Affordability Expectations Among Most Home Buyers Remain Poor


Despite help from the lowest mortgage rates in three years, an NAHB poll* conducted in the third quarter of 2019 shows that a strong majority of prospective home buyers continue to have poor expectations about being able to afford the homes for-sale in their markets. In fact, 80% say they can afford fewer than half the homes currently available where they live, essentially the same share as a year earlier (79%). This in turn means that only a fraction of buyers (20%) can afford half or more of the homes for-sale in their markets.

The two generations most likely to be affected by affordability constraints are Gen Z and Millennials: 81% and 84%, respectively, say they can afford fewer than half the homes available for-sale. The shares are only slightly smaller among Gen X (76%) and Boomer (77%) buyers. Geographically, more than three out of every four buyers in every region of the country say they can afford under half of the homes available in their areas.

* 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 third in a series of five posts highlighting results for the third quarter of 2019. See previous posts on plans to buy and housing availability.

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