Poll: Real Estate Slump Felt in Wealthy Areas

Contact: Cindy Jobbins, 215.575.4812

Washington, D.C. - 10/11/2007 - Public assessments of the nation’s economy have fallen to a two-year low, and the nation’s economic outlook remains relatively gloomy. In particular, faced with a steady stream of negative news about the U.S. housing market, Americans are substantially less inclined than they were even a few months ago to say they expect home prices to increase over the next few years. People living in areas with the most expensive homes and middle-income Americans are particularly likely to say that future home prices will decline.

Overall, 53% of Americans think local housing prices will climb in the next few years, down from 62% in June, while the number expecting prices to fall has increased from 28% to 36%. Market predictions differ by the value of housing near where a person lives. In metropolitan areas where the median single-family home sells for $300,000 or more, nearly as many people believe prices will go down (45%) in coming years as say prices will go up (47%). By comparison, most people in metropolitan areas where home prices are lower foresee at least modest gains in housing values.

The national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted September 12-16 among 1,501 adults, finds that:

  • A majority of people (54%) in areas with higher-cost housing say prices in their areas have declined in the past year. Far fewer people in lower-priced areas say local home prices have gone down.
  • Americans are not optimistic about national economic conditions or the country’s financial future. Only about a quarter (26%) says the economy is “excellent” or “good,” down from 33% in June.
  • Opinions about the economy remain divided along partisan lines, but Republicans are noticeably less upbeat than they were in the summer. Currently 46% of Republicans say the economy is excellent or good, down from 56% in June.
For a direct link to the full PDF of the report, go to http://people-press.org/reports/pdf/361.pdf.

The survey is available on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site at http://people-press.org/.

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