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New Research Shows Homeowners Remain Overwhelmingly Satisfied With Community Association Experience

July 23, 2020 – Falls Church, VA – At a time when community matters most, results from the 2020 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey continue to show that community associations are preferred places to call home in the U.S. According to the new report conducted by the Foundation for Community Association Research for Community Associations Institute (CAI), the overwhelming majority (89%) of homeowners and condominium association residents rate their overall experience living in a community association as “very good” (40%), “good” (30%), or “neutral” (19%).

The biennial, nationwide survey is administered by independent researcher Zogby Analytics and provides a better understanding of how 73.5 million Americans describe their experience living in common-interest communities— from city-sized, master-planned communities and multibuilding condominium complexes to urban cooperatives and small homeowners associations built into tracks of open suburban spaces.

Nearly nine in 10 residents (89%) believe that their governing board “absolutely” or “for the most part” serves the best interest of the community. The vast majority of residents (94%) believe that rules in their communities protect and enhance property values (71%) or have a neutral effect (23%). Only 4% say the rules harm their property values.

Results from almost identical national surveys conducted in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 are strikingly consistent, except the 2020 research shows an increase in three areas compared to 2018. Satisfaction results grew an impressive 4% in overall experience, 5% in the role of the board, and 4% in the appreciation of community association rules.

“The new research further strengthens our belief that community associations bring people together and create a place where neighbors grow, connect, and support each other in good and challenging times,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer. “CAI is proud to present these findings—especially as millions of dedicated homeowners volunteer and serve on their association boards and as professional managers work tirelessly to support neighborhoods where people are proud to call home. Tough business and operating decisions are being made daily, and it is the commitment by these individuals that highlight the positive attributes of the community association housing model.”

Additionally, the report shows that 89% of residents are on friendly terms with their governing boards. Nearly three-quarters (74%) say their community managers provide value and support to residents and their associations.

Most respondents (62%) feel that they are paying “just the right amount” or “too little” in assessments.

“The biennial Homeowner Satisfaction Survey is the only public opinion report of its kind. The exclusive report emphasizes the clear success of the community association housing model,” says Dawn M. Bauman, CAE, executive director, Foundation for Community Association Research and CAI’s senior vice president for government. “This satisfaction report, sourced by lawmakers, legal professionals, homebuilders, developers, and other community association stakeholders provides clear evidence of the success of local governance— neighbors electing neighbors and building community together—responsibly and effectively.”

According to the report, cleanliness/attractiveness, safety, maintenance-free living, and maintaining property values are perceived as the best aspects of living in a community association; restrictions on exterior home improvements and paying assessments are the biggest perceived drawbacks.

View more data from the 2020 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey.

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Content provided by the Community Associations Institute. Original article can be found here