Survey shows Americans continue to have strong aspirations to own a home
Fannie Mae’s 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 home buyers 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.
Attitudes about homeownership as an investment, financial constraints, and mortgage accessibility may mean that more Americans choose not to act on their aspiration for homeownership, thus potentially leading to lower homeownership rates.
- The margin of Americans believing homeownership has the highest investment potential has declined over the past several years.
- At the same time, the perceived safety of owning a home as an investment has trended downward, reaching a low of 63 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
- In turn, groups with higher levels of education and higher incomes are more likely to think buying a home is a safe investment
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