Will the Election of Donald Trump Affect Washington DC Real Estate Market?

It’s been four weeks, almost a month since the election of Donald J. Trump, and in 44 days he will be sworn in as President of the United States. Some say this is unprecedented, but this presidential transition of power is one Washington knows well. One family moves out; another family moves in. And with each, the thousands (3000 to be specific) move out, and in. That’s not even to mention Congress and the moving and shaking that happens outside the executive branch.

Where it’ll stop, nobody knows. Because people are moving.

Now, sure, some of who will fill these soon-to-be vacated executive and legislative positions already live in Washington DC and parts of the great metropolitan area, and some who leave their jobs will stay, but a majority — at least half will move to rent or buy anew in our area.

Elections years past suggest a boost for Washington’s real estate market.

David Howell writing for The Washington Post makes a valid argument when he says that a new job isn’t enough, alone, to incite the purchase of a home: “Individuals do not make a decision to purchase a home in a vacuum. Just moving to the area to take a new job — even a new job on the Hill or in the executive branch — does not cause a person to ignore overall market conditions or their personal circumstances.”

After a sluggish 2016, with an increase of just 2.7 percent in home sales over the previous year, Howell’s position is conservative. A look at the Washington DC real estate market in years following the election of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, however, indicate that the President and his goings on can have significant impact on growth.

The following content was originally published by the Economists’ Outlook blog at the National Association of Realtors on October 5, 2016.

  • …in the first year of Clinton’s presidency, home sales increased by 2 percent in Washington, DC metro area from the previous year. However, sales increased by 12 percent one year after the elections.
  • In 2004, …single-family home sales reached a peak in Washington, DC metro area. As a result, median home price for the months November through March rose to $348,915 in 2004 from $272,314 a year earlier (28 percent increase).
  • During the second inauguration of Obama, home sales in the Washington, DC metro area rose by 11 percent from a year earlier… while the median home price increased to $320,468.

And as history tends to repeat itself, Washington should expect increased home sales, and higher home prices, too.

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