05/24/2012 07:35 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Presidential Election Years Historically Drive Down Home Gains

Home owners have had a bumpy ride during the last eight years, just like the rest of the country. As things are settling in the housing market, Movoto decided to see how housing numbers may be impacted by this year's presidential election.

It's a mixed bag.

Using historical data from the California Realtors Association, we crunched numbers and noticed that home prices rise less quickly in years with presidential elections. It wasn't a drastic change, but a change nonetheless.

What does this mean? When you own a house you expect the price of your home to increase each year. In an election year, home prices go up less than usual.

The Average Increase in a Home Price

For the three years surrounding the presidential election (the year before, during, and after), we noticed that:

The year before an election home prices rose by 6 percent.
During the election year home prices rose by 4.5 percent.
After the election year home prices rose by 5.3 percent.

Why is this?

We asked the National Association of Realtors their opinion, and there wasn't a correlation identified. Our hypotheses: Presidential election years are stressful for the American people and in times of uncertainty people are less likely to take chances--this includes making large purchases such as a new house.

So, what can we say? We aren't sure. Election years, especially presidential election years, can be a divisive time in America. Family, friends, and neighbors might turn a cold shoulder to one another to commiserate among the politically like minded. And when it comes to housing, a particular brand of red, blue, or even green patriotism might sway people's opinions.

Let's watch the market and see how things progress!