The Real Deal Chicago

Fewer Americans think now is a good time to buy a home than any time since 2015

About 34 percent of families “strongly believe” it’s a good time to buy, down from 43 percent a year ago, according to a NAR report
December 24, 2018 08:00AM

Out of 2,710 households surveyed since Oct. 1, about 63 percent said today’s market suits buyers. (Credit: iStock)

Fewer people think now is a good time to buy a home than at any time at least in the past three years, according to a survey released by the National Association of Realtors.

Out of 2,710 households surveyed since Oct. 1, about 63 percent said today’s market suits buyers, the lowest of any time since the association began conducting the survey in 2015. Within that group, 34 percent “strongly believe” the fourth quarter has been good for buyers, compared to 39 percent during the third quarter and 43 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Still, 59 percent said they believe the economy will keep improving during the next year, giving them a better shot at homebuying.

Some 56 percent of families in the Midwest said it would be “very” or “somewhat” difficult to qualify for a mortgage this quarter. That’s compared to 52 percent of respondents in the Northeast, 62 percent in the South and 62 percent in the West.

Bloomberg reported earlier this year that homes nationwide have become less affordable than at any time since 2008, as home price appreciation continues to outpace wage growth.

In Chicago, home sales dropped by 8.5 percent last month while prices inched up. But Chicago is still the nation’s second-most affordable big city in the nation, with coastal cities lagging far behind, according to a report released in October. [Inman] Alex Nitkin