Housing's Reaction to the Government Shutdown

January 10, 2019
U.S. Capitol with yellow caution tape in front of it
Photo: Unsplash/Andy Feliciotti

The ongoing shutdown of the U.S. government is having an impact on housing. The National Association of Realtors surveyed its members to quantify the effects on the market. 

According to the survey data, 11 percent of respondents report a direct impact on current clients, and another 11 percent on potential clients, though 75 percent of agents reported no impact. Of those impacted, 25 percent attributed it to a buyer choosing not to buy due to the uncertainty, though this specific question excluded federal government employees who decided not to buy. Nine percent of agents reported an impact related to a federal government employee buyer choosing not to buy, MarketWatch reports. 

There are other factors at work as well: some 17 percent, for instance, reported a closing delay due to a USDA loan, 13 percent reporting a delay due to IRS income verification and 9 percent reported a closing delay due to a hang up for their FHA loan, all showing the outsized role the federal government plays in the housing market.

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