Despite the trailing effects of the housing market crash and resulting recession, a majority of U.S. consumers still value homeownership and believe it’s an important part of the American Dream, says a new NeighborWorks America survey.
Two-thirds (67%) of American consumers polled for the survey said that the hangover from the housing crisis has not changed their view on the value of homeownership, slow rebound notwithstanding.
Even more respondents (70%) felt confident in their ability to know when it is the right time to purchase a new home, which NeighborWorks says suggests there is a wide range of information available to help buyers make the right decisions for what will likely be their biggest financial choice ever.
Widmeyer Communications, on behalf of NeighborWorks, polled 1,000 U.S. adults, 70% of whom owned their own homes, with another 28% identifying as renters. Of the homeowners, 44% said they owned their home outright, while another 49% were not in foreclosure or behind on their mortgage at the time of the survey.
Nearly nine in 10 consumers (88%) ranked owning a home as an important part of the American Dream, while 61% said homeownership is either the most important or a very important part. More than half (56%) of participating homeowners are 55 and older, compared to 49% of all respondents.
“The resiliency of homeownership comes out loud and clear in this poll,” said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen M. Fitzgerald in a statement. “Although the housing market took one of the largest hits ever—with home prices falling nationally and foreclosures rising to more than one million homes annually—homeownership remains a goal many want to achieve.”
While the housing crisis hasn’t changed Americans’ overall view of homeownership, NeighborWorks’ poll found “dramatic” differences between current homeowners and renters. Around 63% of renters are more likely to rent their next home because of the housing crisis, compared to just 25% of homeowners who would choose to rent their next home.
Not all consumers had an immediate positive outlook on homeownership, however. The poll revealed polarization among respondents in terms of being prepared to purchase a home, as almost half of Americans (48%) said they were more prepared today to buy a home compared to five years ago, while 40% said they were less prepared.
“These results tell us that most consumers believe that they know when the time is right for them to buy a home, and feel strongly that homeownership is important, but that their personal situation may have been affected in the past five years and is holding them back from pursuing homeownership,” said Fitzgerald.
Written by Alyssa Gerace