Not even a housing-led recession can shake Americans' faith in the blessings of homeownership.
House prices may be falling, foreclosures rising and residential sales weak -- yet the vast majority of homeowners say their home is a source of comfort (90%) in their life, while just 6% say it is a burden, according to a Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey conducted Oct. 3-19, 2008 among a nationally representative sample of 2,260 adults, including 1,625 homeowners. Another 4% say their home is both a comfort and a burden.
This warm feeling of owners for their homes contrasts sharply with the nation's chilly residential real estate market. By the end of last year, Zillow.com, an online real estate information source, calculated that U.S. home values had fallen 17.5% since the market peak in 2006 -- or by a total of $6.1 trillion.
Homeowners aren't unmindful of this tanking market. Eight-in-ten (82%) in the Pew Research Center survey say that now is a bad time to sell a home in their area. More than seven-in-ten (73%) say that this is a good time to buy a home.
Despite the current national housing funk -- or maybe as a refuge from it -- owners in all the major demographic groups overwhelmingly say they view their home as a comfort. There are no differences by gender, race, age, income or education. Nor do people's responses vary depending on whether or not they are married, have children or are employed. Owners who have never left their hometowns and those who have moved repeatedly are just as likely to say their homes are a comfort.
Read the full report No Place Like Home—Even if the Value Is in the Tank on the Pew Research Center's Web site.