Buyers’ Expectations of Housing Availability Continue to Improve

For the second straight quarter, more prospective buyers expect housing availability to improve. In the third quarter of 2022, 37% of buyers expect the home search to get easier in the months ahead, up from 17% and 22% in the first and second quarters of the year, respectively. More for-sale inventory and less competition from buyers priced-out by higher mortgage rates are likely driving the improvement. In contrast, 59% expect the search to get harder/stay the same, down from 74% and 67% in the first two quarters of 2022.

Housing availability expectations improved in all regions of the country in the third quarter of 2022. In the Northeast, 44% of buyers expect easier conditions, up from 28% in the second quarter. In the Midwest, the share rose from 14% to 33%; in the South, from 18% to 23%; and in the West, from 31% to 52%.

Another way to measure buyers’ perceptions of housing inventory is to ask them if they are seeing more/fewer/the same number of homes for-sale* in their markets. In the third quarter of 2022, 36% reported seeing more homes, up from 23% and 28% in the first two quarters of the year.

Inventory perceptions have improved across all regions. From the second to the third quarters of 2022, the share of buyers seeing more homes on the market rose in the Northeast (27% to 43%), Midwest (23% to 30%), the South (24% to 33%), and West (36% to 42%).

** Results come from the Housing Trends Report – 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 third in a series of six posts highlighting results for the 3rd quarter of 2022. See previous posts on plans to buy and new vs. existing preference.

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