Despite the decline in home prices, 81 percent of U.S. adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make, according a nationwide Pew Research Center survey.
Home prices have declined 31 percent compared with their pre-recession peak in July 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. After a pause last year, prices fell again in the first quarter of 2011.
Among homeowners surveyed, 47 percent say their home is worth less now than before the recession began, 31 percent say its value has stayed the same, and 17 percent say it has risen.
Of those who say their home has lost value, 86 percent say they expect it to take at least three years for values to recover to pre-recession levels; 42 percent say it will take at least six years; and 10 percent say it will take more than 10 years.
Still, 82 percent of homeowners who say their home is worth less now than before the recession began either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that homeownership is the best long-term investment a person can make. Among homeowners whose home increased in value during the recession, this confidence is even more pronounced. Half strongly and 41 percent somewhat agree with this view.