Real estate website HomeGain recently surveyed Realtors on a number of economic topics, and though most of the questions dealt with prices and home values, a question on political support yielded interesting results, according to a HousingWire piece on the survey.
Agents were asked which candidate they supported in the 2012 Presidential Election, and the leading vote-getter was not current President Barack Obama, but Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who pulled in 34 percent of the vote to Obama’s 32 percent.
Following behind were Herman Cain with 16 percent (who has since dropped out of the race), Ron Paul with 10 percent, and Rick Perry with 8 percent. Homeowners were also surveyed, and among them, Obama holds a decisive lead with 41 percent to Romney’s 25 percent.
Romney’s lead with real estate professionals, though, is intriguing, especially considering the candidate’s relative silence on housing policy. And when he has commented on housing, Romney has not been overtly supportive for substantial assistance for the tough market.
According to a piece on PolitiFact, the most extensive comments Romney has made were in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where he commented on foreclosures and home refinancing programs.
“Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process,” Romney said, a reference to the Obama White House’s attempt to deal with the vast amount of REO properties on both private bank and GSE books. “Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up. The Obama administration has slow walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.”
“I think the idea of helping people refinance homes to stay in them is one that’s worth further consideration,” Romney also said, after criticizing the first-time homebuyer tax credit as “ineffective.”
“But I’m not signing on until I find out who’s going to pay and who’s going to get bailed out, and that’s not something which we know all the answers to,” he said.
Romney has not offered any comments on the White House’s latest revisions to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which seeks to offer more homeowners with the exact possibilities Romney mentions in his comments. His remarks on foreclosures, though, were quickly seized by Democrats in an attack ad that ran in Arizona, a state rife with foreclosures.
Given Romney’s silence on housing policy, could his lead in the HomeGain survey imply that real estate professionals, at least among those sampled, would prefer a more laissez-faire approach to housing from Washington?