Industry News

Home-buying plans sink to 10-year low

Consumer confidence plunges; high home prices deter prospective buyers

Consumer confidence and home-buying plans fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade, according to the University of Michigan's Survey of Consumers. Consumer confidence plunged in September to its lowest level in more than 12 years, while consumer home-buying plans also fell to 10-year lows, according to the survey. The decline in home-buying plans was due to an increasingly negative reaction to high home prices, as consumers expressed in September the least favorable assessment in nearly a quarter century. "High gas prices had a devastating impact on consumers' budgets and caused consumers to expect a worsening financial situation during the year ahead," said Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers. Over the past 50 years, such steep and widespread declines in confidence have typically triggered recessions. "Among the prior declines that sparked recessions, the most comparable situation was in August of 1990, when consumer confidence ...