On the eve of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the results of a survey conducted for real estate search site Trulia reveal that 38 percent of respondents believe the president deserves a "D" or an "F" for his efforts in restoring homeownership as part of the American Dream.
More than half (62 percent) of the U.S. adults surveyed think the president should focus on creating jobs and job security in 2010, while 45 percent think he should focus on reducing foreclosures.
"Until there is a reversal in unemployment and the growing number of home foreclosures, the U.S. real estate market will continue to see significant volatility. I agree with the results of our survey — that job creation and job security have to be the president’s top priority, said Pete Flint, Trulia’s CEO and co-founder, in a statement.
Market research firm Harris Interactive conducted the study online from Jan. 19-21. The firm interviewed 2,232 adults nationwide. Of those, 1,523 were homeowners and 614 were renters; 702 were Democrats and 601 were Republicans.
The vast majority of survey participants, 77 percent, also view homeownership as a part of their own personal American Dream, with little distinction in regards to gender, region or political affliation. Renters’ and homeowners’ views differed somewhat on the question, with 62 percent of the former vs. 85 percent of the latter answering yes.
"I am thrilled to see that the American Dream of homeownership is alive. If the dream had died, we would be in a lot of trouble," Flint said.
In answer to the question, "If you were a teacher grading Obama’s performance of his first year in office, what grade would you give him with respect to restoring homeownership as part of the American Dream?" 11 percent of adults gave him an "A," 26 percent gave him a "B," 26 percent gave him a "C," 16 percent gave him a "D," and 22 percent gave him an "F." There was no more than a 5 percent difference in answers when comparing by region, gender, or owners vs. renters. …CONTINUED
Predictably, big differences emerge when comparing by political affiliation. Obama received an "A" or "B" from 12 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats. About a quarter of each gave him a "C," and 64 percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats gave him a "D" or "F."
By contrast, in a similar survey conducted in February 2009, 30 days after Obama came to office, 23 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats gave him an "A" or "B," 31 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats gave him a "C," and 45 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats gave him a "D" or "F."
In answer to the question, "Which of the following, if any, do you think President Obama should focus on for 2010 to help stabilize the housing market? Please select all that apply," 62 percent of all respondents think the president should focus on creating jobs and job security, with 45 percent recommending a focus on reducing foreclosures, 39 percent on lowering interest rates or keeping them low, 27 percent on extending the homebuyers’ tax credit through 2010, and 11 percent on "other."
Regionally, there were few differences in responses to this question, except people in the West were somewhat less worried about jobs (55 percent), and people in the Northeast and Midwest were somewhat more worried (67 percent and 66 percent, respectively).
Renters were somewhat more worried about extending the homebuyers’ tax credit than homeowners (32 percent vs. 25 percent), and females were more concerned about low interest rates than males (44 percent vs. 34 percent).
Political affiliation was the largest differentiator for this question. Job growth was a concern for 65 percent of Democrats vs. 58 percent of Republicans. Reducing foreclosures was a concern for 54 percent of Democrats vs. 37 percent of Republicans.
Low interest rates were of equal concern to both groups: 43 percent. Extending the tax credit was more of a concern for Democrats — 32 percent of Democrat respondents vs. 24 percent of Republicans. "Other" concerns were important for 14 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats.
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