The number of people who think it’s a bad time to buy a home hits 45-year high

Most Americans are frustrated by the housing market and are finding this a terrible time to buy, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The share of adults in the U.S. who say it’s a good time to buy a home — a measure of people’s perception of the housing market, separate from their thoughts on the overall U.S. economy — has dropped to the lowest level in 45 years, according to the research from Gallup. The drop in sentiment comes as mortgage rates and home prices stay elevated. 

In other words, nearly 8 in 10 people say it’s a bad time to buy, Gallup said.

The company surveyed 1,013 people between April 3 to 25 as part of its annual Economy and Personal Finance poll. 

The last time Americans felt so negatively about home-buying was in 2022, Jeff Jones, senior editor at Gallup, told MarketWatch. 

“Historically, when people answer the question, they’re partly responding to the current housing market and home prices and interest rates, but also, to some degree, the long term benefits of owning a home,” Jones said. “But these last two years, we’re seeing the opposite — people are a lot more negative.”

Slightly more than half of the survey’s respondents said they believe home prices in their area will increase, a dip from last year’s 70%.

The median price for an existing home fell by 0.9% from last March, dropping to $375,700 this year. The drop is the largest since January 2012, when home prices fell 2% year over year. It’s also the second month in a row that home prices fell.

To be clear, this is only one firm’s gauge of consumer sentiment. Gallup’s read runs counter to what Fannie Mae
said about Americans’ attitude towards the housing market this spring, namely that consumers are feeling more optimistic about home-buying. The government agency’s survey noted that an increasing share of consumers expect mortgage rates to go down over the next year.

Gallup’s methodology differs from Fannie Mae, which could explain the difference in how their respondents viewed the housing market.

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