October, 2001
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Homeownership Alliance Reports Consumers See Homeownership as Solid Investment


American consumers are saying ‘Goodbye, Wall Street. Hello, picket fence,’ according to a recent survey of homeownership in the U.S.,” said Mike Sorohan, senior staff reporter for Real Estate Finance Today.

He recapped a survey released earlier this year by the Homeownership Alliance in the April 30, 2001 issue of the newsletter. The results of the survey seem to confirm Americans continue to view homeownership as a solid investment.

The survey, conducted by Voter/Consumer Research of Washington in mid-February 2001, polled 1,500 randomly selected adults from areas nationwide regarding an array of housing issues. The margin of error was +/- 2.5 percent.
Of those surveyed, 84 percent disagree - including 52 percent who strongly disagree - with the few economists who have suggested the economy would be better off if more people invested their money in stocks or bonds rather than becoming home owners.

Americans strongly disagree that current homeownership is too high.
One of the principal reasons people give for supporting homeownership is that it represents a smart and stable investment. Polling conducted throughout the 1990s has consistently confirmed this analysis. The most recent findings indicate that an historically high number of people - 87 percent of the general public - believe in the strong investment potential of homeownership.

How many  own homes?
As of the end of 1999, 70.1 million Americans had achieved the dream of homeownership, a record 67.2 percent.

Median cost of home and median mortgage amount?
The median cost of a new home in the United States was $166,100 as of July and the median cost of an existing home was $143,300. The average size of a conventional mortgage was about $112,000 at the end of 1999.

Based in Alexandria, Va., the Homeownership Alliance is a coalition of 12 organizations committed to ensuring support for the American housing system. Members include the American League of Financial Institutions, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, the Enterprise Foundation, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Independent Community Bankers of America, the Independent Insurance Agents of America, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Bankers Association and the National Urban League.
For more information visit www.homeownershipalliance.com or call (202) 354-8205.