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Prudential poll shows positive outlook for homeownership

A new survey shows increasing optimism toward the market among homebuyers

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: March 14, 2012 03:05 PM

Prudential Real Estate, a Newport Beach-based franchise brokerage, has
just released the results of the second Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey, which gauges the atmosphere of the residential real estate market by collecting the sentiments of potential homebuyers and sellers.

The poll was conducted last month by surveying more than 1,200 individuals in the U.S. with at least $50,000 in annual income who describe themselves as “in the market” to buy or sell a home.

Most questions relating to market growth and improvement on the survey received favorable responses by the majority of participants, and 60 percent of those polled said they had a favorable overall view of the market, up 8 points from last year’s study.

Overall, the general majority of respondents agreed on most points relating to the current state of the residential real estate market. Seventy percent said they had some degree of confidence that property values will go up within the next two years, another 8-point improvement over the previous study. A further 63 percent said they believed that real estate is a sound long-term investment (another increase over last year, this time by 11 points), and with interest rates at the lowest levels in years, 96 percent agreed or somewhat agreed that now is a good time to purchase a home.

"Respondents told us what our sales professionals see every day that, despite recent market volatility, homeownership remains integral to the dreams of most Americans and that consumers' confidence in the housing market is returning," said Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate. "This is good news for home buyers and sellers, communities and our economy as a whole. As more people look to take advantage of historic interest rates and prices, we believe the foundation for a sustainable recovery is in sight."

On the question of the benefits of homeownership, 77 percent of respondents said they felt that owning a home contributes to a sense of community, with 87 percent agreeing, or agreeing somewhat, that a neighborhood of homeowners creates a stronger community than one made up of renters or lessees. Eighty percent of respondents said that owning a home is very important to them.

"Characteristically, many of these consumers, particularly Gen Y, share a firm sense of family and community," Lee said. "It's not surprising now that they're embracing homeownership to build on that sense."

Reflecting on recent trends and events, 93 percent of those surveyed said that the housing crisis reminded them to be more careful about buying and selling property. Approximately 90 percent said they would rely on a reputable real estate sales professional to help them make a decision.

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