The share of prospective buyers actively trying to find a home fell in both the third (57%) and fourth quarters (52%) of 2021, after reaching a series high of 61% in the second quarter of the year. The downward trend demonstrates how falling levels of housing affordability have discouraged a growing share of potential home buyers from actively engaging in the purchase process.
The share of buyers actively searching for a home to buy declined in all regions of the country between the third and final quarter of 2021. The drop was most notable in the South, where it fell from 51% to 42%.
Active buyers continue to spend longer periods of time searching for a home. At the start of 2018, 52% had spent 3+ months searching for a home. During the first three quarters of 2021, that share was 66%. By the fourth quarter, it had edged up to 67%.
* 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 seasonally adjusted. A description of the poll’s methodology and sample characteristics can be found here. This is the fifth in a series of six posts highlighting results for the fourth quarter of 2021. See previous posts on plans to buy, new vs. existing preference, housing availability, and housing affordability.