- At time of this writing, vote counts leaning toward Biden presidency and Republican-led Senate
- Gridlock won’t stop a Biden administration from investing $640B over next 10 years into affordable, energy efficient housing
- Likely to maintain GSE’s under conservatorship
- Likely to introduce tax credit for first-time homebuyers of some $15,000
In the midst of ongoing vote counting in four states, the Electoral College tally stands at Biden with 264 and Trump with 214. Remaining votes are leaning towards Biden to achieve a victory with the necessary 270 points and a Republic-led Senate. (We’ll do our best to update these tallies as vote counting continues.)
Rick Sharga, senior vice president at Realty Trac, believes that a split government (Democratic President and Republican-led Senate) could result in the “best outcome…. because it would probably prevent overarching new tax policies that could impact investment and could impact the cost of homeownership.”
A Biden victory would likely be translated into the following areas as they relate to housing:
- Biden has promised to invest $640B over the next 10 years into housing in order to make housing more affordable, energy efficient, stable and resilient.
- Biden has pledged to offer a tax credit upwards of $15,000 to young, first-time homebuyers. Such a proposal may also be coupled with a COVID relief package.
- He would likely reintroduce stronger regulatory common practices that would alter restrictive zoning laws in order to enable and increase development, build affordable housing and cap payments for eligible renters.
- Biden would likely keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under conservatorship as a public policy instrument to help close gaps in homeownership and wealth despite Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director Mark Calabria and US Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin making it clear they want the GSEs out of conservatorship.
- Biden will likely appoint new people to leadership positions in such agencies as FHFA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Exerting wide, sweeping changes into the housing sector in the midst of a divided government and polarized nation would be challenging. Patrick Stone, CEO and Chairman of Williston Financial, said, “At this moment, there will be very little change if Biden wins and the Senate remains.” Essentially, one will handcuff the other.
Biden is known for finding and making room for compromise and would likely apply his compromising approach “…to apply regulation in favor of consumers, balanced with interests of business, including on environment, workplace and consumer regulation,” said Mark Hamrick, a senor economic advisor at Bankrate.”
Thanks to HousingWire’s James Kleimann and Tim Glaze.