Higher Percentage of Housing Survey Respondents Say They Will Rent
By Robert Greenberg, VP Marketing, B2R Finance
The economy is on the upswing, but consumers remain cautious about buying homes and more said they’d rent instead, according to Fannie Mae’s most recent national housing survey.
This cautious sentiment about homebuying could translate into a strengthening single-family rental market, which has grown into a force to be reckoned with in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
The share of respondents who said they would rent rather than buy a home increased 3 percentage points to 34%, although the survey does specify whether consumers prefer to rent an apartment, townhome or a single-family home.
Rent continues to rise around the country, and over half the respondents (53%) expect rental prices to go up by an average of 4.1% over the next 12 months, according to the most recent survey.
“Despite consistent and robust job growth in recent months, consumer attitudes toward housing remained cautious in the final month of 2014,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Our survey results show that consumer housing sentiment has, on average, been moving sideways amid some improvement in the general view of the economy. It is not surprising that the housing sector continues to lag behind the rest of the economy given the long-term financial commitment that getting a mortgage represents. Many prospective homebuyers want to be certain that their personal finances can withstand potential downside risks to the economy.”
Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via a live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence.
More detailed findings and charts from the December 2014 survey are available here.
Robert Greenberg may be reached at rgreenberg@B2Rfinance.com.
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