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Survey: 80 percent believe homeownership still a part of the American Dream

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Real estate search engine Trulia released findings from its bi-annual American Dream survey on Tuesday, which polled 2,207 U.S. adults aged 18 and over. While home sales continue to struggle, 80 percent of respondents indicated homeownership is still an integral part of the American Dream.

Among respondents currently renting, 51 percent said saving enough money for a down payment was the biggest barrier, while another 35 percent indicated difficult qualifying for a mortgage.

So, if the desire to own is there, what’s holding consumers back from buying?

The survey is chock full of interesting results that indicate optimism and will amid difficult lending and saving conditions. Some of the highlights include:

  • “Among Americans who said homeownership is part of their American Dream, only 6 percent said their ideal home size is more than 3,200 square feet – a 36.5 percent percent decrease from 9 percent in 2010.”
  • “In addition to shunning super-sized homes, future demand may turn away from traditional suburban neighborhoods as Baby Boomers retire and trade down while Millennials move closer to employment hubs and accessible transit.”
  • “When asked what would be the most important neighborhood amenities if they were in the market for a new home, 56 percent of Americans aged 55 years or older – more than any other age group – say would be being near more restaurants and shops while shorter commutes would be a higher priority for 57 percent of young adults (18-34 year olds.)”

Intentions to someday buy haven’t yet resulted in a boost in home sales, but the recession hasn’t removed homeownership from the American Dream, either. Trulia’s survey demonstrates a growing number of consumers are moving toward more modest living, placing practicality and convenience over luxury and excess.

How can these findings inform the way you do business?