(The Center Square) Americans’ views of the housing market have plunged as interest rates continue to rise because of government-fueled inflation.
Gallup released new polling data showing that only 21% of Americans say now is a good time to buy a house, down 9 percentage points from the previous year. This year and last year during the Biden administration are the only times that fewer than half of Americans said it was a good time to buy a house since Gallup began asking in 1978.
Even during the housing market crash of 2008, numbers did not drop nearly as low as they are in this latest survey.
“Gallup first asked Americans about their perceptions of the housing market in 1978, when 53% thought it was a good time to buy a house,” the group said. “Thirteen years later, when the question was asked again, 67% held that view. The record high of 81% was recorded in 2003, at a time of growing homeownership rates and housing prices.”
The change in perspective comes as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates nearly a dozen times during the Biden administration, making borrowing money to buy a home far more expensive.
The problem is further complicated by the fact that millions of Americans currently have mortgages with an interest rate below 3%, pushing many to decide now is not the time to sell their house and lose that lower rate.
“In the past two years, as housing prices have soared and the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to try to tame inflation, houses have become less affordable for many Americans, and views of the housing market have tumbled,” Gallup said.
The higher inflation rates are driven in large part by a surge in the money supply and federal debt spending to the tune of several trillion dollars in recent years.
The federal government also recently enacted controversial policies to punish home buyers with good credit and help those with poor credit, akin to policies enacted ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, fueling fears first sparked by several bank collapses earlier this year.
All these factors have helped to contribute to Americans’ banking fears hitting the worst point since the 2008 financial crisis. Gallup released the survey data earlier this month, which showed that 19% are “very” worried about the safety of their funds in banks and another 29% are “moderately” worried.
The survey shows nearly half of Americans are concerned about the safety of their money in banks, a figure that is reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis.
“The latest readings are similar to those in 2008,” Gallup said.
“In September of that year, shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which remains the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, 45% of U.S. adults said they were very or moderately worried about the safety of their money. Several months later, in December, after Congress’ Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) bailed out other banks in danger of failing, Americans were slightly less concerned about the safety of their personal financial accounts, as 41% said they were very or moderately worried.”