Survey: 84 percent of Americans think homeownership is good financial decision

The National Association of REALTORS® released the results of its 2017 Housing Pulse Survey Wednesday, and the majority of Americans surveyed believe buying a home is a good financial decision, helping to create safe, secure and stable environments.

Specific findings include:

  • 84 percent of Americans believe buying a home is a good financial decision;
  • 44 percent of Americans believe affordable housing is a “very big” or “fairly big” problem;
  • Six in 10 Americans are concerned about the cost to buy a home or high rent prices in their area; and
  • Family, friends, REALTORS® and banks are the most trusted sources for buying a home or property.

Read the press release or executive summary.


Report: Housing market disadvantaged as millennials leave state

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The Illinois Policy Institute believes that if Illinois’ millennials would stop leaving the state, they could play a key role in the recovery of the housing market there.

Among the points made in the article, “Millennials could be key to Illinois’ housing recovery – but they are fleeing the state,” were:

  • Millennials comprise the largest group of U.S. home buyers during the last four years (NBC News);
  • First-time home buyers have been the largest economic driver of the U.S. housing market since 2014 (GenWorth Mortgage Insurance);
  • Illinois’ net loss of millennials during a four-year period was the second worst in the nation, 80.6K (Internal Revenue Service);
  • Illinois is the state with the third largest percentage of homes “seriously underwater” (RealtyTrac); and
  • Other factors such as low employment rates and high taxes make it more difficult for millennials who stay in Illinois to become first-time home buyers in Illinois.

Read the entire Illinois Policy Institute article.


Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies says poverty also increasing outside most major cities

The latest research by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) shows the number of people living in poverty in the U.S. is rising, and that in the 100 largest metro areas, the growth is highest in suburban neighborhoods and neighborhoods on the edge of those metros.

The Harvard JCHS blog post “The Rise of Poverty in Suburban and Outlying Areas,” provides details on each of those metro areas from 2000 to 2015. For example, the number of high-poverty neighborhoods in the St. Louis Metro (MO, IL) increased from eight to 28. In addition, graphs show the number of high-poverty tracts in high-density, medium-density and low-density neighborhoods have gone up, with the largest increases in the medium and low-density areas.

In the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin (IL, WI, IN) Metro Area, the number of medium density tracts (from 49 to 114) and low-density tracts (10 to 28) more than doubled. The number of high poverty, high-density tracts went up at a lesser rate (370 to 503).

For more information, see the full report.

Outreach and advocacy help REALTORS® build relationships in local communities

(l to r) Gideon Blustein, Local GAD Illinois REALTORS®; Matt Persicketti, Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® President; Larry Walsh, Will County Executive; Martha Sojka, Will County Land Use Department; Curt Paddock, Will County Land Use Director; and David McClintock, Three Rivers CEO.

The Illinois REALTORS® Outreach Team points out some of the reasons why REALTORS® are making positive impacts in their own communities in the July Illinois REALTOR® article, “What common values connect Illinois REALTORS®?

Sometimes elected officials show their thanks for REALTOR® support with ceremonies like the one captured by photographers in April in Joliet. At that time, the Will County Land Use Department Community Development Division recognized the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® for promoting and protecting the tenets of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (photo above).

Community Development Director Ron Pullman stated, “Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® has been an excellent partner in our mission to affirmatively further the goals of the Fair Housing Act.”

Three Rivers’ Board President Matt Persicketti accepted the proclamation saying, “While assisting people buy and sell homes, it is the duty of REALTORS® to encourage flourishing communities that are open to everyone.”

The Fair Housing Act originally recognized four protected classes:  race, color, religion and national origin. Sex was added as a protected class in 1974 followed by disability and familial status in 1988. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development website states that the purpose of the Act is “to eliminate housing discrimination and create equal opportunity in every community so that every person can live free.” See our Fair Housing resources.

All REALTORS® must abide by The National Association of REALTORS© Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice which outlines duties that REALTORS® have to clients and customers, the public, and other REALTORS®.  Article 10 of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics provides that, “REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.”