Hillary Clinton’s Policies on Real Estate

Kathy Fettke

Kathy Fettke

Hillary Clinton came out ahead in the delegate count against Bernie Sanders but she’s not the clear winner, yet. When it comes to speculating on the presidency, there’s certainly a lot of concern about how she’d handle the job. Surprisingly, she’s getting a lot of support from the real estate industry.

The DNC is waiting until it’s convention next month to nominate the person who will take on Presumptive Republican Nominee Donald Trump. He’s a celebrity billionaire real estate investor who promises to run the country like a business, but it’s Clinton who’s getting all the money from the real estate professionals.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the real estate industry is throwing it’s support behind the Democratic front-runner. The group reported in February that Clinton raised $2.6 million from contributors in the real estate business and that real estate tycoon Trump only raised about $53,000 from his peers.

Internet entrepreneur Brad Inman wrote in a recent newsletter about a speech then Secretary of State Clinton made at an event hosted in San Francisco by the National Association of Realtors. It was a private event with no press coverage, cameras, or recording devices allowed, and the speech can’t be found on YouTube. But Inman says, at the event, Clinton received a standing ovation from some 10,000 realtors, and that some were chanting “Just Say Yes”… in support of a future run for the Oval Office. He says NAR paid Clinton $225,000 for that speech.

A new Zillow survey also shows that housing experts are still bullish on Clinton. The survey included the opinions of 107 U.S. economists, real estate experts and academics. They told Zillow they expect home values to grow 3 to 4 percent over the next few years, and that a Clinton presidency would have a neutral or more favorable impact on those home values.

33% of them said that a Clinton presidency would have a somewhat to very positive effect on home values. 16% said Clinton would have a somewhat or very negative effect on them.

The numbers were completely opposite for Trump. 16% of them said Trump would have a somewhat or very positive effect on home values while 45% of them said he’d have a somewhat to very negative effect on them.

Their sentiments ran along the same lines for questions about housing reform and the overall U.S. economy. Zillow asked people why they expected such a poor performance from Trump. They said he’s been unpredictable as a candidate, that his policy statements have been inconsistent, and that he simply lacks experience as a politician.

They told Zillow they were more encouraged by Clinton’s “centrist” views and her pro-housing opinions. She has also spent time in the White House during more prosperous years and has served as Senator and Secretary of State so she has a lot more political experience than Trump. Well, Trump doesn’t have any at all.

Some of the panelists were concerned that Clinton could increase the government’s regulatory net however, which could impede economic growth. They were also negative on Democrat Bernie Sanders and former Republican contender Ted Cruz. The one candidate who they felt would be even better than Clinton is Republican John Kasich, but he’s also out of the race. Zillow conducted the survey in late April when Senator Cruz and Ohio Governor Kasich were still in the running.

So when it comes to the two main contenders for president, meaning Clinton and Trump, CNN Money reports that “both” have some anti-business plans that should serve as red flags for investors. One article cites Clinton’s promise to raise capital gains taxes and make it more difficult for companies to save on taxes by relocating overseas.

And then there’s Trump. He’s a businessman who CNN Money says appears to be “more contrary to the U.S. business agenda.” Trump is antagonizing on many fronts. He’s against free trade, against immigrants, against companies that operate overseas. He might support tax cuts and fewer regulations but he has essentially attacked corporate America as doing it all wrong.

Billionaire real estate investor Tom Barrack is among those who have supported Trump. He told CNN Money that Trump will likely act differently in the White House than he does on the campaign trail. He says Trump would be good for business while Clinton would be a drag on the economy.

But Trump would create a lot of uncertainty, and the market never likes that. Some say the best-case scenario could be a Clinton win with a Republican-led Congress to keep her in check. Polls have generally shown that investors are leaning toward Clinton.

And her plan for major housing reforms could be a win-win for investors and for the American public. She announced her plan a few months ago for a $25 billion housing investment program, if she becomes president. It’s one part of her $125 billion “Economic Revitalization Initiative.”

The housing part of the plan aims to “lift more families into sustainable homeownership.” It would include down payment assistance, homeownership counseling, increased loan availability for qualified borrowers, clarification of lending requirements, and the building of more affordable rental housing.

Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, Ed Brady, says of her housing proposal, “We applaud Secretary Clinton for recognizing the significant role that housing plays in our local communities and economy, and being one of the first presidential candidates to present a housing and community development plan that will help boost homeownership, rental housing and employment opportunities for the American people.”

Hillary Clinton also made it to the latest list of most powerful women by Forbes. She’s listed in the number two spot behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ahead of Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen.

So, with all this horsepower behind her political engine, why is it that Hillary Clinton gets such bad press?

A study released in April by media software analytics company Crimson Hexagon shows that Hillary Clinton has received the most negative stories of all the presidential candidates since January 2015. It also shows that she’s received the smallest number of positive stories as well.

Salon.com published an article that attempts to dissect Clinton’s problem with the media. Of course the well-publicized scandal over her use of private email servers has upped her score big-time for negative news stories. But there’s more to the Clinton media cut-downs. Salon says that Clinton vacillates between the “devil incarnate” (for things like the email servers and her for-profit speeches) and a “bloodless automaton”.

As Salon puts it, she has certain limits that the other candidates don’t have. She’s a woman and a woman can’t talk like Trump or she’d be considered “mean” or “unladylike”. A woman can’t get teary-eyed like John Kasich or she’d be considered a “phony” or “too soft”. She can’t drill her point home with repetitive phrases like Marco Rubio or she’d be called “programmed”.

Salon says it’s not a problem with Clinton. It’s the media’s problem with powerful women. Salon says she’s forced to “walk a tight rope between strength and compassion, masculinity and femininity, policy and aesthetics.” And she tends to emphasize policy because it shields her from criticism about more superficial things.

As a woman in the public eye, there’s a never-ending analysis of what she wears, how she does her hair, her facial expressions, and then there’s her gravelly voice. Trump does take a good beating for his own hair, however, and some of his body movements. So there is a little justice there. But overall, women typically endure much more scrutiny than men, when it comes to their appearance.

One of the best take-aways from this article was a comment about Clinton and the old “beer test”. You have to ask yourself whether you’d want to have a beer with this person. And maybe Hillary Clinton isn’t the first person that comes to mind when you think about stopping at the local pub for a frosty mug.

But like her or not, it’s best to peer past the media veil and take a look at what she’s actually accomplishing now, and of course, what she could accomplish if she gets to the White House. She would not only become the first female president, but would enter the Oval Office with the experience of a seasoned politician and former first lady, and a she’ll come with a policy agenda… which Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have.

Kathy Fettke