Americans with money to set aside that they do not plan on using for the next 10 years would rather invest in real estate than any other type of investment, according to a recent national survey from Bankrate.
According to Bankrate’s latest Financial Security Index poll, exactly one-quarter of Americans surveyed said they would rather invest in real estate with money they would not need for the next 10 years, beating out cash investments such as CDs and savings (23 percent) and the stock market and gold or precious metals (16 percent each). Bonds were the least popular investment option for money not needed over the next decade, with 5 percent of respondents preferring that choice.
Real estate investments were king in the survey, with 25 percent of survey respondents saying they would choose real estate as a long-term investment. Those with higher incomes (an annual salary of $75K or more) were more inclined to choose real estate as their favored long-term investment (33 percent) compared to those with annual salaries of between $50K and $74K (23 percent), according to Bankrate. Older millennials (age 26 to 35) showed had the same tendency as the older age groups to want to invest in real estate long-term (28 percent).
“Real estate has some notable advantages over other popular investments,” Roofstock CEO Gary Beasley said. “Yields are much higher than the anemic rates paid by certificates of deposit and investment grade bonds, gold has no current yield and is entirely an appreciation or store of value play, and stocks are increasingly volatile. Investment in rental housing is particularly interesting today given discounts to peak housing values and being able to capitalize on the macro trend of ‘rentership’ vs. home ownership.”
Noel Christopher, Renters Warehouse's National Business Development Lead, added: “A big deterrent for investors in the past was that they were unable to invest in multiple markets and have the peace of mind that their investment was protected. With the rise of professional landlords, small investors can now take advantage of economies of scale and institutional-level best practices to manage single family homes. This wasn’t possible until now, and it's changing the way investors look at the market.”
According to Bankrate, many favor real estate investments over the other ways to invest because of the volatility and uncertainty of the stock market—and it is a tangible investment, as opposed to stocks. Real estate investments do have their downside, however; there is the cost of maintaining the house, plus the homeowner cannot put the asset in an account and forget about it the way they can with stocks or bonds, according to Bankrate.
The poll showed that many Americans are not willing to invest in the bullish stock market. A survey from Bankrate conducted in 2013, relatively early in the bull market started in 2009 found that 14 percent of Americans prefer to invest in the stock market, and that share has increased by just 2 percentage points in the last three years.
Americans are increasingly upbeat about their prospects for financial security, however. The poll found that for the 26th consecutive month, Americans’ sense of financial well-being improved when taking into account debt, savings, net worth, job security, and overall financial situation. Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst, Greg McBride, pointed out that Americans’ overall perceptions of their financial prospects improved even though their feelings of job security dropped off slightly—despite a strong jobs report for June from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (287,000 jobs added during the month).