Associated Press – Homeowners upbeat despite housing slowdown

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Slumping home sales and drooping prices haven’t diminished homeowner optimism about their own nest egg’s value, a recent survey shows.
The survey by Boston Consulting Group showed 55 percent of Americans believe they could sell their house for more money now than a year ago, down slightly from the 59 percent who felt that way last summer.

Nearly three-quarters think they could sell their homes within the next six months at a price they set, and 63 percent feel that real estate is a good or excellent investment.

The positive sentiment comes in spite of housing data that shows a downturn in real estate. Last month, the National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes dropped by 2.6 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units, the slowest sales pace in nearly four years.The median price of a home fell to $220,900, an 0.8 percent decline from the median price a year ago. The trade group is expected to report May’s existing home sales Monday.

“Americans believe their homes are still their best investment. They’re positive about their homes’ value and believe in a bounce-back in residential real estate overall,” said Boston Consulting Senior Partner Michael J. Silverstein. “Talk of declining average values of homes is not forcing a cutback in spending. It’s just not translated into the American psyche.”

Instead, the survey showed that 69 percent of homeowners said they’re likely to make renovations or improvements to their homes in the next year, and more than two-thirds said the current housing market has no effect on their spending.

However, most Americans aren’t planning to buy a new home any time soon. Only 27 percent said they’re likely to purchase a house in the next five years.

Boston Consulting polled 1,007 adult Americans in a telephone survey from May 31 to June 3. The survey has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.