Most Americans still believe in real estate as an investment

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 By

Housing

Despite the downturn of the past few years, Americans still believe in housing as a great investment. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A recent survey indicated that most Americans think real estate is a good investment. The value of the average house has dropped by nearly a third since the housing recession began in late 2007, and nearly a third of all homes are worth less than the amount that is owed on them. Housing prices will eventually begin to appreciate, but the process will take a while.

More than 80 percent of Americans have confidence in real estate

A recent survey revealed that despite the economic downturn, most Americans still have confidence in real estate as an investment. The Pew Research Center, according to Reuters, found that 81 percent of Americans felt real estate was still the best long term investment. More than 2,000 adults were surveyed by phone by the Social and Demographic Trends project, part of the Pew Research Center, and 37 percent “strongly agreed” that a house is the best long term investment, and 44 percent “somewhat agreed.” Most people believe that housing values will recovered within three years, but 23 percent said that they wouldn’t have bought their house if given the choice again.

April showers and May flowers

Realtors, according to MSNBC, are hoping that sales pick up during the spring and summer of 2011 and the current trend of slowing sales is reversed. Realtors and real estate industry analysts are concerned that the number of underwater homes and lower demand will keep home sales and home values down for some time. However, the National Association of Realtors is expecting an increase in home sales of 7.4 percent this year. One of the biggest complaints from the real estate industry has been that lenders are being too stingy, and standing in the way of the recovery that would benefit them by being too conservative with loan capital.

Downturn fuels skeptics

Skeptics and critics of the real estate industry have intensified their stance against home ownership, a cornerstone of the American Dream. An article on the USA Today website quoted Robert Shiller, co-founder of the real estate tracking Case-Shiller Index, as saying that people buy houses for security or lifestyle reasons. Another economist in the same piece found that a house only yields a 6 percent return on average. With depressed prices, along with agent fees and other closing costs, it may be far lower than that for many people.

Sources

Reuters

MSNBC

USA Today

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