Owning a home is still part of the American Dream, new research shows

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The majority of young people renting their home still believe in the American Dream of owning their own home, according to new research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Although only half of surveyed households believe the economy is currently improving, nearly all young renters eventually want to buy a home and compared to earlier this year an increasing share believes their personal financial situation will improve in the months ahead. The survey data reveals that an overwhelming majority, some 94%, of current renters who are 34 years of age or younger want to own a home in the future. Overall, 83% of polled renters have a desire to own and 77% believe homeownership is part of their American Dream. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that the survey's findings debunk the notion that young adults aren't interested in buying a home. ‘Despite entering the workforce during or immediately after the worst of the financial and housing crisis, the desire to become a homeowner appears to be a personal goal for a convincing majority of young renters,’ he pointed out. ‘Furthermore, there appears to be sizeable, pent-up demand for buying that currently remains untapped because of a variety of economic and personal reasons impacting many households,’ he added. The top two reasons given by renters for not currently owning was the inability to afford to buy and needing the flexibility of renting rather than owning at 53% and 19% respectively. When asked what would likely be the main reason for buying in the future, renters cited lifestyle considerations such as getting married, starting a family or retiring and an improvement in their financial situation at 33% and 26%. ‘A combination of factors such as rising rents and home prices, limited supply, repaying student debt, and getting married and having children later in life has more to do with the currently underperforming share of first time buyers than the idea that buying a home is not as desirable as it used to be,’ Yun explained. Despite uncertainty about the economy's current performance, at least 84% of all households within all surveyed age groups and education levels believe owning a home is a good financial decision. When asked if they believe this strongly or moderately some 76% who believe it's a good decision feel strongly about it. Additionally, at least 85% of surveyed households in each age category as well as across all education levels believe home ownership is part of their personal American Dream. The most appealing aspects of homeownership cited by those with this feeling include a place to raise a family, owning their own place and a nest egg for retirement at 36%, 26% and 14% respectively. NAR's survey found that more home owners than renters during the polling period believe that it's a good time to buy a home at 82% compared to 68%. Furthermore, of those who thought it was a good time to buy, 645 felt strongly about buying. Among… Taylor Scott International

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