Survey Finds That Most Renters Perceive Homeownership as a Preference Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International Study Also Finds Renters are Concerned with the Costs of their Current Residences

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Habitat for Humanity International conducted by the NAHB Research Center* found that individuals who are renting perceive homeownership as a preference. In fact, 68 percent of individuals currently paying rent for their residences said they would prefer to own their own houses. Although previous releases issued about this study have discussed the feeling among consumers about the cost of owning a home, this information demonstrates that regardless of concerns, the general perception among those surveyed is that they prefer to own a home. The complete study reported opinions from consumers and builders on various topics related to home building.

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Approximately one-third of households in the United States live in rental housing**. There are many noteworthy challenges that come with renting and this was shown in the survey by Whirlpool and Habitat as well. The majority of renters also displayed a perception of being concerned with their costs – 60 percent said they were concerned about the cost to rent, while 52 percent said they were concerned about the cost of electric and gas bills.

"We're encouraged that this study demonstrates the desire of consumers to become home owners," said Tom Halford, general manager, contract sales and marketing, Whirlpool Corporation. "Whirlpool Corporation is proud to work with Habitat for Humanity International to help build homes that can have a positive impact on families and communities."

According to the survey, another factor when it comes to home ownership is the perceived safety. Of all renter respondents, 44 percent said they had not taken any action to increase the safety of their households in the past 6-12 months. Other respondents said they undertook minor safety precaution projects such as installing a lock on a door (32%) and putting in a smoke alarm (31%).

Besides owning their own houses, other desired changes that renters indicated they would like included having a backyard (39%), the ability to decorate (38%), upgrading appliances (36%) and increasing home eco-efficiency (31%).

"Habitat for Humanity understands the challenges faced by those who rent," said Larry Gluth, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International. "We know that homeownership can improve health, physical safety, and security, and educational and job prospects increase. Home ownership is also an important means of wealth accumulation, and it can improve and stabilize neighborhoods and communities."

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that builds, rehabilitates and repairs simple, decent and affordable houses. Habitat homebuyers purchase homes at no profit and finance them with affordable loans. Whirlpool Corporation donates a range and ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerator to every Habitat home built nationally, totaling more than 125,000 appliances to-date.

This is the fifth in a series of findings from the Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity survey on green homes that was conducted among consumers and builders. The first press release was issued on Nov. 16, 2010, the second on Jan. 20, 2011, the third on March 29, 2011 and the fourth on June 8, 2011:

http://investors.whirlpoolcorp.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=533505  

http://investors.whirlpoolcorp.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=583353

http://investors.whirlpoolcorp.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=560425

http://investors.whirlpoolcorp.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=583539

Further results from the survey will be discussed in subsequent reports. For more information on the partnership between Whirlpool and Habitat, visit www.whirlpoolcorp.com/habitat.  

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 2 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit Habitat.org.

About Whirlpool Corporation

In more than 11 years of partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Whirlpool Corporation has developed active partnerships in 22 countries with a commitment nearing $72 million. In North America, the company has donated more than 130,000 ranges and ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators to new Habitat homes, serving 65,000 families. Additionally, Whirlpool has donated more than 25,000 products to Habitat ReStore resale outlets, helping raise $3.5 million in two years. A proud sponsor of Habitat's Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project since 2003, the company has engaged 7,000 employee volunteers, sponsored more than 100 homes around the world and served more than 16,200 families in Europe. Whirlpool plans to support the work of Habitat around the world through product donations, financial contribution or volunteerism. For more information, go to www.whirlpoolcorp.com/habitat.

Whirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $18 billion in 2010, 71,000 employees, and 66 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world.  The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.  Additional information about the company can be found at www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

About Whirlpool Corporation's 100th Anniversary

Founded on November 11, 1911, Whirlpool Corporation's time- and labor-saving appliance innovations have influenced home and family life during the last century.  Driven by the belief that everyone needs a comfortable place to call home, Whirlpool Corporation is focused on improving lives one family, one home at a time.

Methodology

The builder portion of the study surveyed 304 respondents and was conducted from July 23Aug. 4, 2010, using an online format. Members of the NAHB Research Center Online Builder Panel were invited to take the survey and respondents were required to be an active homebuilder or general contractor. The consumer portion surveyed 1,092 homeowners from Aug. 23-25, 2010, using an online format. Consumers nationwide were invited to take the survey through email invitations.

*The NAHB Research Center is an independent subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

**According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

SOURCE Whirlpool Corporation



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