Reasons Shift in Desire to Own Home

Family moving into homeEven in this current unsteady economic climate, Americans have not given up on the dream of homeownership.
In 2011, 28 percent of people polled by Trulia said they did not want to own a home. This year that number fell to 22 percent according to Trulia’s American Dream survey.That breaks down to 3 out of 4 Americans viewing homeownership as an important part of being successful.
So where does this optimism come from?
According to economist Jed Kolko, the upward tick in the economy has made owning a home a much desired goal. According to the poll of more than 4,500 people, two-thirds of Americans believe home prices will rise this year, and 58 percent believe prices will return to their pre-housing peak within 10 years.
“And that is what is scary,” Kolko said. “We know those peaks were unsustainable. … That is the kind of optimism that led us to the last housing bubble and … could lead us into the next housing bubble years from now.”‘
The reasoning for wanting to own a home has changed since the housing bubble shattered. Previously, people polled by Fannie Mae listed financial benefits such as price appreciation and tax benefits as main reasons to buy. In the current market, people cite living in a safe neighborhood or in a good school zone as the most important aspects of owning a home.
“There’s nothing financial in their top five reasons to own a home,” Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist said. “There has been a big shift in those attitudes.”
Kolko predicts that the housing market can return to a “new normal”, lower than the peak of the market, by 2016. This is contingent on a number of factors including the federal budget controversies and the increasingly pessimistic European financial crisis.