Photo: Robert Clark

While owning a home has traditionally been viewed as an essential element of the “American Dream,” the national homeownership rate hit a low just over a year ago.

Over the last several months, the homeownership rate has since bounced back to its highest level since 2014.

Homeownership turns out to be a shared value among most Americans — regardless of their political party affiliation, according to the bi-annual Housing Aspirations Report released today by the listing site Zillow.

Nationally, the belief that owning a home is an integral component of the American Dream was shared by 63.4 percent of those who identified themselves as a Democrat and 76.9 percent among self-identified Republicans.

The uptick in the homeownership rate is a signal that the Great Recession did not “fundamentally harm overall sentiment toward homeownership.”

“Homeownership and its ability to create wealth, stability, and community doesn’t depend on political affiliation,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in the report.

Moreover, nearly two-thirds of respondents from both parties felt that homeownership was the key to higher social standing, and three-fourths of all respondents said that homeownership increased one’s social standing in their community, says Zillow.

Of the generational groups, Millennials were the most likely to say that homeownership was an integral part of the American Dream, regardless of their political party affiliation. And with more Millennials finally entering the housing market, that notion will only help the homeownership rate continue to increase as more in the generational cohort make the leap into homeownership.

Meantime, the results of ZIllow’s survey showed that in both ultra-expensive markets and markets that have still not recovered from the housing crash, Americans agreed that buying a home was a “good financial decision.”

For example, in Los Angeles, CA, one of the country’s least affordable markets, nearly 72 percent of all respondents agreed that owning a home was necessary to fully living the American Dream — despite half of respondents expecting to wait “at least” three years to buy a home.

On the other hand, home values in Las Vegas, NV are still over 23 percent below peak values set during the housing bubble. Moreover, nearly 16 percent of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. Yet, 67 percent of all respondents agreed that homeownership was essential to the American Dream.

“The vast majority of respondents to the survey view owning a home as better for raising a family, making ties within the community, and overall quality of life, regardless of their local housing market,” says Zillow in the report.

At least 40 percent of respondents in West Coast markets reported that they didn’t plan on buying a home for at least five years — if ever.

“Even though there are difficulties, especially for younger Americans and minorities, confidence in the ability to one day achieve homeownership and faith in its importance to building strong communities bodes well for the future of the housing market — tomorrow’s home sales begin with today’s confidence and optimism,” Senior Managing Economist at Zillow Group Skylar Olsen tells BuzzBuzzNews

Click here to read the entire report.

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