17% of Adults Plan to Buy Home in Next 12 Months; Many for the First-Time


This post releases the first edition of the Housing Trends Report (HTR), a new 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 will be released quarterly in order 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.  This is the first in a series of posts highlighting results for the first quarter of 2018.

Seventeen percent of poll respondents in the first quarter of 2018 said they are planning to buy a home within the next 12 months, and for 45% of those prospective home buyers, this would be the first time buying a home. In comparison, in the last quarter of 2017, 24% of respondents had plans to purchase a house within a year, and of those, 60% self-reported as first-time buyers.

Are You Planning to Buy a Home Within the Next 12 Months?
(Percent of Respondents)


First-time Buyer Share
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)


More granular findings for the first quarter of 2018 show that Millennials were the likeliest generation to have plans to buy a home in the next 12 months (19%) while Seniors were the least likely (13%).  For a large majority (72%) of Millennials planning a home purchase, this is their first attempt at becoming home owners.  In contrast, fewer than half of the older three generations say this next home will be the first one they ever own.

Planning to Buy Home in Next 12 Months by Generation
(Percent of Respondents)


First-time Buyer Share by Generation
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)

A plurality (45%) of all prospective home buyers in the first quarter of 2018 said they are looking to buy an existing home, 41% are looking at either existing or newly built homes, and the other 13% are looking specifically for a new home.

A description of the poll’s methodology and sample characteristics can be found here.


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7 replies

  1. Where is the validating data? Who comprised the survey population (i.e., what is a representative sampling – age, income, geography, marital status, family size, current renters or homeowners, etc.)? How many people were surveyed? How many responded?

    What is the significance of the drop from 24% in the 4th Quarter of 2017 to 17% in the 1st Quarter of 2018? Should the real headline be “29% of the future homebuyers have left the market”?

    Why the significant reduction in percentage? Interest rates? Consumer confidence? Housing pricing and/or availability?

    • All polls conducted for NAHB by Morning Consult meet rigorous sampling parameters to ensure representative samples are selected in order to draw valid conclusions upon them. Below are some of the relevant characteristics of the sample used in this particular poll:

      • A total of 11,674 people were polled, of whom 2,000 (17%) reported plans to buy a home within the next 12 months.

      • Among the 2,000 prospective home buyers who continued on with the poll:

      * 48% were male; 52% female.
      * 38% were Millennials, 27% GenX’ers, 31% Boomers, and 3% Seniors.
      * 18% lived in the Northeast, 22% in the Midwest, 37% in the South, and 23% in the West.
      * 80% were White, 12% African-American, and 15% Hispanic.
      * 71% had less than a college education, 19% had a Bachelor’s degree, and 10% a post-graduate degree.
      * 55% reported incomes under $50,000, 32% between $50,000 and $100,000, and 13% of more than $100,000.

      The above demographic characteristics reflect a representative sample of the US adult population.

      • Thanks for the additional information.

        11,674 people were polled, what was the entire survey population size (what percentage responded)?

        Of the people polled, how many were renters and how many owned a home and, for the owners, what type (single family, townhome, condo)?

        Of those who owned a home, for what length of time had they owned?

        How were the people contacted – by phone, mail, email?

        Of the 2,000 respondents, how many were married? How many had children living at home and what ages? What were the household sizes and family sizes?

        Does the 71% reported without a “college education” equal those without a degree?

        And most importantly, why the substantial decline (29%) in those intending to purchase from the previous month?

        • Thank you for your interest in our research. This poll was focused on understanding prospective buyers’ perceptions about home availability and affordability at a macro level, using a representative sample of US adults. It was not created to investigate the views of specific subsets of that group, whether by household type or size or by tenure. Furthermore, the poll is not designed as a longitudinal study, tracking the same respondents over time. As a result, it is not designed to capture last quarter’s prospective home buyers who may have stopped searching for a home to buy this quarter.

          • Referring to Daniel’s question again,

            you have put an elephant in the room but have not addressed it – why do we see a 29% decline in those intending to buy a home? have you checked the data in 1Q17 or only started in 4Q17? could it be seasonal?

            Many thanks,

  2. Thank-you for sharing this information on the research. Great job.

  3. Great Research! Thanks a lot for this detailed information.

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