Younger generations continue to hold a more favorable view of homeownership than their elders, according to ""Prudential Real Estate's"":http://www.prudentialrealestate.com/ end-of-year Outlook Survey.[IMAGE]
The report, which bases its findings on data from interviews with 5,000 consumers in the market to buy or sell a home, shows homeownership remains important to 96 percent of Americans, with 77 percent of respondents ages 25-34 and 78 percent ages 35-44 agreeing it is ""very important."" Those percentages fall off somewhat for older generations: 73 percent for the 45-54 crowd and 72 percent for those ages 55-64.
Moreover, 75 percent of respondents said they believe homeownership is still an important part of the American Dream, while 78 percent agreed it is good for the economy.
In addition, the survey found that perceptions of the housing market are generally favorable at the moment, especially among the younger generations: 29 percent of respondents ages 25-34 view the market at least somewhat favorably compared to 11 percent for the 55-64 respondents.
""Millennials and Generation X--about 85 million people strong--face a unique opportunity in U.S. housing,"" said Earl Lee, CEO 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.""
Space, safety, and investment ranked among the top reasons to own a home. Ninety-seven percent of respondents said homeownership allows for more control over a living space, while 93 percent felt it is worth the purchase to live in a safer neighborhood. Meanwhile, 90 percent said purchasing a home is a good investment.
While those surveyed showed solid confidence in today's market--74 percent agreed with the statement ""now is a great time for me to buy a home""--some reluctance remains. According to the survey, 62 percent of respondents feel obtaining financing is more challenging than it was before the financial crisis, and 63 percent said the housing collapse was a warning to exercise caution when buying or selling a home.
In addition, 72 percent of those surveyed said they feel that having a trusted partner for the process is important given the challenges of the new market, with those in the younger generations expressing the most concern about finding reliable sources of information.
""The housing market has finally turned the corner,"" said Stephen Phillips , COO for HSF Affiliates. ""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.""