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Election 2012 Housing Heat Maps: Is Your County's Housing Market Better Off Than Four Years Ago?

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The heat maps below are part of RealtyTrac's Exclusive Election 2012 Local Housing Market Health Check released today. Download the full report, which includes embed codes for the following heat maps.

The report looked at five key metrics related to the housing market -- average home price, unemployment rate, foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts and share of distressed sales. Based on these five key metrics, the U.S. housing market comes out slightly worse off than it was four years ago. The positives of lower foreclosure inventory and fewer foreclosure starts are outweighed by the negatives of lower home prices, higher unemployment and a higher share of distressed sales.

But because real estate is ultimately local, the national picture does not provide much insight into what is happening in each of the myriad local markets across the country. A look at the five key metrics mentioned above at the county level provides a more nuanced mosaic of whether housing is better off or worse off than it was four years ago.

In the 919 counties with data available for all five metrics, 580 (65 percent) showed at least three out of the five key metrics worse off than four years ago, while in 315 counties (35 percent) at least three of the five key metrics were better off than four years ago.

Each of the maps below displays a different metric related to housing along with information about how each county voted in the last presidential election. Different shades of red and blue represent how each county voted. To see the housing-related data for a county, simply hover over that county on the map.

Please note, not all the data is available for some counties.

Home Prices
Average home prices decreased from four years ago in 72 percent of counties analyzed in the RealtyTrac report. Learn more about the home price trends.

Unemployment Rates
Unemployment rates increased compared to four years ago in a whopping 94 percent of the 919 counties analyzed for the ReatlyTrac report. Learn more about the unemployment trends.

Foreclosure Inventory
Foreclosure inventory decreased from four years ago in 52 percent of the counties analyzed for the report, although there were some notable exceptions to that downward trend in counties in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida, among others. Learn more about the foreclosure inventory trends.

Foreclosure Starts
Similar to foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts decreased compared to four years ago in the majority of counties (53 percent) analyzed in the RealtyTrac report. Learn more about the foreclosure start trends.

Share of Distressed Sales
The percentage of residential sales involving properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned increased in a very narrow majority of counties analyzed for the report, 455, versus 450 counties where the distressed percentage of sales was down compared to four years ago. Learn more about distressed sale trends.

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This is very interesting and important information to help us better understand why perhaps Real Estate hadn't been discussed during any of the three Presidential debates. These scorecards written by Staff Writers of Realty Trac about the swing states up-for-grabs, will be discussed further on our radio program, tomorrow, October 30, 2012 8:30am, WSBR MONEYTALK RADIO 740am. You can listen live from or whenever you'd like as it is archived on Blog Talk Radio, I am a Realtor in South FLorida, Broward County. One of the highest regions in the USA for distressed property sales. I also co-host the Real Estate Roundtable with Henri and Frank, airs live on MONEYTALK RADIO 740am, WSBR, Boca Raton, Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30am. You can hear each radio show archives on our website or on Blog Talk Posted: October 29, 2012 by: Frank Vigliotti, Realtor, CDPE, PA

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