Go figure- while all the media outlets bash home ownership and the real estate market the latest quarterly National Housing Survey (covers 4th qtr 2011) from FannieMae. The survey covers a variety of questions about today’s housing market and sometimes the findings are quite interesting. For example even though the housing market appears to be sinking- 84% or the respondents believe that owning a home makes more sense than renting.
80%+ of the general population believes that owning a home makes more sense than renting.
- A majority of Americans across all demographic groups believe in the advantages of owning
- Nearly two-thirds of current renters say that they will buy in the future
- Non-financial factors are the top reasons given for buying a home across income groups
- Hispanics and African-Americans see buying a home as a way to build up wealth and cite various benefits, such as home ownership as a symbol of success and civic benefits
However the survey found that while people want to own a home there are obstacles to overcome:
- While a slight majority agree that home ownership has high investment potential, the percentage who feel it is a “safe” investment has declined over the past several years
- Certain groups (renters, lower levels of education, lower income, African-Americans, and Hispanics) cite potential difficulties in getting a mortgage
- Specifically, those renting today are most likely to cite poor credit, complexity of process, and bad economic times as major reasons not to buy a home
- Hispanics and lower-income Americans are not confident that they are getting adequate information to select a loan
The big picture-while there are lots of positive points coming from this survey we need to focus not only encouraging current home owners to move up or resize- we also have to work with lenders to help non-owners the opportunity to own a home in the future.