Americans Attitudes Towards Renting Changing Due to Housing Crisis

December 10 2010 (Chris Moore)
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Despite the ongoing turmoil in the housing market, a recent report by Fannie Mae finds that most Americans, whether they currently own their homes or if they rent, aspire to maintain homeownership or own a home.

The Fannie Mae 2010 Own-Rent Analysis also revealed that demographic trends such as fewer married couples and less families with children resulting in shrinking households along with financial caution on the part of consumers are contributing to an increased willingness to rent.

The report is based on extensive primary research with homeowners and renters (including focus groups and a quantitative survey), U.S. Census Bureau data, and micro- and macro- economic parameters, and explores the factors influencing consumers’ decisions to buy or rent a home. This weeks release covers two of the reports four major themes with the remaining two themes to be released next week.

The report finds that 51 percent of current owners and renters say that the housing crisis has not affected their overall willingness to buy a home. However, while homeownership aspirations are high for the long-term, Americans have near-term doubts about buying as the report reveals that one-third of Americans (33 percent) would be more likely to rent their next home than buy, up from 30 percent in January 2010. Among renters, 59 percent said they would continue to rent in their next move, compared to 54 percent in January 2010.

Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Vice President and Chief Economist said, “Despite Americans’ strong desire to own their homes, our study reveals that life events are greatly influencing families’ decision to rent. This trend, coupled with the housing crisis, has caused consumers to approach homeownership with greater caution and thoughtfulness.”

The study identified four key themes of the “owning versus renting” decision-making process, and results are available in a series of themed reports that cut the data across consumer life stage; ethnicity/race/immigration status; and demographic, geographic, housing and economic status.

You can view the entire report at www.fanniemae.com.

Tags: housing crisis, homeowners, renters, fannie mae, homeownership, owning versus renting