Bidding Wars Jump as Top Reason (Remaining) Buyers Can’t Make Purchase

An earlier post revealed that a record 70% of buyers who were actively engaged in the process of finding a home in the third quarter of 2022 have spent 3+ months searching for a home without success. Those buyers also have higher incomes and education levels than in previous quarters.  The most common reason these long-term searchers cite for not having bought by now is they are getting outbid by other offers (54%).  In second place is the inability to find an affordable home (39%), followed by not being able to find a home in their desired neighborhood (30%).

When asked what they are most likely to do next if still unable to find a home in the next few months, 50% of active buyers searching for 3+ months said they will continue looking for the ‘right’ home in the same location (up from 46% a quarter earlier); 35% will expand their search area (down from 38%), 33% will accept a smaller/older home (up from 30%), and 28% will buy a more expensive home (up from 26%).

Meanwhile, the share who plan to give up their home search until next year or later climbed to 28%, up from 25% in the second quarter of 2022. This share has increased or remained flat in each of the past five quarters.

** Results come from the Housing Trends Reporta 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 final post in a series of six highlighting results for the 3rd quarter of 2022. See previous posts on plans to buy, new vs. existing preference, housing availability, housing affordability, and active buyers.

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