Americans Feel OK About Not Owning a Home

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Is the American Dream evaporating into the cultural mist?

For centuries, a huge building block of the American Experience was the attainment of homeownership, from a 1790s Massachusetts farm house to a 21st century three-bedroom ranch outside Dallas.

But the Great Recession continues to reshape the economic landscape, and with that reshaping, Americans are taking a long second look at homeownership. More than half have concluded it's not worth the hassle.

That trend is developing at a time the U.S. housing market is showing distinct signs of recovery. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury's most recent Housing Scorecard, the housing market is "showing strong annual gains," although that recovery is fragile.

In other words, despite improvement, there is no guarantee progress in the housing market is a given.

Apparently, Americans aren't counting on any major improvements in the economy, or in the housing market. So much so, that renting a home is increasingly seen as a better option than owning a home.

That's the conclusion of a study by Hart Research Associates and the MacArthur Foundation, How Housing Matters.

The survey says that while economists and politicians are saying the worst is behind us, from a home value point of view U.S. adults just aren't buying it.

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