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Will Housing Policy Determine the Next President?

capitol-with-flagThe upcoming presidential election has not made much of the American population feel better, even when it comes to housing. In fact, Irvine, California-based loanDepot has found that one in five Americans will vote for a candidate based on his or her stance on housing and finance policies.

Adding to that, nearly 36 percent of Americans think all presidential candidates are doing a bad job of articulating their housing and finance policies, and 35 percent would like to hear more from the candidates on these topics.

The findings came out in a sobering report Wednesday, which showed that American citizens do indeed want housing policy to be a front-and-center issue in the race this November. Democrats in particular (56 percent) want to hear more about such policies, but so do 39 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of millennials.

The top issue voters want to hear, according to the poll, is making homeownership more affordable for middle- and lower-income families. A full 37 percent of Americans and 64 percent of Democrats claimed that as the major issue. Thirty-two percent of Republicans and millennials agreed.

Keeping interest rates low was another major interest among 34 percent of Americans overall, while 11 percent said that making credit more available to small business was an important consideration.

“People across the nation told us they want to hear more from the presidential candidates about their housing and financial policies on issues like income, access to credit, interest rates and affordable housing,” said loanDepot Chairman and CEO Anthony Hsieh. “The candidate who does a good job in communicating their policies moving forward has an opportunity to influence millions of potential voters.”

Most Americans, according to loanDepot, expect their financial situations to stay the same or get worse as a result of the upcoming presidential election. While 66 percent of likely voters don’t expect the election will impact their personal finances, 24 percent think they’ll be worse off financially. And of those who expect be worse off, 56 percent say the candidates have done a bad job of articulating their housing and financial policies.

“The candidate who does a good job in communicating their policies moving forward has an opportunity to influence millions of potential voters.”

Anthony Hsieh, Chairman and CEO, loanDepot

Only six percent of all voters expect to be better off as a result of the general November election.

A key issue to watch, according to the survey, is what will happen with millennials, who now outnumber baby boomers as the nation’s largest living generation of consumers. The influence of this consumer set has been anticipated as a welcome boost to home sales, especially starter homes, but reality has yet to live up to the hope.

While 38 percent of home loans closed by millennials in April 2016 were FHA loans, loanDepot’s survey revealed many are still discouraged about their incomes and the election’s impact on their access to credit. In fact, 36 percent of millennials say their primary financial concern is not making enough money, and 46 percent are concerned about how the elections will impact their ability to access credit. Two out of five said making homeownership more affordable to middle- and low-income Americans should be a priority for the next president’s first 100 days.

“As more millennials enter the housing market, we expect to see a higher priority placed on better borrowing options for first-time homebuyers,” said Hsieh. “loanDepot is one of the five largest FHA lenders in the country and we remain focused on helping borrowers, including Millennials, access the credit they need to finance home purchases.”

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.

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