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When Politics Influence Homebuying and Selling

Phil Hall
Sep 23, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/Moussa81

More than one-third of potential homebuyers and sellers expressed concern about moving to a community where their political views would put them in a minority, according to new data from Redfin.
Thirty-eight percent of homebuyers and sellers polled by the Seattle-based brokerage expressed concern that their politics would be different from the majority of their new neighbors, down from down from 41 percent in 2017 and 42 percent in 2016. Being a political pariah was more distressful than being in the racial, ethnic or religious minority–22 percent of respondents said they would be hesitant being put in that situation.
On the flip side, 16 percent of respondents would be enthusiastic about moving to an area where most residents have differing political views, a notable increase from nine percent in 2017 and eight percent in 2016, while 46 percent expressed neutral emotions on the subject. Among racial demographics, 40 percent of white homebuyers and sellers said they'd be hesitant about moving to an area where most residents have different political views, a higher share than any other racial group, while African-Americans were most likely to be enthusiastic at the prospect with a 22 percent response rate.
"This decade's tumultuous political climate has widened the aisle between parties not only in Congress and the voting booth, but in our nation's communities," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. "While the share of homebuyers and sellers who hesitate about moving to a place where most people have different ideologies has been declining, I imagine tensions will start to flare again as we head into the 2020 election year. As more people, especially young professionals, head inland from blue coastal cities seeking affordability in smaller inland metros, it's likely they will seek out communities where they'll live, work and send their kids to school with like-minded people. We expect to see red places in the middle of the country become redder and the blues bluer as the migration trends we've been reporting continue."

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