Homeownership as an investment is no longer the rock-solid foundation for the American Dream it once was, according to a survey released on Monday by the firm the government created in the 1930s to promote homeownership.
ewer than two in three Americans now think owning their own home is a safe investment, down sharply from more than four out of five who thought it was a good investment less than a decade ago.
That attitude shift is likely to cause rents to rise as more Americans opt for renting over buying, according to the latest quarterly survey of attitudes toward homeownership from Fannie Mae, the largest provider of U.S. home mortgage funds.
The National Housing Quarterly Survey found just 64 percent of Americans think owning their own home is a safe investment, down from 70 percent at the beginning of last year and sharply lower than the 83 percent who thought it was a safe investment in 2003.
Duncan noted that borrowers are swinging back toward making home purchase decisions based on where they want to raise children and what kind of lifestyle they want, rather than on the investment potential.
“Focusing on the whole economy, not just housing, there are some long-term benefits of that because it is likely to be a more stable environment than people acting on the temporary benefits and tax strategies.
So, it’s likely to lead to more stability for the economy,” Duncan said, adding that stability is also positive for housing in the long-term.
Nearly three out of four respondents to the survey said they think it will be harder to get a mortgage in the future, up from about two-thirds who thought so at the beginning of last year.
Still, 78 percent of respondents believe housing prices will hold steady or rise in the next year, up from 73 percent in January 2010.