That is down 23 points from a year ago and the lowest on record. Perhaps more significantly, it is the first time since the poll began in 1978 that most Americans agreed that it is a bad time to buy a house.
While there are many factors at play, three major themes appear to be driving a home affordability crisis that has left most of the nation increasingly bearish about their ability to participate in the American Dream.
As home prices began to creep up after the initial panic of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, interest rates set new lows seemingly every month. With the new normal of working from home and the increased time spent in the house, Americans began searching for housing that met their pandemic-era needs.
What was initially considered transient inflation – the temporary aftershocks of the post-pandemic economic recovery – has settled into the highest year-over-year inflation rates in four decades. According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose 8.5% from March 2021 to March 2022.