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Trulia: More Renters Still Want to Own Homes

Even with new-home sales tanking and recession fears redoubling over August, more renters clung onto the hope of homeownership, with 59 percent still aspiring to pocket a pair of keys and ink their names to mortgages, according to ""Trulia"":http://www.trulia.com/. The consensus: more than half of all homeowners believe in making the home their most important investment.


Recently releasing the biannual American Dream survey, the real estate Web site tracked feelings about homeownership across age demographics.

According to Trulia, 70 percent of survey respondents held firmly to the idea that homeownership is central to the American Dream. The finding is unchanged since January this year.

Fifty-seven percent of those who currently own homes agreed with the idea that their homes represent the most important investment in their lives, with the 401K and retirement accounts ranking second and third in importance, respectively.


Of the survey respondents, including homeowners aged 55 years or older, 80 percent nodded their head to the sound of a future home purchase.

The largest obstacles for renters who want to buy? Trulia found that 51 percent fault the pressure to save up for a down payment. Thirty-six percent of respondents cited qualifying for a mortgage as their second-biggest barrier, while 34 percent underscored the role played by a poor credit history.

Thirty-one percent said that homeownership came with delays as a result of existing debt, while 29 percent highlighted unstable jobs and 13 percent chalked up their housing woes to depressed home values.

""Despite the slow and weak economic recovery and stumbling housing market, the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. Given the strong intent to buy a home among today's renters and homeowners, I am optimistic that long-term housing demand will recover ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô even though today's prices tell a different story,"" Jed Kolko, chief economist with Trulia, said in a statement.

He described a number of obstacles that persist for renters, including concerns about ""saving enough for a down payment├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª qualifying for a mortgage├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª and having a bad credit history,"" adding that these barriers ""keep some would-be homeowners from taking advantage of low mortgage rates.""

His prescription to relieve some of these pressures?

""Government homeownership policies can target some of these obstacles to homeownership, but only stronger economic recovery will help households facing multiple obstacles become better able to buy homes,"" he said.