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What Does Your Personality Say about Your Housing Choice?

Posted by: Claire Belby on Friday, November 7, 2014 at 9:00:00 am

What Does Your Personality Say about Your Housing Choice?
Apparently a lot. Two recent studies, reported upon by The Wall Street Journal, take a look at what personality traits can be an indicator for buying vs. renting, comfort with certain mortgage products and the like.

The first study was smaller of the two – 1,138 respondents – and it asked takers to rate themselves on a scale from 1 to 5 on questions that measure standard personality traits: Openness (think: artistic and imaginative), Conscientiousness (efficient, organized), Extroversion (sociable, energetic), Agreeableness (forgiving, undemanding) and Neuroticism (tense, moody). What they found was a general trend toward:

  • Conscientiousness = show a preference for fixed-rate mortgages
  • Neuroticism = show a preference for homeownership over renting
  • Openness = show a preference for lower loan-to-value ratios
  • Agreeableness or Extroversion = show a preference for real estate investment over stocks

The second larger study by the same team drew from a sample of 1.6 million people. Predominant personality types were matched with housing data from the U.S. Census and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. They found that personality made a difference on real-estate choices.

See the WSJ article at


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