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Study: Americans think it's the worst time ever to buy a house

The share of Americans who think it's a bad time to make a home purchase hit the highest level on record, according to Gallup data.
Homes in a suburban neighborhood
Posted at 12:25 PM, May 17, 2023

Americans think it’s the worst time ever to buy a house. 

That’s according to the latest Gallup poll, where a record 78% of Americans said they believe it’s a bad time to make a home purchase. This is the highest that share has been since Gallup began tracking this data in 1978. 

Only 21% of Americans say they think it’s a good time to buy. 

A majority of Americans had been reporting it’s a good time to buy a house up until 2022. Low inventory and skyrocketing home prices certainly play a part. 

Home prices were up 38% in April 2023 compared to the same period in 2020, according to Zillow’s Home Value Index.  

Homes on the market are also harder to come by. Housing inventory dropped by 28% year-over-year in April, per Zillow data.

This Cincinnati town house failed to get any offers in November. It sold in a bidding war February.

After a lull, real estate bidding wars are back this spring

A series of interest rate hikes slowed the market last fall, but buyers are now back.


At the same time, mortgage rates are on the rise. For the first week of January in 2021, mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage were 2.65%. But for the first week of January in 2023, those rates were 6.48%, according to Freddie Mac.

Still, when Gallup asked Americans what they think is the best long-term investment, real estate remains at the top of the list (over gold, stocks and other options), suggesting Americans may want to buy a house — though maybe not right now.