DULUTH, Ga. (7/5/12)--A Georgia Credit Union Affiliates' (GCUA) survey showed that a growing number of Georgians are putting off home ownership, reflecting a nationwide trend.
More than 16% of respondents to GCUA's 2012 Mid-Year Consumer Poll said that while owning a home used to be important, it is no longer a current goal.
Respondents indicated several factors affected their attitude about home ownership:
- 37.8% cited earning less income;
- 47.8% cited paying down debt; and
- 47% cited the national economy as the reason for their shift.
Consumers nationwide are taking a cautious approach to homeownership, said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae, upon the release of Fannie Mae's May 2012 National Housing Survey.
"Our May consumer data show that Americans are taking a 'wait-and-see' approach about buying or selling a home," Duncan said. "This is not surprising given their assessment that their income during the past 12 months and their personal financial expectations for the next 12 have leveled off."
Although consumers may be putting off their house purchases, another survey showed that home ownership is still a long-term goal for consumers. A recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens
indicated that eight out of 10 respondents still feel owning a home is an important part of the American Dream.
Polly Bell, president of MEA FCU, Columbus, Ga., has not seen a significant shift in attitude toward owning a home. "It's still the average person's basis for building future wealth," Bell said. Suppressed home prices and historically low interest rates have combined to help make the dream of home ownership more attainable, she added.
MEA FCU, with $61 million in assets, is not financing as many home loans as before recession, but it is receiving more requests to refinance or combine home equity loans and first mortgages at current low rates, Bell said.