Share of Active Buyers Declines From 67% to 54% in a Year


Most people start thinking about and planning a home purchase well in advance of actually engaging in the process of finding a home. In a national poll in the final quarter of 2018, 13% of adults reported planning a home purchase within the next year.  Of those prospective buyers, 54% were already actively involved in trying to find a home to buy (i.e. they have moved past just planning).  A year earlier, 24% of adults were planning to purchase a home within a year and 67% of them were actively engaged in the search process.

The generation most likely to already be engaged trying to buy a home are Millennials (61% of prospective buyers in this group), followed by Gen X’ers (50%) and Boomers (48%). The findings come from NAHB’s Housing Trends Report (HTR) for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Share of Buyers Already Actively Trying to Buy a Home (Not Simply Planning it)
(Percent of Prospective Buyers)


Share of Buyers Already Actively Trying to Buy a Home (Not Simply Planning it) –
By Generation
(Percent of Prospective Buyers)

Buyers who are in the midst of trying to buy a home are spending significant amounts of time looking. In the final quarter of 2018, 58% said they have already spent at least three months searching.  That share is somewhat smaller than the 62% who had spent that much time looking in the final quarter of 2017.  Future polls will determine if there is a trend toward fewer people spending upwards of three months searching for a home.

Share Looking for a Home for 3 Months or Longer
(Percent of Active 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 only year-over-year comparisons are statistically valid. A description of the poll’s methodology and sample characteristics can be found here. This is the second in a series of five posts highlighting results for the fourth quarter of 2018. See previous posts on plans to buy, housing availability, and housing affordability.



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