Consumer Research & Analysis Archive

Consumer Research & Analysis Archive

Consumer Research & Analysis Archive

Fannie Mae conducts and shares various types of research using our primary consumer data collected through the National Housing Survey and other methods to help support the housing market and lay the foundation for a better housing finance system. Click here to view more recent research.

Millennials Look to Income Improvements as Key to Unlocking Homeownership
August 21, 2015
In this study, Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group analyzes data from the National Housing Survey to explore whether Millennials prefer the flexibility of renting and are less interested in homeownership than previous generations. Additionally, among young adults who do plan to buy a home in the future, the study examines the reasons cited for not yet pursuing those aspirations. The implications are worth considering given Millennials' potential to generate significant homeownership demand.
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Invisible Equity: Do Homeowners See How Much Home Equity They Are Sitting On?
August 3, 2015
The housing market recovery over the past few years has been even more halting than the economic recovery. According to Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group, this is likely due to tepid household income growth weighing down housing markets. Now, a new analysis identifies an additional factor that may be weighing on housing: Homeowners are underestimating their home equity. Using data from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey (NHS), the ESR Group examines how a widespread “negative perception gap” or “appreciation gap” may be suppressing housing and mortgage market activity by inhibiting many interested homeowners from purchasing another home or from moving to advance their job and career prospects.
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What is the Mortgage Shopping Experience of Today's Homebuyer? Lessons from recent Fannie Mae acquisitions
April 13, 2015

Using data from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey, this study examines borrowers' shopping behavior and experiences when trying to obtain a mortgage. While getting a mortgage is a complex process for prospective homebuyers, research and consumer guidance suggest that obtaining multiple mortgage quotes and being better informed may help borrowers get a mortgage with a better set of financial terms.
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Why are Young Adults Living with Their Parents and When Will They Move Out?
July 29, 2014
In this study, data from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey examine the reasons why young adult children are living with their parents. The increase in adult children living with their parents has raised important questions regarding household formation and its impact on owning, renting, and the demand for new housing construction.
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Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) Conducts Own-Rent Decision Research Using Fannie Mae National Housing Survey Data
May 2014
In May 2014, the Harvard University JCHS published a research paper that analyzes the role behavioral factors play in individual decisions about owning and renting a home in the United States. To produce the paper, the author leveraged data from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey and was assisted by the company's Economic & Strategic Research Group.
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What Younger Renters Want and the Financial Constraints They See
May 6, 2014
Based on research from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey, this study investigates what housing choices younger renters prefer and the financial constraints they see when deciding whether to own or rent.
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Why Haven't Nearly Half of Mortgage Borrowers Refinanced?
February 6, 2014
In this study, data from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey provide insights into mortgage borrowers’ past refinancing behavior and future refinancing intent.
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Technology Use in Mortgage Shopping: Practices and Opportunities
January 2, 2014
This study was highlighted in a feature article by Steve Deggendorf in the March 2014 issue of the MBA's Mortgage Banking Magazine

