February 09, 2011 13:00 ET

Trulia Survey: 70 Percent of Americans View Homeownership as Part of Personal American Dream

Despite Nightmarish Housing Market, 78 Percent of Homeowners Describe Home as the Best Investment They Ever Made

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - February 9, 2011) -, a top site for homebuyers, sellers and renters, today released the results of its biannual American Dream survey, which has tracked American attitudes towards homeownership since 2009. Harris Interactive conducted this online survey on Trulia's behalf in January 2011 among 2,079 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.


  • American Dream Still Lives: Although foreclosures and underwater homes continue to plague the current housing market, 70 percent of Americans still view homeownership as being part of their American Dream. In fact, more than three out of four homeowners (78 percent) say their homes are the best investment they ever made. Conversely, only 20 percent feel trapped in their "underwater" homes while 14 percent said they would walk away from their homes in a heartbeat if they could.

  • Millennials Driving Economic Recovery: Although many of today's young adults came of age during the housing crash, more than one in four (26 percent) say their views on owning a home have become more positive over the past six months. With 88 percent of 18-34 year old renters aspiring to be homeowners, this new generation of buyers will likely play a crucial role in stabilizing today's uncertain real estate market.
    Views Towards Homeownership Over the Past Six Months
    Total   18-34 Yr Olds   35-44 Yr Olds   45-54 Yr Olds   55+ Yr Olds
Much/Somewhat More Positive   22%   26%   18%   18%   22%
Neither More Negative Nor More Positive   60%   60%   67%   60%   55%
Much/Somewhat More Negative   19%   15%   15%   22%   23%
  • Stronger Long-term Recovery in Southern and Western Regions: Despite today's low mortgage rates and high affordability, most would-be homeowners are in no rush to buy. By comparison, a brighter beacon of hope shines in the South and West where the outlook for long-term recovery is much stronger. Undeterred by ongoing reports of foreclosures and underwater homes, 79 percent and 70 percent of renters in these respective regions say they plan to purchase a home.
    Total   Northeast   Midwest   South   West
Plan to Buy a Home   72%   67%   67%   79%   70%
Within the next 6 months   4%   6%   2%   4%   2%
7-12 months from now   7%   8%   9%   7%   5%
13-24 months from now   11%   9%   17%   9%   10%
More than 2 years from now   50%   43%   40%   59%   53%


    "Contrary to popular belief, the American Dream of homeownership has not turned into an American nightmare. In fact, we're seeing a national resurgence of buyer and seller activity on," said Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia. "In January alone, we experienced an unprecedented level of site traffic including 11 million unique visitors -- which is more than 70 percent year-over-year growth. We've seen leads to agents increase 60 percent year over year and are now experiencing 100,000 property views per minute."
    "During the housing bubble, the American Dream of homeownership was beyond reach for many young adults. Stuck with student loans and entry-level jobs, many had resigned themselves to being lifelong renters. But the tide is changing -- Millennials are now today's most serious homebuyers," says Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Consumer Educator for Trulia. "Unjaded and largely untouched by the effects of the housing crash, this new generation of buyers will no doubt lead America from its current housing slump towards true recovery."

    "Although the American Dream of homeownership remains surprisingly strong, it will not be an immediate reality for most people," said Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Consumer Educator for Trulia. "Uncertainty has caused most would-be buyers across the nation to play a waiting game with the market, leading them to put their home purchases on hold for at least two years. However, new data shows that most renters in the South and West have long-term plans to buy, which is great news for America's hardest-hit regions."


  • To download an infographic illustrating the above findings, click here.
  • To view a slideshow of the findings, click here.
  • To listen to a replay of Pete Flint and Jonathan Miller discussing the results of the survey and other insights into the real estate market (available after 2/10), click here.
  • To check out Trulia's current and archived industry reports and consumer surveys, click here.

Trulia invites you to share your American Dream with us for a chance to win $250 to $50 gift cards to Crate and Barrel. Through February, two separate contests run on Facebook and Twitter. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Click here for full details including eligibility requirements, submission instructions, and judging criteria.

Harris Interactive conducted this online survey within the United States via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service on behalf of Trulia between Jan 20-24, 2011 among 2,079 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. The sample included 1,339 homeowners and 683 renters. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Click here for the full methodology.

ABOUT TRULIA, INC. is the fastest growing online real estate site focused on empowering buyers, seller and renters with smarter tools to help you find the right home. Trulia is headquartered in downtown San Francisco and is backed by Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital. Trulia is focused on helping you find the home that truly meets your needs, and delivers on what's most important for you. Ultimately, we built a smart real estate search experience bringing together local information, community insights, market data and national listings all in one place.

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us -- and our clients -- stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

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