When economic hardship occurs, many Americans tend to cut back on making financial investments, including purchasing a home. However, a new survey from JP Morgan and Chase revealed that homeownership remains a large part of the American Dream.
"Owning a home is at the heart of most Americans' dreams," said Kevin Watters, chief executive officer of mortgage banking at Chase. "And people are saving as much as possible to achieve homeownership."
Saving money can be the most difficult part of purchasing a property, especially for first-time buyers. In addition, strict lending standards that came about after the housing market slump, which led to a large number of foreclosures nationwide, have previously prevented even well-qualified applicants from making the investment. Economists predict these standards will continue to loosen, while real estate records show that affordable mortgage rates will also likely prompt more prospective buyers to become active in the market.
Results from the survey revealed that 66 percent of respondents consider buying a home a good financial move, and 75 percent say homeownership is an important part of raising a family. One economic factor that plays deeply into thoughts regarding homeownership is career opportunities, which have returned in a large way. Only 8 percent of those polled expect their finances to become worse.
In all, 87 percent of respondents said they want to own a home, and noted it has always been a goal of theirs. Sixty-eight percent of those currently renting said they want to own a home, but saving money was noted as the main reason for trouble doing so. Those considering purchasing a home also reported being more confident in their ability to save money for initial costs associated with buying a home, including a down payment. JP Morgan and Chase noted that twice as many potential first time buyers were optimistic in saving up for the investment within the next six months, with 56 percent of consumers predicting their personal finances to improve in the first half of 2013.
"First-time home buyers are crucial to the housing market and the overall economy - and to their communities," Watters said. "As families buy their first home, they are investing in their communities and enable other families to move up. That will eventually spur more new construction, generating additional jobs."