Prospect of Higher Rates Leads Some to Consider Buying a Home

The share of adults planning a home purchase within a year rose to 15% in the third quarter of 2022, up from 13% in the first half of the year. The marginal increase suggests that the prospect of higher mortgage rates in the near term may be leading a small segment of consumers to consider the purchase of a home sooner rather than later. It is important to note that the typical prospective buyer in the third quarter had higher levels of education and income than the typical buyer earlier in 2022.

Sixty-six percent of those contemplating a home purchase are first-time home buyers, up from 59% in the second quarter. The increase marks a sharp reversal, following three quarters of declines in the share of prospective buyers considering homeownership for the first time.

The share of adults with plans to buy a home changed unevenly across regions from the second to the third quarter of 2022, rising in the Northeast (12% to 15%) and West (16% to 20%), but falling in the Midwest (11% to 9%) and South (15% to 14%).

Over half of all prospective buyers in every region are 1st-timers. From the second to the third quarter of 2022, the share rose most prominently in the Northeast (54% to 70%) and West (60% to 70%), and marginally in the Midwest (54% to 56%) and South (62% to 66%).

** 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 first in a series of six posts highlighting results for the 3rd quarter of 2022.

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