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This is Good News for Housing, Not Bad News

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.

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!!

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8 replies
  1. Ed Speno
    Ed Speno says:

    In the context of this article and other great input relative to this being an immediately good time to Sell and Buy…..what is your short answer to the question we all get, i.e., “So, Ed, how’s the [Real Estate] Market?”


  2. Mark Brian
    Mark Brian says:

    It is not just real estate or housing reports that the media will twist into a negative. It is the nature of the beast when it comes to the media. It is up to real estate professionals to be the source for realistic and honest interpretation of the current housing market data.

  3. Dennis Childress
    Dennis Childress says:

    Your national housing survey reports are very helpful. How can we create local surveys that will compare to the national trends? I think that both would be extremely helpful for a buyer to decide when to invest in Real Estate.

    • Steve Harney
      Steve Harney says:

      Hi Dennis,
      Great question! You would need to research the data from your local MLS and other sources. Then try to use your professional insights to predict how certain situations will impact your local market. Believe me it’s a tremendous amount of work. But it will position you as the local expert.

  4. Debra Gundy
    Debra Gundy says:

    Hi Steve,

    Need a little help. Could you tell me where I could go to find the average days on market for homes sales, nationally? Tried NAR, no luck.

    Thanks so much,


    • Steve Harney
      Steve Harney says:

      Hi Debra,
      I know of no ‘national dom numbers’. In areas where attornies are used, the number would be much higher than in areas where they are not. Local nuances would make it difficult to compile national numbers. I might contact Trend Graphics. They may be able to help.


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