House to House: More Renters Than Ever Aspire to Home Ownership
31 July 2011 - 18:35, by , in House To House, No comments

iStock_000011618280smaller-300x200Seven in 10 renters believe owning a home is a priority for their future. This is according to the 2011 National Housing Pulse Survey recently released by the National Association of Realtors®, which said more renters than ever (72 percent) aspire to home ownership, up from 63 percent in 2010.

“It’s no surprise that most renters eventually want to become home owners,” said Batesville, Arkansas Realtor® Bill Olson. “They realize the long-term value of owning a home, as well as the safety and stability that go along with that.”

Similar to previous years, the survey also found an overwhelming majority (72 percent) of Americans said buying a home is a good financial decision. In addition, almost two-thirds (64 percent) thought that now is a good time to buy a home. When asked why home ownership matters to them, respondents cited stability and safety as the top reason. Long-term economic reasons such as building equity followed closely behind.

“Home ownership strengthens communities by preventing crime, improving education and supporting neighborhood upkeep,” said Olson. “Owning a home is also one of the best ways to build long-term wealth and it also offers home owners savings during tax time.”

One of those savings is the mortgage interest deduction. The Arkansas Realtors® Association believes the MID is vital to the stability of the housing market and economy. And so do a majority of Americans. The Pulse Survey found respondents were adamantly against eliminating the MID. Two-thirds of Americans oppose eliminating the tax benefit, while 73 percent believe eliminating the MID will have a negative impact on the housing market as well as the overall economy.

“The MID facilitates home ownership by reducing the carrying costs of owning a home, and can mean significant savings for home owners,” said Olson.

“Realtors® are working hard to make sure that any changes to current programs or incentives don’t jeopardize our collective futures.”

Other key findings of the survey include:

More specific findings from this year’s survey include:

  • More than three quarters of renters (77 percent) say they would be less likely to buy a new home if they were required to make a 20 percent down payment. Among current homeowners, four-in-ten (39 percent) say they would not have been able to buy their current home if they been required to make a 20 percent down payment.
  • Having enough money for a down payment and closing costs is the largest obstacle that makes housing too expensive and unaffordable (82 percent say it is a “huge” or “medium-size” obstacle).
  • Two in every three Americans (67 percent) oppose eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction as one part of a plan to reduce the federal deficit. Underscoring the intensity of this opinion, a majority of Americans (51 percent) strongly oppose eliminating it.
  • The stalled economy continues to adversely affect the housing market. Confidence in job security is a top obstacle (80 percent say “huge” or “medium-size”) to home ownership, while job layoffs and unemployment are ranked as the top problem facing Americans (61 percent say it is a “very big” or “fairly big” problem in their area).
  • Foreclosures on homes remain a large concern, with almost half (47 percent) characterizing the issue as either a “very big” or “fairly big” problem in their area.
  • Stability, safety and the long-term economic benefits of ownership top the list of reasons people give for why it is important to own a home.

Closer to home, survey respondents identified people falling behind on their mortgages and the drop in home values as critical concerns in local housing markets. Foreclosures also continue to be a large concern. However, the survey also found that respondents were less concerned about the number of homes and condos for sale than in previous years.

The 2011 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program. The telephone survey was among 1,250 adults nationwide, with an oversample of interviews of those living in the 25 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

House to House is written by Amy Glover Bryant, APR and distributed weekly by the Arkansas Realtors® Association.

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