Do Elections Impact the Housing Market?

How the 2024 Presidential Election Could Affect Your Home Buying or Selling Plans

With the 2024 Presidential election just months away, you might be wondering what effect, if any, this major event will have on the housing market. It’s a natural concern, especially if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home. Let's dive into what typically happens to home sales, prices, and mortgage rates during election years.

Home Sales During Election Years

Historically, Presidential elections have a small, temporary impact on home sales. According to Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, November usually sees a slight slowdown in home sales during election years. This happens because some people feel uncertain and hesitant about making big decisions during such a pivotal time. 

However, this slowdown is typically short-lived. Home sales tend to bounce back in December and continue to rise the following year. Data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that after nine of the last eleven Presidential elections, home sales increased the following year.

Home Prices and Elections

Do home prices drop during election years? Not typically. As Ryan Lundquist, a residential appraiser and housing analyst, points out, an election year doesn’t usually change the existing price trend in the market. Home prices generally rise year-over-year, regardless of elections.

The latest data from NAR shows that after seven of the last eight Presidential elections, home prices increased the following year. The only exception was during the housing market crash, which was far from a typical year. So, if you’re worried about your home losing value because of an election, you can rest easy knowing that prices usually rise after most Presidential elections.

What About Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage rates are crucial because they directly impact your monthly payments when buying a home. Looking at the last eleven Presidential election years, data from Freddie Mac shows mortgage rates decreased from July to November in eight of them. Most forecasts expect mortgage rates to ease slightly throughout the remainder of this year. If they’re right, this year will follow the trend of declining rates leading up to most previous elections. This could be good news for you if you’re looking to buy a home in the coming months, as lower rates could mean a lower monthly payment.

What This Means for You

The big takeaway is that while Presidential elections do have some impact on the housing market, the effects are usually small and temporary. As Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist at Bright MLS, says, “Historically, the housing market doesn’t tend to look very different in presidential election years compared to other years.” For most buyers and sellers, elections don’t have a major impact on their plans.

Bottom Line

While it’s natural to feel a bit uncertain during an election year, history shows the housing market remains strong and resilient. If you’re considering buying or selling a home and have concerns about how the upcoming election might affect your plans, let’s connect. I can help you navigate the market and make the best decisions for your situation, election year or not.

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