Earlier this week, a New York Times/CBS News poll reported that nearly nine in 10 Americans say home ownership is an important part of the American Dream. In a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, 73 percent of respondents said they believe the federal government should provide tax incentives to promote home ownership.  Numerous studies have shown the value Americans place in home ownership. According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, first-time buyers most often cite the desire to own a home as the primary reason for their recent home purchase. Eighty-five percent of all recent home buyers consider a home purchase a solid investment, and 76 percent of them believe owning a home is as good as or better than an investment in stocks.  Studies also demonstrate tangible social benefits to home ownership. The NAR report, Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, showed that home owners are more active in their communities, benefit from improved education opportunities, and report higher levels of self-esteem and happiness when compared to renters. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that owners do not move as frequently as renters, providing more neighborhood stability. In turn, involvement in community quality-of-life issues helps prevent crime, improve childhood education and support neighborhood upkeep.

What about the local beaches of Carolina and Kure how is our market trending this past week?  According to Truilia the average price per square foot for Carolina Beach was $179, a decrease of 9.6% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes for Apr 11 to Jun 11 was $210,000 based on 54 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 13%, or $31,500, and the number of home sales decreased 51.4%. There are currently 448 resale and new homes in Carolina Beach including 23 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale was $342,818 for the week ending Jul 05, which represents a decrease of 0.7%, or $2,479, compared to the prior week.  On Kure Beach the average price per square foot was $199, an increase of 1.5% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes for Apr 11 to Jun 11 was $326,000 based on 13 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 2%, or $6,500, and the number of home sales decreased 31.6%. There are currently 132 resale and new homes in Kure Beach including 6 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Kure Beach was $527,608 for the week ending Jul 05, which represents an increase of 1.4%, or $7,251, compared to the prior week.

 Are homes selling now in this recession?  The answer is yes.  People still want a piece of the American Dream.  Owning a home has long-standing government support in this country.  Historically, lawmakers have understood the value of homeownership in fostering communities, creating social stability, and building wealth over the long term. In fact, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘A nation of home owners is unconquerable.’