Presidential Candidates Avoid Talking Real Estate…Again

by on General

Republicans Versus Democrats

The second presidential debate has come and gone and what is one issue that has still been left unaddressed? The real estate market.

Everything from China to "binders of women" and Big Bird have been topics of the presidential debates; however, the real estate market and foreclosures has very much been pushed under the table by both candidates despite the fact that the real estate market is a key issue throughout the nation.

The Power of Swing States

When it comes to a presidential election, many candidates focus on swing states and spend a significant number of hours and money campaigning in these states. Despite the fact that some of the swing states (including Florida and Nevada) have struggling real estate markets, both candidates are dodging the issue. In fact, it is almost as if they have both agreed to steer clear of the real estate market in their debates.

In fact, Nevada and Florida come in at the top of the list when it comes to real estate market struggles, primarily due to a drastic drop in home prices and high number of delinquencies (especially in Florida). If these two swing states are essential to the upcoming election, why are they not being addressed?

Why the Housing Market has been Taboo

There are many reasons why the candidates could be actively avoiding talking about the housing market, but the most likely option is that neither candidate has created a plan in which they are confident airing. Let’s face it, addressing the multi-faceted issue of real estate market progress toward recovery is definitely not easy – if so, the problem would have already been solved. Instead, it is very complex and is not nearly as fun as pointing out the flaws of their opponents "logic" and "facts".

As a result, neither candidate has said much about the real estate market and plans to move the housing market forward, despite numerous pleas from those throughout the country – especially individuals living within states with a housing market that is still struggling.

Housing Market Plans: Obama vs. Romney

So if they are not actively discussing their housing market plans, where do they stand on the issue? Are their plans the same? Do they even have a plan? Etc. Well, by examining actions (for Obama) and previously stated comments about the housing market (by both candidates) you can get a better feel on where Obama and Romney stand when it comes to the real estate market.

As with many things involving Mitt Romney, his real estate market strategy has fluctuated over time. To be blunt, he has gone from saying foreclosures should run their course to vague mentions of helping homeowners with alternatives to foreclosures. So in essence, Romney does not have a plan to help the real estate market progress and move toward recovery.

Obama believes it should be easier to refinance for troubled homeowners, and wants to expand these refinance opportunities under HARP to non-government sponsored loans; however, this method requires congressional approval, which has been nearly impossible to achieve with the political parties fighting one another tooth and nail.

At the end of the day, Romney does not seem to have a real estate market plan and Obama is avoiding the topic like the plaque due to its dependence on Congress approval and his lack of success with the initiation HARP program.

As a result, we are unlikely to hear either candidate discuss the real estate market before Election Day, which is very frustrating for many who are still struggling with underwater mortgages and/or are facing foreclosure – especially in swing states that could decide the election.