With home sales and prices still falling, the spring could shape up as an opportune time to make a deal.
The housing downturn hasn't shaken consumers' resolve to consider home ownership an integral part of an American Dream, even among home owners with homes that have lost value.
The eighth quarterly "Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll: The American Dream" revealed that nearly nine out of 10 homeowners say they would buy their same homes again.
Among those with homes with lost value, the same percentage said they would buy their home again.
Also, seven of 10 Americans say they would advise a friend or family member to buy a home as a long-term asset.
The spring could be a good time to take that advice.
Existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 5.40 million in January. February 2010 sales were 2.8 percent below the pace in February 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The slow sales pushed the median price down to $156,100, the lowest level since February 2002, setting the stage for spring bargains.
Some experts say the housing market is years away from a full blown recovery and the home buyer tax credit is kaput. However, improvements in employment and manufacturing and other economic sectors, bargain home prices and affordable interest rates could light a fire under buyers who've been sitting on the fence.
"Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit, and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers," said Lawrence Yun NAR chief economist.
The Allstate survey of 1,000 Americans also found.
"Homeownership is viewed positively by the vast majority of Americans as both a place to raise a family and a sound investment," he added.
Written by Broderick Perkins
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