Americans Consider Housing Policy in 2012 Election

Tuesday, December 13, 2011   /   by Justin Hoffmann

Americans Consider Housing Policy in 2012 Election

As Americans consider the best candidates for the 2012 presidential and congressional elections, housing is at the forefront of the debate for many. About 70 percent of Americans say a candidate’s position on housing could sway their vote, according to a survey released Tuesday by Move, Inc.

However, Americans differ in their views of what the housing market needs most.
The survey found 30.9 percent of Americans believe the next president’s priority for his or her first 100 days in office should be helping homeowners avoid foreclosures.

Keeping interest rates low was also a high priority with 26.4 percent of Americans responding that it should be the president’s priority in the first 100 days, while 14 percent of Americans believe the president’s first priority should be making affordable mortgage credit available.

As for the future of the government in the housing market — 21.3 percent of survey respondents said the government’s role in the housing market should be increased, while 42 percent said it should be decreased.

Thirty-one percent of survey respondents believe the government should maintain its current level of involvement in the market.

A little more than two-thirds, 67.4 percent, of Millennials – the next generation of homebuyers, according to Move, Inc. – believe the president and Congress should either reduce or maintain their current level of involvement in the housing market.

“After four years of living in a housing downturn, American voters clearly want answers and are looking to our elected leaders for solutions,” said Errol Samuelson, chief revenue officer of Move, Inc.

The Move Inc., survey also examined Americans’ perceptions of the market, finding pessimism among many.

About 73 percent of Americans expect home buying conditions to stay the same or get worse over the next year.

“Perceptions as much as the realities of homeownership are standing in the way of boosting demand for housing,” Samuelson said.

Despite an increase in affordability, the perception of affordability has declined, according to Move Inc.

While the qualifying income for a median priced home in August was less than the median household income in 2010, only 32 percent of Americans believe a median income family can afford a median income home in their area.

By: Krista Franks

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