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The housing market isn’t experiencing a ‘Trump bump’

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

Most of America’s housing markets are doing worse in Trump’s first year than the average of all four years of Obama’s second term.

Among 2,320 US counties, 56% are doing slightly worse than when Obama was in office, according to a new Trulia report.

Trulia used five indicators to create an index that calculates how a county has performed during Trump’s first year versus Obama’s final four. The indicators include the number of building permits per 1,000 households, the valuation of those permits, house price appreciation, rent appreciation, and change in the residential vacancy rate.

This report is a follow-up of a survey of 2,000 Americans last December, which investigated how Republicans and Democrats viewed the 2017 housing market.

Self-identified Democrats felt that 2017 would be a worse year for the housing market than 2016. Many Republicans felt a renewed sense of optimism about the future of housing.

A woman cycles past a house displaying a sign supporting U.S. President Donald Trump on Tangier Island, Virginia (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

Both blue and red counties are faltering

In this report, Trulia interpreted price and rent gains over the past 5 years as indicators of housing market recovery. To be sure, rising rents and prices hurt those looking to move, but they are also signs of a robust housing market.

The counties that Hillary Clinton carried in last year’s election are doing better than red counties when it comes to new construction. But, permit valuation, home values and rents are softening.

More U.S. counties saw higher levels of building permits under Trump than Obama. But despite permit approval, the value of those residential permits decreased in 67% of all counties.

It’s important to note that Trump has only been in office for nine months, so it can be a premature comparison. Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin also adds the caveat that housing market conditions are more closely tied to local and regional economies than the national economy.

The fact that housing is cooling under Trump reflects where the market is relative to the economic cycle, he says.

Melody Hahm is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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