Georgians putting 'American dream' on holdBy Walter C. Jones
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – A new survey shows that more than one in six Georgians are putting their hopes of homeownership on hold.
The survey released Tuesday by the Georgia Credit Union Association shows that 17 percent of the 7,150 credit union members questioned early last month said that, while owning a home used to be important, it is no longer a current goal.
Georgia's unemployment rate is 8.9 percent and has remained above the national average since the beginning of the last recession. The state has also suffered some of the worst drops in home prices and consistently ranked among states with the highest foreclosure rate.
"Certainly those factors impact people's feelings about home ownership," Paul said. "However, I would imagine that we might see consumers in other parts of the country with a similar shift in attitude about owning a home."
In the Georgia survey, those postponing the American dream cited three factors. Pay cuts are stalling 38 percent, trying to pay down existing debt for 48 percent and uncertainty about the national economy for 47 percent. For 2 percent, owning a home was never a goal.
Fourteen percent say they need flexibility to move.
Bill Boatman, president of the Georgia Association of Realtors, said some young adults got spooked after having seen their parents lose money on property.
"I think a lot of them have taken homeownership off of the table," said Boatman, a broker with Meybohm Realty in Augusta. "You can make the case that some young people are not purchasing."
Overall, he sees modest improvement across Georgia as families and investors are starting to take advantage of favorable prices despite the few that are waiting.
"I do think that's a small percentage," he said. "As Realtors, that concerns us because we feel strongly that homeownership really matters."