Tuesday
September 16, 2014

Home Ownership's Defenders

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Home Ownership's Defenders

REALTORS® rallied for the American dream of home ownership. But the nation’s voters are just as committed to the cause, according to a national survey released in May by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Visitors to the nation’s capital saw a sea of blue gathered near the Washington Monument May 17 for the Rally to Protect the American Dream. Some 13,800 Realtors® from 50 states, three territories, and Canada joined the rally, and more than 15,000 have signed on virtually. The goal: Remind lawmakers that Realtors® are prepared to go to the mat to ensure home ownership remains central to the American dream. “You’re going to be the most effective advocates your industry can have,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, told the crowd. Register your support: www.realtorrally.org.

Home Ownership Matters to Americans

At the May 17 rally, REALTORS® showed their support for the American dream of home ownership. But the nation’s voters are just as committed to the cause, according to a national survey released in May by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

  • 62 percent of voters rated the importance of home ownership as a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10. Among all respondents, home ownership received a mean score of 8.6.
  • 91 percent said “home ownership is part of the American dream.”

Respondents to the Wilson Center survey were split on what involvement the federal government should have in assisting home ownership and mortgage finance—with just under half saying the government was too involved and just over half saying the government was either not involved enough or involved just enough.

But when respondents had more information, some opinions changed. Asked whether they would favor the government removing itself from mortgage finance, for example, 49 percent initially said yes. However, when told that “the federal government is the only entity with the resources to be able to insure or guarantee loans for 30-year mortgages,” just 29 percent said the government should remove itself from mortgage finance.

Other findings from the Wilson Center survey:

  • Family (19 percent) and security (17 percent) were the most common reasons cited for the importance of home ownership.
  • Importance of home ownership increases with age. The survey showed that 53 percent of voters between 18 and 44 rated it as extremely important, in comparison to 64 percent of those 45 to 64, and 72 percent of those over 65.
  • One-third of voters feel home ownership is more important than five years ago. Only 12 percent say it is less important than five years ago.
  • The majority of voters (54 percent) believe that “increasing home ownership should be a national priority.”

Source: www.wilsoncenter.org

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