Most Buyers Don’t Expect House Hunting to Get Easier Soon


Only about 2 out of every 10 prospective home buyers (people looking to buy a home in the next year) expect the search for a home to get easier in the months ahead. The majority, about 7 out of 10, instead think house hunting will get harder or stay about the same.  This opinion is shared among buyers of all ages, as only 15%-21% of each generation expects the search for a home to get easier soon.

These findings come from NAHB’s Housing Trends Report (HTR)* for the third quarter of 2018.

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 to find out buyers’ perception about the inventory of available housing in their markets is to ask if they see the number of for-sale homes (with their desired features and price point) rising or falling compared to three months earlier. In the third quarter of 2018, 29% said they could see more such homes vs. 61% who said they saw fewer/about the same number as before.

Put shortly, most prospective buyers have seen no improvement in the availability of housing. A majority of buyers in each generation shares that opinion.

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.

Share Reporting Fewer/Same Number of Homes For-Sale By Generation
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)

* The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is a 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 is produced quarterly 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.  Results 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.  A description of the poll’s methodology and sample characteristics can be found here. This is the second in a series of posts highlighting results for the third quarter of 2018.  See previous post on plans to buy.

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