Affordability Expectations Show No Improvement among Home Buyers


While home buyers may have slightly more optimistic expectations about future housing availability (see earlier post), there is no improvement in their outlook for affordability.  In the fourth quarter of 2019, 79% say they can afford fewer than half the homes available in their markets, which is higher than the 76% with that opinion a year earlier.  This marks the third consecutive year-over-year increase in the share of buyers who report that less than 50% of the houses for-sale in their markets are affordable to them.

This in turn means that only 21% of buyers can afford half or more of the homes for-sale in their markets, compared to 23% a year earlier.

More than 70% of buyers in every generation can afford fewer than half the homes for sale where they live.  Geographically, more than 75% of buyers in every region of the country say they can afford under half of the homes available in their areas.

* The Housing Trends Report 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 fourth quarter of 2019.  See previous posts on plans to buy and housing availability.

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