‘Buying a Home’ Still a Major Part of the ‘Great American Dream’
Just months after a CNN Money poll showed that the "Great American Dream" of owning a home was fading away, a new study buy Country Financial - one of the leading investment and insurance firms in the U.S. - found that Americans are super optimistic about the housing market and owning a home is still a great part of the dream.
Of the 1,000 Americans that Country Financial surveyed, 89 percent said owning a house was a major part of the American dream. Also, 64 percent of the respondents thought that owning a home was an attainable goal in the near future. The figure was just 41 percent in 2013.
"We're very encouraged that so many Americans feel optimistic about home ownership and view it as a realistic and achievable goal," Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at Country Financial, said in a statement.
"This is a dramatic increase from last year, when less than half felt like home ownership was attainable for a middle-income family. An improving economy and labor market might be helping to lift Americans' spirits and place buying a home closer within reach," Buhrmann added.
The report also highlighted some major barriers that Americans felt are holding them back from buying a home. Fourteen percent of the people said a low credit score was a major hurdle to homeownership while 13 percent said they currently can't afford a down payment.
Only 12 percent of the respondents thought price was a problem. Indeed, the pace of growth of home prices in the U.S. has temporarily stalled and although the mortgage rates spiked this week, they are still at record lows.
But the jobs and wages scenario hasn't been doing very well for the housing market. More people are opting to rent because of the financial obstacles. Earlier this month, the Federal Bank of New York released a report that highlighted some major financial burdens for today's Americans that is stopping them from taking the property plunge.
The real estate market has shifted dynamically through the years. Experts at Zillow explain that while local markets performed uniformly earlier, every area is posting different figures in terms of house values today.
"Real estate has always been local, but as we continue to put the housing recession further in the rearview mirror, the largely uniform performance of local markets is also fading," Dr. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, said in a news release.
"We now have several different types of markets emerging, including markets that are still muddling along the bottom; markets that shot up immediately after the recession ended and are now cooling quickly; and markets that are still very hot. Each of these environments presents unique challenges and opportunities for buyers and sellers, and what works in one area won't necessarily work in another," he added.
Below are the seven best markets for buying a home as per Zillow's August 2014 rates:
1. Providence, RI
2. Cleveland, Ohio
3. Philadelphia, Pa.
4. Milwaukee, Wis.
5. Chicago, Ill.
6. Pittsburgh, Pa.
7. Tampa, Fla