Two-Thirds of Consumers Still Value Homeownership
The worst housing crisis in generations and the slow rebound back to
normalcy has not changed the view of homeownership for two-thirds (67
percent) of Americans, according to a new poll on housing from
NeighborWorks America, a community development nonprofit organization.
Meanwhile, renters have not been swayed to purchase a home despite
near-record low mortgage rates and a general decline in home prices.
According to the poll, 55 percent are not considering homeownership,
while 42 percent of renters are considering it.
But confidence in knowing when it is the best time to buy a home runs
high. Nearly 70 percent of Americans said that they were confident (46
percent very confident) in their ability to know when it is the right
time to purchase a home, suggesting that there is a broad set of
information available to help buyers make a good decision for what is
usually the largest financial choice most will make in their lifetime.
In fact, the NeighborWorks America survey found that 88 percent of
consumers ranked owning a home as an important part of the American
Dream with 61 percent who said it is either the most important part or a
very important part.
But while the overall view of homeownership has not been changed by
the housing crisis, the poll found dramatic differences between current
homeowners and renters. The poll found that 63 percent of renters are
more likely to rent their next home because of the housing crisis, while
only 25 percent of homeowners would choose renting their next home.
A critical point identified in the survey is that whatever the
housing choice, having a quality and affordable home matters to people;
homeownership is not linked to a person identifying himself as
successful. Specifically, the poll found that 55 percent of consumers
said that they would still feel successful if they never owned a home.
The Housing Crisis and Consumer Preparedness
But the poll did reveal tension among consumers as they are more
polarized when it comes to being prepared to purchase a home. While
nearly half of Americans (48 percent) said that they were more prepared
today to buy a home than five years ago, 40 percent said that they were
The poll showed that there are a variety of obstacles to
homeownership, and that these obstacles are driven largely by personal
economics, including lack of job security (14 percent) and lack of a
down payment (13 percent). Americans were less likely to believe that
weak or bad credit (7 percent) was holding them back from buying a home.
Attitudes Around Renting
Although mortgage rates are extremely low and home prices well off
their peaks from five years ago creating a largely affordable home
purchase environment, renters generally are not thinking about buying a
home today. According to the poll, 55 percent are not considering
homeownership, while 42 percent of renters are considering
The poll results provide a window into how renters feel about their
communities and their neighbors. According to the poll, 81 percent of
renters said that they were as committed to their community and home as
much as if they were homeowners. Moreover, the consensus among
homeowners and renters is that a community is not hurt when people who
rent move in. A majority (51 percent) disagree that neighborhoods are
hurt when renters move in, compared with 43 percent who believe that
renters hurt neighborhoods.
Source: NeighborWorks America
Fred Yancy, Broker
Harry Norman Realtors