2022 Junior Achievement and Fannie Mae Youth Homeownership Survey
Author: Ed Grocholski
Published: Wednesday, 10 Aug 2022
Image caption: A graphic of a house with the statistic saying, "88% of teens would like to own a home someday.
Junior Achievement USA and Fannie Mae collaborated on a survey to better understand teens' perspectives on homeownership, specifically the desirability of owning a home one day. The survey also explored teens’ understanding of mortgages and credit scores, as well as the value they place on having financial literacy education programs in high school that cover these and other concepts related to homeownership. The survey of 1,000 U.S. teens between the ages of 13 and 17 was conducted from May 25 through May 31, 2022, by Wakefield Research. The Junior Achievement and Fannie Mae Youth Homeownership Survey Executive Summary contains an overview of those findings.
Attitudes Toward Home Ownership
While it is often assumed that younger Americans are less interested in purchasing a home, the survey found that most teens (88%) would like to own a home someday. The survey reflects that most teens (85%) believe “owning a home” is part of “the good life,” compared to nearly as many adults (87%) based on Fannie Mae’s Q4 2020 National Housing Survey®. However, fewer than half (45%) of surveyed teens could correctly identify the definition of a home mortgage and 76% said they lacked a clear understanding of credit scores.
Some of the top benefits of owning a home, according to teens, include “more control over your living space” (77%), having “a safer place” for family (63%), allowing for “a nicer place to live” (58%), and being “less stressful” (45%). Fewer cited the financial benefits of home ownership, such as “good for retirement” (43%), “makes you better off financially” (39%), and “builds wealth” (32%). Top reasons against owning a home include concerns about borrowing “too much money” (45%), “too much responsibility” (36%), and mortgages being “too complex” (35%).
In addition to owning a home, most teens also believe that “living in a location I like” (90%), “being in good health” (96%), “having an interesting job” (87%), and “having a good work-life balance” (96%) are an important part of “the good life.” Only a slight majority of teens (51%) said “having children” is an important part of having “the good life,” compared to three-in-four adults (77%) from the 2020 National Housing Survey.
Image caption: A graphic saying "45% of teens could correctly identify the definition of a home mortgage."
Experiences with Homeownership
Most teens (61%) say their parents own their home. Less than half of Black teens (44%) responded that way, with nearly as many saying they rent (42%). A slight majority of Hispanic/Latino teens (52%) say their parents own their home, compared to one-third (33%) who say they rent. Nearly half of teens (47%) report living in a single-family home, while smaller percentages say they live in an apartment (14%), townhome (10%), or mobile home (9%).
Teens have a favorable view of home ownership despite more than a quarter (29%) saying that at one time or another they “lost a home” they were living in due to factors like foreclosure or being unable to pay rent. Around a quarter of White teens (27%) say they have experienced being forced out of their home/living space due to foreclosure or missing payments, compared to just over one-in-five Black teens (22%), and nearly double that percentage (41%) of Hispanic/Latino teens.
A majority of White teens (72%) identified their family as being the biggest influence on their opinions about homeownership. This sentiment was shared by more than half of the Black teens (59%) and Hispanic/Latino teens (66%).
Image caption: A graphic of a schoolhouse with the statistic saying, "97% of teens thought it would be helpful if schools offered lessons that explained homeownership, including mortgages."
The Need for Education
While nearly all teens (96%) believe credit scores play an important role in the ability to purchase a home, approximately three-in-four (76%) said they understood credit scores only “somewhat,” “a little,” or “not at all.” A slight majority of White teens (52%) correctly identified the definition of a mortgage, compared to around a quarter (26%) of Black teens and fewer than half (41%) of Hispanic/Latino teens.
Nearly all teens (97%) thought it would be helpful if schools offered lessons that explained homeownership, including mortgages.
The Junior Achievement/Fannie Mae Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. Teens ages 13-17, between May 25th and May 31st, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey. Respondents were not affiliated with or enrolled in Junior Achievement programs. Data was weighted to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of U.S. teens ages 13-17.
- Black, non-Hispanic – Any teen (13-17) who reports their race as “black” or “African American” and are not of Hispanic or Latino heritage.
- Hispanic – Any teen (13-17) who reports being of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.
- White, non-Hispanic – Any teen (13-17) who reports their race as “white” and are not of Hispanic or Latino heritage.
- Other – Any teen (13-17) who reports their race as something other than the above (include Asian/Pacific Islander or Native American as asked in this survey) and are not of Hispanic or Latino heritage.
Wakefield is following the approach the U.S. Census and surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau use when asking for ethnicity and race. The definitions used in the table are commonly used to present data for ethnicity and race.
For fielding this survey, Wakefield used benchmarks from the Current Population Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.