Prudential Real Estate, a Brookfield Residential Property Services company located in Connecticut, released a new national survey showing that Americans are significantly more optimistic about homeownership than they were a year ago. According to the second-annual Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey, a full 60 percent of Americans have favorable views toward the real estate market. That’s up 8 points since last year.
The survey shows that signs of increasing optimism are widespread:
• With interest rates at historically low levels, 96 percent agree or somewhat agree that now is a good time to buy.
• A full 70 percent of respondents have some degree of confidence that property values will improve over the next two years; with an 8 point increase in those very confident or confident compared to last year.
• 63 percent believe that real estate is a good investment despite the recent market volatility; that’s up 11 points from last year.
The survey confirms that despite the recession, homeownership remains a central part of the American Dream. Eight in 10 respondents said homeownership is very important to them; only 15 percent said the economic downturn made homeownership less important.
“Respondents nationally and locally told us what our sales professionals see every day that, despite recent market volatility, homeownership remains integral to the dreams of most Americans and that consumers’ confidence in the housing market is returning,” says Candace Adams, President of Prudential Connecticut Realty. “This is good news for home buyers and sellers in Connecticut. As more people look to take advantage of historic interest rates and prices, we believe the foundation for a sustainable recovery is in sight.”
Also highlighted in the survey are strong ties between homeownership and the community: 77 percent agree that homeownership strengthens a sense of community with 87 percent agreeing or somewhat agreeing that neighborhood comprised of homeowners have a stronger sense of community than neighborhoods made up mainly of renters. This is critical in an environment where two in three respondents believe community feelings in America are declining.
Among the generations, 94 percent of respondents believe that finding the right home and community are crucial to helping their family be happy. Only a small minority of older Americans said the recent housing crisis made homeownership less important to them. Nearly half Gen Y respondents said it made homeownership more important. Gen Y’ers are particularly optimistic about the road ahead with 72 percent expressing favorable views about the residential real estate market.
“Characteristically, many of these consumers, particularly Gen Y, share a firm sense of family and community,” Adams says. “It’s not surprising now that they’re embracing homeownership in Connecticut and across the country to build on that sense.”
The survey also highlighted consumer caution in a recovering real estate market: 93 percent of respondents said that the housing crisis reminds them that they must be more careful about buying and selling property. More than 90 percent of respondents said a good real estate sales professional can help them make the right choices about homes and communities; and 71 percent believe good agent representation is more important than ever, up 4 percent from last year’s survey.
For more information, visit BHHS New England Properties, formerly Prudential Connecticut Realty.