According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, the vast majority of Americans still consider home ownership to be the best long-term investment. Although the 81 percent of the 2,142 adults surveyed agreed, the confidence level was weaker than compared to a similar survey question from twenty years ago.
In 1991, 49 percent of adults "strongly agree" that homeownership was the best long-term investment, and 35 percent "somewhat agree", making up a total of 81 percent agreeing. In the new survey, the percentage that "strongly agree "dropped to 37 percent, with a larger percentage in the "somewhat agree" category at 44 percent.
About one-half of the respondents are current homeowners. Of those, 47 percent believe their home is worth less than before the recession began in July of 2006. Only 17 percent indicated a belief that there home has increased in value, and 31 percent feel the value has remained the same.
The respondents who felt their home has lost value also expressed concerns that it will take a long time for homes to recover the lost value. Only 6.5 percent think their home will recover value within two years. The largest percentage, 44 percent feel it will take 3 to 5 years, with 32 percent thinking it will be 6 to 10 years and 10 percent believing it will be longer than 10 years.
Even though confidence in the housing market has waned, current renters also expressed the importance of homeownership. A large majority, 81 percent, of renters stated that they intend to buy a home at some point.
In terms of long-term financial goals, being able to own a home was equally important to being able to live comfortably in retirement with 80 percent of respondents expressing both as very or extremely important.