Homeownership is Still the American Dream

January 11, 2012

Chicago Real Estate Forum attended a webinar today that revealed results of a survey regarding American voter opinions on homeownership and housing policy issues.

house with a phone around itThe National Association of Home Builders enlisted the help of Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners to conduct a phone survey of 1,500 likely voters across the country from January 2-5, just days into the new year; an election year.

What was discovered is that American voters still strongly value homeownership, even in today’s tough market.

“Americans are optimistic and hopeful, even though we have been through what I see as a four-year housing crisis,” said Neil Newhouse, a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. “The goal of owning a home is still very much a part of the American dream.”

According to the results, 96 percent of homeowners are happy with their decision to own a home; 84 percent of homeowners underwater on their mortgages expressed the same sentiment.

In addition, 74 percent expressed that owning a home is the best long-term investment to make, regardless of the struggling housing market.

“Owning a home is not just about a financial calculation,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. “It’s not just about a place to live. It’s a core value. It’s also very important for getting our economy going again.”

Lake discussed the “f” word — federal government — and its role in a housing recovery.

Among the results of the survey:

*Three out of four voters, both owners and renters, believe it is appropriate for the federal government to provide tax incentives to promote homeownership.

*Two-thirds of respondents say the federal government should help home buyers secure long-term mortgages.

*73 percent of voters oppose eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, and 68 percent would be less likely to vote for a candidate who proposes to abolish it.

*A majority of voters are also against proposals to reduce the mortgage interest deduction, eliminate the deduction for interest paid for a second home, limit the deduction for those earning more than $250,000 per year, scale back the deduction for home owners with mortgages above $500,000 and do away with the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans.

Democratics and Republicans have never seemed so polarized as they are today, but the struggling housing industry seems to be one issue that doesn’t fall along party lines.

“[Homeownership] is not a Republican issue. It’s not a Democratic issue,” said Jim Tobin, NAHB senior vice president for government affairs.

“It’s an American issue.”

To see all the results of the 2012 National Voter Poll on Homeownership, click here.

Categories: Economy, Featured, NAHB

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