Is It a Bad Time To Buy a Home? Most Americans Think It Is

Most Americans do not think it’s a good time to buy a home.

Record-high home prices, a dire shortage of homes for sale, and now rising mortgage interest rates have made it seem nearly impossible for many buyers to find, then afford—let alone win a bidding war on—the homes of their dreams. That’s why about 79% of renters and homeowners in May believed it was a bad time to purchase a home, according to a recent Fannie Mae report.

(The survey was based on a monthly poll of about 1,000 respondents conducted May 1–23.)

Nearly three-quarters, 70%, of those polled expect mortgage rates will continue to rise over the next year. As fears of another recession mount, more folks reported they’re worried they could lose their job in the next 12 months.

This resulted in just 17% of consumers thinking it’s a good time to pull the trigger on a home purchase, according to the report. That’s the lowest percentage since the survey launched in 2010. First-time buyers, who often don’t have the larger budgets of repeat buyers, are particularly struggling.

“Homebuyers in the U.S. are the most unhappy they have been since we started this survey. That unhappiness is driven by the pace of house price appreciation, the rise in mortgage rates, and the significant increase in inflation,” says Fannie Mae’s chief economist, Doug Duncan. Many folks also “feel the economy is on the wrong track” as inflation persists.

About 16% of those polled said they were concerned about losing their job. While that’s not a lot, it’s a big jump from the 11% who reported similar fears in April. In addition, more folks, 16%, reported that their household income has shrunk significantly.

While it might not be a great time to buy, about three-quarters of those surveyed, 76%, believe it’s a good time to sell a home.

“If you have a house that you own today … you have a lot of equity,” says Duncan. “The key is if you have a place to go.”

This is likely because nearly half, 47%, expect home prices to continue rising over the next year. This is despite many experts’ belief that the housing market has become so unaffordable that it is overdue for a correction—if it isn’t in one already.

“The housing has turned, and it’s going to be slowing down going forward,” says Duncan. “We expect the pace of home price appreciation to slow significantly.”

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