Rising Home Prices in Swing States Makes Housing a Non-Issue for Obama

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Home prices are on the rise nationwide, with Trulia reporting that asking prices- a lead indicator for sales price- is up 2.5% year-on-year in September.

Excluding foreclosures, asking prices are up 3.5%. The Trulia Price Monitor takes into account changes in the mix of listed homes, so they reflect trends in prices and rents for similar homes in similar neighborhoods.

The rise in prices has essentially made housing a non-issue for the candidates, according to Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko. If anything it has given a boost to Obama's campaign.

"The timing of the housing price rebound couldn't be better for President Obama," said Kolko in a statement. "Prices are up sharply in Nevada and Florida, two swing states that suffered a lot of housing misery, and have risen in six of the seven electoral swing states. Rising prices take pressure off the candidates to propose housing solutions before the election - and make it harder for Romney to criticize the Obama Administration's housing record."

Asking prices rose 7% in Nevada and 6.9% in Florida. Only one of the seven swing states, North Carolina, saw a decline of less than 1%.

If this year-to-date price trend continues, prices will be up almost 4 percent by the end of the year - ending several years of price declines, according to Trulia.

Neither candidate has had much to say about housing policy. The Romney Housing paper has been widely criticized for being short on details.

The first of the Presidential debates saw very little mention of the housing mess. President Obama noted that housing prices were on the rise, and Governor Romney was hard pressed to refute that statement in the wake of recent data.

Still, with 10 million homes still underwater, it is surprising that this issue is not up for debate.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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