Connect with us

Government

Does your housing market favor a Republican or Democrat this year?

With so many tight races this fall, comparing housing health this year compared to two years ago highlights whether your market favors D, R, or I candidates.

Published

on

elections

With so many tight political races underway, it begs the question – is housing healthier or worse off than two years ago in those areas? RealtyTrac’s 2014 Election Housing Scorecard answers that very question by analyzing housing market health in over 1,500 counties, offering in-depth analysis of the market in the eight states with tight Senate races.

This analysis is relevant as voters (you) head to the ballot box, considering the market that fuels your very livelihood – do you want things to change, or are things great in your area?

First, let’s see the visual breakdown (click to enlarge):
housing scorecard

And a more in-depth look at the county level with RealtyTrac’s interactive heat maps (click to launch):
politics

140 million people live in a market that’s better off

RealtyTrac looked at five factors impacting housing health: housing affordability compared to two years ago, unemployment rates compared to two years ago, foreclosure starts compared to two years ago, median home prices compared to two years ago, and the percentage seriously underwater homeowners. County housing markets were categorized as Better Off, Worse Off or a Toss-Up based on this score.

As depicted above, a total of 811 county housing markets representing 52 percent of all those analyzed were categorized as Better Off compared to two years ago, while 176 (11 percent) were categorized as Worse Off and 560 (36 percent) were categorized as a Toss-Up.

Total population in the Better Off housing markets was 140 million, 50 percent of the total population in all housing markets analyzed for the report, while the Worse Off housing markets had a total population of 24 million (9 percent), and the Toss-Up housing markets had a total population of 115 million (41 percent).

Below, RealtyTrac analyzes the eight states with the tightest races:

Georgia housing market favors Republican incumbent party with incumbent retiring

Of the 80 counties in Georgia with sufficient housing data to score, 56 were categorized as Better Off while 19 were categorized as Toss-Ups and five were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off counties had a population of 5.8 million, representing 70 percent of the total population in counties with data. The Toss-Up counties had a population of 2.0 million, representing 25 percent of the total population in counties with data. The Worse Off counties had a population of 427,117, representing 5 percent of the total population in counties with data.

In Georgia’s three largest housing markets, unemployment is down over the past two years. In Fulton County, unemployment is down 1.5 percentage points, while Dekalb County is down 1.30 percentage points and Gwinnett County’s jobless rate is down 1.2 percentage points. Meanwhile, seriously underwater borrowers are still a concern in Georgia. In Dekalb County, 31 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are seriously underwater, compared with 19 percent in Fulton County and 9 percent in Gwinnett County. However, double-digit rises in home prices are buoying Georgia’s real estate market. In Dekalb County, home prices are up 49 percent compared to two years ago, while Fulton County saw home values increase 30 percent and Gwinnett County registered a 33 percent increase in home prices. The sharp rise in home prices without a corresponding rise in incomes is worsening the affordability situation in the major Georgia counties. The percentage of median income needed to purchase a median priced home is up 7 percentage points from two years ago in Fulton and Dekalb counties and is up 5 percentage points in Gwinnett County.

Meanwhile, foreclosure starts are significantly lower compared with two years ago in the major Georgia counties. In Dekalb County, foreclosure starts plunged 55 percent from August 2012 to August 2014. Fulton County saw a 58 percent decrease in foreclosure starts, while Gwinnett County saw foreclosure starts drop 62 percent.

Georgia Republican candidate with slight lead in the polls

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring, so this open race should be intriguing. If no Senate candidate receives greater than 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 4, Georgia would hold a Jan. 6 runoff after Congress is sworn in on Jan 3. The Senate battle in Georgia is a trifecta featuring Republican David Perdue, Democrat Michelle Nunn and Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford. Third-party candidates often fade, but Swafford’s candidacy could force a runoff and prolong the political theatre in the Peach State. An Oct. 1 Rasmussen poll shows Republican David Perdue holds a slight lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn, with Perdue drawing 46 percent of the vote to Democrat Nunn’s 42 percent.

North Carolina housing market favors Democratic incumbent

Of the 83 counties in North Carolina with sufficient housing data to score, 66 were categorized as Better Off while 12 were categorized as Toss-Ups and five were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off counties had a population of 7.3 million, representing 80 percent of the total population in counties with data. The Toss-Up counties had a population of 1.5 million, representing 16 percent of the total population in counties with data. The Worse Off counties had a population of 386,903, representing 4 percent of the total population in counties with data.

In North Carolina’s three largest real estate markets — Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford — the housing market favors the incumbent. Unemployment is down from two years ago in all three major housing markets: including Mecklenburg County’s unemployment rate is down 2.8 percentage points, Wake County’s unemployment rate is down 2.3 percentage points, and Guilford County’s unemployment rate is down 3.0 percentage points.

Meanwhile, the percentage of homeowners underwater is below the national average in all three of these counties thanks in part to rising home prices from two years ago. Homes are less affordable than they were two years ago in all three of the most populated North Carolina counties, but that shift away from affordability is not as dramatic in these counties as the nationwide average.

Two of the three most populated North Carolina counties show a decrease in foreclosure starts from a year ago, with Mecklenburg County foreclosure starts down 50 percent and Guilford County foreclosure starts down 37 percent. In contrast, Wake County foreclosure starts are up 18 percent compared with two years ago.

North Carolina Democratic incumbent maintaining narrow edge in the polls

Democratic incumbent Senator Kay Hagan is in a dogfight against Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis. The Tar Heel state tilts Democratic. North Carolina, a state that typically favors the GOP, is seen as a prime pick-up opportunity for that party. Tillis is the face of an unpopular legislature, but neither Obama nor Hagan is particularly popular in the state either. A Sept. 28 CNN/ORC International poll gives Senator Hagen a three point advantage over her Republican challenger, with the incumbent ahead by 46 to 43 margin, with Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh receiving 7 percent.

Colorado housing market favors Democratic incumbent

Of the 35 counties in Colorado with sufficient housing data to score, 33 were categorized as Better Off while two were categorized as Toss-Ups and none were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off counties had a population of 4.8 million, representing 99 percent of the total population in counties with data. The two Toss-Up counties had a population of 40,385, representing 1 percent of the total population in counties with data.

In Denver’s most populated housing counties — El Paso, Denver County and Arapahoe — the housing data favors the incumbent.

Unemployment is down in all three counties. In Denver County, unemployment is down 3.0 percentage points from July 2012 to July 2014, compared with a 2.9 percentage point decrease in El Paso County and a 2.5 percentage point decrease in Arapahoe County. The tide of seriously underwater Colorado borrowers is also receding, with only 6 percent of homeowners with a mortgage who are underwater in the three most-populated counties.

Meanwhile, home prices are rising in all three counties compared with two years ago. In Arapahoe County, home prices are up 22 percent, in Denver County home values are up 14 percent, while El Paso County saw home prices rise 5 percent. However, the rise in Colorado home prices without a corresponding rise in incomes is worsening the affordability situation in the major Colorado counties. The percentage of median income needed to purchase a median priced home is up 5 percentage points from two years ago in Denver and Arapahoe counties and is up 2 percentage points in El Paso County.

Meanwhile, foreclosure starts are down from two years ago in two of the three most-populated Colorado counties. In Denver County, foreclosure starts are down 67 percent from August 2012 to August 2014. El Paso County saw a 54 percent decline in foreclosure starts, while Arapahoe County saw foreclosure starts rise by 3 percentage points.

Polls show a dead heat in Colorado

Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Udall has a strong opponent in Republican Rep. Cory Gardner in a solidly purple state that could go either way come Nov. 4. In this highly competitive contest Democratic incumbent Senator Udall was behind challenger Gardner by a 48 to 47 margin, according to an Oct. 1 Rasmussen Reports poll in a state which President Obama won in 2012.

Louisiana housing market favors Democratic incumbent

Of the 18 parishes in Louisiana with sufficient housing data to score, 12 were categorized as Better Off while six were categorized as Toss-Ups and none were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off parishes had a population of 2.1 million, representing 64 percent of the total population in parishes with data. The six Toss-Up parishes had a population of 1.1 million, representing 36 percent of the total population in counties with data.

Housing market data in two out of Louisiana’s three largest housing markets — East Baton Rouge Parish and Orleans Parish — favors the incumbent while housing data is a toss-up in the third, Jefferson Parish.

Unemployment is down in all three major counties about 1 percentage point compared with two years ago. With regards to underwater borrowers, the data is mixed. In Jefferson Parish, 16 percent of borrowers are seriously underwater, while 15 percent are seriously underwater in East Baton Rouge Parish. However, in Orleans Parish only 4 percent of borrowers were seriously underwater.

Home prices are also mixed in Louisiana’s three largest housing markets. In East Baton Rouge Parish, home prices are up 14 percent compared with two years ago, while Jefferson Parish saw home values increase 7 percent. Orleans Parish, however, saw home prices plunge 23 percent from August 2012 to August 2014. The percentage of median income needed to purchase a median priced home is up 3 percentage points from two years ago in East Baton Rouge Parish and is up 2 percentage points in Jefferson Parish. The percentage of median income needed to purchase a median priced home is down 4 percent in Orleans Parish, making that market more affordable than it was two years ago.

Louisiana Democratic incumbent holding on to slight lead in the polls

Three-term Democrat Senator Mary L. Landrieu faces her most challenging race yet against, battling largely against two Republicans, including front-runner state Rep. Bill Cassidy and Rob Naness the Tea Party long-shot. Landrieu, the daughter of former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu (and whose brother Mitch is the current New Orleans mayor) has run an aggressive race as she tries to survive the Republican wave that has swept over the Southern states. But if Senator Landrieu doesn’t win a majority of the vote in the multi-party primary on Nov. 4 against her two challengers, she is likely to face Rep. Bill Cassidy in a Dec. 6 runoff.

A CNN/ORC International poll gives the third-term incumbent a 43 percent to 40 percent advantage over Cassidy among likely voters. If the Senate race in Louisiana goes to a runoff, however, this state could become the center of the Senate’s political universe in a David Duke v. Edwin Edwards slugfest.

Iowa housing market a toss-up

Of the seven counties in Iowa with sufficient housing data to score, one was categorized as Better Off while four were categorized as Toss-Ups and two were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off counties had a population of 93,776, representing nine percent of the total population in counties with data. The Toss-Up counties had a population of 641,024, representing 62 percent of the total population in counties with data. The Worse Off counties had a population of 304,747, representing 29 percent of the total population in counties with data.

In Iowa’s three largest county real estate markets — Polk County, Linn County and Scott County — the housing outlook is mixed. Unemployment rates are down less than one percentage point in all three counties, but underwater rates are below the national average. Median home sales prices are up compared with two years ago in Polk and Scott counties, but down slightly in Linn County. Meanwhile the slower home price appreciation does help out the affordability situation in Iowa, where the percentage of median income needed to buy a median-priced home is up less than 2 percentage points in both Polk and Linn counties.

Iowa Republican candidate takes the edge in the polls

With Democrat Senator Tom Harkin retiring, the race between state Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and GOP state Sen. Joni Ernst is considered one of the most competitive in the country, and its outcome is considered critical to determining the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. They’re running to replace Senator Harkin, who’s retiring after 30 years in office. This race remains tight, and it goes without saying that this one could go either way right now. A Sept. 30 Des Moines Register poll shows GOP candidate Joni Ernst grabbing a 6-point lead over Democrat Bruce Braley, with GOP Ernst leading 44 percent to Democrat Braley’s 38 percent. If Joni Ernst wins, she will be the first woman to represent Iowa in the Senate.

Arkansas housing market favors Democratic incumbent

Of the nine counties in Arkansas with sufficient housing data to score, eight were categorized as Better Off while one was categorized as a Toss-Up and none were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off counties had a population of 1.2 million, representing 99 percent of the total population in counties with data. The sole Toss-Up county had a population of 15,674, representing less than 1 percent of the total population in counties with data.

Arkansas’ three largest counties —Pulaski, Benton, and Washington — all had a decrease of about 1 percentage point in unemployment rates compared with two years ago. In Washington County, 17 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are seriously underwater, while in Benton County 14 percent are seriously underwaqter and 12 percent of Pulaski County mortgage holders are seriously underwater. However, home prices are up in Washington County, rising 22 percent between August 2012 and August 2014. The percentage of median income needed to purchase a median priced home is up 5 percentage points from two years ago in Washington County. Arkansas foreclosure starts are down in all three counties compared with two years ago: 90 percent in Benton County, 78 percent in Washington County and 70 percent in Pulaski County.

Republican challenger ahead in the polls in Arkansas

Two-term Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor of Arkansas is in the fight of his political life against freshman GOP challenger Tom Cotton. Democrats are making an unprecedented push on the ground to get out the vote in the Razorback State, but it might not be enough to overcome the unpopularity of a two-term Democratic president with a 31 percent approval rating. According to a September NBC News/Marist poll, Cotton was ahead of Pryor by a 45 to 40 margin.

Kansas housing market favors Republican incumbent

Of the 22 counties in Kansas with sufficient housing data to score, 21 were categorized as Better Off while one was categorized as a Toss-Up and none were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off counties had a population of 2.1 million, representing 97 percent of the total population in counties with data. The single Toss-Up county had a population of 71,927, representing 3 percent of the total population in counties with data.

