Fannie Mae's Latest National Housing Survey Shows Key Changes in Americans' Attitudes Toward Housing and the Economy Over the Last YearBy Fannie Mae, PRNE
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Majority Believe Housing Prices Will Hold Firm in 2011, But Most Lack Confidence in the Strength of the Economic Recovery
WASHINGTON, February 28, 2011 - Fannie Mae's (OTC Bulletin Board: FNMA) latest national housing survey
finds that Americans are more confident about the stability of home prices
than they were at the beginning of 2010, even though they lack confidence in
the strength of the economy:
- Seventy-eight percent of respondents believe housing prices will hold steady or increase over the next twelve months, up from 73 percent in January 2010; - But almost two-thirds still believe the economy is on the wrong track, virtually unchanged (61%) from the beginning of last year.
The Fannie Mae Fourth Quarter National Housing Survey, conducted between
October 2010 and December 2010, polled 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.
"Over the course of the last year, we gained deeper insights into
Americans' confidence in the strength of the housing market and the economic
recovery," said Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist of Fannie
Mae. "More Americans believe that housing prices will remain stable over the
next year. We also are seeing encouraging signs in the positive attitudes
toward homeownership among younger Americans, despite the severe impact of
the housing crisis on Generation Y. But most respondents to our survey
continue to lack confidence in the strength of the economic recovery, and
they are less optimistic about their ability to buy a home in the years
ahead. This sense of uncertainty is weighing on the housing recovery today
and reshaping expectations for housing for the future."
Other Survey Highlights
Younger Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans are generally more
positive about owning a home than the general population. Fifty-nine percent
of Generation Y (ages 18-34) believes buying a home has a lot of potential as
an investment, even though this age group suffered the steepest decline in
homeownership during the housing crisis - from nearly forty-four percent when
home prices peaked to under forty percent in 2009.
More than one-third of Hispanics (34%) and African Americans (35%) say
they will buy a home in the next three years, compared to only one in four
(23%) of all other Americans.
The percentage of Americans who believe that buying a home is a safe
investment declined to 64 percent over the course of the year, from 70
percent in January 2010. This is down sharply from a similar survey conducted
in December 2003, when 83 percent of the general population thought buying a
home was a safe investment.
During 2010, survey respondents increasingly expressed a strong belief
that it will be harder for future generations to obtain a mortgage.
Three-quarters of those surveyed (74%) believe it will be harder to get a
mortgage in the future, up from just over two-thirds at the beginning of
One out of three delinquent borrowers continues to say they have
considered defaulting on their mortgage. However, that number fell from 39
percent at the beginning of the year to 31 percent in the fourth quarter. The
number of delinquent borrowers who say they have seriously considered
defaulting also has declined, from 25 percent in January 2010 to 19 percent.
For more detailed findings from the survey, click
From October 15, 2010 to December 20, 2010, 3,407 telephone interviews
were conducted with Americans aged 18 and older 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
This included a random sample of 3,004 members of the General Population,
including 751 Outright Homeowners, 1,232 Mortgage Borrowers, and 871 Renters.
Out of the 1,232 Mortgage Borrowers, 313 identified themselves as Underwater
Borrowers (those who report owing at least 5 percent more on their mortgage
than their home is worth). The overall margin of error for the general
population sample is +/- 1.79 percent and larger for sub-groups.
An additional oversample of 403 random national Delinquent Borrowers also
was polled. The margin of error for the Delinquent Borrower oversample is +/-
4.88 percent and larger for sub-groups. Delinquency was defined as not having
made a mortgage payment in the past 60 or more days.
Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with
Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital
to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae
has a federal charter and operates in America's secondary mortgage market to
enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage
bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to
help those who house America.
Pete Bakel of Fannie Mae, +1-202-752-2034
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