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Fannie Mae survey shows Americans still value owning a home

Survey says…

sold signAccording to a survey by Fannie Mae, a nationwide survey on sentiment toward housing, 65% of Americans still want to own a home despite the stalling economy. 80% of respondents believe homeownership is important to the economy and 70% believe that buying a home is one of the safest investments one can make (versus the 17% of respondents who believed buying stocks are a safe investment).

Interestingly, 64% of those surveyed believe right now is a good time to buy a home, and 31% believe it is a very good time to buy a home. These numbers match the peak in 2003 just before the housing market recovered last time around.

This sentiment is not without caution, however- 23% of renters said they’ve postponed buying a home, 60% of those surveyed believe it’s harder to buy a home now than it was for their parents and 68% believe it will be even more difficult for their own children.

“Despite the recent downturn in the housing sector, Americans continue to value homeownership and think about their homes in ways that go much deeper than the financial investment,” said Mike Williams, President and CEO, Fannie Mae. “The public also strongly believes in the importance of upholding the financial commitment involved in buying and owning a home, even during these challenging times when home values have fallen.”

Regarding delinquency, 88% of consumers believe it is unacceptable to stop making payments on a loan that is underwater (with 70% of those that answered being behind on their own payments). In the past, it has been speculated that walking away will become a massive trend, but it appears that consumer sentiment doesn’t support that theory.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Benn Rosales

    April 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    The real news here is consumer confidence, and I’m not going to lie, I’m shocked at the numbers. It really is going to be messaging from Realtors that moves folks from the fence and I’m wondering if there is a really good message other than hurry up because the tax credit is almost gone – what comes after? What’s the longterm sustained message from NAR? I feel as though the ideals of the 30 year mortgage are over, we’re a buy and sell economy, can that be overcome? More questions than answers…

    • Lani Rosales

      April 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      Interesting point about messaging, because the tax credit doesn’t seem to play a role in consumer sentiment as polled by Fannie Mae, rather respondents cited qualification criteria as their reason for not buying right now.

      22% said poor credit, 19% said income, 15% said job security, 15% said not having enough for a down payment were holding them back from buying a home, so the industry has some positioning to do that doesn’t involve the tax credit.

      You’re right Benn, what will be the next message when people think it’s harder to get a loan now than it was for their parents? They don’t care about a tax credit if they don’t think they can qualify in the first place, so what now?

  2. realdiggity

    April 6, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Fannie Mae survey shows Americans still value owning a home: comments

  3. Serita Diana

    April 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    RT @agentgenius: Wow! Fannie Mae survey shows Americans still value owning a home #Realtors No surprise. American dream

  4. Mark McDonough

    April 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Looking for a quick read containing quantitative stats about Americans' view of home ownership and #RealEstate?

  5. Justin Boland

    April 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Not to be the skeleton at the feast, but how is this a good thing? The majority of these people won’t be able to afford a home without incredibly high levels of government assistance, so how much does their opinion on this really matter? Sure, they “think it’s good” but I don’t believe for a second they’ve really studied or thought about any of this. They got asked about something people talk about on TV and they repeated what they heard on TV.

    Americans would also like a 100% tax cut, I’m sure. (I know I would.)

    After a decade of “Society of Homeownership” propaganda, it will be interesting to see who will step up to the plate and start talking about “The Reality of Renting” and re-educate/re-program the American public. Because the only alternative is pretty much buying their homes for them, at this point. When the housing sector is so broken it’s being subsidized by the government, and Americans still think that’s a good thing, it’s mostly proof that American’s don’t understand the problems their country is facing.

    Not that I blame them for that! They’ve got a lot on their plates right now.

    “Society of Homeownership” always smelled like bad economics. Homes are a huge sink on cashflow and they make our labor force less mobile — bad timing on both fronts, here in 2010.

  6. Tim McDonald

    April 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Fannie Mae survey say…Americans still value owning a home. How would you answer?

  7. Karen Goodman

    April 9, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Survey says most people think it's a good time to buy a home, and still want to own a home

  8. Encino Homes

    April 13, 2010 at 1:39 am

    From my experience during the past 6 months, I’ve noticed that home-buyers are very much aware of what happened to home-buyers during the past few years. Not wanting to make the same mistakes, they come prepared and alert.

    The home-buyer these days is more educated than ever.

  9. Richard M. Johnston

    April 13, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Fannie Mae survey shows Americans still value owning a home

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