The US election will take place on 3 November and although a Democratic win is looking increasingly likely, the last election shows that anything could happen.
For people in the US, the two candidates are seen as highly divisive at a time when conditions are particularly challenging.
The country now has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world and many cities are bracing for election unrest.
The US economy is holding up fairly well despite the coronavirus recession. Although the economy contracted 30% in the June quarter, US economists expect it to bounce back 30% in the September quarter. Add to this record low interest rates and a free flow of money and it is a highly unusual recession, particularly for property.
Although the US is an economic superpower, the impact of the election result on the Australian economy is likely to be minimal.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is a slightly higher taxer while President Donald Trump is considered more business friendly. This could have a bit of an impact on the Australian dollar, share prices and mortgage rates.
Overall, however, we are far more closely linked to Asia’s economic growth, particularly China, which is Australia’s largest trading partner.
For Australian property, the most interesting trend has been an acceleration of search activity from the US into Australia. While Chinese interest in Australian property has been dropping now for many years, the opposite is true for US interest.
US search into Australia is the highest of all countries. However, property buyers from the US have a relatively low impact on Australian property, particularly compared to Asian buyers.
The number of searches from the UK and US is far higher primarily because realestate.com.au is an English language site, but also because there are many websites targeting Asian buyers interested in Australia property.
Nevertheless, what is interesting is how much US search has grown over time. While it peaked in June 2020, it is still far higher than it was 12 months ago.
While we don’t know for sure why they are searching more, it may be linked to the high levels of COVID-19 cases and relatively high levels of civil unrest. It may be pushed up further by Australian expats keen to come home.
All property seekers from overseas mainly search in areas that already contain high proportions of residents from those countries. That is certainly the case for US property seekers.
Mosman in Sydney has the highest proportion of US-born residents in Australia, while Manly comes in at number 2. Both are in the top 5 of suburbs that US property seekers are looking at.
Beyond that, there are regional differences. Property seekers from Asia tend to prefer locations close to top schools and universities. Outside of Asia, it is all about Australian beaches.
For the US, the love of Australian beaches is driving interest to Byron Bay, which tops the list.
This is also likely driven by rising global recognition of the town thanks to high-profile residents such as Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, as well as some more recent non-permanent residents such as Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Zac Efron.
While the 2016 Census showed only 54 US-born residents in Byron Bay, the addition of so many celebrities over the past 4 years alone is likely to lead to a significant rise in this number when the next Census is undertaken in 2021.
While the suburbs that US property seekers are searching are expensive, the new developments they are looking at are also highly priced. US residents are restricted to only buying new properties in Australia and perhaps the strong US dollar makes these relatively affordable.
The same holds true for existing properties with the most viewed listings over the past 12 months all being at higher price points.
US property seekers continue to be very active in Australia, although it remains to be seen how many turn out to be buyers. Perhaps it will be the election result that pushes more to make the decision to buy, or even move, to Australia.
A Biden win may mean more Texans and Floridians wanting to call Australia home. A Trump win may mean more Californians.
Originally published by Nerida Conisbee REA Insights HERE.