“Different Housing Realities” for Political Parties

According to a senior fellow at a Washington D.C. think tank, “difference housing realities” may be one reason that members of different political parties find it so hard to reconcile their differences these days. Realtor.com analyzed housing and demographic data from the presidential election in 2016, determining that President Trump won counties in inexpensive, rural areas, while democrat candidate Hilary Clinton tended to triumph in pricier areas. However, with more “blue” Americans moving to less expensive, “red” areas, that trend could shift in the coming years, analysts added.

The data from realtor.com indicated “red” counties have appreciated less than “blue” counties, with homes in the former worth about $160,000 less than those in the latter. However, conservative voters tend to live in areas with much higher levels of homeownership (71.3 percent vs. 59.5 percent). “Homeownership is more affordable in Trump counties, so even with lower income you can have a higher homeownership rate and a larger home,” explained realtor.com’s chief economist, Danielle Hale.

Kyle Kondick, managing editor of political newsletter “Sabato’s Crystal Ball,” said, “You’re seeing the democrats become more and more of an urban party and the Republicans become more of a rural or exurban party.” However, presently “red” states like Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina may be changing their color as “blue” Americans move southeast to find more affordable housing, lower taxes, good jobs, and even warmer weather.

The administration’s tax reform bill could affect disparities in home values and ownership rates by 2020, noted Daren Blomquist, vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “The legislation takes away some of the incentives for homeownership in higher-priced markets. The advantage [is expected to] swing back toward some of these lower-priced counties won by Trump,” he said. This may widen the partisan divide, since owning versus renting creates a big gap in perspectives for voters, particularly those in urban areas who may not feel homeownership is as important as those living in more rural areas and not necessarily feel that it is crucial to their perception of success.

ApartmentList.com recently released a study indicating renters tend to lean left, while homeowners are slightly more likely to lean right. What do you think that means for the 2020 elections?