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Nov. 3, 2020, 11:20 a.m. EST

Homeowners in Republican areas are more likely to be underwater on their mortgage

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Jacob Passy

People who live in congressional districts controlled by a Democrat are more likely to have seen their home equity grow over the past year, according to a new analysis of the country’s housing market.

Researchers at real-estate analytics firm Attom Data Solutions looked at local housing markets across the country to see how various measures of the real-estate market’s health differed between liberal and conservative parts of the U.S.

Though more homes were sold in Republican districts, home prices were significantly higher in areas represented in Congress by Democrats. The average home sale price in a Democrat district was nearly $429,000, compared with roughly $245,000 in Republican-leaning districts.

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The difference in home prices appears to have left homeowners in blue areas in a stronger position. Nearly a third of properties in Democrat-represented areas were equity rich, meaning the balance remaining on a person’s mortgage is less than half the estimated value of their home. That was true of only a quarter of the homes in Republican-controlled areas.

As a result of the stronger equity positions, only 4.9% of owners in Democratic counties were seriously underwater on their home loans, meaning they owe at least 25% more on their mortgage than their home is worth. Comparatively, 7.2% of homeowners in Republican counties were seriously underwater, the study found.

That said, there were some benefits to owning a home in a Republican congressional district. On average, property taxes are lower in those areas — $2,676 versus $5,127 in Democrat-controlled parts of the country. And Republican counties had fewer homes in foreclosure.

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