With the economy hurtling downwards, a seemingly endless string of polls measures the public's perception of the recession. A recent poll shows the pessimism Americans are feeling about the real estate market. One finding of the Associated Press-AOL Money & Finance poll was that, "Sixty percent said they definitely won't buy a home in the next two years, up from 53 percent who said so in an AP-AOL poll in September 2006," according to an AP article.
Additionally, the poll found that "more than a quarter of homeowners worry their home will lose value over the next two years. Fully one in seven mortgage holders fear they won't be able to make their monthly payments on time over the next six months," according to the AP. Fear of foreclosure, heightened by the rising number of foreclosure filings, has many afraid of losing their homes.
Investors looking to sell properties these days will likely not be heartened to hear that, according to the poll, only 11 percent are certain or very likely to purchase a home soon. In 2006, that percentage was at 15.
"The number envisioning falling prices in their area has grown to one in four, while four in 10 think prices will rise, a decrease from two years ago. Expectations for rising prices are highest in the South, with Westerners likeliest to predict they will drop," according to the AP.
There are many markets on the West Coast that have bucked the trend of falling property prices thus far, but residents of those areas clearly expect that trend to come to an end.
In 2006, when the poll was last conducted, the subprime lending crisis was just beginning to appear on many people's radar screens. At that time, about 20 percent of those polled had adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), compared to about 10 percent of those recently polled. Lending practices have changed as the fallout of the subprime lending crisis has become more apparent and widespread.