What you need to know about this years election and real estate

October 1, 2020 by DRG

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging times of our lives. A worldwide pandemic, a recession causing historic unemployment, and a level of social unrest perhaps never seen before have all changed the way we live. Only the real estate market seems to be unaffected, as a new forecast projects there may be more homes purchased this year than last year.

As we come to the end of this tumultuous year, we’re preparing for perhaps the most contentious presidential election of the century. Today, it’s important to look at the impact past presidential election years have had on the real estate market.

And even more important, now is the time to remember that your vote counts! We are just about a month away from an election that is sure to shape the future of our nation. Near the end of the article, be sure to check out how you can get involved in this year’s election and get the resources you need to make sure you are registered to vote and know your voting options.

But before we jump into that, let’s take a look at how past elections have impacted the real estate market.

Is there a drop-off in home sales during a presidential election year?
BTIG, a research and analysis company, looked at new home sales from 1963 through 2019 in their report titled One House, Two House, Red House, Blue House. They noted that in non-presidential years, there is a -9.8% decrease in November compared to October. This is the normal seasonality of the market, with a slowdown in activity that’s usually seen in fall and winter.

However, it also revealed that in presidential election years, the typical drop increases to -15%. The report explains why:

“This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty.”

Are those sales lost forever?
No. BTIG determined:

“This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

In a separate study done by Meyers Research & Zonda, Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, agrees that those purchases are just delayed until after the election:

“History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year.”

Will it matter who is elected?
To some degree, but not in the overall number of home sales. As mentioned above, consumer confidence plays a significant role in a family’s desire to buy a home. How may consumer confidence impact the housing market post-election? The BTIG report covered that as well:

“A change in administration might benefit trailing blue county housing dynamics. The re-election of President Trump could continue to propel red county outperformance.”

Again, overall sales should not be impacted in a significant way.

Bottom Line
If mortgage rates remain near all-time lows, the economy continues to recover, and unemployment continues to decrease, the real estate market should remain strong up to and past the election.

The Voting Information You Need

COVID-19 has changed a lot of things this year, including how we vote. Here is what you need to know to make sure you can successfully cast your vote.

Some polling locations have moved

Due to COVID-19, many polling places have moved. All polling locations will still be open from 7am – 8pm on November 3rd. Be sure to check your polling place before you go vote. To find your polling location, simply follow this link, follow the prompts and you will receive information on your polling location if you plan to vote in person.

Voting by Mail

A common question people have is if they can bring their mail in ballot to their polling location, and the answer is NO. You cannot drop your ballot off at a polling place on Election Day.

Your options are to bring it to a ballot drop-off site by 3 p.m. or vote at your polling place with a new ballot instead.

Remember, the state on Minnesota is recommending you apply by Tuesday, October 20th in order to ensure you receive your mail in ballot and can get it back in time for election day.

You can vote in person as long as we have not yet received and counted your mail ballot. When you get to your polling place, we will check if it has been counted. If it has not been counted, you will be given a new ballot. Your mail ballot will be canceled and will not count (even if we receive it later).

If you have any other questions regarding mail in voting, please visit this link.

What if I am not registered to vote?

One of the great benefits about living in Minnesota, is we can register to vote on election day! If you need to register or update your registration, you will need to show proof of residence. Certain types of ID can be your proof of residence, but there are other options that don’t require an ID. Be sure to read all your options and come prepared.

You can also register online! It’s a quick and easy way to get registered prior to election day.

If your voter registration is current, you do not need to bring identification. This means you were successfully registered at least 21 days before Election Day and you have not moved or changed names since then. To confirm you are all set, check your registration status online.

For all other questions related to this year’s election, be sure to visit Minneapolis’ website.

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