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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

First Quarter 2011 National Housing Survey

May 11, 2011


Quarterly Housing Survey

Fannie Mae's First-Quarter 2011 National Housing Survey polled more than 3,400 homeowners and renters between January 2011 and March 2011 to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, the current state of their household finances, views on the U.S. housing finance system, and overall confidence in the economy. Findings were compared to similar surveys conducted by Fannie Mae throughout 2010 and in December 2003.

According to the latest survey results:

  • Compared to fourth quarter 2010, 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.
  • While perceptions of investment safety have been declining, 57 percent of Americans believe that homeownership has a lot of potential as an investment, ranking higher than other investments, such as buying stocks or putting money into an IRA or 401(k) plan.
  • Fewer Underwater Borrowers think their savings are sufficient and more are stressed about their debt. Feeling less secure financially, more Underwater Borrowers think it is okay to default if facing financial distress. However, a significant share of Underwater Borrowers remain optimistic, with 45 percent expecting their personal finances to get better over the next year and 35 percent expecting home prices to go up.

The Housing Survey was designed to gain a better understanding of current attitudes toward housing and any differences since surveys conducted in Fourth Quarter 2010, Third Quarter 2010, June 2010, January 2010, and 2003. Our research helps inform the collective efforts of Fannie Mae and our partners to provide stability for the housing market.

On this Web page you will find a news release with highlights from the survey results, a fact sheet, and a presentation with extensive information from the survey.

Downloads and Related Links
Press Release
Press Release (En Espanol)
National Housing Survey - Fact Sheet (PDF)
Presentation About Housing Survey (PDF)