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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

First Quarter 2012 National Housing Survey

January 20, 2012


Quarterly Housing Survey

During the past few years, record numbers of American homeowners have gained first or second-hand experience with being “underwater” on their mortgage (when a home is worth less than the amount owed on its mortgage), having the value of their home decline, or even falling into mortgage delinquency. Policy makers on both the state and local levels have taken steps to address the challenges facing these homeowners as part of the housing recovery effort. A deeper understanding of the impact of these experiences on American homeowners’ attitudes can help policy makers and the housing finance industry fine tune these solutions in their efforts to stabilize the housing market.

As part of the data collection for the first-quarter 2012 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, an oversample of delinquent borrowers was conducted so as to provide high-quality information to assess attitudes of the hard to reach delinquent borrower population. Findings 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

"Results indicate that helping keep mortgage borrowers current on their mortgage is a beneficial goal since the negative attitudes resulting from delinquency for the borrower (and those they influence) may be hard to repair and could evolve into ingrained delinquency behaviors," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae.

The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polls homeowners and renters to assess their confidence in homeownership as an investment, the current state of their household finances, views on the U.S. housing finance system, and overall confidence in the economy.

The National Housing Survey was designed to gain a better understanding of current attitudes toward housing and any differences since previous surveys. Our research helps inform the collective efforts of Fannie Mae and our partners to provide stability for the housing market.

On this webpage you will find a link to a FM Commentary from Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan providing key insights from the survey results, a survey results deck, and a summary of responses to questions asked.

Downloads and Related Links

Presentation About National Housing Survey Quarterly Focus (PDF)
Data Summary (PDF)