A survey conducted earlier this year for the National Association of Home Builders has found that voters strongly value homeownership and would oppose efforts to weaken or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction or diminish a federal role to help qualified home buyers obtain affordable 30-year mortgages.
"The American electorate is sending a clear message that owning a home remains a cornerstone of the American Dream and preserving a federal commitment to homeownership is essential to maintain a thriving middle class and get housing and the economy back on track," said Neil Newhouse, a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies.
Conducted on Jan. 2-5 on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders by the Republican and Democratic polling firms of Public Opinion Strategies in Alexandria, Va., and Lake Research Partners in Washington, D.C., the comprehensive survey of 1,500 likely voters - both owners and renters – reveals they believe it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to provide tax incentives to promote homeownership. This sentiment cuts across regional and party lines, with 84 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Independents agreeing with this statement.
Among the poll's other key findings:
- 96 percent of home owners are happy with their decision to own and 84 percent who are "underwater," or owe more on their mortgages than their home is worth, expressed the same sentiment.
- 79 percent of home owners would advise a family member or close friend just starting out to buy a home, and 69 percent of those who are underwater on their mortgage would offer the same advice.
- 74 percent said that despite the ups and downs in the housing market, owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make.
- Homeownership and a retirement savings program are considered by voters to be their best long-term investments.
- 78 percent of respondents said that owning their own home is very important to them.
- Nearly seven out of 10 voters who are not currently home owners (68 percent) said it was a goal of theirs to buy a home.
- Job uncertainty and saving for a downpayment and closing costs are the biggest barriers to buying a home.