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Conflicting studies on American sentiment about homeownership



Comparing studies side by side

We recently reported that Pew poll results revealed news that 81% of Americans view homeownership as the best investment one could make.

The only problem is that Fannie Mae also conducted a recent poll that revealed a far lower number. We decided to take a look at the data side by side to determine what Americans really think about homeownership.

Who was polled

Both Fannie Mae and Pew regularly poll and they are both internationally recognized data sources with transparent polling methods. It should first be said that both organizations polled via telephone and both restrict calls to registered land lines which recent data (and common sense) points to phone polling as skewing toward older demographics as younger consumers are trending toward only having a mobile phone account. Some studies have even argued that landline owners lean Republican, but we digress.

Pew called 2,000 Americans over the age of 18 while Fannie Mae called 3,407 giving them a larger sample size (which is not necessarily an indicator of superiority in data accuracy).

Of those surveyed, 57% of Pew poll respondents and 67% of Fannie Mae respondents were homeowners (either owning outright or paying a mortgage). We point to this as an indicator of attitude- a renter may feel differently about homeownership than an owner.

Sentiments toward homeownership

Of Pew poll participants, 81% reported real estate as the best investment, down 3% since 1991. Of that 81%, those that “somewhat agreed” dropped 28.5% in that period while those that strongly agreed rose 19%. Of Fannie Mae participants, 64% believed in homeownership, down 19% since 2003.

Comparing the two studies reveal different numbers, but the same result remains- more Americans believe in the value of homeownership (sellers and renters alike) than don’t believe. The numbers have slipped, but the majority still lean positively toward homeownership.

Do you think the percentage of Americans valuing homeownership will rise or fall by 2015? Tell us in comments your thoughts.

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  1. Mark Brian

    April 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Some are going to believe what ever they hear on TV or read, so the position that the media takes on the value of home ownership will play a big role in future polls.

    Also, please remember that 87% of statistics are made up, including this one.

  2. MH for Movoto

    April 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Ooooh, weird. I recently wrote about the Pew results too (, and frankly i was pretty surprised to see how positive they were. Fannie Mae's feel a little more down-to-earth and realistic to me personally.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

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…Click here to continue reading this story…

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