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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Fourth Quarter 2011 National Housing Survey

March 27, 2012


Quarterly Housing Survey

Fannie Mae's Fourth-Quarter 2011 National Housing Survey provides in-depth findings on the state of homeownership aspirations among Americans across all demographic groups. This latest survey shows that Americans of all backgrounds continue to have strong aspirations to own a home. However, Americans’ attitudes about homeownership as an investment, financial constraints, and mortgage accessibility may stand in the way of their purchase decisions. In turn, while financial constraints and employment concerns may be keeping potential homebuyers on the sidelines in the near term, 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.

"In spite of the impact of the housing crisis on home values and homeownership rates across the country, Americans by and large still hope to become homeowners," said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "Some may not be financially positioned to own a home in the near future, but Americans may begin to revisit that aspiration as employment and household balance sheets improve over the coming years."

"A point of concern for the industry is that some consumers find the mortgage shopping process difficult to navigate," Duncan continued. "If potential homeowners avoid the process because they believe it to be too complex, we will likely see a continued impact on homeownership rates."

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 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 news release with highlights from the survey results, a survey results deck, a data summary of responses to questions asked, technical notes providing in-depth information about the survey methodology, the questionnaire used for the survey, and a comparative assessment of the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey and other consumer surveys.

Downloads and Related Links

News Release
Presentation About National Housing Survey (PDF)
Data Summary (PDF)