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70 Percent of Americans View Homeownership as Part of Personal American Dream, According to Trulia

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RISMEDIA, February 12, 2011—Trulia.com, a top site for home buyers, sellers and renters, released the results of its biannual American Dream survey, which has tracked American attitudes towards homeownership since 2009. Harris Interactive conducted this online survey on Trulia’s behalf in January 2011 among 2,079 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.

Key findings of the survey include:

- American Dream Still Lives: Although foreclosures and underwater homes continue to plague the current housing market, 70% of Americans still view homeownership as being part of their American Dream. In fact, more than three out of four homeowners (78%) say their homes are the best investment they ever made. Conversely, only 20% feel trapped in their “underwater” homes while 14% said they would walk away from their homes in a heartbeat if they could.

- Millennials Driving Economic Recovery: Although many of today’s young adults came of age during the housing crash, more than one in four (26%) say their views on owning a home have become more positive over the past six months. With 88% of 18-34 year old renters aspiring to be homeowners, this new generation of buyers will likely play a crucial role in stabilizing today’s uncertain real estate market.

- Stronger Long-term Recovery in Southern and Western Regions: Despite today’s low mortgage rates and high affordability, most would-be homeowners are in no rush to buy. By comparison, a brighter beacon of hope shines in the South and West where the outlook for long-term recovery is much stronger. Undeterred by ongoing reports of foreclosures and underwater homes, 79% and 70% of renters in these respective regions say they plan to purchase a home.

“Contrary to popular belief, the American Dream of homeownership has not turned into an American nightmare. In fact, we’re seeing a national resurgence of buyer and seller activity on Trulia.com,” said Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia. “In January alone, we experienced an unprecedented level of site traffic including 11 million unique visitors—which is more than 70% year-over-year growth. We’ve seen leads to agents increase 60% year-over-year and are now experiencing 100,000 property views per minute.”

“During the housing bubble, the American Dream of homeownership was beyond reach for many young adults. Stuck with student loans and entry-level jobs, many had resigned themselves to being lifelong renters. But the tide is changing—Millennials are now today’s most serious home buyers,” said Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Consumer Educator for Trulia. “Unjaded and largely untouched by the effects of the housing crash, this new generation of buyers will no doubt lead America from its current housing slump towards true recovery.”

“Although the American Dream of homeownership remains surprisingly strong, it will not be an immediate reality for most people,” said Nelson. “Uncertainty has caused most would-be buyers across the nation to play a waiting game with the market, leading them to put their home purchases on hold for at least two years. However, new data shows that most renters in the South and West have long-term plans to buy, which is great news for America’s hardest-hit regions.”

For more information, visit www.trulia.com.

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