With the most contentious election in modern history bearing down upon us, many buyers and sellers are feeling understandably uncertain about the country's economic future. And with that uncertainty, you might start to wonder:
“Should I wait until after the election to buy a home?”
“Should I stop trying to sell my house until after this election?”
Let's see if we can clear this up a bit.
There is some data suggesting that elections can lower housing profits in certain areas:
According to a study of real estate in California going back to 1980, housing prices during presidential election years rise 1.5% less than other years. This might not seem like much, but let’s say your home is worth $166,000. Normally, you’d expect it to appreciate by $9,462 per year. But in an election year, that home would sell for only $7,462 more—or $2,000 less than usual.
But before you jump to any conclusions based on that alone, check out what the experts say:
“I don’t think it’s a wise idea to try to time any markets, especially housing,” says real estate expert Kurt Westfield at WCE Equity Group. “Housing markets are very localized, subject to microeconomic shifts. The election takes place on a much larger macroeconomic scale.”
Florida Realtor Cara Ameer points out that you may even be able to use the general sense of doubt and uncertainty to your advantage:
“If everyone projects doom and gloom because they fear what might happen and decide to delay selling, then it is a great time for you to put your home on the market and make that move,” she says. After all, less inventory means more opportunity for home sellers, which might lead to multiple offers and push up your selling price.
Likewise, if you’re a buyer, an election year is a great time to bargain hunt, because fewer home shoppers may mean sellers will be more willing to cut a deal.
Keep in mind that home prices are still determined by supply and demand in your area more than by the presidential election. Plus, this is still a great time to take advantage of mortgage interest rates at historic lows.
The bottom line: If you're ready to buy or sell a home, don't let election season's doubt and uncertainty hold you back.
Talk to an expert who can advise you about the supply and demand in your local area, and help you navigate the sale to maximize the advantages of the current market. If you've got questions, our team is always happy to help!