Homeowners still value homeownership, poll finds

A recent poll reveals that a majority of households support the government's role in the mortgage industry as long as it continues to make homeownership affordable for more Americans, the National Association of Home Builders reports.

A recent poll reveals that a majority of households support the government's role in the mortgage industry as long as it continues to make homeownership affordable for more Americans, the National Association of Home Builders reports.

According to the poll, nearly 75 percent of respondents support the current mortgage interest deduction, and would be against any moves to eliminate it.   

"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 Public Opinion Strategies partner and co-founder Neil Newhouse.

Meanwhile, in regards to the upcoming presidential election, the poll also found that nearly 68 percent of Americans would not vote for a candidate that would opt to do away with the mortgage interest deduction. The NAHB found that on political fault lines, there was very little difference in the sentiment, as 69 percent of Independents and 68 percent of both Democrats and Republicans said they wouldn't likely vote for a candidate who would take away the deduction.

"With the 2012 election season in full swing, candidates running for the White House and Congress would be wise to heed the will of the American voters, who have expressed broad support for government policies that encourage homeownership and oppose efforts to make it more difficult to get a home loan and to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction," Lake Research Partners president Celinda Lake said in the report.

Meanwhile, the poll also revealed that despite high rates of negative equity, overall, 96 percent of homeowners are still happy with their decisions to purchase their homes, while 84 percent of owners that are underwater share had the same response. In addition, 74 percent of respondents said that despite the weak housing market, buying a home is still the best long-term investment they have ever made.

Additionally, 79 percent of homeowners would advise close friends and family that are entry-level buyers to try to take advantage of the currently low interest rates and purchase property. In addition, 69 percent of owners with negative equity said they would offer the same advice.

However, despite a majority of poll-takers feeling that it is a good time to enter the housing market as a buyer, uncertainty in the job market and lack of available cash to make down payments continue to be major barriers between prospective buyers and homeownership.



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