Buyers’ expectations for housing affordability continue to sour. In the first quarter of 2022, 81% said they could afford less than half the homes for-sale in their markets – the highest share since before the pandemic. At its lowest point in the 4th quarter of 2020, 63% of buyers expected to afford <50% of the homes available. On the other hand, the share that can afford half or more of the homes on the market is down to 19%, after peaking in the 4th quarter of 2020 at 37%.
Affordability expectations have been trending down since the final quarter of 2020 in all regions. From then to now, the share of buyers only able to afford less than half the homes for-sale in their markets rose in the Northeast (51% to 77%), Midwest (74% to 83%), South (68% to 79%), and West (61% to 78%).
**Results come from the Housing Trends Report (HTR) – 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 fourth in a series of six posts highlighting results for the 1st quarter of 2022. See previous posts on plans to buy and new vs. existing preference.