Georgia housing market favors Republican incumbent party
RealtyTrac predicts that the Republican incumbent party—with the incumbent retiring—will win in Georgia. Of the 80 counties in Georgia scored, 56 were categorized as better off, while 19 were categorized as toss-ups and five were categorized as worse off. Currently, Republican candidate David Perdue is slightly ahead in the polls.
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% of homeowners with a mortgage are seriously underwater, compared to 19% in Fulton County and 9% 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% compared to two years ago, while Fulton County saw home values increase 30% and Gwinnett County registered a 33% 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% from August 2012 to August 2014. Fulton County saw a 58% decrease in foreclosure starts, while Gwinnett County saw foreclosure starts drop 62%.
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