Nearly Half of Prospective Buyers Are Actively House Hunting

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Many people start thinking about a home purchase well in advance of actually engaging in the process of finding a home. In a national poll in the first quarter of 2019, 13% of adults reported planning a home purchase within the next year.  Of those prospective buyers, 46% are already actively involved in trying to find a home to buy.  The latter finding is not different from a year earlier, when 17% of poll participants were planning a home purchase and 46% of them were actively engaged in the search process.

Senior (56%) and Millennial (50%) buyers are the most likely to have moved beyond just planning to actually start the search process, compared to 41% of Boomers. Geographically, 53% of prospective buyers in the Northeast are actively engaged, compared to 42% in the Midwest. The findings come from NAHB’s Housing Trends Report (HTR) for the first quarter of 2019.

Are actively engaged buyers spending a lot of time house hunting? In the first quarter of 2019, 53% of those searching have been at it for three months or longer, while 46% have looked for less than three months.  A year earlier, 50% of active buyers reported looking for a home for less than three months.   Future polls will determine if there is a trend for more people spending upwards of three months searching for a home.

The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is a research product created by the NAHB Economics team with the goal of measuring prospective home buyers’ perceptions about the availability and affordability of homes for-sale in their markets. The HTR is produced quarterly to track changes in buyers’ perceptions over time. All data are derived from national polls of representative samples of American adults conducted for NAHB by Morning Consult. Results are not seasonally adjusted due to the short time horizon of the series and therefore only year-over-year comparisons are statistically valid. A description of the poll’s methodology and sample characteristics can be found here. This is the fourth in a series of five posts highlighting results for the first quarter of 2019. See previous posts on plans to buy, housing availability, and housing affordability.



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