For some, renting might embody the American Dream more so than homeownership, according to a recent national survey.
Three in five adults, or 61%, now believe that renters can be just as successful as homeowners in achieving the American Dream, according to the How Housing Matters Survey conducted by Hart Research Associates.
While financial markets, as well as homebuilding and home sales data, may suggest the housing crisis is over, the American public is not quite reedy to declare the crisis is over, with 58% believing the nation is “still in the middle of it,” and 19% believing “the worst is yet to come.”
Among the percentage that believes the worst is yet to come, renters (25%) are slightly more pessimistic that owners (16%), writes the study.
Despite their alleged pessimism, more than 70% of renters aspire to own a home one day.
However, the survey suggests that the overall appeal of renting versus owning a home is changing, as 57% of adults believe that buying has become less appealing, with 54% saying “renting has become more appealing” than it was before.
But when it comes to remedying the housing crisis, the survey notes 65% of adults now believe the focus of national housing policy should be split equally between rental and ownership.
While homeownership has been a “bedrock principle in American life,” says Peter D. Hart of Hart Research Associates, the attitude shift toward rental housing adds to the nation’s transformational period currently taking place in the country.
“While the desire to own a home remains a bedrock principle in American life, this survey demonstrates that the American public’s views about housing are changing, in part due to the hangover from the housing crisis, but importantly, also because of changes in our lifestyles,” said Peter D. Hart of Hart Research Associates.
The dynamic is no longer simply “renting vs. owning,” says Hart, as perspectives are becoming more complex and people are viewing housing in a more holistic way.
“It is stunning to see how Americans are beginning to favor a new balance that serves both the homeownership and rental markets,” said Hart. “There is a new and real acceptance of a more balanced approach to housing policy that puts renting and owning on a more equal footing.”
The survey’s results derive from telephone interviews of 1,433 adults between February and March.
Written by Jason Oliva