Tags: Gallup | Home | Ownership | Low

Gallup Poll: Home Ownership Hits Decade Low

Friday, 27 Apr 2012 01:04 PM

Home ownership is at its lowest in a decade, a Gallup poll finds.

Some 62 percent of Americans say they own their home, the lowest since Gallup began tracking self-reported homeownership in 2001, when 67 percent reported home ownership.

The figure was down from 68 percent in 2011.

"While the recession and financial crisis took place in 2008-2009, homeownership rates didn't begin to reflect the bursting of the housing bubble until 2010, when 65 percent of Americans reported owning their own home — the lowest level recorded before this year," Gallup reports.

Fifty-three percent of Americans believe their house is worth more today than when they bought it, down from 80 percent in 2008 and 92 percent in 2006, Gallup adds, illustrating that many Americans owe more on their homes than they are worth.

Now may be a good time to buy for those who can.

"Most Americans recognize that now is likely a good time to buy a house. Mortgage rates remain at historical lows and Federal Reserve policy seems determined to keep them low for some time to come," Gallup reports.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller house price index fell at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in February from a year earlier.

Index architect Robert Shiller, a Yale economist, says housing may take years — even lifetimes — to recover.

A sluggish labor market, high gas prices and a weak confidence in the economy in general will keep prices low.

"I worry that we might not see a really major turnaround in our lifetimes," Shiller says, according to Reuters.

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