Most Buyers Can Only Afford a Minority of the Homes For-Sale in Their Markets


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 third in a series of posts highlighting results for the second 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 second 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 majority (77%) said they can afford fewer than half the homes for-sale in their areas, down from the 83% who answered similarly in the first quarter of 2018.  This means that only a small minority of potential buyers, 22% to be precise, can afford the majority of homes available in their area, up slightly from the share a quarter earlier (17%).

Across generations, most prospective Millennial home buyers – 80% – can afford fewer than half the homes for-sale in their markets. That share declines slightly with age, but stays elevated among older 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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