Fewer Prospective Buyers Are Fully Engaged in Purchase Process

Dwindling housing affordability in the fourth quarter of 2022 caused the share of prospective home buyers who are actively engaged in the purchase process (i.e. who have moved beyond just the planning phase) to drop to 46%, down from 59% a quarter earlier.

The share of prospective buyers fully engaged in the buying process declined in every region between the third and fourth quarters of 2022: Northeast (62% to 50%), Midwest (53% to 42%), South (51% to 47%), and West (68% to 44%).

After reaching a record high of 70% in the third quarter of 2022, the share of active buyers who have spent 3+ months searching for a home to buy eased a bit in the fourth quarter, down to 65%.  As demand has weakened, competition is letting up slightly for those still willing and able to buy a home.

* 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 fifth in a series of six posts highlighting results for the 4th quarter of 2022. 

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