Expectations for Housing Availability Improve


Strong new and existing home sales in the summer of 2020 may have been a factor contributing to buyers’ improved expectations for housing availability. According to the latest Housing Trends Report**, 28% of prospective buyers in the third quarter of 2020 expect their search for a home to become easier in the months ahead, while 61% percent expect it will be harder or stay the same. A year earlier, fewer (21%) expected availability improvements and more (68%) thought it would turn more difficult to search for a home.

Across generations, expectations that housing availability will improve rose most significantly among Gen X buyers (21% in qtr3’19 to 32% in qtr3’20) and Millennials (22% to 30%). Geographically, expectations that housing availability will ease up increased most significantly in the West (16% to 28%) and the Northeast (24% to 35%).

In terms of the actual number of homes buyers are seeing for-sale (that they like and can afford), 35% reported seeing more available in the third quarter of 2020 than three months earlier (i.e. the peak of the COVID crisis), which reflects the growth in new home production and listings of existing homes between the spring and summer of 2020.

The two generations most likely to report seeing more homes for-sale in the third quarter of 2020 than three months earlier are Gen X (39%) and Millennial (37%) buyers. Across regions, buyers in the Northeast are the most likely to report seeing more homes for-sale (37%), followed by those in the South (36%) and West (35%).

* Homes with desired features and price point.

** 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 second in a series of five posts highlighting results for the third quarter of 2020. See previous post on plans to buy.


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