According to the June LANDTHINK Pulse results, 73.2% of respondents indicated that an election year does not affect their decision to buy or sell land. Every election year feels different than the one before it, but 2020 may be one of the most unique election years ever. It will go down as one of the most chaotic, tumultuous years in our nation’s history and will take up an entire semester of history class for future generations. So far we have a pandemic, a recession, extremely heightened partisanship, and protests over police brutality and that just scratches the surface. Every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the seats in the Senate are up for a vote in the November election. It is, however, the race for the Oval Office between incumbent president Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden that’s garnering all the attention.
If you are thinking about purchasing land for sale during an election year, then you are correct. While it can be difficult to make a major purchase decision in an environment shrouded in uncertainty, it can often yield some great opportunities.
Despite the lingering pandemic, the real estate land market is not showing signs of a slowdown. Election years typically mean instability in the stock market as investors tend to be wary amid a rocky political environment. But as fears around the coronavirus continue to spread across the global economy, investors are focusing on safe haven assets like land.
When the pandemic hit, it led to fewer properties on the market, but the number of buyers didn’t drop. The imbalance created a seller’s market, where bidding wars are likely. Right now the market is seeing limited supply and buyers anxious to take advantage of historically low interest rates; the table is set for both buyers and sellers to benefit. It’s a great time to buy because land values are appreciating, and even if buyers pay retail for a property, as the market continues to appreciate, buyers are going to be in a good position on that purchase.
Additionally, the desire to own a safe place on rural acreage has become a priority. Strong demand around fear of the coronavirus, civil unrest and the defund-the-police theme continues to fuel what was already a vibrant land market before the pandemic began.
People aren’t going to wait for election results to buy or sell property, as verified by the results of this survey. Most land buyers have long term goals and financial plans, and they understand the ups and downs that come with owning hard assets.
LANDTHINK often collaborates with a wide network of land industry experts to help us analyze and examine the current state of the real estate land market. We asked several Mossy Oak Properties land specialists for their perspective on why the results of last month’s Pulse question indicated that the majority of land buyers and sellers are unfazed by election years.
Jamie Spencer, Broker-Owner, Mossy Oak Properties Tennessee Land & Farm (TN): “I was not at all surprised by the results. In most instances, election outcomes don’t particularly affect the fiscal lives of our clients. I don’t believe we have worked with a single client thus far that has hinged his/her decision on the potential outcome of an election. They might be thinking about it, but it hasn’t been verbalized as a possible speed bump in their search for land. Most folks implement wise financial planning for the purchase of their recreational land, farm or hunting property and an election result just doesn’t come into play with their investment goals to own a fistful of dirt.”
Lucas Edington, Broker-Owner, Mossy Oak Properties Mozark Realty (MO): “I’m not surprised with how the results of the survey panned out. This further illustrates why land agents are such champions for investing in land. When the economy seems uncertain, land sales are good. When the economy seems to be booming, land sales are good.”
Terrell Brazell, Broker-Owner, Mossy Oak Properties Coastal Land and Real Estate (GA): “I am not surprised by the results. Most of the buyers we deal with have had long-term plans to purchase a property and are more focused on their end goal than an election. Don’t get me wrong, they are all very aware of the charged political climate, but they are not basing their future on something they cannot control. A well thought out land purchase can give an owner peace of mind, by hedging uncertainty with something that is solid, something that is real.”
Our informal online survey revealed that an overwhelming 73.2% of our LANDTHINK audience say that an election year has no bearing on their decision to buy or sell land. Only 15.6% said their decision to buy or sell will be made AFTER election. A mere 11.2% indicated that they would be determined to conduct any real estate transaction BEFORE the election.