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The Obama Effect

Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the government has run a lackluster mortgage relief program and offered Americans incentives to buy homes. Interest rates have fallen to historic lows. Yet by August 2011, the U.S. median home value was down to $172,600, or 9.9 percent below February 2009 levels, according to online real estate information marketplace Although most housing markets have struggled in the two and a half years that Obama has been President, home values have risen in a small number of cities—and they are not necessarily where you might expect. In Zillow's survey of the country's 1,000 largest cities for, Weston, Fla., an affluent city near Fort Lauderdale, ranked as the best-performing market, with an increase in median home values of 15.1 percent since February 2009. Other surprising winners: Utica, N.Y., Morristown, Tenn., and Penn Hills, Pa. Still, many markets fared far worse than average. In Homestead, Fla., a low-income Miami suburb about 50 miles from top-performer Weston, the median home value fell 48.8 percent—the greatest drop in the country.

Click here to see the country's 25 best-performing and 25 worst-performing housing markets since President Obama took office.

Home value change data on all slides from The Zillow Home Value Index estimates the value of all homes in an area, not just homes that sold, and does not count foreclosure sales.

Image Left, Photographer: Thinkstock, Image Right, Photographer: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

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