy in general. As such, many figure it’s better to wait and see what happens before making a move.

Indeed, “people do use an election as an excuse to delay selling or buying a home,” said Cara Ameer, a real estate professional in Florida. “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.”

Historical statistics back up Ameer’s hypothesis. In a study of Californian real estate listings that goes back to 1980, it was found that home prices rise about 1.5 percent less in election years than ‘normal’ years. So, for example, a home worth $166,000 would sell for $7,462 more, but $2,000 less than if it was a non-election year.

However, not every expert agrees with Ameer’s theory. Kurt Westfield, a real estate expert at WCE Equity Group, told Realtor.com that it’s not a wise idea to try and time markets, especially real estate markets.

“Housing markets are very localized, subject to microeconomic shifts,” he points out. “The election takes place on a much larger macroeconomic scale.”

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected]
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