Americans now say they approve of free trade by 64%-27%, a margin of better than two to one. That's up from 57%-37% early in Trump's presidency, and 51%-41% near the end of...Politicsread more
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below the 2-year rate on Wednesday, a phenomenon in the bond market known as yield curve inversion, which is...Marketsread more
The MacBook Pro recall and its subsequent ban from flights underscores the increasing brand risk from problems with lithium-ion batteries.Technologyread more
Experts say the timing of Amazon executives' contributions to Rep. David Cicilline likely reflect the company's heightened urgency over growing regulatory scrutiny.Technologyread more
CNBC combed through Wall Street research to see which stocks are still a buy after their earnings reports.Marketsread more
Despite aggressive strides, Waymo needs one thing before their self-driving cars become a seriously useful transportation system: people. We talked to the ones closest to it.Technologyread more
Coinbase security chief Philip Martin explains, "Possession of a key is possession of your currency. What that means is that you can't revoke a cryptocurrency key, if that key...Technologyread more
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos' accusations extended beyond GE's management to actuaries, auditors and analysts who he claims overlooked billions in liabilities.Marketsread more
The Supreme Court could strike down the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency Elizabeth Warren has likened to her child and which Justice...2020 Electionsread more
Bianco Research's James Bianco suggests Wall Street is desperately looking for a signal that a 50 basis point cut is coming next month.Trading Nationread more
The company's S-1 lays the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the largest initial public offerings of the year, second only to Uber's IPO in May. It's also...Technologyread more
Today's homebuyers don't need another headwind. They're already facing one of the tightest, most competitive housing markets in history, with home prices rising far faster than incomes, mortgage rates climbing and the supply of homes for sale continuing to shrink.
Now add higher gas prices to the toxic mix.
The average price for a gallon of regular gas is up 60 cents compared with a year ago, according to AAA.
While there is no specific data on how they correlate specifically to home sales or prices, gas prices definitely play into consumer confidence about personal finances — both going up and coming down. When prices fell heading into 2015, some claimed that was a boost to the housing market.
At the time, analysts at Deutsche Bank estimated that the 23 percent decline in gas prices added about $100 in monthly income for the average American. That, in turn, translated to an 11 percent boost in purchasing power on a starter home.
On the flip side, higher gas prices take away from both real and emotional purchasing power. Paying more at the pump makes people feel like they have less money in their pockets overall, and homebuying is an incredibly emotional enterprise to begin with.
Mortgage rates are also at the highest level in seven years and are clearly on an upward trajectory. That makes it more difficult for first-time buyers on the margins to both afford and qualify for a home.
"Anecdotally, I can tell you that it does become a reason not to buy a new home in what we affectionately call the 'drive till you qualify' areas," said John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting.
While most studies show that millennials have a propensity for urban living, more have been looking to the suburbs recently, where prices are lower and inventory more plentiful. They are also looking for more space, as they age into their parenting years. That is where higher gas prices could take their real toll.
"With gasoline prices rising, mortgage rates rising, it is burdening the housing costs for people who are looking far away from job centers and downtown areas," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.
"The cost of gas in DC makes you want to move elsewhere," said Eric Braxton, who is in the process of moving to Delaware. "The gas is probably a little cheaper there."
Of course, as with everything in real estate, location is key. States like California and Texas, where commutes are often farther and residents are more dependent on their cars, will see housing affordability hit harder.
"Properties closer to cities hold their values better," according to Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, adding, "When gas prices have gone up, home sales have tended to go down, but it's not a strong correlation."
Not everyone believes gas price spikes are a factor in home sales these days. They say the correlation may actually be getting weaker, since the introduction of hybrid vehicles and ride-hailing companies.
"I have heard much less of this [gas prices] as an excuse for slow sales, even when prices spiked in the 2000s. I think the emergence of hybrids had a lot to do with that. Long distance commuters tend to get the appropriate car for the commute," added Burns.