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TheStreet Open House

Quarterly National Housing Survey Shows That Americans Of All Backgrounds Continue To Have Strong Aspirations To Own A Home

Stocks in this article: FNMA

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Fannie Mae's (OTC Bulletin Board: FNMA) latest quarterly National Housing Survey focuses on the state of homeownership aspirations among Americans across all demographic groups. The survey finds that despite the recent housing crisis, most Americans continue to believe that owning their home is preferable to renting it. The data also indicate that while financial constraints and employment concerns may be keeping potential homebuyers on the sidelines in the near term, future improvements in employment and personal finances, a pickup in interest rates in response to stronger economic growth, and stabilizing home prices may move Americans to act on their aspirations in coming years.

  • Across all education levels, Americans say owning makes more sense than renting.  This belief is held consistently across all demographic groups.
  • Nearly two-thirds of current renters say that they will buy a house at some point in the future.
  • Non-financial factors such as safety and quality of local schools continue to be the top reasons for buying a home across all income groups.
  • African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to cite various benefits, such as buying a home as a way to build wealth, homeownership as a symbol of success, and civic benefits.

"In spite of the impact of the housing crisis on home values and homeownership rates across the country, Americans by and large still hope to become homeowners," said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "Some may not be financially positioned to own a home in the near future, but Americans may begin to revisit that aspiration as employment and household balance sheets improve over the coming years."

"A point of concern for the industry is that some consumers find the mortgage shopping process difficult to navigate," Duncan continued. "If potential homeowners avoid the process because they believe it to be too complex, we will likely see a continued impact on homeownership rates."

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