Housing and the 2016 Presidential Election

September 28, 2016

What will the next four years look like if the housing market impacts your vote for president? GBSS and the Closing Table Blog examine the options.

During Monday night’s debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump responded to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s assertions that he “rooted for the housing crisis” by saying it was “called business.”


Back in May, Zillow surveyed more than 100 economists, real estate experts, and academics in the United States about their predictions for home value growth in the next four years. By and large, the respondents forecasted a 3 to 4 percent increase in home values between 2016 and 2020.

Broken down by year, the panelists’ estimations for the rate home value appreciation would go from 4 percent in 2016 to 3.4 percent in 2017, just over 3 percent in 2018 and 2019, and 2.8 percent in 2020. So while the rate of increasing value will slow from our current rate, home values are expected to close out between 10 and 24 percentage points higher in 2020 than in 2016.

Not surprisingly, these estimates changed when the surveyed panelists were asked about Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton. Of the panelists expressing an opinion, 45 percent reported that a Trump presidency would very negatively or somewhat negatively impact their expectations for future home value growth. Thirty-three percent reported that, as president, Hillary Clinton would have a somewhat or very positive effect on their home value forecasts.

Sixteen percent of respondents said their forecast expectations would be impacted somewhat or very positively if Trump were elected and somewhat or very negatively if Clinton were elected.

In July, Trulia released results from its own housing survey. According to 39 percent of respondents, housing prices are likely to rise a little or a lot if Trump were elected, as compared to 29 percent of respondents saying the same should Clinton be elected.

Trump has voiced the possibility of eliminating the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development if he is elected. HUD is the primary federal source of funding for affordable housing.

Interestingly, an increase in home values is not necessarily an indicator that the housing market is in good shape. Trulia points out the importance of considering what (or who) would have the most positive net effect on the housing market, meaning that home values could increase with certain policies but that the market as a whole might not be thriving.

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