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Americans Putting Home, Car Purchases on Hold Due to Uncertainty

Data shows consumers are also pulling back on driving, eating out, and purchasing food items they would regularly buy

A survey out today indicates that the combination of skyrocketing inflation, rising interest rates, and market volatility is having a profound impact on consumers’ plans, and their dreams of car and home buying are quickly retreating.

Almost one-third (30%) of people surveyed by Quicken had planned to buy a car in 2022, yet 60% of those are now reconsidering. Similarly, 21% had planned to buy a first or new house, and 69% of those are reconsidering. 

Plans for 2022I’d planned to…But now I am reconsidering or
have fully put on hold
Buying a first or new house21 %69 %
Buying a car30 %60 %
Retiring8 %48 %
Quitting my job/getting a new one13 %47 %
Moving to a new city13 %38 %
Getting married6 %38 %
Having first/another child8 %38 %

“In these uncertain financial times, having a clear picture of your finances is more important than ever,” said Quicken CEO, Eric Dunn. “This knowledge can help you understand your options for adjusting your spending so that you can stay on track to meet your long-term financial goals.”

People who are planning to rent a new apartment or buy a new home cite that the following are impacting their desire/ability to move: changes in the rental market (such as rents going up) (37%), rising interest rates (33%), gas prices (32%), and the stock market crash (19%).

Of those planning to move in the next 24 months, 37% plan to move to a less expensive location.

Beyond affecting major purchases, current market conditions are also forcing people to alter their day-to-day spending. Lower-income Americans are feeling the pinch most acutely, but the pain is widespread: two-thirds (66%) have cut back on driving and almost that many (63%) have cut back on eating out. Over half (52%) said they have cut back on the foods they regularly buy. Just 9% of respondents said inflation is not affecting their financial situation.

Combined household incomeCut back on
Cut back on
eating out
Cut back on foods
regularly bought
Under $74,00072 %67 %59 %
$75,000-99,99966 %66 %52 %
$100,000-149,99964 %62 %51 %
Over $150,00056 %48 %33 %

This is on top of the fact that at least 27% of consumers say they had already cut back on necessities such as housing and food in the past two years, trying to build their savings. For some respondents, savings helped build up an emergency fund (47%) while others were more hopeful for a return on their investment, looking to invest in the stock market (22%).

Whatever the case, the current combination of high inflation, rising interest rates, and declining stock market is having a significant effect on consumer spending.

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Carl Fox

Carl Fox is the senior money and finance writer for Conservative Daily News. Follow him in the "Money & The Economy" section at CDN and see his posts on the "Junior Economists" Facebook page.

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