New Yahoo! Real Estate Survey Finds Americans Still Believe Their Dream Home is in Reach

Top priority in dream home – energy-efficiency; 65% of home buyers willing to capitalize on foreclosed or short-sale homes

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--()--Despite problems plaguing the U.S. housing market such as tumbling values, record foreclosures, and tight credit for buyers, 74% of Americans believe home buying is a good investment. And 81% said it’s still part of the American dream according to a new survey from Yahoo! Real Estate, the #1 Real Estate site on the web. The survey, which polled 1,500 current and aspiring homeowners, plus renters, found that while few (13%) currently live in their dream home a majority (55%) feel it’s attainable.

American optimism about housing as a good investment comes despite years of market turmoil that have had a wide impact on society. One in three Americans knows someone who has experienced a foreclosure, according to the Yahoo! Real Estate study.

Most Wanted Home Features: Energy Efficiency

While having a large room with a view is still desirable, the dream home is no longer a supersized McMansion. Our survey found that a “green,” energy-efficient home built with “sustainable” materials tops the ‘most wanted’ list. No longer in desire for home buyers: gated communities, urban locations, and castle style homes. Those in demand include:

  • Green/energy efficient 50%
  • Building a custom home 38%
  • Water views 38%
  • Mountain views 32%
  • Suburban home 31%
  • Near the beach 27%
  • Cottage in the woods 20%

Despite Foreclosures, People Still Want To Buy

While the rise in foreclosed homes has left a lot of Americans waiting years to buy again, most (65%) are open to buying a foreclosed property - noting key benefits of purchasing more home for less money. However, 42% felt the risk of too many unknowns is a major concern for buyers.

Government Should Do More To Help Homeowners

The survey found that most Americans think the government should be doing more to help out homeowners with 51% saying the government should pass further legislation. When asked how much of an influence will the 2012 Presidential Election have on the housing market, 31% believe that it will have a large influence Democrats fare somewhat better than Republicans as the party most receptive to helping homeowners weather the downturn.

Reasons for Moving

Renters are more likely to move for more space (56%), while homeowners were likely to move for a home that better suits their life stage (42%).

The top reasons for moving include (both homeowners/renters):

  • Living in a larger space 45%
  • Want to live in a home that better suits my life stage 44%
  • Want to live in a home that better suits my style 47%
  • Move to a better neighborhood 30%
  • Want a more environmentally sustainable home 27%
  • Living closer to job 22%

Most Renters Prefer To Own, But Cash Is A Big Barrier To Purchase

While 47% of renters believe they will own their dream house one day, money for a down payment is the biggest barrier. 19% of renters say the reason they rent is because they don’t want the hassle of fixing things in a home themselves. A majority (59%) said they would prefer to own a home but their reasons for not owning include:

  • Don’t have money for a down payment 53%
  • Insufficient capital/income 51%
  • Insufficient credit 38%
  • Don’t want long-term debt 25%
  • Not confident about employment 28%

Flip This House

A majority, 80%, of buyers in today’s market are looking for a primary residence and nearly half, 45%, of those who plan to invest hope to capitalize on the market and flip the property for a profit.

Please inquire if you’re interested in seeing the full results.
To read more about the survey visit Yahoo! Real Estate:
Follow Yahoo! Real Estate on Twitter @yahoorealestate

About the Survey:

Yahoo! partnered with DB5 to conduct the Yahoo! Real Estate Survey in October 2011. We interviewed n=1,500 Homeowners and Renters representative of the U.S. online population via an online quantitative survey.


Yahoo! Communications
Becky Auslander, 212-381-6909


Yahoo! Communications
Becky Auslander, 212-381-6909