Gallup Poll: Americans Say Now is a Bad Time to Buy a House Gallup Poll: Americans Say Now is a Bad Time to Buy a House
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Gallup Poll: Americans Say Now is a Bad Time to Buy a House

Following a tumultuous few years that’s included a global pandemic, a competitive housing market, rock-bottom interest rates, rapidly rising interest rates, inflation, and continued threat of a recession, a new poll from Gallup shows that a record number of Americans believe that now is a bad time to buy a home.

According to the latest poll, only 21% of adults believe now is a good time to purchase a house. That’s down nine points from last year’s report, which already marked a record low. For context, since 1978, there have only been two times when the response to this question was under 50%: 2022 and 2023. On the other end, a high of 81% was reached 20 years ago in 2003.

Elsewhere in the polling data, the number of respondents who expect housing prices to rise in within the next year fell compared to 2022. Gallop’s 2023 survey found that 56% believed prices in their area would rise compared to 70% who said the same last year. Similarly, the percentage of those who expected decreases in the next 12-months was up, climbing from 12% in 2022 to 19% this year. Currently, the median home price for the first quarter of the year landed at $436,800.

Unlike with the timing question, neither of these results amounted to a record. In 2008, 38% of those surveyed foresaw decreasing prices, while a mere 22% of those polled in 2009 predicted an increase. Meanwhile, in 2005, only 5% anticipated decreasing prices and, in 2021, 71% stated that prices were likely to increase.

Looking more closely, the predictions of whether prices would rise or fall in the year ahead varied significantly by region. The East Coast was most likely to expect rising prices, with 62% expecting as much compared to 16% anticipating a decrease. In the Midwest, on the other hand, only 44% stated that increasing prices were probable while 29% said the opposite. What’s more, the percentage of those expecting higher prices fell 21 points from last year’s 65%. Those living in cities were also far more likely to predict upward trends (64%) than those in rural areas (45%). That latter stat was off a whopping 26 percentage points from 2022 when 71% of rural residents predicted rises.

My Thoughts:

On the one hand, it’s easy to see why so many Americans would believe that 2023 was an all around bad time to buy a home. However, more than the threat of high purchase prices or even rising interest rates, I’d reckon that confusion plays a major role in this year’s polling result. After all, the country has been discussing the possibility of a recession for years now — even as unemployment continues multi-decade lows. These conflicting data points coupled with the market whiplash that consumers have experienced from the pandemic and after have surely had an effect on the confidence Americans have in predicting what’s ahead. So while there may be reasons why now is or isn’t a good time to buy a house, in all, it would seem as though prospective homebuyers who can afford to wait would rather do so until economic conditions finally stabilize.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Money@30's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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