WASHINGTON – The ability to buy, sell and own property has defined our nation throughout its history, and as the U.S. prepares to celebrate its 235 birthday, Americans continue to reaffirm their support of and aspirations toward home ownership.
“For over 100 years, Realtors have helped bring families home,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “There’s a reason why home ownership is called the American Dream – it’s part of our collective history and an essential part of building our nation’s future, as well.”
Numerous studies have shown the value Americans place in home ownership. According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, first-time buyers most often cite the desire to own a home as the primary reason for their recent home purchase. Eighty-five percent of all recent home buyers consider a home purchase a solid investment, and 76 percent of them believe owning a home is as good as or better than an investment in stocks.
Earlier this week, a New York Times/CBS News poll reported that nearly nine in 10 Americans say home ownership is an important part of the American Dream. In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, 73 percent of respondents said they believe the federal government should provide tax incentives to promote home ownership.
“Owning a home has long-standing government support in this country,” said Phipps. “Historically, lawmakers have understood the value of homeownership in fostering communities, creating social stability, and building wealth over the long term. In fact, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘A nation of home owners is unconquerable.’
“The mortgage interest deduction was introduced as part of the federal tax code nearly a century ago, and the Federal Housing Administration, Federal Home Loan Banks, and Fannie Mae were all created during the worst economic crisis our country ever faced in the Great Depression.”
Studies also demonstrate tangible social benefits to home ownership. The NAR report, Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, showed that home owners are more active in their communities, benefit from improved education opportunities, and report higher levels of self-esteem and happiness when compared to renters. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that owners do not move as frequently as renters, providing more neighborhood stability. In turn, involvement in community quality-of-life issues helps prevent crime, improve childhood education and support neighborhood upkeep.
“As families across the country gather this weekend to celebrate our nation’s birthday, Realtors will continue to work to insure that this and future generations have the opportunity to pursue their dreams of owning a home,” said Phipps.