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Owners, Renters Agree: Owning a Home is a Smart Decision

Media Contact: Stephanie Singer / 202-383-1050 / Email

WASHINGTON (January 19, 2011) - A substantial majority of both home owners 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 percent of owners and 72 percent of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home. In addition, an overwhelming majority of home owners are happy with their decision to own a home – 93 percent of owners surveyed would buy again.

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

The survey uncovered some differences between home owners 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 percent of home owners are very/extremely satisfied with their community life, compared with 30 percent of renters.

A majority of renters – 63 percent – said that 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 home ownership; only 8 percent 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 home owners 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 home owners was support of the mortgage interest deduction (MID). Seventy-four percent of owners and 62 percent 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 home owners 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 home ownership 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. Results are available online at www.realtor.org/statsanddata/homeownership/attitudes_homeown.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section.