An overwhelming majority of American adults remain convinced that homeownership is the best long-term investment they can make, according to a newsurvey from the Pew Research Center released Tuesday.

Eight in ten U.S. adults (81%) said they considered a home the best long-term investment, the survey reported. That was down from 84% who said so in a similar survey taken by CBS and The New York Times in 1991.

However, the percentage of respondents who were in the most passionate agreement ("strongly agree") with that statement dropped to 37% in this survey from 49% in 1991. Conversely, the percentage that said they "somewhat agree" with the notion that the home is their best long-term investment option rose to 44% this time around from 35% 20 years ago.

Confidence in the long-term value of home ownership even remained high among the 47% of homeowners in the survey who said they believed their homes had lost value since the 2006 peak in the housing market. Among those homeowners, 82% said they believed the home was a good investment even though 44% said they expect it to take at least three years for values to recover to pre-recession levels; 42% say it will take at least six years; and 10% say it will take more than 10 years.

Confidence was high even among renters. Only 24% of renters said they did so by choice; 81% said they would someday like to buy a home.

The survey also found that 23% of homeowners would not buy their current home. However, six-in-ten had problems with the home itself (43%) or its location (17%). Just 31% cited financial factors. Of these, about half (16%) say their home has either lost value or failed to rise in value while others attributed their dissatisfaction to changes in the economy or their own financial circumstances.

Regionally, homeowners in the West (64%) and Midwest (49%) said they believed their homes had lost value, with 22% of those saying their mortgages were currently underwater in the West and 13% in the Midwest.Fewer thought they'd lost value in the East (44%) and South (40%), Homeowners in the East (44%) and 40% of those in the South were less likely to think their homes had lost value, with 13% in the South and 9% in the East reporting being underwater on their mortgage.

There were significant deviations from the totals demographically. The survey found that decline in home values hit those with higher annual household incomes harder than those with lower annual incomes. Among homeowners with incomes of $100,0000 or more, 57% said their homes have lost value since the recession began compared with 37% of those with incomes below $30,000 and 49% of those with incomes of $30,000 to $75,000.

Still, eight-in-ten of those with incomes of $75,000 and above said they would buy their current home; 62% with incomes below $30,000 said the same.

It also found that awareness of value varied by income and education. While 53% of college-educated homeowners said their home is worth less now than it was before the recession, only 39% of homeowners who never attended college said so. Half those with incomes over $75,000 reported value drops compared with 49% between $30,0000 and $74,999 and 37% of those under $30,000.

Regionally, homeowners in the West (64%) and Midwest (49%) said they believed their homes had lost value, with 22% of those saying their mortgages were currently underwater in the West and 13% in the Midwest.Fewer thought they'd lost value in the East (44%) and South (40%), Homeowners in the East (44%) and 40% of those in the South were less likely to think their homes had lost value, with 13% in the South and 9% in the East reporting being underwater on their mortgage.

Among adults aged 65 and older, 48% said they agreed that homeownership is the best long-term investment a person can make, compared with 39% of those aged 50 to 64; 32% of those aged 30 to 49; and 35% of those aged 18 to 29.

Hispanic and black homeowners were less likely to say they would buy their current home; 39% of Hispanics and 35% of blacks said they would not, compared with just 20% of whites. The survey said 33% of Hispanic homeowners report being underwater, compared with 15% of blacks and 13% of whites.

Not surprisingly, among all homeowners, those who bought during the housing boom were more likely to report buyer's remorse. Some 30% of these homeowners say that, if they had it to do all over again, they would not buy their current home, compared with 19% of those who purchased their current home before 2000 and 24% of those who purchased their current home in 2007 or later.

The survey was based on landline and cell telephone interviews in late March with 2,142 adults ages 18 and older living in the continental United States, 57% of them homeowners, 30% renters and the rest with other living arrangements such as living with family members. The margin for error was plus or minus2.7 percentage points for results based on the total sample and 3.6 percentage points for homeowners at the 95% confidence level.