How a Ron DeSantis Presidency Would Affect the Nation’s Housing Market

Published by | May 24, 2023

Whoever wins the 46th presidency—from either side of the aisle—will have a major challenge in tackling the housing crisis.

After months of fueling rumors, DeSantis formally announced his bid for the U.S. presidency on Wednesday. What would that mean for the housing market if he wrests the Republican nomination from real estate mogul and former President Donald Trump and wins the general election in 2024? (Currently, Trump has a sizable advantage in the polls among likely GOP voters.)® looked at the No. 2 Republican contender’s housing-related priorities during his four-plus years as governor of the Sunshine State for clues.

“His experience as the governor of Florida has certainly exposed him to the housing market and its issues,” says Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. “He’s intimately familiar with the shortage of housing that has plagued our state.”

Florida experienced tremendous growth during the COVID-19 pandemic as companies expanded and legions of folks moved to the Sunshine State. It was the nation’s fastest-growing state last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median home list price in Florida shot up 42%, to about $468,000, from April 2020 to April 2023, according to data. Rental prices also surged throughout the state during the pandemic.

This year, DeSantis has passed bills geared toward creating more housing, providing assistance to first-time buyers, as well as restricting international buyers from certain countries from purchasing real estate in Florida. The government has also responded to the devastation wrought by hurricanes and flooding by making changes to Florida’s property insurance industry.

The legislature has also been forced to confront the state’s affordability challenges. For years, the state had typically been reallocating the money from its affordable housing trust fund to other projects. In 2021, the legislature agreed that a third of that money will be spent on housing, while the rest can go to other priorities.

In March, DeSantis signed an affordable housing plan that invested more than $700 million to provide low-interest loans to developers building workforce housing in Florida, down payment and closing costs assistance for first-time homebuyers, and the redevelopment of underused properties near military installations.

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