Fannie Mae Analysis Says Most Americans Want to Buy, But Will Rent for Now

by Bryce Baschuk

Courtesy of Fannie Mae

Though most Americans still aspire to own a home, many are more willing to rent for the time being, according to the results of Fannie Mae’s 2010 Own-Rent Analysis released late last week.

The analysis reported that, in the third quarter of 2010, 33 percent of Americans said they were more likely to rent their next home than buy, a 3 percent increase over January 2010; 59 percent of current renters surveyed said that they would likely continue renting after their current lease ends. Fannie Mae’s researchers believe that demographic factors such as fewer married couples, less families with children and financial concerns are reasons why people are finding renting more attractive.

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

Among the reasons as to why renters said they would continue renting rather than buying a home included:

  • Not having good enough credit for a mortgage (52 percent of renters)
  • Not being able to afford the purchase or upkeep of a home (46 percent of renters)
  • Thinking it’s not a good time economically to buy (43 percent of renters)

The analysis surveyed a group of respondents from DC about their thoughts on homeownership in the current housing market.

“There’s definitely I think a stigma attached [to renting] but I think it was more-so before [the crisis],” a young male from DC in his 20s said. “But in hindsight, you were actually smart [if you continued to rent] because you decided it wasn’t within your ability to pay for a house…people who went outside their means and bought a house are the ones who are suffering now.”

The analysis revealed that young Americans in particular were affected by the housing crisis. Homeownership for those in their mid to late twenties fell by 11 percent since 2009 compared with a decline of 5 percent among those aged 35 to 44.

For the survey, 2.041 telephone interviews were conducted in August/September 2010 plus 1,566 additional respondents from geographic areas of interest. To inform the survey design, focus groups were held in Washington, DC and Phoenix, AZ during July and August 2010.

See other articles related to: renting in dc, rent vs buy, home buying, fannie mae

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/fannie_mae_analysis_says_most_americans_want_to_buy_but_will_rent_for_now/2758


  1. Mike said at 2:34 pm on Monday December 13, 2010:

    I fit into the third category “not sure it’s economically the right time to buy”.  I’ve been renting for 3 years now, and although I know Washington prices seem to have stabilized, there is no hurry to buy.  Sellers are also slow to put things on the market right now (available inventory is way down).  Economic uncertainty outside of just the housing market is a consideration, and the effect on jobs, inflation, interest rates, etc. I think all of that keeps many qualified buyers on the side lines.

  1. Harrill said at 2:39 pm on Monday December 13, 2010:

    Nothing like having your own home and knowing its your little piece of the world.  Obviously you have to be financially responsible but renting is just not the same as owning.  You always feel you are in someones home and not yours.  I was brought up with the idea that you must own a home and that renting was just so common.

  1. Mike said at 2:43 pm on Monday December 13, 2010:

    I’ve owned 2 homes before going back to renting for awhile and glad I did it this way.  I’d love to own again and agree that there is an intrinsic value of owning your own place…but rational decision making must enter the picture before making the plunge. I remember when I scoffed at renters when they could buy, but the past few years has taught me that it is the right thing sometimes.  I’d hate to be trapped in a house right now that lost 30% or more of it’s value if I needed to move.

  1. PB said at 3:51 pm on Monday December 13, 2010:

    Renting now, but about to put in an offer on a home in Arlington.  Interest rates are driving my decision, I think they will continue to rise.  I think it’s a safe investment, even if it doesn’t appreciate a ton, I don’t expect it to lose value in the next 5 years.

  1. Andi said at 4:21 pm on Tuesday December 14, 2010:

    It is definitely the right time to buy. Prices are not likely to go much lower (although them may dip slightly in 2011 due to increased inventory from foreclosures). But key here is not price, but cost. Interest rates are already on their way up. Experts expect interest rates to hit 5.5% in 2011 and 6.5% in 2012. A $250K home at 4.5% will cost you $300 less per month than if you wait and buy a $250K home at a 6.5% interest rate. For the same monthly payment, you will not be able to afford nearly as much house once the interest rates start going up. If you job is stable and your credit is good, buy now!

  1. Mike said at 6:31 pm on Tuesday December 14, 2010:

    You are assuming prices will go up or stay the same. If interest rates go up, there tends to be an inverse relationship with price (i.e., prices tend to drop). Interest also can be deducted where price losses cannot.  If the government decides to pull back on interest rate deductions…wow, prices will then plummet.

Comments are closed.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