Americans Still Believe in Buying Homes


– Nearly eight out of 10
respondents believe buying a home is a good financial decision, despite
challenges with the economy and housing market. That’s
according to the 2010
National Housing Pulse Survey, an annual report released  by
the National
Association of Realtors.

survey, which measures how affordable housing issues
affect consumers, also found job security concerns to be the highest in
years of sampling, with 70 percent of Americans saying that job layoffs
unemployment are a big problem in their area; eight in 10 cite these
issues as
a barrier to homeownership. 

real issue facing the nation’s economy right now is
that many Americans can’t find meaningful work to support
their families,” said
NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox &
Associates in
Tucson, Ariz. “While a job recovery is what’s
needed right now to get the
economy and housing market back on the right track, owning a home
continues to
be part of the American Dream and one of the best long-term investments
in your

economic uncertainty, 68 percent of those
surveyed still believe now is a good time to buy a home; while that
number is
down from last year (75 percent), it’s up from 2008 (66
percent) and 2007 (59
percent). Lower home prices and record-low mortgage interest rates may
attracting buyers to the housing market – more than
one-fourth of renters said
they are thinking more about buying a home than they were a year ago.
Sixty-three percent of renter respondents said that owning a home is a
in their future, and nearly 40 percent said it was one of their highest

home prices have improved affordability. In fact,
the percentage of renters who are worried that the cost of housing is
so unaffordable that they will never be able to buy a home has
steadily since 2007, from 63 to 57 percent. 

improved affordability, 79 percent of respondents
still consider having enough money for down payment and closing costs
to be
among of the biggest obstacles to buying a home. Another obstacle is a
lack of
confidence in their ability to be approved for a loan, reported by 73
of respondents.

good news is that Americans are seeing more stability
in the real estate market. Nearly seven out of 10 believe that home
values have
stabilized in their area; the same number expects home sales to remain
the same through the end of the year. 

more than half (51 percent) say foreclosures are a
problem in their area, the rate of foreclosures is also seen as
stabilizing; 51
percent say the rate is about the same as last year. Thirty-six percent
respondents cite the recession, loss of jobs and the poor economy as
the main
reason for the ongoing foreclosure problem. This has also led to a
increase in the number of people who believe the federal government
should take
a more active role overseeing loans and mortgages (44 percent, up from
percent last year).

nearly seven out of 10 say it’s harder to sell a
home in their area today than it was a year ago, it’s less of
a concern from
last year when the number was 10 percentage points higher. This is most
the result of lower home inventories.

2010 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by
American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for
Housing Opportunity Program. The telephone survey was among 1,209
adults living
in the 25 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. The study has a
of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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