Only a Minority of Buyers Can Afford Majority of Homes For-Sale


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 third in a series of posts highlighting results for the first quarter of 2018.  See previous posts on plans to buy and housing availability.

Affordability is a serious issue for prospective home buyers (adults planning a home purchase within a year). In the first quarter of 2018, they were asked to estimate the share of all homes available for-sale in their markets that was affordable to them.  The vast majority (83%) said they can afford fewer than half the homes for-sale in their areas, up slightly from the 79% who answered similarly in the fourth quarter of 2017.  This means that only a small minority of potential buyers are able to afford the majority of homes available on the market: 17% in the first quarter of 2018 and 21% in the last quarter of 2017.

Across generations, the vast majority – 86% – of prospective Millennial home buyers could afford fewer than half the homes for-sale in their markets in the first quarter of 2018. That share declines slightly with age, but stays elevated across the older three generations.

What Share of all Homes Currently For-Sale in Your Market is Affordable to You?
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)

Share Who Can Afford Fewer than Half the 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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