The poll, whose results were reported by The New York Times today, found that 9 out of 10 Americans believe that homeownership is an important part of the American Dream. It also indicated that Americans give priority to homeownership over other economic issues. Forty-five percent of respondents say that the government should be doing more to bolster the housing market, a higher percentage of people than those who support job relief, according to the poll. The poll's numbers also indicate that confidence in homeownership as a desirable investment has diminished, with only 49 percent considering it a safe investment and 45 percent saying it is a risky one.
Those responses contrast sharply with a related poll conducted by a Pew Research Center Survey in March which found that 8 out of 10 respondents agreed that buying a home was the "best long-term investment a person can make."
Americans also appear to be shifting blame for the crisis from regulators to lenders, who have been marred by revelations of illegal foreclosure practices. And while a majority of respondents still believe that the real estate market will recover, the poll reflects growing pessimism among Americans about a turnaround, with 39 percent of respondents saying that they believe the slump is permanent, up from 28 percent in a Times poll from October 2010.
Almost one-quarter of families said that their houses are worth less than what they owe on their mortgage. That demographic is much more likely to default than the average American homeowner.
The New York Times has the full story.
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