[Survey] US Homeowners are enjoying low interest rates

Mortgage interest rates are at an all time low across the nation. According to the latest Freddie Mac mortgage survey, rates are sub-3% on 15 and 30-year mortgages. The record-low rates are the output of the Federal Reserve policy and intended to increase consumer borrowing and help the U.S economy. 

U.S. weekly averages as of 8/27/2020

The New York Times reported back in July that mortgage applications have peaked to some of the highest levels since the 2008 housing crisis. 

The team at TapResearch wanted to know how homeowners are navigating the housing market since the Fed dropped rates so we polled over 1,500 US respondents to learn more. 

We asked respondents 8 questions about their current situation, mortgage types, DTI %, plans for the future and more. We also asked how COVID-19 has impacted their ability to pay their mortgage.

Survey results summarized below. 

About 56% of respondents own their homes and 66% of homeowners currently have a mortgage. 

The majority of homeowners (56%) are on Conventional loans and the data suggests that younger homeowners are taking advantage of other products offered by lenders such as ARM, FHA, VA etc. 

Over 61% of homeowners either plan to, or have already begun taking advantage of the new low rates new mortgages suggesting an optimistic outlook of the housing market by consumers.

Over 61% of homeowners either plan to, or have already begun taking advantage of the new low rates new mortgages suggesting an optimistic outlook of the housing market by consumers.

Lastly, we wanted to know who is struggling to make payments given the current economic climate and over 45% of US mortgage holders said yes, they are struggling to make their mortgage payments. 

The full survey results can be found here.

About the survey
This survey was conducted across the TapResearch Audience Network on August 27, 2020 with 1,523 respondents. Each respondent is a verified US citizen. 

If you’re interested in how we collected this data or would like access to the Audience Network, please contact michael@tapresearch.com 

Poll Shows Distrust in Vaccines Could Lead to Low Adoption of COVID-19 Vaccine

In every major media announcement about COVID-19, developing a vaccine is lauded as the key to return daily life back to normal. Researchers around the world are working around the clock to develop a vaccine in record time. 

One week ago, Moderna became the first US-based pharmaceutical company to have a successful Phase 1 vaccine trial. After a limited test with 45 participants, this experimental vaccine was shown to generate an immune response, and a final study with 30,000 participants will start at the end of the month. These early results are promising and if the next stages of the vaccine trials continue to show an effective immune response with no adverse effects, experts predict that this vaccine could be mass-produced in early 2021. 

On Tuesday, the New York Times released The Vaccine Trust Problem as part of their Daily podcast series. Jan Hoffman, the Times health reporter, reports that “I heard more and more from people who were beginning to say, you know, I get all my vaccines, I’m up-to-date — I will not take this one. These are pro-science, pro-vaccine people who are cringing and wanting to avoid this vaccine. And I thought, we have a problem.”

In this podcast, the Times is suggesting that a significant portion of the US population may not go get a vaccine, even if it’s widely available. Assuming a successful vaccine is developed, the question then becomes: How can we expect to go back to our expected normal way of life if adoption is not widespread? 

Wondering this ourselves, TapResearch ran a quick poll of adults across the US on July 21, 2020, to see how they felt about the progress of the COVID-19 vaccine trials. We surveyed 1,040 people ages 18-64 who live in the United States. The full results of this poll can be found here.

Our results were similar to the findings of the research referenced by the Times. The data suggests that a significant segment of the population would not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine if one became available. Of the 1,040 respondents,  528 responded “Yes”, 266 responded “No”, and 246 responded “maybe” when asked if they planned to receive the vaccine. These results did not have any correlation to respondent age but were moderately correlated with education level. The data suggests that those with bachelor’s degrees or other advanced degrees would be more likely than other groups to plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine if it becomes available. 

Another interesting finding was that younger respondents would rather get Covid-19 instead of getting the vaccine and avoiding contracting the virus itself. 49% of respondents ages 25-34 would choose to get the virus compared to only 27% of those aged 55-64.

While early vaccine trials from around the world show promising results, our research supports claims by reporters that a significant portion of the US population may not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Without widespread vaccination, it’s hard to pin our hopes of a “normal” life on the mass production of a successful vaccine alone.

About the Poll

TapResearch conducted this survey across its network of random mobile devices. The poll was conducted on July 22, 2020, with 1,040 respondents. 

If you’re a mobile marketer or decision-maker and would like to run a similar poll across the TapResearch mobile sample network please contact Michael Sprague at michael@tapresearch.com.

TapResearch and PredictWise Partner to Predict TX-27 Special Congressional Election

TapResearch is always looking for cutting-edge use cases and partners to leverage our large scale audience engagement network to deliver better insights.  We are excited about expanding our efforts in political and opinion polling.

