by The KCM Crew on November 30, 2010

We found it interesting to see how some media outlets reported on the latest Fannie Mae National Housing Survey. It is true that the number of people who believe that now is a good time to buy a home dipped 2% since the June report. However, the report also showed that 68% of people still believe it is a good time to buy. That is more than two out of every three people surveyed.

Yet, the headlines seemed to concentrate exclusively on the negative:

Survey: Americans Growing More Cautious on Housing – Wall Street Journal 11/24

Housing Drop: More Bad News for the Economy – Time 11/24

Is the fact that 68% of the people think now is the time to buy bad news? Shouldn’t it be great news? We elect the president of this country with barely 50% of the voters agreeing. A senate ‘supermajority’ only demands 60% to bring out a vote of cloture or to end a filibuster. Over two thirds believing now is the time to buy is fabulous news.

There were two other very revealing findings in the report:

1. People trust homeownership as an investment over buying stocks (66% to 16%). They also trust owning a home over investing in a 401k, buying an insurance annuity or investing in a mutual fund. People find investing in a home safer than any other investment except putting their money into a savings account.

2. 96% of homeowners feel that homeownership has been a positive experience. 17% of renters think renting has been a positive experience.

Other findings in the report that were not well reported:

  • 62% of renters have long-term ownership aspirations.
  • Americans continue to expect home rental prices to rise more than home prices over the next year. Americans believe that it is more likely that home rental prices will go up rather than go down by a ratio of almost 4 to 1.
  • An overwhelming majority of mortgage borrowers remain satisfied with their loans and 3 in 4 Americans are confident they would receive the necessary information to choose the right loan.
  • Non-financial considerations, such as accessing good education and safety, continue to trump financial reasons for owning a home. With the top three reasons (education, safety, more space) all increasing in percentages since the last report.
  • Since the time of purchase, 59% of mortgage borrowers have seen their home value increase.

Charts and tables covering these and other findings of the Fannie Mae survey will be available to KCM subscribers to print and use in your client presentation manuals in the December edition of Keeping Current Matters. If you’re not a KCM member, you can find other great visuals and much more by becoming a subscriber today.

Bottom Line

The Fannie Mae survey showed that homeownership is still considered by the vast majority as a good investment (66%) and a positive experience (96%) . And, 68% think it is a good time for people to buy!!