Does the president’s political party affect how commercial property markets perform?
With the 2020 presidential election excitement largely behind us and fragile economic recovery underway, we take a look at the last 40 years of US presidents to see how US commercial property market activity has performed under each White House administration.
Unlike our usual reporting, we have opted to show more data and less writing on this piece. Explore the three interactive visualizations below to see how US commercial property market activity and pricing has performed over the years under different White House administrations – from President Reagan to President Trump.
Throughout these three interactive graphics, we’ve added some comments and stats that we thought were interesting to highlight, including:
- The total number of commercial properties transacted positively increased year-on-year in 14 out of the 16 years there was a Democrat in the White House, or 88%. During Republican presidential terms, which covered 24 years, this number was much lower at 50%.
- The total square footage transacted positively increased year-on-year in 12 of the 16 years there was a Democrat in the White House, or 75% of the time. This compared to 13 of 24 years, or 54% for Republican administrations.
- Dollar volume of transactions increased year-on-year in 11 of the 16 years for Democratic presidents, or 69% of the time. This compared to 14 of 24 years or 58% for Republican presidential terms.
- Median pricing ($/SF) for commercial property increased year-on-year in 18 of the 24 years the White House was filled with a Republican leader, or 75% of the time. In comparison, during Demoratic presidential terms, pricing increased 13 out of the 16 years, or 81%.
In the three graphics below, you can scroll through the presented data using the arrows at the top of each graphic. The first graphic provides context on the state of the national economy under each administration.
This second graphic presents aggregated commercial property metrics.
This third graphic allows you to dig deeper into the aggregate data by property type.
In this report we use over 602,000 transactions of hospitality, industrial, multifamily, office, and retail transactions across 367 MSAs. Each transaction occurred between January 1980 and September 2020, was greater than $250,000, and had more than 5,000 square feet (10,000 for multifamily). The source of the commercial property data is Reonomy. Additional data used in this report include the following:
- Real Gross Domestic Product from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Population from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Wilshire 5000 Total Market Full Cap Index from Wilshire Associates
- Unemployment Rate from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics