Housing Improves in Hard-Hit Swing States

September 6, 2012

Nevada, Florida, and other swing states battered by the housing downturn are finally showing signs of improvement. Florida REALTORS® reports a 7.8 percent gain in single-family home prices in the Sunshine State over the past year, and median sales prices have hit a three-year high.

John Tuccillo, chief economist for the association, attributes the increases to a rebound in the job and stock markets and to foreign investors turning their attention to the state's housing stock. 

Median prices are up more than 9 percent from 2011, reports the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®; and the Ohio Association of REALTORS® says prices in that state have perked up 4.9 percent. 

However, experts say voters in the swing states have yet to register these improvements. "The word hasn't gotten out that home prices are appreciating again," says John Burns of John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Many homeowners in the swing states remain underwater, with more than 67 percent of owners in the Las Vegas area, over 50 percent in Orlando, nearly 44 percent in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, and 33 percent in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, still owing more than their homes are worth.

With neither President Obama nor Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focusing specifically on the housing market in their proposals, Burns says most voters will choose the candidate likely to have the most positive effect on the economy — which they closely associate with real estate recovery.

Source: “Housing Improves in Hard-Hit Swing States,” CNN Money (Sept. 5, 2012)

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