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Owners and Renters Agree: Owning a Home Is a Smart Decision

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RISMEDIA, January 22, 2011—A substantial majority of both homeowners and current renters agree that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. That’s according to the results of a National Association of REALTORS® survey of 3,793 adults conducted online by Harris Interactive.

The American Attitudes About Homeownership survey found that in today’s challenging economy, 95% of owners and 72% of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home. In addition, an overwhelming majority of homeowners are happy with their decision to own a home—93% of owners surveyed would buy again.

“Homeowners and renters agree that homeownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, and is integral to our nation’s economy,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “The results of this survey illustrate just how important issues related to homeownership are to people in this country.”

The survey uncovered some differences between homeowners and renters, as well. While more than half of owners are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the overall quality of their family life, only one-third of renters report the same levels of satisfaction. Similarly, 43% of homeowners are very/extremely satisfied with their community life, compared with 30% of renters.

A majority of renters—63%—said it was at least somewhat likely that they would purchase a home at some point in the future. Among this group, young adults (18-29 years old) have the strongest aspirations for homeownership; only 8% of young adults said that it was “not at all likely” that they would purchase a home at some point in the future.

In today’s market, many aspiring homeowners are faced with worries about job security and creditworthiness. Among renters who are very or extremely likely to buy a home in the future, three out of five consider confidence in job security and creditworthiness to be an obstacle. One point of agreement between renters and homeowners was support of the mortgage interest deduction (MID). Seventy-four percent of owners and 62% of renters say it’s “extremely” or “very” important that the MID remain in place.

“At a time when the middle class is under increasing economic pressures, both homeowners and renters agree that the mortgage interest deduction should not be targeted for change,” said Phipps. “Given strong public support of and aspirations toward owning a home, we need to keep policies in place that support and encourage responsible, sustainable homeownership for our future.”

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. and fielded October 6-20, 2010. A total of 3,793 adults 18 and older were surveyed, including 1,880 home owners, 1,115 renters, and 798 young adults. All samples came from the Harris Poll online database and were weighted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income to be representative of the U.S. general population of adults 18 and older. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

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