Majority of Americans see homeownership as good investment; affordability woes remain

Eighty-four percent of Americans believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision, the highest number in 10 years. Yet six in 10 said that they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. This is according to NAR’s 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey, which measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan statistical areas.

This survey makes it clear that most American’s still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home. Yet, Americans consider the lack of affordability as a big obstacle to ownership.

Concerns over housing affordability show clear demographic divides, especially among unmarried and non-white Americans. More than 50 percent of unmarried and non-white Americans view the lack of available affordable housing as a big problem, compared to only four in ten of married and white Americans.

Nationally, 44 percent of respondents categorized the lack of available affordable housing as a very big or big problem. In the top 25 densest markets, more than half see the lack of affordable housing as a big problem, an increase of 11 percentage points since 2015. Nationally, lower income Americans, renters and young women most acutely feel the housing pinch. There is also greater concern about affordable housing among the working class (65 percent) than for public servants such as teachers, firefighters or police (55 percent).

The survey found that over half of respondents strongly agree that homeownership helps build safe and secure neighborhoods and provides a stable and safe environment for children and family members.


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