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Survey: 50% say all their savings will be wiped out by the end of April

Posted by: | Posted on: April 9, 2020



Half of the people taking part in a new survey assessing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on personal finances reported that they believe their savings will run out before the end of April.

Clever, a company that negotiates with real estate agents for lower fees, questioned 1,000 homeowners and renters on March 31 in order to gauge how they have been impacted by the outbreak.


A day before, the St. Louis Fed predicted that 47 million Americans could lose their jobs and that the unemployment rate could exceed 32% before the economic freeze triggered by stay-at-home measures begins to thaw.

Clever’s survey showed that many of its respondents have little in reserve to weather a long recession. The findings include:

—22% of homeowners don’t have enough in savings to cover one month’s mortgage.



—Almost half of renters surveyed reported having less than $500 set aside for emergencies. A similar amount said their savings wouldn’t be enough to cover one month’s rent.

—30% of homeowners had less than $1,000 reserved for emergencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average homeowner spends just under $6,000 per month, and recommends homeowners have between $17,300 and $35,600 squirrelled away for expenses over 3-6 months in case they have no active income.


—12% of homeowners are already behind on mortgage payments due to the coronavirus crisis. About 27% are worried about defaulting on their mortgages.

—More than half of both renters and homeowners say they are racking up credit card debt to pay bills. Federal stimulus checks of up to $1,200 should provide some relief, but the respite is likely to be temporary.


The survey also found that the real estate market has been thrown into turmoil.

Would-be sellers are taking their homes off the market (23%) or dropping the listing price (27%). Nearly a third were holding off on listing their home.

The majority of buyers, meanwhile, are bailing from house searches, either delaying plans (48%) or giving up altogether (17%). However, about a quarter see the pandemic as a buying opportunity should prices fall enough.

Complete results of Clever’s survey can be found here.

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Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate

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