Nearly one-third of respondents said housing will be the top issue on their mind when they head to the polls next November.
"We need to keep housing first on the nation's public policy agenda because housing and home ownership issues affect all Americans," said NAR President Moe Veissi, Veissi, a broker-owner of Veissi & Associates, Inc., in Miami. "The results of this survey show that many Americans understand that."
Respondents were asked: "What issue area will have the greatest impact on your vote in 2012?" National security, healthcare, and energy/environment trailed housing and unemployment by wide margins:
* Jobs/unemployment, 54%
* Housing, 27%
* National security, 8%
* Healthcare, 4%
* Energy/Environment, 2%
* Other, 4%
With unemployment still high, it is easy to see why so many Americans are concerned about the job market, Veissi said. However, employment and the housing market are inextricably linked because economic growth and job creation cannot occur without a housing recovery.
Housing accounts for more than 15% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, Veissi added. It's a key driver of the national economy. Home sales generate jobs.
NAR estimates that for every two homes sold, one job is created. New spending on homebuilding products, furniture, and other residential investments also have a significant economic impact.
Some recent indicators show that the economy might be starting to rebound, with pending home sales rising strongly in October, according to NAR's Pending Home Sales Index. However, any changes to current programs or incentives must not jeopardize a housing and economic recovery. Unemployment, consumer confidence and consumer spending will not rebound until a number of issues are addressed.
"NAR actively advocates public policies that promote responsible, sustainable homeownership, which will in turn support overall economic recovery," said Veissi. "We want to ensure affordable, accessible financing; support tax policies that encourage homeownership; and help more people stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure through streamlined short sales."
The HouseLogic survey shows Americans understand that a housing recovery is essential to the nation's economic recovery, and many of those housing-related issues will be on the minds of voters in 2012, according to the NAR.