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Will angry homeowners decide the election?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis November 1, 2012 08:52 AM

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OK, I'm not sure I buy the idea that pissed off homeowners will swing next week's presidential vote one way or another.

But RealtyTrac took a look at the housing market in the key swing states across the country and came to some interesting conclusions.

States where homeowners can legitimately gripe that the housing market has actually gotten worse under Obama were awarded to Romney.

Conversely, states where the housing market has actually improved over the past four years were given to Obama.

In this analysis, Romney takes five of the eight battleground states - New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin and Florida. Obama takes three - Ohio, Nevada and Virginia.

The metrics to judge whether a market has improved included not just prices and the unemployment rate, but also foreclosure filings and foreclosure deeds, the last step in the process.

Six of the swing states saw prices decline over the past four years, with only Ohio and Iowa bucking the trend, according to RealtyTrac. All saw a jump in unemployment since September 2008 - with the exception of Ohio, where the jobless rate is down to 7 percent now.

Still, while Romney would take five of the eight swing states if the election were based on the performance of the housing market under Obama's watch, the president would still eke out enough electoral votes by taking Ohio to win reelection.

Final tally, 274 to 264, Obama.

Ironically, both candidates have steered clear of debating the housing market - it's such a morass neither apparently sees any gain in trying to score political points.

But certainly what's happened in the housing market has played a crucial role in shaping the current political and economic environment in which the election is playing out.

Homes are still the core asset for most middle class people and when the value of that goes down, it can't be good news for any incumbent president.

Here's what Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac's vice president, had to say.

Much like any presidential election in recent memory, the 2012 contest boils down to a select group of swings states that could go either way based on myriad factors impacting the voters in those states.

One of those factors is the housing market, which although a taboo subject for the candidates in all three debates, nevertheless should be a key consideration for many voters, whether homeowners or not.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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