Both presidential campaigns have addressed a broad array of topics, but have largely shied away from talking about the housing market. This is because the housing market is worse off than it was in 2008. And even though there are signs of a recovery, few experts are confident enough to declare that the bottom is behind us.
For president Obama, he hasn’t been able to pull off a recovery that he would have liked. For Romney who wants to curb government intervention in the housing recovery, he risks negatively impacting a large voting block of distressed homeowners.
For both, this is a hot button topic especially in swing states like Nevada, Florida, and Michigan where housing has yet to recover.
Over 10 million homeowners are still underwater on their mortgages. These homeowners in negative equity – when homeowners owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth – and unemployed homeowners pose a huge risk to the housing market, because of their lack of motivation and inability to pay their mortgages respectively.
A new report from RealtyTrac finds that, “based on five key metrics related to the housing market — average home price, unemployment rate, foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts and share of distressed sales — the U.S. housing market comes out slightly worse off than it was four years ago”.
We drew on the report to show you how housing has changed from 2008, when president Obama took office, to now.
Note: The report has data for 919 counties.
Foreclosure inventory has declined since Q4 2010, but distressed sales still account for 37 per cent of all sales.
Over the past four years 71 per cent of GOP-voting counties saw home price decrease, while 74 per cent of Democrat-voting counties fell.
62 per cent out counties won by Obama in 2008 saw a decline in foreclosure starts, compared to 54 per cent of counties won by John McCain
However, banks have become more willing to consider alternatives to foreclosure starting this year, which is a good sign
But foreclosure sales still account for 23 per cent of all residential sales, up from 17 per cent in Q1 2008
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