HOA Popularity: Not Spine-Tingling, but Significant

aerial view of houses

Homeowners’ Associations simply don’t make for spine-tingling backdrops. Again this year, there are no HOA-themed musicals planned for off-Broadway debuts, and nary an HOA-themed mystery series is scheduled for Netflix or HBO this (or any) season. In fact, it’s hard to coax media writers to feature HOA news — even when there is some to share.

It’s understandable enough, even though the number of people directly impacted by HOAs is humongous. They directly affect a major chunk of the housing in our country. In fact, a whopping 25% of all the housing stock in America is represented by U.S. condominium and homeowner associations—which means they govern more than 73,000,000 Americans. And if the Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR) estimate is correct, in 2021, their membership will grow by another 4,500.

For home and condo owners whose properties are subject to community association rules, membership comes with a price tag. Homeowners agree to cede control of specified aspects of their ownership in exchange for the advantages that go with membership. Last year, the Foundation laid out the results of a 2020 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey, with results pretty overwhelmingly pointing to U.S. owners approving of the tradeoffs:

  • 89% of Association member residents rate their experience “good or very good” (70%) or “neutral” (19%).
  • The same percentage believe their elected governing boards serve their best interests.
  • 94% believe their association rules protect and enhance their own property values (71%) or have a neutral effect (23%). Only 4% say the rules have the opposite effect.

For owners who are subject to community associations, such positive feedback is welcome. When prospective buyers consider the cost/benefit of a property that comes with HOA rules and regulations, such positive evidence of public approval makes the decision much easier. It’s the major reason why, despite the lack of Broadway musicals and must-see cable TV series featuring dramatized HOA committee meetings, homeowner associations continue to prosper.