TX-27 has not been at the forefront of the news. Only few know that this minority-majority district holds special elections on Saturday, June 30th. TapResearch has teamed up with PredictWise to shed light on the political compass in this district, leveraging TapResearch’s innovative ways to collect data (randomly targeting cell-phone-level ad IDs) to quickly conduct polling at scale, as well as PredictWise’s proven methodology. And, while we find that the district is out of reach for Democratic challenger Eric Holguin, there is some hunger for progressive policies here.

Demographically, the district would be an obvious target for Democrats – 50% of residents are Hispanic in this district, consisting of Corpus Christi and Victoria up to Bastrop County near Austin and Wharton County near Houston. And, the most recent Representative, Republican Blake Farenthold, resigned in disgrace over sexual harassment allegations, on April 6, 2018. But, public polling has been non-existent here, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the organization with the goal to elect Democrats to Congress, has not exactly made this district a priority.

But, as a our new PredictWise/TapResearch poll shows (full data here): The district has hunger for some progressive policies, especially around taxation and gun regulation. First things first: Cook, the standard bearer of Congressional forecasting, has this district as solidly Republican. Our poll agrees: We have Republican candidate Michael Cloud far ahead in the two-party vote-share (65% to 31%). Nothing to see here for Democrats.

Figure1

But as opposed to other polling, our poll goes deeper than the traditional horse-race, and dissects likely voters in TX-27 on relevant political issues of the day. Take gun regulation for example: Over 50%, a clear majority of Texans residing in this district, support restricting the amount of bullets. And, that number is still above 50% for Republicans, with 71% of Democrats in support (Independents are less inclined to support legislation to restrict the amount of bullets in firearms, coming in at 30% support).

Figure3

On another issue front, Texans residing in this district are more mixed: immigration. While Dreamers enjoy support among likely voters – 64% of overall voters and a majority (54%) of Republicans support a pathway to citizenship in this district – only a small minority (9%) support an increase in the flow of legal immigration.

Figure4

On economic issues, however, Texans in this coastal district inhibit a strong desire for more progressive policies: 63% (and 59% of Republicans) support increasing taxes for households making more than $250,000 a year, and over 90% (Democrats and Republicans alike) support tax increases for big corporations. And, a majority of Texans in this district believe that unions are good for them – and likely would have taken issue with the recent Supreme Court ruling on this matter.

Figure5

Methodology:

Full data here. The insights presented here are a mix of PredictWise baseline data and a fresh set of respondents (N-200 likely voters, collected from 06/12 through 06/28) collected via TapResearch. Then estimates are created of public opinion using the most bleeding edge analytics of modeling and post-stratification (affectionately known as MRP+).

Instagram Polls: 5 Lessons for Market Researchers

Last week Instagram launched its new “Polls” feature for stories and my nerd-heart skipped a beat. Instagram is my social-media drug-of-choice, and I love market research, so I just had to try it out. IMG_0694

Of course I was disappointed at the lack of functionality– I had a hard time even finding my data after a poll. You can only ask one question with two answer choices, and polls are only visible to your story’s audience. It’s obvious that Instagram’s Polls are more geared towards social interaction than research.

At first I was annoyed– then I began taking polls myself. I found it to be a fun and seamless way to engage with friends, corporations, and even celebrities. I started looking at Instagram polls from the respondent’s perspective, and I realized that this feature’s true value to market researchers isn’t the what– it’s the why.

Why have all of the major social media platforms (like twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram) all added polling functionality– and what can their features teach us about the future of online research?

Here are 5 Lessons for Market Researchers from my experience with Instagram Polls:

Do-It-Yourself Research

If you haven’t noticed, the internet has gone crazy for DIY.

Pinterest is full of life-hacks, like how to cook smores on a rake (yum?). With Youtube, you can become an expert on anything from roller-skating to building a house. Now we have the choice to tackle projects ourselves instead of using middlemen or opting for one-size-fits-all solutions.

Here at TapResearch, we welcome this can-do attitude. That’s why we are putting the power in your hands with our new Self-Service Tool and Survey Builder. Going DIY allows you to set-up, target, and manage your own research projects–on your schedule.

The Benefits of App-Based Mobile Research

Mobile Research: The Next Chapter


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Research has certainly come a long way. From in-person interviews, to mailers, to phone centers; researchers have always been quick to harness new technologies. Yes, we still get the occasional phone survey, but research has largely relocated to the internet.

In the past, joining an online survey panel became a great way to make a few extra bucks and researchers gained direct access to respondents. But, these traditional panels aren’t without issues–

  • They tend to have a shallow reach, and it is difficult to fill them with a truly representative sample.
  • Their panelist can be “professional” survey takers, who know they are taking part in research.
  • Clever respondents can game the system, and commit fraud which hurts the value of your data.

To avoid these issues, many researchers are turning to mobile research. Mobile is the next chapter; and what better way to reach people than with the apps they use everyday?