Own-Rent Analysis: What Drives Consumers’ Intentions to Own or Rent

Fannie Mae

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Date Published 2012
Primary Author Fannie Mae - Economic and Strategic Research Group
Other Authors
Theme Rental Housing, Housing Demand


From 2006 to 2011, the U.S. housing market experienced the most significant decline in house prices since the Great Depression. Average house prices in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2011 were about 21 percent below their 2006 peak on a national basis and much more in some regional locations. The average national foreclosure rate was 4.95 percent in 2010 and 4.1 percent in 2011, compared with the historical average of 0.32 percent over the 1980-2006 period. The percentage of homeowners nationally who were more than 90 days late on their mortgage payment was 3.5 percent in late 2011, compared with the historical average of 0.78 percent over the 1980-2006 period. These housing shocks have raised important questions about the demand for homeownership and have therefore prompted us to investigate what influences Americans’ intentions to own or rent their home – the “own-rent intention.” Examining the drivers of Americans’ homeownership preferences have important implications for both housing policy makers and industry players in better managing housing-related risks and in encouraging consumers to make sustainable housing choices to ensure a well-functioning housing marketplace.

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