Homeownership declines in importance among Americans’ priorities

by Francis Monfort18 Sep 2017
Although homeownership remains an important life event, only 14% of Americans say it is of primary importance, according to a housing survey by ReportLinker.

The current figure is a slight decrease from the 19% of respondents who said homeownership is of primary importance in the 2016 survey. With the decrease, the rank of homeownership among Americans’ priorities in 2017 fell one notch to fourth. With a 10% increase from last year, most Americans now prioritize education, with achieving careers goals and marriage taking the second and third spots, respectively.

In spite of tumbling in the rankings, homeownership is still seen by Americans as the most important long-term financial goal, with 54% of respondents saying it is their primary long-term financial objective, up 11% from last year’s survey. Of the respondents, 81% said that homeownership is the best long-term investment a person can make.

ReportLinker said this investment aspect of homeownership is one factor pushing millennial interest in buying a home. It noted that the first quarter saw the number new-owner households double that of new-renter households, showing that the younger generation is entering the buyer’s market.

Additionally, ReportLinker said that there is a linear relationship between age and homeownership. Americans begin with living with friends and relatives rent-free and move on to renting on their own then to eventual home ownership.

The survey found that 31% of homeowners have a mortgage, while 15% already own their homes outright. ReportLinker said that people 55 and over were most likely to be mortgage free at 36%, while half of homeowners 35 to 44 years old were more likely to still have a mortgage.


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