Only half of Americans say now is a good time to buy a home, marking an all-time low as pessimism spreads about the housing market amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Gallup poll.
The 50% of U.S. adults who say it is a good time to purchase a home is the lowest Gallup has measured, two percentage points below the prior low in 2006 before the subprime mortgage crisis helped plunge the country into the Great Recession.
The poll from Gallup's annual Economy and Personal Finance poll, was conducted April 1-14 and comes with a record drop in Americans’ confidence in the economy and in their own personal financial situation.
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“Americans' opinions about the housing market have shifted dramatically as the U.S. economy has abruptly slowed down in attempts to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” the pollster said.
March sales data from the National Association of Realtors showed an 8.5% decline in the number of existing home sales, but home values held steady. But economists are forecasting grimmer news in coming months, with record unemployment and the likelihood that the U.S. is already in the grips of a recession.
More Americans will be cautious about buying or selling homes and many homeowners, who lose their jobs and incomes, will struggle to hold onto their homes, Gallup said.
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes dropped by the most in more than six years in March.
The Commerce Department said Thursday new home sales fell 15.4%, the biggest percentage decline since July 2013.