Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) Collaborates on Research Paper with Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Reseach Group
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.
Own-Rent Analysis Reveals Factors Influencing Consumers’ Decision to Buy Versus Rent a Home
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.
Delinquency Pushes Homeowners' Attitudes Over the Edge
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.
Americans of All Backgrounds Continue to Have Strong Aspirations to Own a Home
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.
Findings on Attitudes of Consumers Who Know Defaulters
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.
Job Loss is a Concern for 26 Percent of American Workers
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.
Newfound Consumer Optimism is Balanced by Rising Household Expenses
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.
Key Changes Seen in Americans’ Attitudes Toward Housing and the Economy over the Last Year
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.
Factors Influencing Consumers’ Decision to Buy Versus Rent a Home
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
Americans Uncertain Housing Market has Bottomed, Continue to Be Wary of Buying a Home
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.
Americans Are Embracing a More Balanced and Realistic Approach to Housing
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.
Americans Still Want to Own a Home, but Are More Cautious
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.