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June 2013 Topic Analysis

June 6, 2013


A recent research study from Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group investigates the future of housing in America based on consumer attitudes toward renting and homeownership. Data from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey provides insights into whether current renters, particularly those in the younger generation, aspire to become homeowners and when they expect to achieve the goal of homeownership.

Findings show:

  • Ninety percent of aspiring owners expect to purchase a home in the future, even though most have ranked their renting experience favorably.
    • Renters who prefer to own appear to have a sense of measured optimism about their homeownership prospects, although most believe it would be difficult to get a mortgage today.
  • Forty-two percent of those who expect to buy believe they will not be able to do so for at least five years.
    • Despite the hurdles renters anticipate on the path to homeownership, many say they are renting now primarily as a stepping stone toward making that move in the future.
    • Younger renters aged 18 to 34 are nearly twice as likely to say their main reason for renting is to prepare financially for future ownership, compared to renters aged 35 and up.

Fannie Mae's Topic Analysis Reports provide deeper insights into one or more housing issues based on the compilation of three monthly National Housing Survey samples. The National Housing Survey polls more than 1,000 homeowners and renters each month 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. The three monthly survey studies that make up any given Topic Analysis Report are identical in wording and placement of questions.

On this webpage you will find a link to an FM Commentary from Sarah Shahdad, Economic & Strategic Research Analyst, that provides key insights from the study results, as well as 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
FM Commentary
Presentation About National Housing Survey Topic Analysis Focus (PDF)
Data Summary (PDF)