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Press Release

Fannie Mae Releases New Research Brief: What Drives Consumers' Intentions to Own or Rent

August 2, 2012

Fannie Mae Releases New Research Brief: What Drives Consumers' Intentions to Own or Rent

Pete Bakel


WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group today released a new Research Brief that investigates the factors that drive Americans’ intentions to own or rent their 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 to ensure a well-functioning housing marketplace. Findings suggest:

  • Americans are affected by a mix of demographic and attitudinal drivers in making the own-rent decision.
    • It is possible that many of these drivers, especially attitudinal drivers, act as automatic or unconscious biases that lead consumers to their respective housing choices.
    • Resources to help consumers to more deliberately understand and balance these drivers may allow them to make better, more sustainable housing choices.
  • Exposure to mortgage default, perceived home value appreciation/depreciation, and self-reported underwater status are not significant factors in the models in predicting individuals’ intentions to own a home for their next move.
    • These results suggest that Americans’ aspirations to own a home are strong even facing the dramatic challenges in the housing market over the past few years.

Visit the Economic & Strategic Research site at to read the full Fannie Mae Own-Rent Research Brief and Data Analysis Presentation Deck, as well as the FM Commentary from research authors Li-Ning Huang and Steve Deggendorf, to learn more about the impact of owning versus renting on the housing market and housing finance.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America's secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.

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