From RealTrends.com: A new study commissioned by Integra Realty Resources (IRR), the nation’s largest independent real estate valuation firm, has found that even in the face of a burst real estate market that saw average home values slide 54.2 percent over the past seven years, three out of four Americans still aspire to own a home and consider it a major life goal. The study, which surveyed non-homeowners ages 22 to 50 throughout 11 major U.S. markets, found that 75 percent of respondents reported that owning a home is important, and 44 percent determined homeownership very important. The survey found that even the nightmarish reality of the past four years has not dampened enthusiasm or diminished the great American ideal of homeownership. In fact, 76 percent of those planning to buy a home and who are over the age of 30 cited “I have always dreamed of owning my own home” as a reason to buy. “Clearly, the American dream of homeownership lives on,” says Jeffrey Rogers, FRICS, JD, MBA, president & COO of IRR. “But if you go deeper into the research, this may be only in a fantasy not to be realized in the current economy.” The study highlights, that at least for younger households, there remains a very significant concern over job security and the inability to raise the equity necessary to purchase a home. Yet those who plan to buy a home are fully aware of current market conditions and opportunities. The survey found that 85 percent of potential buyers indicated that market conditions are favorable for purchasing a home. Ironically, younger non-homeowners (those under 30) are more positive about the importance of homeownership than older potential homebuyers. 47 percent of respondents under 30 feel owning a home is very important, compared to only 41 percent of respondents over 30.