Some Buyers Remain Engaged, Despite Lower Affordability

Despite lower perceptions of affordability, the share of prospective home buyers who are actively engaged in the purchase process (i.e., have moved beyond the planning phase) remained essentially unchanged between the first and second quarters of 2023, at 56% and 55%, respectively. The lack of change in this metric suggests that some buyers are willing to continue trying to find a home despite higher prices and mortgage rates.

From the first to the second quarter of 2023, the share of prospective buyers actively searching for a home declined in the Northeast (63% to 60%), South (51% to 48%), and West (66% to 58%), but rose in the Midwest (45% to 56%).


The combination of slightly softer demand plus increased production by builders is helping some of these engaged buyers find a home in less time. From the first to the second quarter of 2023, the share of active buyers who have spent 3+ months searching for a home eased a bit, going from 71% to 69%.


* 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 1st quarter of 2023. See previous post on plans to buy and new vs. existing preferences, and housing availability, and housing affordability.

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