Senate votes to end shutdown, minimizing disruption to real estate

Update: Later this afternoon, the House followed the Senate in passing the bill to fund the government through Feb. 8, officially ending the shutdown.

This afternoon Senate Democrats joined with Republicans to overwhelmingly vote (81-18) in favor of a short-term spending bill to fund the government through Feb. 8. Assuming approval from the House later today, a step the New York Times called simply a “formality,” the government shutdown that entered day three Monday morning will be short-lived, and the disruption to real estate will be minimized as a result.

“In a few hours, the government will reopen,” said Democratic leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York in a speech announcing the end of the shutdown.

The final agreement did not include protections for “dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children and protected by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), but the Democrats moved ahead on voting after being assured by Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, that he would bring a vote on DACA to the floor if an agreement isn’t reached by the Feb. 8 deadline, according to reports by NPR and the The Washington Post.

National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall was pleased that a deal had been reached but said there was more work to be done.

“We are pleased that members of Congress were able to come together to extend short-term funding for the federal government and end the shutdown, which thankfully, will have only a minimal impact on real estate transactions,” Mendenhall told Inman. “However, following this shutdown we strongly urge Congress to speed passage of legislation to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program for a longer term and end the uncertainty of the current stopgap approach.”

If the shutdown had continued, the real estate industry could have been impacted by mortgage application delays, according to housing experts who spoke with Inman Friday, but the overall impact of a shutdown on the economy and housing market is typically negligible.

In October 2013, during which the government shut down for two weeks, sales volume declined modestly nationwide and in Washington, D.C., but rebounded soon after government employees returned to work, according to Redfin data. Total sales volume declined 16.9 percent, month over month, but rebounded over several months.

But with business set to resume later today, it appears the industry won’t be experiencing long-term shutdown déjà vu after all.

Email Gill South.

Article image credited to Jorge Alcala on Unsplash

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