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NATIONAL OPINION SURVEY FOR FANNIE MAE REVEALS AMERICANS WILL MAKE SIGNIFICANT SACRIFICES TO OWN THEIR HOME

NATIONAL OPINION SURVEY FOR FANNIE MAE REVEALS AMERICANS WILL MAKE
 SIGNIFICANT SACRIFICES TO OWN THEIR HOME
 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans place so high a value on owning a home that they will make considerable sacrifices in order to achieve it, according to a comprehensive national opinion survey undertaken for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) (NYSE: FNM) by Hart-Teeter Research. The survey found that African Americans are far more willing than whites to make certain major concessions, such as taking a second job or putting a young child in day care, to become a homeowner.
 The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey revealed that by a 3-1 margin, Americans would rather own a home than retire 10 years early; by a 4-1 margin, they would rather own a home some distance from work than rent within easy commuting distance; by a 4-1 margin, they would rather own a home than take a better job in a city in which they could only afford to rent; and, by a greater than 2-1 margin, they believe owning a home is worth taking a second job.
 The survey revealed that the desire for homeownership is felt most acutely by those who either have not achieved it, or those for whom it is a greater struggle. While "owning your own home" was considered one of the most important long-term goals by 60 percent of those in the lowest income brackets, it was declared as such by only 31 percent of those in the highest. More blacks and Hispanics listed homeownership as a primary goal in life than did whites.
 The survey revealed that blacks are more prepared than whites, and to a lesser degree, Hispanics, to make such significant sacrifices as taking a second job (blacks, 71 percent; whites, 53 percent; Hispanics, 62 percent), or putting a young child in day care (blacks, 51 percent; whites, 32 percent; Hispanics, 38 percent).
 A summary of other major findings include:
 -- Americans feel homeownership means a degree of financial,
 psychological, and familial security. The feeling of
 financial security stems from the belief that owning a home
 is financially worthwhile, with 78 percent believing owning
 a home is a good investment, while only 2 percent consider
 it a poor one.
 -- Reasons for owning a home extend beyond the financial; in an
 open-ended question on the intangible benefits of
 homeownership, 39 percent addressed "security, a sense of
 permanence," while 30 percent volunteered the confidence
 that comes from knowing that one owns the home and can't be
 evicted.
 -- While there are many sacrifices people will make in order to
 buy a home, what Americans will not do is jeopardize
 elements of security in order to achieve it. That is, by a
 4-1 margin, Americans say it is not worth it to financially
 overextend themselves to own a home; among all respondents,
 only one in three thought it was worth it to place a young
 child in day care so the mother could work, even if this was
 a necessary step to becoming a homeowner.
 -- By a 7-1 margin, Americans identify the lack of affordable
 housing as a serious problem; by a 3-1 margin, they identify
 it as "one of the two or three most serious problems facing
 the U.S."
 -- People regard the primary impediment to owning a home to be
 the absence of wealth; that is, having enough money to be
 able to make a down payment and pay the closing costs.
 Income, creditworthiness, and job security also are
 impediments.
 -- While 47 percent of whites identify having enough to make
 the down payment and closing costs as a major impediment,
 that figure is 66 percent for blacks and 59 percent for
 Hispanics.
 -- Over one-third of the respondents believe that African
 Americans and other minorities do not have as good a chance
 as whites at getting housing they can afford. Blacks and
 whites have almost exactly reversed perceptions of how
 serious an issue housing discrimination is, with whites
 believing by a 57-33 percent margin that blacks and other
 minorities do have as good a chance as whites to get any
 type of home they can afford, and blacks believing by a
 58-38 percent margin they do not.
 -- Lack of familiarity with how real estate transactions work
 is a barrier to homeownership. For those who currently rent
 their homes, 60 percent were in some ways uncomfortable with
 the common language of real estate transactions. Among
 those age 25-34, only 39 percent were at all knowledgeable
 of the terms used in the purchase of a home. And fully 44
 percent of those who felt they were better off renting were
 "not comfortable at all" with real estate terms such as
 escrows, title insurance, and loan points.
 -- Eighty percent of all Americans identify the traditional
 single-family detached home with a yard as the ideal place
 to live.
 -- By an almost 3-1 margin, Americans believe that living in a
 good neighborhood is more important than living in a good
 house.
 -- Renters must spend more of their income on housing than
 those who own do. Twice as many renters as homeowners say
 they pay 30 percent or more of their income on housing.
 -- Americans remain fundamentally optimistic about housing, and
 especially about their own homes. Among homeowners, 77
 percent believe their home would sell today for more than
 they paid for it; and 79 percent of all respondents believe
 homeownership either is within reach today or soon will be
 in reach of "most young people age 30-35."
 -- While Americans generally are optimistic that this is a good
 time to buy a home, there are variances among different
 regions and demographic groups. While 42 percent of whites
 believe this is a "very good time to buy a home," only 22
 percent of blacks and 28 percent of Hispanics agree. On a
 regional basis, 56 percent of people in the East view this
 as a very good/somewhat good time to buy a home; 58 percent
 of the people in the Midwest agree; as do 64 percent of
 those who live in the West; and 68 percent of those in the
 South.
 -- There is a wide variance in the expectation of home price
 appreciation between the East and West Coasts. While 42
 percent of the people in the East believe home prices will
 rise, the expectation in the West is more dramatic: 68
 percent believe home prices will be higher three years from
 now than they are today, 25 percent say by a lot.
 -- Despite the soft home prices of the last year, one in three
 homeowners believes his or her home has appreciated since
 one year ago, while only 16 percent believe their home has
 diminished in price since a year ago.
 -- While 51 percent of those who own a single-family detached
 home believe their homes have appreciated greatly, only 21
 percent of those who own condominiums believe the same
 thing.
 -- Homeowners and renters differ markedly in their level of
 political participation. While 73 percent of those who own
 their own homes say they participate in national elections,
 only 47 percent of renters say they do. While 61 percent of
 owners say they vote in local elections, only 33 percent of
 renters do.
 Fannie Mae chairman and chief executive officer, James A. Johnson, said of the survey: "We wanted to measure the value Americans place on owning a home, and to find out what people's homes mean to them. We wanted to know how optimistic Americans are about homeownership; and the degree to which people believe our national system for housing and homeownership works. We also wanted to determine what were the barriers to homeownership as perceived both by renters and by the 64 percent of American families who already own their homes.
 "We believe the result, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, is among the most comprehensive assessments ever taken of Americans' attitudes toward housing and homeownership. This research is valuable to Fannie Mae to help guide us in what we do. Because it is so comprehensive, and because we believe understanding the issues facing homeownership should be part of the national dialogue, we've decided to share it with a larger audience," said Johnson.
 Copies of the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey report are available upon request from Fannie Mae's Office of Public Information, 3900 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016.
 Fannie Mae, the USA's Housing Partner, is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company and the nation's largest investor in home mortgages.
 -0- 6/1/92
 /CONTACT: John Buckley, 202-752-2616, or Tom Marder, 202-752-7608, both of Fannie Mae/
 (FNM) CO: Fannie Mae ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU:


KD -- DCSUN1 -- 5438 05/31/92 12:01 EDT
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 31, 1992
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