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On Election Day, real estate execs talk politics

With Election Day upon us, The Real Deal speaks with real estate insiders and dealmakers about which presidential candidate they think will win and what the outcome of the race means for the real estate market. In some cases, participants tipped their hand at how they would be voting. Donald Trump, Red Apple Group’s John Catsimatidis, Rubicon’s Jason Haber, Eastern Consolidated’s Adelaide Polsinelli and Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller weigh in.

Jonathan Miller President and CEO, Miller Samuel

Whom do you think will win?

I think it will be Obama and I don’t think it will be all that close. Although the polling numbers we are being barraged with are showing a virtual tie between the candidates, statistically that’s a flawed methodology since the candidates aren’t elected based on the popular vote (think Bush/Gore 2000), which is what most polling represents.

The housing parallel to this is someone proclaiming a housing recovery now based on recent sales price trends and falling inventory, but no solution to unrelenting and tight credit conditions, record low mortgages rates (that represent a form of stimulus and a problem when removed), a slew of distressed real estate to process and a much smaller number of healthy banks for consumers to choose from. Simple trends versus in depth understanding of the situation.

What would another four years of Obama mean for real estate?

Neither candidate talked housing specifics in the three presidential debates, so clearly this issue is seen as too complicated for sound bites and/or too slow to resolve quickly. I really don’t think either candidate will make much of an economic difference in the resolution of the housing crisis over the next four years. We will see a long slow march towards stability on a national basis.

What other issues are driving your decision on which candidate to support?

It all comes down to a voter’s social policy preferences, despite the fact that I believe people tend to vote with their wallet in the long run. Both candidates will probably achieve about the same level of success with the economy over the next four years despite the contradictory vitriolic ads, rhetoric and misleading comments. U.S. economic problems have been building over last few decades and they are too large for a quick fix despite what is being proposed by both parties.