Seventy-five percent of Americans say that “owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make and is worth the risk of ups and downs in the housing market,” according to a new survey of 2,000 bipartisan voters by the National Association of Home Builders.
Despite their situation – whether underwater on their home or even renters – the survey found Americans to be optimistic about home ownership. Eighty-one percent of those who own their homes outright, 76 percent with mortgages, 67 percent of renters, and 65 percent who have underwater mortgages cited home ownership as the “best long-term investment.”
When survey respondents were asked whether they’d recommend buying a home to a friend or family member just starting out, 80 percent of Americans said “yes.” Even home owners currently underwater – those who owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth – overwhelmingly (78 percent) said they would recommend home ownership to family or friends starting out.
More buyers are coming up through the pipeline too. The survey found that 73 percent of those surveyed who do not own a home said their goal is eventually to buy one.
The NAHB survey also found:
> 58 percent of Americans oppose eliminating the mortgage-interest deduction and 63 percent oppose lowering it. What’s more, 57 percent of those surveyed say they are less likely to support a candidate for Congress who wanted to eliminate the mortgage-interest deduction.
> Respondents were split on about requiring a 20 percent down payment to purchase a home: 49 percent were in favor and 49 percent opposed it. However, mortgage holders and renters aged 18 to 54 were more opposed to it: 58 percent of younger mortgage holders and 59 percent of younger renters opposed adding a 20 percent down payment requirement.
Source: “The Cook Report: The Home Front,” National Journal (June 2, 2011)