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More People Work in the Gig Economy Than You Might Think, and Many Want to Own Homes
Thursday, December 7, 2017 6:45 AM

The online, on-demand economy for services such as ride sharing, accommodation sharing, and others, known as the gig economy, is growing. To understand the extent of that growth and how it may impact attitudes toward homeownership, Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group surveyed U.S. consumers in a new Special Topic study, released Tuesday.

Key findings:

  • Nearly one-fifth of American adults work in the gig economy. Most are employed full-time and college educated, and about half make $50,000 or more per year in total.
  • Millennials are more likely than older age groups to have offered more than one gig economy service.
  • Gig economy workers report increased household incomes and have a more positive financial outlook than non-gig economy workers.
  • But while gig economy workers who rent are about as likely to say homeownership makes more sense than renting, they are actually less optimistic than non-gig renters that they will buy a home on their next move.
  • Most gig economy workers who rent think it would be difficult to get a mortgage, and cite down payment and credit as the biggest obstacles to getting one.

One area for further research is to determine to what extent current underwriting standards sufficiently account for the potential of gig economy income to supplement other full-time income sources. The salience of that question will grow if gig economy participation continues to grow.

Learn more:
View the full report and hear from the authors Tom Seidenstein and Sarah Shahdad in a new Fannie Mae Perspectives blog.