By Peter Ricci
Today is the day: Election Day!
Now that the election is finally upon us, we can breathe a sigh of relief that we won’t be seeing anymore campaign ads anymore and, more importantly, revisit what is at stake for real estate agents, their clients and the greater housing market based on the results of today’s election.
The Housing Market and the Presidential Election
The housing market could be impacted by the presidential election in a number of fundamental ways, including:
1. Regulations – Financial regulation was a big topic in the first debate between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with Romney supporting regulation but opposing the “overreach” of Dodd-Frank, and Obama maintaining his support of the legislation and arguing it is necessary to prevent another housing downturn. So, financial regulation could be fundamentally defined by who wins today.
2. Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction – By far the most marked difference between the candidates on housing, Romney has floated the idea of eliminating MID for second homes, while Obama specifically voiced his support for the deduction in his convention speech in September.
3. Federal Housing Programs – Romney has also voiced the possibility that the Department of Housing and Urban Development could be abolished by his administration, but the Obama White House requested 17 percent more funding for HUD in its 2013 fiscal year budget.
4. Refinancing Initiatives – President Obama has been quite vocal in his support of a more aggressive refinancing policy for Americans, and though Romney does have similar language on his website, he has not supported a specific plan like Obama’s.
5. Federal Guarantees for Mortgages – Romney’s housing plan, very much like President Obama’s, mentions reforming how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee the U.S. mortgage market, but Romney’s choice of vice president, Paul Ryan, has explicitly advocated privatizing the two GSEs.
As you can tell, a number of fundamental issues to the housing market are up for play in this year’s presidential election, and whoever voters choose today will shape the future direction of real estate. We’ll see what the results are tonight!