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Presidential elections affect real estate market, expert says

James Leggate

The uncertainty of a presidential election affects homebuyers, slowing the real estate market, according to a housing analyst.

Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of New York-based real estate appraisal and consulting company Miller Samuel, looked at co-op sales in New York City between 2008 and 2019 to show the trend to The Real Deal.

“Anecdotally, I’ve seen this for decades,” he told The Real Deal. “I recalled seeing it beginning with the financial crisis.”

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By analyzing the co-op sales —Miller wrote in a blog post that they make up most of the apartment market and have less fluctuation than condos — Miller found a sales slump from June through October in federal election years, including years with presidential elections and midterms.

The most significant drop came in August and September, when sales were more than 12 percent weaker compared to non-election years.

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But the slump was followed by a rise in the following November and December, regardless of the winner. The rise carried through to the next spring, according to Miller.

“Beginning in November during an election year, sales overpower their non-election year counterpart, with the release of pent-up demand occurring well into the spring,” he told The Real Deal.

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