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Hillary or Donald: Who’s Better For Housing?

Trump has a 10-point lead on Clinton when Americans are asked about which candidate will spur higher home prices.  Primary results also suggest candidates weren’t popular in places where housing prices had a strong recovery.

So of the two presumptive major-party nominees for U.S. presidency, whom do you think will be best for housing prices?  The self-described successful real estate executive Donald Trump?  Or the former U.S. Senator, first lady and U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton?

Americans appear to have more faith in Trump.  When asked what would likely happen to home prices if either Trump or Clinton were elected, 39% of Americans said prices would rise a little or a lot if Trump was elected compared to 29% for Clinton, according to survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia.  The survey was conducted from June 7-9, 2016, among 2,034 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.  In addition:

  • Nearly half of Democrats, 47%, said housing prices would likely rise if Trump were elected, compared to just 24% of Democrats who said the same about Clinton.
  • Likewise, 38% of Republicans said home prices would rise if Clinton were elected, 33% said the same should Trump be elected.
  • Americans who identified as Independents also were more likely, 34% to 28% to foresee rising housing prices under Trump than Clinton. Forty-four percent of unmarried respondents and 46% or renters also saw higher housing prices under Trump, compared to 26% of unmarried respondents and 26% of renters for Clinton.
  • Millennials and younger voters, aged 18-34, were more likely to believe housing prices would rise under Trump vs. Clinton, by a margin of 49% to 26%.

Q. If each of the following presidential candidates is elected president in November, what do you think will happen to home prices?

The results stand in contrast to a Zillow survey of more than 100 economists and real estate experts. That report, which was published May 17 and included other candidates who had not yet dropped out of the race, found that Clinton would have the most positive net effect on the housing market – though it did not distinguish if that would mean higher or lower housing prices.

Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist, notes that Americans probably don’t have much information about either candidates’ positions on the U.S. housing market.

“Voters shouldn’t necessarily be surprised by the little attention that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have paid to housing this election cycle,” McLaughlin said. “Eight years ago, housing and the economy were the main talking points of Obama and McCain because millions of homeowners were going through foreclosure and the economy was in shambles.

“Today, the housing market and US economy look much healthier, and as such, candidates have turned their attention to more popular issues such as immigration, gun control, and national security.”

McLaughlin added that there has been some position-taking on housing. A big chunk, $25 billion of her proposed $125 billion Economic Revitalization Initiative, is targeted towards facilitating home-ownership among households that have been traditionally under-served.

Trump has spoken about eliminating the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – the primary federal source of funding for affordable housing, McLaughlin said.

We also asked Americans if they would make any housing decisions based on the election of either candidate:

Thinking about your living situation in the next two years, if each of the following presidential candidates is elected president in November, which of the following would you be more likely to do because of their election?

Clinton Trump
Buy a home 6% 6%
Go from renter to owner 4% 3%
Sell a home 2% 4%
Start renting 2% 2%
Something else 7% 9%
Change nothing about my living situation 79% 78%

Housing price recovery was stronger in states Clinton and Trump lost

Americans gave an overall edge to Trump in our poll when it came to a strong (higher-priced) housing market. During the primary season, however, both candidates performed better in counties where housing prices had risen only slightly since deepest part of the recession – when unemployment was at its highest level – the second quarter of 2009. For instance:

  • In counties that Clinton won during primary season, combined housing prices rose 3.1%. In counties she lost, almost all to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, prices rose 7.1%.
  • Likewise, Trump won counties that saw combined housing price appreciation of 4.2%. He lost counties that had a combined price increase of 6.6%.
  • Trump tended to lose in counties where employment, or job growth, was strong in the recovery.

Editor’s Note:  Although politics may not always have a direct impact on real estate and property values, it often affects people’s perceptions.  What do you think will happen with a Trump, Hillary, or Bernie administration?


  1. Comment by Ndy Onyido
    July 12th at 5:28 pm 

    This post made some good attempt at revealing the outcome of various surveys and polls taken over the last couple of months on the outlook of the housing market under Hilary/Trump.
    What it did not call out was define the implications of ‘rising house prices’? Is this really good for investors? Is rising prices to be preferred than stable market? I would rather opt for the latter; it enables better investment planning than fluctuating market.

    For me, I will rather have someone that will negotiate better trade deals for America, provide stable economy and encourage fiscal discipline to stem the frightening trend of deficits/domestic debts we are running now. All these will have a positive impact on the economy and the property market is not an exception.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Comment by Julie Falen
    July 13th at 2:48 pm 

    It all depends on what you mean, or the pollsters meant, when they said “better for housing”. Does it mean pricing? Inventory? New construction? Affordability? This question is waaay too broad. Sellers of course want higher prices – buyers do not, so rising values would not be good for housing for them, especially 1st time buyers.

    If asked if they knew that Trump would abolish HUD and FHA loans, some might change their answer. Maybe people just think since Trump is known as a real estate developer that he will somehow do something with housing. This is the type of poll that gives a lot of statistics that do not answer any specific question so therefore is meaningless, tho well put together. I agree with Ndy – I want a stable economy with no great upheavals in any direction, who will keep the faith and credit of the US intact by not defaulting on debts.


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