Data from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey on mortgage shopping behaviors suggest that using online tools could help mortgage borrowers obtain better outcomes -- including lower costs, fewer surprises at the loan closing table, and higher long-term satisfaction with their choices -- by improving their understanding of mortgage terms and costs and enhancing their ability to make simultaneous comparisons of loan terms from multiple lenders.
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Delinquent Mortgage Borrowers Grow More Favorable Toward Homeownership
October 2013
In this study, data from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey show that delinquent mortgage borrowers' attitudes toward the housing market have become more favorable in 2013 compared to 2012, with the majority believing in the benefits of homeownership.
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Hispanics Are More Likely to Expect to Buy a Home in Three Years, Despite Mortgage Concerns
October 2013
The research in this study investigates attitudes toward homeownership and getting a mortgage, as well as expectations for future homeownership, among the country’s fastest growing population.
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Renters Are Satisfied, but Continuing to Reach for Homeownership
May 2013
This study provides insights into whether current renters, particularly those in the younger generation, aspire to become homeowners and when they expect to achieve the goal of homeownership.
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What Motivates Underwater Borrowers to Refinance?
March 2013
Hundreds of thousands of potentially eligible underwater borrowers have yet to take advantage of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This study analyzes the results from a survey of HARP-eligible homeowners (who have loans held by Fannie Mae, as of July 2012) to help understand underwater borrower motivations and potential barriers to refinancing.
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Mortgage Borrowers May Be Leaving Money on the Table by Using Less Effective Mortgage Shopping Strategies
November 2012
Many Americans do not adequately investigate or fail to understand fully the choices available to them when looking for a mortgage. This behavior may increase both cost to the borrower and the potential for problems to arise during the life of the loan. Data from this study suggest that consumers could save money and find a more financially sustainable mortgage product if they shopped more effectively.
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Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) Collaborates on Research Paper with Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group
August 2012
In August 2012, the Harvard University JCHS published a research paper that analyzes whether recent distress in the housing market has any measurable impact on Americans' views of owning versus renting. To produce the paper, the authors leveraged much of the data from Fannie Mae's 2010-2011 National Housing Surveys and were assisted by the company's Economic & Strategic Research Group.
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Own-Rent Analysis Reveals Factors Influencing Consumers’ Decision to Buy Versus Rent a Home
August 2012
The study provides insights into Americans’ homeownership preferences and raises possible implications for both housing policy makers and industry players in their efforts to manage housing-related risks and to encourage consumers to make sustainable housing choices.
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Delinquency Pushes Homeowners' Attitudes Over the Edge
June 2012
Findings from this study show that once a borrower becomes delinquent, their attitudes about homeownership, household finances, and paying their mortgage become significantly more negative than the general mortgage population, those who are underwater, and those who have experienced home value declines.
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Americans of All Backgrounds Continue to Have Strong Aspirations to Own a Home
March 2012
While Americans continue to aspire to own a home, attitudes about homeownership as an investment, financial constraints, and mortgage accessibility may stand in the way of their purchase decisions. In turn, 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.
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Findings on Attitudes of Consumers Who Know Defaulters
November 2011
This latest survey shows that those exposed to default have similar attitudes about buying a home as those who do not know people that have defaulted. However, the survey also finds greater pessimism about the economy and personal finances among consumers who know defaulters.
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Job Loss is a Concern for 26 Percent of American Workers
August 2011
Consumer pessimism is growing with concerns about job loss and with 64 percent of Americans saying the economy is on the wrong track. An even more timely read from the July monthly indicators finds 70 percent believe the economy is on the wrong track, and just 23 percent say the economy is heading in the right direction.
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Newfound Consumer Optimism is Balanced by Rising Household Expenses
May 2011
Americans are more optimistic about home prices, the economy, and personal finances. However, rising household expenses (up by 9 percentage points since June 2010) may require Americans to remain cautions about the recovery.
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Key Changes Seen in Americans’ Attitudes Toward Housing and the Economy over the Last Year
February 2011
Fewer Americans believe that buying a home is a safe investment, compared to the January 2010 survey. However, Americans are more confident about the stability of home prices than they were at the beginning of the year, even though they lack confidence in the strength of the economy.
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Factors Influencing Consumers’ Decision to Buy Versus Rent a Home
December 2010
This study identified four key themes of the owning vs. renting decision-making process. The results are available in a series of themed reports:

Theme 1: Persistence of the Home Ownership Aspiration
Theme 2: Housing Choices Throughout the Lifecycle and the Impact of Changing Demographics
Theme 3: Economics of Owning and Renting Through the Cycles and Across Geographies
Theme 4: Renting and Owning Behaviors by Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Status
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Americans Uncertain Housing Market has Bottomed, Continue to Be Wary of Buying a Home
November 2010
Fewer Americans think it is a good time to buy a home and more Americans think it is a bad time to buy. Similar to the last survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe it is a bad time to sell a home.
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Americans Are Embracing a More Balanced and Realistic Approach to Housing
September 2010
Americans have a mixed outlook for housing and homeownership. Respondents are increasingly more confident in the health of the housing market and think it has reached bottom, as measured by expectations for home prices. They also said they are less willing to take on risk, showing instead a stronger preference for renting now and buying later.
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Americans Still Want to Own a Home, but Are More Cautious
April 2010
Despite the recent housing downturn, Americans continue to value homeownership and think about their homes in ways that go much deeper than the financial investment.
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