Americans Have Some Big Housing Misconceptions

Mortgage rates aren't historically high, for one
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2023 4:09 PM CST
Americans Have Some Big Housing Misconceptions
   (Getty Images / HAKINMHAN)

The housing market isn't great, but neither is Americans' understanding of it. So finds a NerdWallet survey released Tuesday. Three standout findings from the survey:

  • About 11% of respondents, which NerdWallet equates to 28 million American adults, say they intend to buy a home over the next 12 months. NerdWallet dubs that "unrealistic optimism" noting that in 2021, a particularly hot year, only about 6 million existing homes were sold.
  • More detachment from reality: Prospective buyers express they'd like to spend an average $269,200. The Hill points out the median home price in December was $388,100, with government records showing average home prices exceeded that $269,000 mark in 2013.
  • They're off when it comes to mortgage rates too. Some 61% of those surveyed said current mortgage rates are "unprecedented," which the survey defined as "never [having] been what they are now.” Not so. The average 30-year rate was at 6.15% last week; Per Freddie Mac data, rates on 30-year mortgages have averaged 7.75% over the past 50 years. Average 30-year rates peaked at 16.63% in 1981.
(Read more housing market stories.)

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