Optimism Toward Homebuying Takes A Step Back

May 5, 2016

Americans are not quite as optimistic about the present being a good time to purchase a home as they have been in the past. According to Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, 66 percent of Americans say now is a good time to buy a home, which is down slightly from the average of 71 percent between 2009 and 2015. While the numbers have dropped a bit, they are still much higher than the 54 percent of respondents who said it was a good time to buy a home back between 2006 and 2008 during the housing crisis.

The rapidly rising home prices in many parts of the country, caused, at least in part, by a low supply of new and existing homes is the main storm cloud that has been raining on prospective homebuyers' parades.

Homeownership has long been valued by the majority of Americans and is considered by many to be an integral part of the American dream. Because of this, the percentage of people who say it is a good time to buy a home has never dropped below 50 percent, according to Gallup.

When broken down regionally, people in the South (71 percent) and the Midwest (74 percent) are currently the most optimistic about homebuying and those in the West (55 percent), who are dealing with the high prices associated with places like San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Portland, are the least positive. Individuals aged 50 to 64 are more positive than other age groups and, as you may expect, upper- and middle-income Americans have a much more optimistic view of homebuying than lower-income Americans.

In 2005, renters and current homeowners had similar views about it being a good time to buy a home (71 percent and 72 percent respectively), but now current homeowners (72 percent) are much more optimistic than renters (56 percent) about it being a good time to purchase a home.

Coming along with this drop in optimism about homebuying is a decline in the number of Americans who think they will buy a home in the future. Currently, 59 percent say they plan to buy a home at some point in the next ten years, down from 67 percent in 2013 but on par with the 58 percent recorded in 2015.

To view the full report and accompanying graphs and charts, click the link below.

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