It may seem hard to believe, but this year’s presidential candidates have mostly avoided discussing an industry that’s largely responsible for the last five years of economic pain.

That may be because, for President Barack Obama and GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney, the subject of housing remains an extremely sensitive one. Obama might like the real estate market, whose imbalances sparked the financial crisis, to remain a ghost issue because of a lackluster record at combating the foreclosure epidemic. Romney, meanwhile, might like to steer clear of the topic because a hard stance on housing could alienate voters whom he needs to win.

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