Defining the American Dream

Most Believe Housing Recovery Remains Distant

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

45 Percent of U.S. Adults Say Government Not Doing Enough to Prevent Foreclosures
Trulia and RealtyTrac on May 18 released the latest results of an ongoing survey that has tracked American attitudes toward foreclosed homes since 2008. Harris Interactive® conducted this online survey on their behalf from April 15 to 19, 2011, among 2,018 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.
American Expectations for Housing Market Recovery Falters
As more cities across the nation experience double dips in home prices, more than half (54 percent) of U.S. adults believe recovery in the housing market will not happen until 2014 or later, according to the survey. In a previous survey conducted six months ago, 42 percent of American adults said they thought the market would turn around by 2012 or had already turned around. Now, only 23 percent continue to think this will happen.
Current Government Foreclosure Prevention Programs Not Enough
According to the survey, 45 percent of American adults say the government is not doing enough to prevent foreclosures. Only 17 percent say too much is being done while 16 percent say they are doing the right amount and 22 percent say they are not sure.
The widespread prevalence of distressed homeowners facing foreclosures in today’s market is one reason why negative sentiment toward the government may be so high. Almost one-third (30 percent) of homeowners self-reported that they have or know someone who has applied for or received a loan modification, stopped paying their mortgage, foreclosed, walked away or short sold their home.
Expectations for Buying a Foreclosure
More than half of U.S. renters (56 percent) and 47 percent of current homeowners are at least somewhat likely to purchase a foreclosed home. Along with having some concerns about hidden costs, a risky buying process and loss in home value, many potential buyers expect to save money if they buy a foreclosure versus a similar non-foreclosed home. In fact, American adults expect to pay 38 percent less for a foreclosed home than a similar home that was not in foreclosure – not too far above the average discount of 36 percent on sales of bank-owned homes (REO) compared to sales of homes not in foreclosure reported in the RealtyTrac 2010 Foreclosure Sales Report.
Do You Believe in Homeownership?
In last month's newsletter, we asked you to weigh in on your relationship with homeownership. We found that more than half of you already own a home, although some of the comments we received indicate some of those homeowners may be planning to become renters soon. Meanwhile, about one-third of you plan to buy in the future, with 15 percent saying they plan to buy this year, and 14 percent plan to be lifelong renters.

To what extent do you believe in home ownership?

I already own 53.5%

I plan to buy this year 14.8%

I plan to buy in the future 17.9%

I plan to rent forever 13.9%

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