In Fannie Mae's publications series, our analysts explore key trends and data, mining them for insights into market developments and potential outcomes. The authors also engage with industry partners who share their research expertise on robust, in-depth studies. The analyses and other views in these materials represent the views of the author(s) as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group, Fannie Mae or its management.
September 1, 2020
Household income has not kept pace with housing demand in recent years and housing costs as a share of income is a key concern for many households. The potential of increasing housing supply to help ease housing cost burdens is not well understood empirically, and it is debated whether creation of new housing units would help, or hurt, nearby residents. While new development could provide needed relief to unmet housing demand in the local market, and thus reduce local housing costs, it could attract high-income residents and new amenities to a neighborhood, driving up prices and leading to gentrification and displacement. Studies looking to untangle these competing effects often struggle to find adequate data on rents over time at the local level. In recent research sponsored by Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, NYU Furman Center Doctoral Fellow Xiaodi Li uses unique data on housing construction, rents, and prices in New York City, coupled with a thoughtful research design, to tackle these challenges.
April 25, 2019
In March, Abt Associates Inc., a public policy research firm, published a research paper that presented findings about the mortgage shopping experiences of lower-income, first-time homebuyers. Fannie Mae commissioned the video ethnography study, and Mark Palim, Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist, authored a Perspectives blog based on its findings. Overall, the research illuminated the need to improve the ease of mortgage shopping for this cohort of homebuyers at all stages of the homebuying process.
Read more» | Read the Perspectives blog»
May 17, 2018
Enabling access to affordable and sustainable homeownership has long been a goal of U.S. housing policy and is central to Fannie Mae's mission. A critical part of achieving this mission is to support programs and lenders that extend homeownership sustainably – that is, providing mortgages to lower income households who are able to maintain their mortgage payments over time. Affordable lending programs administered through state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) provide a potential vehicle for realizing this goal, but there are few empirical analyses of HFA originated mortgages. In their recent working paper, professors from The Ohio State University, San Jose State University, and the University of Chicago use data on first-time homebuyer mortgages securitized by Fannie Mae between 2005 and 2014 to estimate the impact of HFA originations on loan performance.
May 9, 2018
How we perceive Millennial homeownership trends is influenced directly by the choice of method for measuring change. Whereas the traditional "age-group" approach suggests that Millennial homeownership demand remains in a recession-induced stupor, the more dynamic "cohort" perspective indicates that young-adult demand has begun to rebound along with the economy. But how do these two radically different views on Millennial homeownership comport with data on young-adult home buying activity? New research from the University of Southern California and Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, in partnership with Fannie Mae, shows that the age-group approach produces a lagging view of Millennial homeownership demand that does not correspond with current market data on home purchases, whereas the cohort approach offers a consistent contemporaneous perspective.
June 20, 2017
In the latest and final installment of a working paper series on young-adult homeownership, University of Southern California researchers simulate how future changes in the characteristics of young adults might affect changes in their homeownership rate. The analysis estimates prospective changes between 2015 and 2035 in the prevalence of homeownership among young adults aged 25 to 44, prime ages for first-time homebuying. The simulations place special emphasis on how increases in racial and ethnic diversity and alternative scenarios for future college educational attainment might alter the trajectory of young-adult homeownership.
March 30, 2017
In the most recent report from their ongoing study of young-adult homeownership, University of Southern California researchers explore the effects of young adults' race, education, income, and wealth on their homeownership attainment in the pre- and post-recession periods, independent of the socioeconomic status of their parents.
February 28, 2017
Why are older homeowners so reluctant to draw on housing wealth to help secure a more comfortable retirement? In the second of a series of studies on seniors and home equity sponsored by Fannie Mae and conducted by the Urban Institute, Karan Kaul and Laurie Goodman begin to explore this conundrum. The new working paper describes the various mechanisms that seniors could use to access home equity, identifies impediments keeping them from extracting equity, and offers recommendations for overcoming these obstacles.
November 1, 2016
In the first of a series of studies sponsored by Fannie Mae, the Urban Institute examines the potential role of home equity in improving retirement security.
September 14, 2016
In a new study sponsored by Fannie Mae, researchers from the University of Southern California unpack the complex linkages between educational attainment and homeownership attainment. As parents play a role both in supporting their children’s education and in helping them buy homes, the authors examine the importance of parental background compared with individual resources (including education) in the achievement of homeownership. Overall, the findings suggest that parental background has a strong effect on children’s chances for both higher education and homeownership, but education maintains an independent effect on homeownership attainment that could help reduce disparities in access.
April 26, 2016
In this study, researchers from the University of Southern California examine the prevalence of parental financial assistance and its effect on young-adult transitions into homeownership. This Fannie Mae-sponsored research is the first installment in a series of studies that will examine the roles of parental resources, educational attainment of parents and children, and other factors in the homeownership attainment of young adults, with an eye toward better understanding the homeownership prospects of the Millennial generation.
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.
August 13, 2012
The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (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, titled "Post-Recession Drivers of Preferences for Homeownership," 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 (ESR) Group.
In summary, the JCHS analysis "finds little evidence to suggest that individuals’ preferences for owning versus renting a home have been fundamentally altered by their exposure to house price declines and loan delinquency rates, or by knowing others in their neighborhood who have defaulted on their mortgages." These conclusions are similar to those in Fannie Mae's August 2012 Own-Rent Analysis, published by the ESR Group.