More than 40% of Americans hesitant to move to areas where they’d be in the political minority

With the election upon us and amid an increasingly politically polarized country, a new study conducted by technology brokerage Redfin shows that an increasing number of Americans are letting their politics determine where they want to live.

According to the survey, which polled more than 3,000 U.S. residents in October, 42% of respondents would be hesitant to move to an area where most people have political views different from their own, up from 32% in June. That’s the highest share since 2017, when Redfin began posing this question to survey respondents.

The share of people who are hesitant to relocate to an area where they’d be in the racial, ethnic or religious minority also increased, from 20% in June up to 28%.

“With political signs lining the front yards of homes across America, house hunters can’t escape the political views of their prospective neighbors,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather in the report.

When broken down by who respondents intend to vote for in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump voters and Joe Biden voters were equally as likely to express skepticism about moving to a place where they’d be in the political minority. Forty-five percent of participants who indicated that they plan to vote for Biden and 45% of participants who indicated that they plan to vote for Trump said that they would be hesitant to move to a place where most residents have different political views.

Trump voters were most likely to express concerns about relocating to an area where a majority of people look or pray differently. A third (36%) of survey participants who indicated that they plan to vote for Trump said that they would be hesitant to move to a place where most residents are of a different race, ethnicity or religion.

About a quarter (23%) of participants who indicated that they plan to vote for Biden felt the same way.

When broken down by race, 29% of white respondents said they would be hesitant to move to a place where most residents are of a different race, ethnicity or religion. That compares with 26% of both Black and Hispanic respondents, and 23% of Asian participants.

Meanwhile, in another recent survey conducted by Redfin, 16% of Americans said they would consider leaving the country if the presidential candidate they support loses the election. That’s up from 9% of Americans who said the same thing in 2016.

Broken down by political preferences, 20% of people who plan to vote for Joe Biden would consider leaving the country if he loses, while 15% of President Trump’s supporters said the same thing. 

“The desire to leave the country due to political dissatisfaction is relatable for people on both sides of the aisle, but most people who say they would consider it likely won’t follow through given the financial and legal barriers,” Fairweather said in the report. “Still, the uptick in the share of people who say they would consider leaving the country since the 2016 election is one sign that the nation has become more politically divided.”

Twenty-four percent of respondents in that study also said they would want to move to a different state if the Supreme Court increases states’ rights with respect to health care, reproductive laws, gun laws, etc.

Nearly 40% of Trump voters who live in blue states said they would likely move if the Supreme Court were to increase states’ rights while 24% of Biden voters who live in red states felt the same way.

An increase in states’ rights could make choosing which state to live in more significant because the laws from state to state would differ more than they do now, the report noted.

“Homebuyers could ‘vote with their feet’ and relocate out of a state if their laws change in a way that is misaligned with their values,” Fairweather said. “Businesses may also move for the same reason, or to follow the talent, which would impact local economies.”

Politics aside, the pandemic is already driving migration, as remote work has given many Americans the freedom to relocate.

According to Redfin, nearly 29% of users were looking to move to another metro area in July and August, the highest share since the company began tracking migration patterns.

Protecting Your Business From Politicians: How Elections Impact the Real Estate Cycle

How does the country’s political climate affect the real estate cycle and, more specifically, what does that mean for you, as a real estate professional?

One of the biggest factors behind the housing crash and recession was politicians demanding banks become more lenient in their loan process, including loosening the criteria on lending, which allowed many people with subpar credit to obtain home loans they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. 

This illustrates the connection between politics and real estate , and the effects the former can have on the latter. Part of what affects how this cycle evolves and progresses are the platforms and policies of the administrations that are in office at the time. Here, we’ll walk you through how this cycle works and how it can be affected by who is in the office and why. 

The real estate cycle

The real estate cycle tends to follow four distinct phases. As an agent, you’ll want to develop a business plan flexible enough to weather these shifts in the market.

  1. Recovery. The recovery phase occurs just after a recession and is the bottom of the real estate trough. In this phase, both occupancy rates and rental rates are low, due to low and diminished demand. 
  1. Expansion. In the expansion phase, the market is on an upward swing, due to an increase in demand. Here, a generally strong economy and job growth (both affected by the political climate at the time) help drive occupancy rates and rent upward. 
  1. Hypersupply. The hypersupply phase occurs after expansion, and describes the time when the equilibrium between real estate supply and demand tips toward oversupply, due to overbuilding. A true mark of hypersupply is rising vacancy rates. Rent growth may still remain positive, but you’ll also notice declining levels. 
  1. Recession. While a recession sounds bad, and it can be truly difficult for some buyers who came to the market late because they didn’t see the recession coming, it can also be a great opportunity for savvy buyers. Prescient investors are able to spot a recession coming, and may have already moved some of their assets from stocks to cash so they can take advantage of some of the great real estate offers that come available. While it is likely we will be in some sort of recession in 2020, economists argue that the housing market will be largely insulated from it.

How you can protect your business 

It’s no secret that your clients turn to you to be their local real estate expert. Today, technology has made it easier than ever for consumers to gain access to the basic information they need about many aspects of the real estate industry. By becoming an expert in your local market, you demonstrate to your clients your value, and how it far exceeds just gathering basic information. 

Polling various real estate groups, the adversarial conditions prevailing in the current political arena were frequently cited as being major issues that directly affect real estate, and also indirectly through the impacts these issues have on the economy. 

Understanding the impacts the political climate has on your local market is a great way to demonstrate thought leadership and set yourself apart as an industry expert. In fact, this often translates into increased business. To learn more about how to understand your local market like a pro in seven easy steps, sign up for our course Learning Your Real Estate Market today. 

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