According to a new Gallup Inc. poll, just 30 percent of American adults say it’s a good time to buy a house. This is the worst share in the survey’s history which dates back to 1978. This number is down 23 percentage points from this time last year.
The poll was conducted from April 1-19, when the median sale price of homes in the U.S. reached a record $428,000 and mortgage rates climbed to a decade high. It’s the first time since the study began in 1987 where majority of Americans say now is a bad time to buy. Until now, at least half of Americans had consistently said it was a good time to buy.
In the early 2000s when homeownership in the U.S. reached an all-time high, there was a record 81% of American adults who said it was a good time to buy a house. As the prices of houses continued to rise in the mid-2000s thus creating the housing “bubble” and leading to the eventual market crash, the poll saw the favorability of buying home in the low 50s.
In 2014, years after the economy emerged from the Great Recession when mortgage rates were low and house values recovered, the poll saw its peak at 74%. But that confidence waned in more recent years, seeing a dip to 50% in 2020 and 53% last year before tanking this year.
Home prices around the country have continued to rise due to low inventory and high cost for building materials and labor. Although builders have been making some progress in breaking ground on new construction, it hasn’t been enough to keep up with the demands.
All major subgroups polled by Gallup show a much less positive attitude about the housing market now, but the declines were more pronounced among upper-income households along with those in live in the suburbs and those in the Midwest. 25% of young adults aged 18-34, say it’s a good time to buy a house which is down 42% from 2021. Among adults aged 35 to 54, only 28% believe the housing market is favorable compared to 52% last year. Older adults are somewhat more likely to say it is a good time to buy a house. 35% hold that view while 61% believed the same a year ago.
Even with the more pessimistic outlook, a high of 45% of U.S. homebuyers say real estate is the best long-term investment. Gallup also found that nearly 70% of Americans expect the average local housing prices to go up over the next year.
Other surveys have been showing similar gloomy attitudes, including polls from Fannie Mae in February, the New York Federal Reserve in April, and University of Michigan recently too.