By Bob Montgomery Herald-Journal, Spartanburg
If President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his campaign promises to cut taxes, reduce regulations and create jobs, it should be easier to buy and sell a home, said the head of the South Carolina Realtors.
“It’s difficult to comment … because we haven’t seen actual proposals,” said Nick Kremydas, CEO and president. “As a real estate developer, President-elect Trump should understand the importance of home ownership and investing in property. We hope he takes the right steps to protect these ideals.”
Locally, a strong and diversified economy means the Upstate will continue to hold its own regardless of which Trump policies succeed, according to Patty Wilds, an agent with Century 21 Upstate.
The Greenville-Spartanburg real estate market continues to flourish as a result of new and expanding businesses, Wilds said.
For example, BMW Manufacturing in Greer is in the midst of a $1 billion expansion and Michelin is moving forward with a new $270 million distribution center in Spartanburg County.
In addition, a number of new auto-related manufacturers like Magna Seating, Brose, Berrang and Albis Barnet Polymers LLC have announced plans to locate or expand in Spartanburg County.
“I think here in Spartanburg, things are going to continue to do well,” Wilds said. “Locally, I don’t see any problems.”
Even though the local real estate market is doing well, it could do even better under a Trump administration, Jo Chism, owner of EnternetHomes in Spartanburg, said.
“I’m very optimistic of what we have coming,” she said. “The Republican Party has promised to limit the role of the federal government in the real estate market, promising to cut taxes. That means more money for homebuyers to buy homes.”
If rental prices keep rising, it will be more enticing for young people to buy a home instead, assuming interest rates stay low. And if regulations are eased on homebuilders, that could make new homes more affordable, she said.
“Then we can be more competitive and more affordable and have some homes we can get these buyers in,” she said.
Some regulations may be eased, but it won’t affect prices much, Spartanburg homebuilder Manning Lynch said.
“I don’t think we’ll feel any huge effect one way or the other,” Lynch said. “Our local economy is as good as it’s been in a long while.
“I hope the new president can do some of these things with the jobs and economy, and that will bode well for our business.”
Recently, South Carolina Realtors reported homes in the Upstate are selling faster than they’re being listed, meaning higher prices and more competition for homebuyers.
Trump’s election will lead to tax reform and less regulation at the federal level, the National Association of Realtors believes.
Tax reform could include incentivizing the purchase of a home or making the cost of buying or renting equal, according to Jerry Giovaniello, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the association.
Realtors support renewal of the mortgage interest deduction, the property tax deduction and capital gains exemption.
The economy will see a boost early on under Trump, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
With Republicans in control of the Senate and House as well, Yun expects there will be tax cuts and government stimulus to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure and national defense.
That should result in “moderately higher” interest rates, more jobs and more tax revenue, he said.
Fewer financial regulations could enable small banks to issue more loans that will boost homebuilding activity and address the housing shortage, Yun added.
Home construction could benefit from fewer regulations on land use and zoning. In recent years, prices for new homes have been much higher than those for existing ones because of the extra cost of regulation.
However, redit for borrowers will still be tight, as lenders don’t want a repeat of 10 years ago when buyers with bad credit histories were still able to qualify for loans, he said.