Survey: Homeownership Is Increasingly Important to Younger Americans

Prudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC company, has released its end-of-year Outlook Survey, which shows that Millennials and Generation X place a higher importance on and hold more favorable views toward homeownership than older generations. According to the national survey, confidence increased marginally among respondents with 73 percent at least somewhat confident in the recovering real estate market and property values as opposed to 72 percent in Q2.
To view an infographic supporting the survey findings, please click here.
Additionally, “Contemplators,” survey participants who considered but did not buy/sell a property during the past year, displayed a 10 percent increase in confidence over Q2 figures for both the U.S. real estate market and home prices indicating they will likely keep their eye on the market.
“Millennials and Generation X – about 85 million people strong – face a unique opportunity in U.S. housing,” said Earl Lee, chief executive officer at HSF Affiliates LLC and president of Prudential Real Estate. “They are generally optimistic about homeownership and, by nature, share a strong sense of community. As important, many were not impacted by the real estate downturn and are looking at today’s buying opportunities with keen interest.”
Key observations include:
• Homeownership remains important to 96 percent of Americans with 77 percent of respondents ages 25-34 and 78 percent ages 35-44 indicating homeownership is “very important.” More so, 74 percent of respondents agree that with interest rates at historically low levels now is a great time to buy a home.
• Space, safety and investment drive the reasons to own a home, with 97 percent of respondents stating that homeownership allows for more control over living space. Tax benefits finished a distant sixth on the survey’s reasons for buying a home.
• 63 percent of Americans have a favorable or somewhat favorable perception of the U.S. residential real estate market and, again, younger generations are more likely to possess a favorable opinion when compared to their older counterparts.
“We feel there are many contemplating real estate now,” said Lee. “With interest rates near historic lows and prices in many markets still well off their highs, a home remains one of the best long-term investments people will make.”
However, the survey also shows consumers remain cautious about the real estate process, with 62 percent of respondents stating that obtaining financing is more challenging than it was pre-financial crisis. Given the dynamics and challenges of the market, 72 percent feel that having a trusted partner for the process is important, with younger generations being most concerned about finding reliable sources of information.
“The housing market has finally turned the corner,” said Stephen Phillips, chief operating officer for HSF Affiliates LLC. “It’s been a tough road but the momentum we are seeing across the economy and real estate market appears sustainable. Real estate agents have a real opportunity to develop new relations with a younger generation ready to invest in a home, and with others who are returning to the market thanks to improving conditions.”
Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Methodology
Interviews with 5,000 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home were conducted online by EdelmanBerland, between December 5-14, 2012. Respondents are aged 25-64 with a household income of at least $50,000, and either recently bought/sold a home or are considering buying/selling a home. The margin of error is ± 1.4 percent for all respondents.
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