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: The share of Americans who think it’s a bad time to buy a home just reached ‘an all-time high,’ says Fannie Mae


If you think now is the right time to purchase a home, you’re in the minority.

The share of American consumers who reported it was a bad time to buy reached a new high of 79% in May, according to Fannie Mae’s monthly housing survey. Fannie Mae’s

Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which “remained relatively flat,” also managed to slide 0.3 points to reach 68.2 last month — moving toward its pandemic low of 63 from April 2020. 

The share of consumers in May who said the economy was on the “wrong track” similarly rose to 77%, up six percentage points. Further underscoring the mood shift, 70% of survey respondents expected mortgage rates to continue to climb, while the net share of employed consumers who said they weren’t concerned about losing their job decreased eight percentage points, reaching 65%. All of this, of course, comes amid rising inflation and fears of an impending recession.

“Consumers’ expectations that their personal-financial situations will worsen over the next year reached an all-time high in the May survey, and they expressed greater concern about job security,” Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae, said in a statement.

“Further, respondents’ pessimism regarding homebuying conditions carried forward into May, with the percentage of respondents reporting it’s a bad time to buy a home hitting a new survey high,’ he said. “The share reporting that it’s ‘easy to get a mortgage’ also decreased across almost all segments.”

Duncan added that the survey results supported Fannie Mae’s forecast for slowing home sales into the next year, with higher mortgage rates, prices, and inflation pushing sellers and buyers alike to the sidelines. 

This is hardly the only recent poll to reflect Americans’ souring moods on the economy: a Wall Street Journal-NORC survey published Monday had more than a third of respondents saying they weren’t at all satisfied with their financial circumstances, the highest level of dissatisfaction recorded since NORC at the University of Chicago began asking the question periodically in the ‘70s.

And it’s not just the U.S. The World Bank also cut its annual global growth forecast Tuesday. For now, at least, it’s bad news all around.

Related: Americans have not felt this gloomy about their finances since the Great Recession: ‘I walk every day just to get out of my head and try to stay healthy. Otherwise, it’s just nonstop worrying’

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