Housing crisis not deterring people from the dream of homeownership

November 25th, 2013

For many people, homeownership is still a major part of the American dream

Following the housing crisis of 2008, it may seem like Americans would be put off by the idea of entering the housing market, particularly if it’s their first time. But in fact, a recent housing poll from NeighborWorks America, a community development nonprofit, found that for the most part, the opposite is true.

According to the report, the housing crisis and the market’s ongoing return to normalcy has not changed the view of homeownership for about two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans.

“The resiliency of homeownership comes out loud and clear in this poll,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, CEO of NeighborWorks America. “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.”

A large part of homeowners’ faith in the market seems to be due to their perceived knowledge of the best time to buy. The NeighborWorks America survey found that about 70 percent of consumers are confident in their ability to¬†determine the right time to purchase a home. In fact, 46 percent of respondents were very confident in this regard.

A focus on the American dream
Overall, homeownership seems to remain part of the ultimate American dream for which many people will continue to reach. Eighty-eight percent of the survey respondents said owning a home is an important part of the American dream, and 61 percent said it is either the most important part of that dream or at least a very important part.

In this way, it seems like even a downturn in the housing market can’t deter Americans from their vision of the ultimate dream, which bodes well for the U.S. economy. The housing market is recovering strongly right now, but regardless, the desire for homeownership likely will not wane.

Homeownership beats renting
Consumers’ other responses to the NeighborWorks America survey further support the idea of homeownership in the United States, particularly over renting. Even as mortgage rates rise above their previous historic lows, they remain very affordable. This means that homeownership can still be more cost-effective for certain people compared to renting.

Fitting with this theory, according to the report, only 25 percent of current homeowners would choose to rent their next home.