Sunday, October 2, 2011

Doubting value of owning a home

Just one out of four metro Phoenix residents believes purchasing a home is the best possible investment for his or her family, according to a nationwide homeowner survey released Tuesday.

Conducted by insurance and financial services firm Country Financial of Bloomington, Ill., the survey indicates that only 25 percent of Phoenix-area homeowners believe that buying a home is the best investment a family can make.

That's significantly less than the 41 percent of homeowners nationwide who answered likewise, said Keith Brannan, vice president of financial-security planning at Country Financial.

"It's not surprising Phoenix residents are weary of homeownership, given the decline in home values over the past few years," Brannan said.

The survey also indicates that 72 percent of metro Phoenix homeowners believe they would no longer be able to pay their home mortgage if unemployed for more than nine months, higher than the national response rate of 68 percent.

Among those taking the survey, 69 percent of Phoenix homeowners said their home lost at least 15 percent of its value during the housing-market decline.

That number is almost double the 36 percent of survey-takers nationwide who said their home lost at least that much.

The survey included 2,264 homeowners and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

by J. Craig Anderson The Arizona Republic Sept. 21, 2011 12:00 AM

Doubting value of owning a home

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