Survey: Americans still prefer home ownership

By Gary Linnell

ProWEB Wire (Industry News)

Nearly two-thirds of Americans would still prefer to own a home; however, the recent housing market, combined with economic uncertainty, has made them more cautious about the details, according to a survey released today by mortgage lender Fannie Mae.

The survey found that 65 percent of homeowners and renters nationwide believe there is still value in owning a home. But the survey also shows that home buyers have become increasingly cautious after the housing bubble burst, leading to a number of foreclosures and a national recession.

Over 40 percent of respondents said personal safety was their main consideration when purchasing a home, while one-third said that the quality of local schools was the dominant factor.

According to Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, "Consumers are still committed to owning a home, but are showing increased cautiousness. This survey was done to get a level set about what the public is thinking about housing after the huge disruption. We wanted to understand the current and expected behavior of borrowers, and how to help people who have difficulties."

The survey also found that 60 percent believe buying a home today is harder than it was for their parents, while almost 70 percent feel it will be even harder for their children.

However, approximately two-thirds believe now is a good time to buy a house, while nearly one-third believe it is a very good time to purchase a home, nearly the same percentage as those who believed it was a good time to buy in 2003.