6293239007_ce917cbda2_b Photo: Daniel Cukier/Flickr

Consumer sentiment towards the real estate industry is finally bouncing back to favorable territory following the housing downturn of 2007, according to new data released by the global consulting company, the Gallup Organization.

Gallup found that 44 percent of Americans surveyed now view real estate favorably and only 21 percent view it negatively.

Gallup derives a sentiment rating by subtracting the negative percentage view from positive percentage view — in this case, 44 percent minus 21 percent for the current positive 23 point rating.

The company first began tracking US consumer view of industries in 2001, when real estate scored a positive 26 point favorable rating — nine points higher than the average for all other industries tracked by Gallup that year.

Real estate consumer sentiment reached an all-time high in 2003, scoring a very favorable positive 35 points during the housing boom — 12 points higher than other industry averages, according to Gallup’s figures.

But sentiment began to decline in 2006 as housing began to decline and the economy headed into recession. By 2008, real estate consumer sentiment plunged to its lowest level, a negative 40 points — representing a 75 point negative swing from the industry’s 2003 recorded high.

“Year by year, however, this industry has managed to turn around the negative views of many Americans as housing prices have climbed past pre-crash levels,” Gallup analyst Jim Norman told Builder.com.

“The public now holds an overall view of the sector that is the most positive since 2005. The industry’s image improved in 2016 even as the overall ratings for the 25 industries tracked by Gallup slipped slightly.”

Nearly two out of five Americans view real estate as the best long-term investment, double the amount from 2011, according to Gallup.

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