Despite troubles with the economy and the nation's housing market, 65% of Americans still prefer owning a home, according to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey.
The poll, which was conducted between December 2009 and January 2010, asked homeowners and renters their views about home ownership as an investment, the current state of their household finances, and their overall confidence in the U.S. economy.
Driving facts for owning a home were safety (43%) and the quality of local schools (33%). Those reasons came in ahead of financial reasons.
Although the majority of those polled prefer owning a home, many people are cautious about home ownership. Of renters polled 23% said they will buy a home later than they had planned. People who have fixed-rate mortgages with predictable payments are more satisfied than folks who have other types of mortgage loans.
"Consumers are still committed to owning a home, but are showing increased cautiousness, regardless of whether they rent, own their homes outright or have a mortgage. They are rebalancing their attitudes toward housing and homeownership by adopting a more realistic, long-term approach, and are less willing to take risks," Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. "This focus on sustainable housing is better for the economy, better for the housing market and better for America's families."
The poll also found that 60% of consumers believe that it is more difficult for them to buy a home than it was for their parents. Looking toward the future, 68% think it will be even tougher for their children to buy a home.
Many Americans seem to be optimistic about where the housing market is headed. The poll found that 64% think it's a good time to buy a home and 73% believe that housing prices will increase or remain the same over the next year.