Sean Locke

Real estate professionals can expect to see home sales scale back as election season approaches, based on expert analyses of previous election years.

According to Meyers Research, median home sales have fallen back 15% between October and November in the past 13 election years, dating back to 1980. Jonathan Miller, owner of Miller Samuel, has found that between 2008 and 2019, Manhattan co-ops would begin to fall back in July of federal election years, leading to a 13% weaker market in September.

The closer the election gets, the more likely its effects on housing, regardless of who the candidates are. In general, presidential races breed uncertainty in the housing market, which alters attitudes among home shoppers, sellers and investors and, thus, sways sale volumes and values.

In most markets, though, the rebound is quick, if not instantaneous as pent-up demand gushes out after clarity dawns in the Oval Office. “In December [following an election], and in the following year, the sales that are lost during November are recovered,” says Ali Wolf, director of economic research for Meyers Research. “It isn’t that consumers say, ‘I'm nervous, and I never want to buy.’ They say, ‘I'm nervous. Let's just wait to see how things play out.’”

Read More