Question Details

Ginger R., Home Seller in Massachusetts

Ok, this may not be politically correct, so to speak....

Asked by Ginger R., Massachusetts Fri Jan 11, 2008

Any predictions as to what effect the upcoming presidential election will have on the real estate market?

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First….my disclaimer….I am not an economist. This question was posted to a consumer and RE Pro Q&A Board, and responses from individuals who are not economists is expected. I don’t profess to have the answers, and herein share my predictions with my thoughts that support my reasons and expectations.

Second….I am confused by all the thumbs down. I respect Ginger’s collective contributions on Trulia, and think she asked a good question. The responses reflect the personal viewpoints of the responders. I am a bit confused why one or more persons have found every answer “not useful.”

As Catherine indicated in her response, it isn’t just about interest rates, it is about buyer confidence. The real estate market hasn’t been much the hot topic in the political arena, although it does hit the top tiers for the news media and internet searches.

When the woes of the real estate industry and mortgage industry domino to more substantially impact the economy at large, it will become a bigger topic in the political arena. Just like rapid appreciation in real estate markets fueled a wealth effect that caused a boost to the economy and influenced consumers to spend, a slow down in real estate will have the inverse effect. If (and when?) financial markets are impacted, credit markets for auto and credit cards are impacted, and consumer spending cuts back, it will capture much attention on the political front.

How our real estates markets across the country collectively perform ultimately plays a huge factor in our economy. We must travel further through the current cycle in the real estate market before the impact of its reach into other sectors of our economy is felt. It is that bigger picture that will garner greater attention as we progress through this election year. It’s good that it is an election year since that places response and action plans in high gear. Overall, I think the influence of the election year will be positive. I expect more talk about the economy as our election campaign continues, with more discussions about economy and the role real estate plays in our total economy. I expect consumers to feel more confident as a result of an administration change. If it were just about the interest rates, we wouldn’t have buyers sitting on the sidelines right now.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
The Treasury Department and Fed Chairmen Bernakke will effect this more than who wins. If the election brings consumer confidence than the psychology is changed and that will help more than anything else.

Watch for changes in Mortgage reform. That will have a huge impact on getting this thing kick started again. Nothing is going to be easy or fats on this one but i think 2009 looks pretty good over all.

Best wishes;

Dirk Knudsen
"The Real Estate Doctor"
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
It will have a positive effect on the market.
Sure the Treasury Department and Fed Chairmen Bernakke
control the interest rates. But the interest rates are at 40
year lows and the consumers still have no confidence. Contrast the
8 years under Clinton and the current 8 years under Bush.
If the right party gets into office they have the power
To change opinion and perception. In ways that may not be apparent.
Look at what Bill Clinton’s administration did in 8 years. His government started
out with a huge deficit and when he left office there was a surplus. Bush strated out
with a surplus and now we are in a biggest deficit in our history.

The government has to be for the people not the corporations.
When you start lifting up the middle class and the
UNITED STATES starts feeling positive and moving in positive
Directions, only then it will have an effect on every market.

The housing industry has tentacles in so many areas of our economy,
when its starts moving, so does everything else.

There is a lot of pent up buyer demand, not only for homes but
environmental products to save the earth. Canada and other countries
get it, they are way ahead of the US coming to the table with ideas
to go green. If people want to move the markets they need to start
consuming products that are green and quit buying products that hurt our
Earth and enviroment. Going green is a way of saving the earth and
stimulating market growth.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
Who controls the banking world? the dem or the pubs? That'll give you some indication of what will happen as one of them needs to release the strings of the credit world.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2008
If the country is optimistic after an election, then we would expect any pickup to occur after November 2008, rather than "in the second half of the year", wouldn't we?

I don't personally think the election will have much of an impact, because the private sector (builders, big lenders, etc) and the Fed (which is somewhat independent) are the biggest players, and any changes to the GSEs by the next administration will take a while to take effect.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 11, 2008
Obviously, it depends on which candidate gets elected, but historically speaking, the country usually is optomistic after a presidential election and the housing market follow suit. That is why most observers are forecasting a decent market during the second half of the year. With interest rates where they currently are (around 6%) and buyers starting to make decisions, I wouldn't wait to put my house on the market until after the election. I would try to position my home to take advantage of the spring market.

If I can help please contact me at
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 11, 2008
That has something to do with who gets elected. But I would say, unless the undetermined winner, blows it big time, the election will have very little impact on the market.

Presidents usually inherit more than they influence an economy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 11, 2008
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