The five-year swoon in home prices has done little to shake the confidence of the American public in the investment value of homeownership. Fully eight-in-ten (81%) adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make, according a nationwide Pew Research Center survey of 2,142 adults conducted from March 15 to March 29, 2011.
There has been some falloff in the intensity of the public's faith. Today, 37% "strongly agree" while 44% "somewhat agree" that homeownership is the best investment a person can make. When this same question was asked two decades ago in a CBS News/New York Times survey, 49% "strongly agreed" and 35% "somewhat agreed."
Even so, confidence at any level these days is notable, given that the housing market is mired in the longest and deepest decline in modern American history. Home prices are down by 31% from their pre-recession peak in July 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. After a pause last year, prices fell again in the first quarter of 2011.
Read the full report Home Sweet Home. Still. on the Pew Social & Demorgaphic Trends Web site.