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The candidates like to talk about everyday Americans, but as a new Newsweek article makes clear, nothing is average about the way they live. In addition to his ski lodge in Utah, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has a $10 million estate in New Hampshire. The candidate’s primary residence in the Boston suburb of Belmont is worth $1.8 million, nearly 3 times the area’s average, according to Newsweek.
And it seems that the candidates’ hometowns generally haven’t escaped the real estate slowdown, according to a report from Cyberhomes.com, Fidelity National Financial’s home valuation site.
Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudolph Giuliani, who are the leading presidential candidates in most national polls, are near the bottom of the pack when it comes to the estimated appreciation of homes in their neighborhoods, according to the Web site.
In Chappaqua, where the Clintons bought a Dutch colonial in 1999 for $1.7 million, median home prices rose just .75% during the 12 months ending October 2007. Median prices on the Upper East Side, where Giuliani owns a nine-room co-op, dipped .75%. Houses in Republican Mike Huckabee’s North Little Rock, Ark ZIP code saw a 6.8% price increase during the 12-month period, the largest appreciation of any candidate’s town. Home prices in Fred Thompson’s hometown of McLean, Va. have dropped 1.1%, the worst showing of any candidate’s ZIP code, according to the Web site.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.