Many have seen improvements in the current market for Atlanta new homes, but as we near the 2012 Presidential Election, many buyers, sellers and builders are waiting to see which candidate comes out on top. At the HBA’s September Regional Meeting, Jim Tobin, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the NAHB and NAHB Chief Economist, Dr. David Crowe, gave attendees an update on the current market and how the election will change how the market continues from here.
Tobin focused on politics and how the election polls look so far. Numbers from Real Clear Politics in September showed that 50.7 percent of people polled were favorable towards Obama, but 55.2 percent felt that the country was moving in the wrong direction. The fact of the matter is that people like Obama, but they do not like the economic predicament that we find ourselves in and they want to see significant improvement. At the time of this meeting Obama led in the Electoral votes predictions with 247 votes to Romney’s 191. That leaves 100 electoral votes from toss up states, making those states the deciding factor on who wins in November.
Dr. Crowe took a look at economical statistics to give attendees an overview of the current national and local housing market. The Georgia and Atlanta real estate market has improved, but that improvement has been slow. Factors that contribute to the lethargic movement include unemployment and underpriced housing. While the national unemployment rate has decreased, Georgia still remains above the national average and homes remain largely underpriced. In order for the Georgia housing market to show significant improvement, the unemployment rate needs to go down and housing prices need to continue to rise.
With the election coming down to the toss-up states and swing voters, it is important that Obama and Romney give strong and consistent responses in the next two debates. It is more important for Romney, however, as Obama already leads in Electoral votes. Neither candidate has focused on the housing market during the Presidential race, but Romney has outlined a plan on his website, while Obama has spent the past four years focusing on the economy in an effort to improve the housing market.
While the outcome of the Presidential Election remains to be seen, all can agree that it is important to keep the housing market moving in the right direction. Will Romney have his chance to put his housing plan into action or will President Obama continue his efforts for the next four years? I guess we will find out on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.