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What Iowa’s Nature as a Swing State Means for Real Estate Prices in 2024

As a swing state, Iowa’s voters could play a significant role in the outcome of the forthcoming presidential election. A swing state is defined as a state in which there is a similar level of support for the two major political parties, meaning its election result is on something of a knife edge. Also termed “battleground states,” places such as Iowa tend to be heavily targeted by the campaigns of both candidates, who understand that victory could easily go to either side.

But how does Iowa’s status as a swing state potentially impact its real estate prices in 2024? And how would either a Biden or Trump win impact real estate prices in general? We explore below.

Interest Rates and Uncertainty

The very nature of a swing state such as Iowa is uncertainty of outcome. And markets don’t tend to like uncertainty; in such economic climes, it’s likely that interest rates will remain high, pushing up the cost of borrowing and driving up prices. For those seeking to get on the property ladder in Iowa for the first time, this is likely to pose a significant challenge. However, following the election itself, the market is likely to settle. Although, of course, the lay of the real estate landscape won’t be entirely clear until the incoming president spells out what policies they plan to make or keep.

How About the Cost of Renters Insurance?

As with house prices, what happens to bills is also a little up in the air, especially in a swing state like Iowa. However, it’s unlikely that, for example, homeowners and renters insurance will increase too much, if at all. The good news for those in the state is that renters insurance in Iowa is lower than the average annual cost in the United States, so protecting your stuff is particularly cost-effective if you’re lucky enough to rent an apartment here.

General Trends Anticipated for 2024 in Iowan Real Estate

The housing inventory rates in Iowa remain at an all-time low, driving up both property prices and rental prices. If inflation continues to ease, it’s expected that mortgage interest rates will stabilize during the second half of 2024, which will likely bring more potential home-buyers back into the market. However, until housing stock increases, which probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon, we’ll see house prices continuing to rise.

While there have been concerns in recent times that 2024 could see a housing market crash in the state of Iowa, this is very unlikely to occur. This optimistic outlook is due to the presence of a particularly strong job market and relatively affordable cost of living, which is continuing to attract both new residents and businesses to the state.

In general, the rest of 2024 is likely to see an improving picture for both home sellers and homebuyers. The limited inventory means that the former will likely be able to get a great price for their home, while the latter will – hopefully – be able to take advantage of gradually stabilizing mortgage rates.

Other 2024 Swing States

Iowa isn’t the only 2024 swing state. It’s currently pretty much neck-and-neck between Trump and Biden in Arizona, with immigration the hot-potato subject that’s dividing voters. It’s also a close race in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, while in swing state Wisconsin, abortion is a key battleground topic. 

What a Democrat or Republican Win Would Mean for Iowa’s Real Estate Market

Whichever side wins, real estate property values aren’t likely to be significantly affected. Even should there be a slight dip in values, history proves that real estate almost always recovers in a relatively short space of time.

A Biden victory is likely to see a further drive to make housing both more affordable and more energy-efficient, and resilient for the average American. Expect to see rollouts of additional schemes designed to help prospective first-time homeowners get onto the property ladder and assist those struggling with housing costs.

A Trump victory, on the other hand, will almost inevitably see sweeping tax cuts, which could put more money in people’s pockets and stimulate the economy in general. However, the cuts to spending that are sure to be a hallmark of a Trump administration will likely mean there’ll be no scope for affordable housing initiatives.

Final Thoughts

As a swing state, Iowa’s political fate balances on a knife edge. Either candidate could reasonably win the electoral race, and both are battling for this and other swing states fiercely. While this uncertainty necessarily brings jitters to the markets – resulting in interest rates remaining high – there are other very optimistic signs that, whatever the outcome of the election, Iowa’s real estate market will thrive throughout the second part of the year and beyond.

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