Most Buyers Don’t See Improvement in Housing Availability


The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is a new research product created by NAHB’s Economics team to track prospective home buyers’ perceptions about the availability and affordability of homes for-sale in their markets.  Results are based on national polls conducted by Morning Consult.  This is the second in a series of posts highlighting results for the first quarter of 2018.  See previous post on plans to buy.

When prospective home buyers (adults planning to buy a home within 12 months) were asked in the first quarter of 2018 if they thought finding the right home would get easier, harder, or stay about the same in the months ahead, only 15% said it’d get easier, down from the 27% who thought so in the fourth quarter of 2017. On the other hand, 73% said they expect the house search to get harder or stay about the same, up from 65% in the last quarter of 2017.

The share of prospective home buyers who expect that finding the right home will become easier later in 2018 is below 20% across all generations, but Seniors are the least optimistic – only 3% think so.

Do You Expect House Search to Get Easier/Harder in Months Ahead?
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)


Share Expecting House Search to Get Easier By Generation
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)

Another way of understanding buyers’ perceptions about the inventory of housing available in their markets is to find out how they see the number of homes they would want to buy – with desired features and price point – changing from three months earlier. In the first quarter of 2018, 24% of prospective buyers said they could see more such homes on the market, down from the 34% who had that opinion in the last quarter of 2017.   In contrast, 64% said they saw fewer/about the same number of homes, up from 58% one quarter earlier.

Do You See More/Fewer Homes* For-Sale in Your Market (vs. 3 months earlier)?
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)

* Homes that fit your preferences and price range.

Less than one-third of buyers in each generation reported seeing an increase in the number of for-sale homes (with right features and price point) in the first quarter of 2018.

Share Reporting Increase in the Number of Homes For-Sale By Generation
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)

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

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