Before we get down to brass tacks, I want you to know that:
- There’s a 100% chance Trump or Biden was elected and…
- If you plan on leaving the country because of this, I’d like to apply for the job of selling your home!
Now on to the serious business!
Look, a lot of people have concerns. A lot of you said if Trump or Clinton were elected last time you were leaving the country. No one left—not anyone we wanted to leave. By the time you watch this video, the election will likely be decided or largely decided. Right? But how does the outcome of the election affect real estate? Well, guys, I’m going to answer that for you today, or at least share what we predict. The first thing we need to understand is what we should expect in the fall. Okay? Let me run you through some of this data. This is data that I personally pulled from the Washington County Multiple Listing Service. This isn’t data I got from some website or googling Forbes.com. This is data we pulled locally. What we did is, we looked at what happens in the fall of each year. What would we expect?
Well, what we expect is the following. October, November, December sales looked pretty strong year over year. Only in January do they dip. So from ‘16, when we had a presidential election, sales did not dip until January, and they dipped by 20% in the month of January, from October to January. In ‘17 and ‘18 they dipped 18% in January. They were largely the same all fall and into December. From 2018 to January ‘19 sales did dip in December, but by and large they dipped mainly in January.
Last year sales were again strong in October, November, and December. This is the total number of homes sold in our Washington County Multiple Listing Service, but they fall an average of 20% in January. Why? Well, in November and December people get caught up in this thing called the holidays. Right?
Getting their turkeys ready, and planning travel, then actually traveling, and then having Christmas, and we do our Basket Brigade and we feed families, and people are busy. What happens is, we see this falloff of 20% that is seasonal in Washington County. Now, let me share something with you. Nationally, sales only fall by 9.8% in November and December. This is real data from some national think tanks. But we took it a step further: Where do they fall in January? In election years sales fall by 15%. So we know that there’s a consumer confidence issue regardless of who wins the election because there’s uncertainty. Sales fall typically 10% in the fall. They fall another 5% because of an election, and in St. George we see that they’ve been falling about 20% into the winter. Okay?
Number three, Washington County shows a bigger swing. Our swing is bigger than the national average. Right? Number four, these decreases in volume are temporary. Alright? So here’s what’s happening guys. When we answer this question, “How does it affect real estate?”, my data says that it probably won’t affect it a lot, and I’ll make a little prediction here for you. Okay? The prediction is this. Here in Washington County, Utah we are a magnet right now for people leaving the craziness, and I actually meant crazy, as in the definition of crazy. Happening in California, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, all of those. By the way, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Minnesota, New York City, any of these really, really crazy cities with a lot of wild politics and a lot of things that most of us in Utah don’t agree with politically like riots and tearing down cities, are bailing on California and they’re coming to Washington County.
Two scenarios. Okay? Scenario number one, Trump wins. Okay? Well, when you watch this you’ll know if he won. The economy continues as business as usual. Why? Because we’re in a conservative state by and large. We’re in quite a conservative town. Probably like 80% of voters, I think that’s the number, register as Republicans. Okay, that’s scenario number one. Scenario number two is, Biden wins. I actually think it’s even better for St. George real estate, because a lot of folks that live in some of these climates that we talked about, political climates, who’ve already been like, “We should probably leave. We don’t like what’s happening with our state,” if they’re inclined to move to a conservative community, they’re really going to be inclined if the candidate that they’re not voting for wins. Okay?
Regardless of who wins, I think Washington County wins no matter what.
Who loses? I think California is hosed. Alright? Honestly guys, at some point they’re just going to saw down the edge and just push it into the ocean. I actually love the place. I love Disney. I have friends there. But we’re talking about Utah. I think that those types of places are going to lose no matter what. People are going to continue to flee and make this exodus, which is similar to the exodus to the suburbs in the ’50s when we have people coming back from metro areas and they’re going back to the suburbs, and even more rural than that.
I think things look great for St. George real estate even though yes, they’re really expensive.
We won’t even know what the outcome of the elections will be for months in the real estate market. If you’ve got questions about buying, selling, investing in real estate, or want to know what it’s like to live in St. George, Utah, I might be able to share something about this. Visit us at gostgeorge.com. That’s gostgeorge.com, and guys, have an incredible fall and winter, Christmastime, and Thanksgiving 2020.