An NAHB poll conducted in the second quarter of 2019 revealed that only 12% of adults are considering the purchase of a home within the next 12 months. This share of ‘prospective home buyers’ is down slightly from 14% a year earlier. The drop marks the third consecutive year-over-year decline in the share of adults thinking about buying a home, providing further evidence of a slowdown in the housing market, as potential buyers are held back by the lowest levels of affordability in a decade.
Additional findings from the latest Housing Trends Report (HTR)* show that in the second quarter of 2019, 58% of prospective home buyers had never owned a home before. In comparison, a year earlier, 63% of buyers were first-timers.
The intention to buy is inversely related to age: whereas 17% of Millennials have plans to purchase a home in the next year, only 13% of Gen X’ers, 7% of Boomers, and 3% Seniors have the same plans. Geographically, respondents in the South and West are slightly more likely to be planning a home purchase (each at 12%), than those in the Midwest (11%) or Northeast (10%).
Most of the 17% of Millennials planning a home purchase are first-time home buyers (77 percent). Among prospective Gen X and Boomer buyers, 51 percent and 25 percent, respectively, would be buying a home for the first time. Geographically, a majority of those planning a home purchase in all four regions are first-time buyers, led by the Northeast and Midwest (both at 61%).
In terms of the type of home these prospective home buyers are interested in, 41% are looking to buy an existing home and 19% a newly-built home. The remaining 40% would buy either a new or existing home.
* 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 first in a series of five posts highlighting results for the second quarter of 2019.