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Do Presidential Elections Affect Housing Prices?



When it comes to presidential elections, the prevailing wisdom seems to be that you should wait until after the election to purchase a home. As a realtor, I have heard this a few times. Each time I questioned the person to explain the basis of their opinion, they were only able to say that they heard it somewhere. I did some research on the effect of presidential elections on housing, not finding anything to support postponing the purchase of a home. In fact, it's my feeling that it's a good time to buy.

Based on my research there's only a slight correlation between real estate values and presidential election years. Currently, our interest rates are lower and the economy is better. According to a report by Greenfield Advisors from March 2016, the overall trend during election years has been that prices rise 1.5 percent less in an election year than in the prior year. It would be understandable that Washington, D.C., would be unique to the rest of the nation during election years due to changes in leadership—which would increase demand for housing that exceeds the available supply and therefore put upward pressure on prices. That seems to be the case in D.C., but nationwide the effect is minimal.

Research indicates that people are often stressed and feel a sense of uncertainty about elections and therefore tend to postpone purchases and other major decisions. If anything, this uncertainty has a downward effect on housing prices, thereby making it a good time to buy. The other good news is that any changes made by a new president will not really affect things for the first year which is typically a "window year." This is when adjustments are planned and new policies are implemented that are typically not effective until the following year.

Overall, election years are a good time for buyers, but perhaps slightly less good for sellers.

Housing Round-Up


2040 NE Monroe Ln., Bend, OR 97701

3 beds, 2 baths, 1,372 square feet

.17 acre lot

Built in 1990


Listed by Coldwell Banker Morris Realty


61336 Elkhorn St., Bend, OR 97701

3 beds, 2 baths, 1,656 square feet

.17 acre lot

Built in 2000


Listed by The Broker Network of Central Oregon


2315 NW Rawlins Ct., Bend, OR 97703

4 beds, 4.5 baths, 4,388 square feet

.79 acre lot

Built in 2005


Listed by Obsidian Real Estate Group

About The Author

Nick Nayne, Principal Broker

Principal Broker at The Broker Network Realty in Bend, OR. Over 12 years experience in Real Estate working with buyers, sellers and investment properties.

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