Since the horse race to elect our 58th president dominates much of my Twitter feed, I thought I’d do a little research on how it impacts the other major feature of my feed: residential real estate.
One article I read said presidential elections really don’t effect real estate; the economy and consumer confidence does. Another one did some analysis and concluded U.S. home prices rise slightly less quickly during election season. It theorized the stress people feel during elections softens the market a bit.
After some thought, I concluded the question is flawed. There are national elections, but the national real estate market exists only in theory. There isn’t really a Massachusetts real estate market, either. It’s all local.
In Boston, sales in Downton Crossing or Beacon Hill can’t be compared to East Boston or Hyde Park. Every neighborhood is different.
It’s interesting to look at the data and ponder what effect a presidential election, especially one as mercurial as the current one, has on real estate. However, the things that are happening in and around a particular market have a far greater impact on home sales than anything going on outside of it.
That is, with the exception of interest rates. When they eventually rise, that’s going to tap the brakes on prices and sales, but the consensus is that presidential elections historically haven’t significantly impacted the mortgage market (which is national).
Real estate agents consistently say the best time to buy or sell is now. There’s no data to back that up, but it’s pretty clear that if history is any guide, neither the election nor the campaign will have a big impact on the real estate markets in Massachusetts.