In Kansas’ three largest real estate markets — Johnson County, Sedgwick County and Shawnee County unemployment is down compared with two years ago. Home prices are up in all three major Kansas housing markets, with Johnson County up 11 percent), Sedgwick County up 3 percent and Shawnee County up 18 percent.

The rise in home prices without a corresponding rise in incomes is worsening the affordability situation in the major Kansas counties. The percentage of median income needed to purchase a median priced home is up 3 percentage points from two years ago in Shawnee County and is up 2 percentage points in Johnson County, while Sedgwick County is up 1 percentage point.

Independent challenger surging ahead of Republican incumbent in Kansas

Republican Senator Pat Roberts is in the fight of his political life against independent Greg Orman. Kansas has been a reliably Republican state for decades. No Democrat has represented the state in Congress since before the United States entered World War II. But Senator Roberts is waging an uphill fight against businessman Orman after the state’s Democratic nominee Chad Taylor withdrew from the race, improving the odds for center-left independent Orman in this Midwestern matchup. A recent NBC News/Marist poll shows that Orman has opened a 10 point lead over Senator Roberts, with a 48 to 38 lead over the GOP incumbent. In Kansas, RealtyTrac predicts this race favors the incumbent.

Alaska housing market a toss-up

Of the three counties in Alaska with sufficient housing data to score, one was categorized as Better Off while two were categorized as a Toss-Up and none were categorized as Worse Off. The Better Off counties had a population of 89,319, representing 19 percent of the total population in counties with data. The Toss-Up counties had a population of 388,993, representing 81 percent of the total population in counties with data.

In Alaska’s most populated housing counties — Anchorage, Fairbanks North and Matanuska-Susitna —unemployment is down compared less than one percentage point compared with two years ago. In Anchorage County, only 2.6 percent of homes with a mortgage are seriously underwater, compared with 7.5 percent in Matanuska-Susitna County. The percentage of median income needed to purchase a median priced home is up 3 percentage points from two years ago in Anchorage County and is up 0.4 percentage points in Fairbanks North Star County. However, foreclosure starts are up significantly in from two years ago in two of the three major Alaska housing markets — Anchorage and Fairbanks North Star — while foreclosure starts are down from two years ago in Matanuska-Susitna.

Alaska Republican challenger leads Democratic incumbent in polls

Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich faces a steep challenge against Republican challenger Dan Sullivan, a former appointed state attorney general and commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources. But this is a very competitive race. In 2008, Senator Begich took down 40-year incumbent Ted Stevens, a Republican, in a red state during a presidential election. A Sept. 20 CBS/New York Time poll had Sullivan ahead of Begich by a 48 to 42 margin.

The American Genius' real estate section is honest, up to the minute real estate industry news crafted for industry practitioners - we cut through the pay-to-play news fluff to bring you what's happening behind closed doors, what's meaningful to your practice, and what to expect in the future. Consider us your competitive advantage.

Government

Why you must care that the Feds will now monitor secret real estate deals

The government will now monitor secret real estate deals in two cities, perhaps nationwide as of next year – could this hurt the industry, or clean up the flow of dirty money?

Published

on

Did you know that there are anonymous international buyers paying all cash for luxury properties in America under LLCs? Regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, the U.S. Treasury Department has announced that they’ll be monitoring those transactions in New York City and Miami to identify buyers.

There were hints that this two-city program could roll out nationally, but the program must first prove to be a success.

Why the Feds care

This purchasing method is becoming increasingly common across major cities in America, and the Treasury Department’s Director of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Jennifer Shasky Calvery told the NYT:

“We are concerned about the possibility that dirty money is being put into luxury real estate. We think some of the bigger risk is around the least transparent transactions.”

Why you should care

Making money as a Realtor is pretty appealing, especially if you want to survive, and saying no to a transaction based on their funding my prove difficult for some who are trying to just make an honest living.

There’s an ethical issue at play here – the reason for the monitoring is that our government believes this is one way money is being laundered.

“We are seeking to understand the risk that corrupt foreign officials, or transnational criminals, may be using premium US real estate to safely and secretly invest millions in dirty money,” said Calvery.

So how does this effect you?

If you’re in NYC or Miami, if you sell a property that’s over $3M, the government will require the title insurance company to discover the buyers’ names and submit that info to the Treasury database which law enforcement will have access to.

