Most Buyers Don’t Expect Housing Availability to Get Better Soon


The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is a 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, but are not seasonally adjusted due to the short time horizon of the series, and therefore caution is advised when interpreting trends or comparing time periods. This is the second in a series of posts highlighting results for the second 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 if they thought finding the ‘right’ home would get easier, harder, or stay about the same in the months ahead, only 20% said it’d get easier, slightly ahead of the 15% who thought so a quarter earlier but still lower than in the last quarter of 2017 (27%).

On the other hand, 69% said they expect their house search to get harder or stay about the same. In the three quarters of data available so far, this share hast stayed at or above 65%.

The share of prospective home buyers who expect that finding the right home will become easier later in 2018 is 22% or lower across each generation (with data available).

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 second quarter of 2018, 29% of prospective buyers said they could see more such homes on the market, just above the 24% who had that opinion in the first quarter of 2018.   In contrast, 63% said they saw fewer/about the same number of homes, essentially unchanged from a quarter earlier.

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

                                                                                       * Homes with desired features and price point.

A majority of prospective buyers in each generation (>60%) reported seeing fewer/same number of homes for-sale with the right features and price point than three months earlier.

Share Reporting Fewer/Same 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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