Housing affordability will influence vote in 2024 presidential race: Poll


In a new survey released Monday, Redfin revealed more than half of U.S. homeowners and renters “feel negatively” about housing affordability and want a 2024 presidential candidate who can fix it.

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A topsy-turvy housing cycle has pushed housing affordability policies to the top of voters’ lists ahead of the 2024 presidential election, according to a Redfin survey published on Monday.

Fifty-three percent of U.S. homeowners and renters said they “completely agree” or “somewhat agree” that housing affordability will impact whether they vote for Democratic incumbent Joe Biden or Republican frontrunner and presumed presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Another 64 percent of respondents said housing affordability “makes them feel negative” about the economy, as rising home prices and mortgage rates bring the average mortgage payment to approximately $2,200 per month.

daryl

Daryl Fairweather

“Housing affordability is top of mind for voters because elevated mortgage rates and home prices, along with an acute housing shortage, have pushed the dream of homeownership out of reach for many Americans,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement. “While the economy is strong on paper, a lot of families aren’t feeling the benefits because they’re struggling to afford the house they want or already live in.”

“As a result, many feel stuck, unable to make their desired moves and life upgrades,” she added.

President Joe Biden made housing affordability a key point of his March 7 State of the Union address with the proposal of a $5,000 annual tax credit for middle-class first-time homebuyers. Homebuyers could use the tax credit for two years, which Biden said equals a 1.5 percentage point savings on the current mortgage rate for a median-priced home.

The president also asked Congress to pass a bill that would give homesellers a one-year $10,000 tax credit for selling a starter home priced below the median in their county. Biden also promised to help cash-strapped renters by targeting “big landlords” who “break antitrust laws by price-fixing.”

“I know the cost of housing is so important to you,” President Biden said during his SOTU address. “If inflation keeps coming down mortgage rates will come down as well. But I’m not waiting.”

“…Now pass my plan to build and renovate 2 million affordable homes and bring those rents down!” he added.

Former president and current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has yet to unveil a full affordable housing policy for a potential second term; however, he’s said he plans to “get prices way down.”

“When the economy gets better, it’s hard to get better when you have high energy prices,” Trump said during a June 2023 event. “We’ll get the prices way down and then the interest rates down and then the homebuilders will start building again because nobody can get money from the bank because the interest rate’s high.”

During his previous term, Trump launched an Opportunity Zones program to revive 8,700 low-income neighborhoods by offering developers tax breaks when they invest their capital gains in approved zones.

“Real wages quickly increased as a result, and median household income reached the highest level in the history of our country, while poverty reached a record low,” the former president’s website said of his 2017 housing policy push. “President Trump created nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones to revitalize neglected communities.”

Although the website framed the program as a total success, the results have been mixed at best, with several third-party researchers noting the program failed to bolster median home prices in 80 percent of opportunity zones as of 2019. By 2022, median home prices in these zones boomed, as a rapid pace and inventory-starved market pushed homebuyers to compete for well-priced listings wherever they could find them.

Still, median home values in three out of every four zones remained lower than the median home price.

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