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Consumers are doubting that owning a home is a good investment

Today, Fannie Mae released their National Housing Quarterly Survey which polls thousands of Americans about their attitudes toward homeownership and the real estate industry. The results reveal that consumers are doubting that homeownership as an investment is a good investment, changing the landscape of the American dream as a staggering number of people are opting to rent.

The survey showed that less than two in three Americans now think owning their own home is a safe investment. The number is shocking because more than four out of five believed it to be a good investment less than a decade ago.

The survey found just 64% of Americans think owning their own home is a safe investment, down 6% from the beginning of last year and a massive drop from the 83% who believed it was a safe investment in 2003.

Roughly 75% believe it will be harder to get a mortgage in the future which is also a number sharply risen from the past.

The silver lining is that the majority (78%) of respondents believe housing prices will hold steady or rise in the next year, up 5% from January 2010.

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Sentiment is sharply swinging in the real estate sector as Americans doubt the safety of real estate as an investment and they feel the pinch of difficulty in obtaining lending, however, most believe prices will hold steady. Consumers are catching up with economists and real estate professionals and one of the next steps in the long chain of events is stabilization. Time will tell what the catalyst for that will be.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.



  1. Artur

    February 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I think consumers are going in the right direction. Homeownership and investment should not go together: these should forever be separated. Homes are first and foremost shelter and also structures that deteriorate.

    That is not to say real estate cannot be a good investment. It can, but then it’s a business not a home. When we separate the business from the home then things start to look good for real estate, as the decision to buy one property over another is not dictated by the needs of the occupant or owner, but more by the return on and viability of the business investment.

  2. Chris

    February 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I have to agree with Arthur on this one. Given the current state of the housing industry, I would think that you would have to be crazy not to re-evaluate buying a home as an investment. With soooo many people being affected by the crash, It really is going to take some time to heal this wound.

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