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Homebuyers Becoming More Cynical About Election

Writing on Paper BHMore than one-quarter of homebuyers believe that the 2016 presidential election, which is only five months away, will adversely affect the housing market, according to a survey conducted by Redfin.

In a survey of 975 homebuyers in 36 states and Washington, D.C., 27 percent of respondents said they believe the outcome of November's election will have a negative impact on housing—an increase of 12 percentage points since the last such survey in February, according to Redfin.

Housing has not exactly been at the forefront of issues during each candidates’ campaign, though two out of the three remaining candidates have rolled out plans to increase the five-decade-low homeownership rate. The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has not said anything about housing policy; the closest he has come to housing is saying that he would completely overhaul the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act if he is elected. Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, introduced a plan in February that involves a housing investment of $25 billion dollars and is dedicated to “lifting more families into sustainable homeownership and connecting housing to opportunity.” Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan in April that includes expanding affordable housing initiatives and significantly raising the minimum wage.

“While homeowner anxiety over the election is clearly mounting, the likelihood of an immediate shock to the market is rather slim,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “It will take considerable time for our next commander in chief to implement policies that have any impact on housing. That said, the next president will inherit the lowest homeownership rate in 48 years and so far the voters have heard little to nothing about what the candidates will do to improve their chances of becoming homeowners. Candidates need to start discussing housing on the campaign trail now.”

“Candidates need to start discussing housing on the campaign trail now.”

Nela Richardson, Chief Economist, Redfin

According to Redfin, the 40 percent of survey respondents were millennials and 37 percent were first-time homebuyers. In addition to more homebuyers believing that the election results will negatively affect housing, the share of respondents who believe the election will have no effect on the housing market dropped significantly from the last survey in February (from 75 percent to 63 percent), indicating that more homebuyers believe the election will affect housing.

Meanwhile, 1 percent of survey respondents said they will absolutely leave the country if the candidate they endorse is not elected president in November. Another 9 percent said they would either consider or seriously consider leaving the country.

Approximately 28 percent of respondents said they believe that a candidate other than Trump, Clinton, or Sanders would better serve the housing market. Sanders had the edge among survey respondents as to which of the remaining three candidates would serve housing the best (26.5 percent endorsed Sanders).

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.
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