Fannie Mae's 2010 Own-Rent Analysis

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Consumer Research & Analysis

Own-Rent Analysis Reveals Factors Influencing Consumers’ Decision to Buy Versus Rent a Home

The Fannie Mae 2010 Own-Rent Analysis is a research project Own-Rent Analysisconducted to better understand factors influencing consumers’ decision to buy a home versus rent a home. The analysis places these factors in the context of historic behaviors, economic conditions, and demographic and lifestyle shifts.

The study identified four key themes of the decision-making process, and results are available in a series of themed reports.

Own-Rent Analysis Themes 1 and 2

Theme 1: Persistence of the Home Ownership Aspiration
Theme 2: Housing Choices Throughout the Lifecycle and the Impact of Changing Demographics

In themes 1 and 2, the analysis indicates that shifting U.S. demographic trends and life events correlate to consumers’ housing decisions, which may have long-term implications for the housing market.

It also finds that most Americans – both those who currently own their homes and those who rent – strongly aspire to own a home and to maintain homeownership, despite ongoing turmoil in the housing market. However, demographic trends such as fewer married couples and fewer families with children, which is resulting in shrinking households – combined with financial caution among consumers – are contributing to an increased willingness to rent.

Additionally, individuals’ housing choices evolve over their lifetimes as they go though various stages of their lifecycles. More broadly, changes in demographic and lifestyle trends have implications for the housing market.

  • Married couples are more likely to own than other households, but traditional married couples represent a shrinking portion of the population.
  • Having children increases the propensity to own when controlling for income since people with children tend to value homeownership most, but many families with children (particularly single mothers) are renting due to financial constraints, and the percentage of households with children is declining overall.
  • Homeownership rates increase with age, and the U.S. population is experiencing an aging trend fueled by the baby boomers.


Downloads and Related Links
Key Findings: Own-Rent Analysis Themes 1 and 2
Press Release
Theme 1: Persistence of the Homeownership Aspiration (PDF)
Theme 2: Housing Choices Throughout the Lifecycle and the Impact of Changing Demographics (PDF)
Own-Rent Analysis Fact Sheet (PDF)


Own-Rent Analysis Themes 3 and 4

Theme 3: Economics of Owning and Renting Through the Cycles and Across Geographies
Theme 4: Renting and Owning Behaviors by Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Status

Themes 3 and 4 show that strong homeownership aspirations exist across races, ethnicities, geographies, and immigrant groups, indicating that current disparities in homeownership rates among racial, ethnic, and immigrant groups may not persist in the future. In addition, the economic climate and health of the housing market of a region appears to have a minimal impact on the desire for homeownership among residents of different cities.

The findings also show that homeownership rates converge regardless of race, ethnicity, and immigration status among people with higher incomes. And for immigrants, homeownership also increases with tenure in the U.S.

Downloads and Related Links
Key Findings: Own-Rent Analysis Themes 3 and 4
Press Release
Press Release (En Español)
Theme 3: Economics of Owning and Renting Through the Cycles and Across Geographies (PDF)
Theme 4: Renting and Owning Behaviors by Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Status (PDF)
Own-Rent Analysis Fact Sheet (PDF)