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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
and last updated 2023-05-17 12:25:25-04

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.

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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.