It sounds like a minimal number of deals, but the NYT reports that in Manhattan, 1,045 apartments would have qualified for this information collection process in the second half of 2015 alone, representing over $6.5B in total.

This marks the first time the Feds have required this level of disclosure in transactions, and the pilot program will run from March through August, becoming permanent nationally if the task force offers significant findings of money laundering.

So, the secret deals are over in these two cities, at least until August.

If this goes national, we expect international purchases of luxury properties to diminish, as it becomes less appealing for a very specific, yet exceedingly wealthy type of buyer. Further, real estate practitioners profiting from this type of purchase will likely see a rapid and sharp drop in volume.

#SecretDeals

Continue Reading

Government

What is the extent of NAR’s role in the Presidential election?

All eyes are focused squarely on the upcoming presidential election, but what exactly is the National Association of Realtors’ role?

Published

on

What’s the relationship between the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and upcoming presidential elections? As the largest trade association in America, NAR advocates every day on behalf of the nation’s 1 million REALTORS® and 75 million property owners. NAR is widely considered one of the most effective advocacy organizations in the country. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder candidates pay attention to the collective needs and wants of NAR members.

bar
But the interest goes both ways and according The Voice for Real Estate, NAR will be watching this year’s presidential election with a keen eye.

The housing recovery in particular is expected to play a large role in the outcome between the parties. According the NAR’s President Moe Veissi, NAR is working with policymakers “to ensure that mortgages are more readily available for qualified buyers.”

What is the goal here?

The goal is to help potential and creditworthy home seekers to obtain mortgage financing and help more people keep their homes or avoid foreclosure through a streamlined short sale process. The realtors believe housing recovery shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but lawmakers must understand the steps needed to keep the upward momentum that has finally begun, going, and cited several initiatives implemented by the present administration that has helped turn the market around.

Republican and Democratic candidates for president often touch on issues important to real estate while on the campaign trail. NAR follows candidates’ proposals carefully, but NAR Deputy Chief Lobbyist Jamie Gregory provides a reminder that proposals must travel a long road through Congress before anything happens: 

“Candidates are posturing and positioning to the voters and trying to attract their votes. So while [the candidates] are saying what their ideal plans are, even if they get elected they can’t do it alone. They still have to go to Congress; they still have to have a partner in this process. And Congress will have a lot of day about what happens.”

Staying up to speed

Current issues regarding NAR and political advocacy on Capitol Hill can be found on NAR’s Political Advocacy Page.

Below, NAR explains more in depth their connection and involvement in the upcoming elections:

#2016election

Continue Reading

Government

NAHB officer may run for Congress to replace the embattled Rep. Schock

NAHB officer may run for Congress in light of Rep. Schock’s vacated seat and this officer has the experience to make a difference.

Published

on

nar writes congress about tax reform

With the resignation of Congressman Aaron Schock, there is a seat in Illinois that desperately needs to be filled. Schock resigned in light of several allegations that he defrauded his constituents by misspending their money, received inappropriate gifts, and sponsored zero bills during his three-plus terms.

A bit about Brady

Enter Ed Brady. His name will more than likely ring a bell. He is the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) Vice Chairman of the Board and a home builder from Bloomington, Illinois. He has been active in the NAHB leadership structure at the local, state, and national levels throughout his career. Brady has served on the NAHB board of directors for more than ten years and has been a member of the NAHB Executive Board since 2005.

Brady also served as a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission from 2012 to 2014, which was formed in the wake of the housing market crisis to examine the nation’s housing policy and suggest new ideas and approaches to contribute to the dialogue and help further the housing policy reform debate and now, he has thrown his hat into the Congressional arena.

The NAHB pledges their support

Tom Woods, chairman of the NAHB, has issued a statement regarding Brady’s run for the United States House of Representatives: “Ed has been recruited by many in his home district to consider running for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Schock. This should come as no surprise, given that he has been active in politics for over 27 years.”

“While Ed remains dedicated to NAHB, he has told his fellow officers and leaders of the association that he feels a strong sense of duty to explore this opportunity to run for Congress. Whatever he may decide, he will have the unwavering support of this association. Ed has said he will decide early next week what his next steps will be.”

Until he makes an official announcement, we can only hope that one of real estate’s own will make an entrance into the office that was so unappreciated by its last occupant.

#RepBrady

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Partners

Get The Daily Intel
in your inbox

Subscribe and get news and EXCLUSIVE content to your email inbox!

Still Trending

Get The American Genius
in your inbox

subscribe and get news and exclusive content to your email inbox