Unaffordable Prices & Bidding Wars Hold Buyers Back

An earlier post revealed that 69% of buyers who were actively engaged in the process of finding a home in the second quarter of 2023 have spent 3+ months searching for a home without success. The inability to find an affordable home remains the most common reason buyers looking for 3+ months can’t make a purchase, cited by 38% (although that is down from 45% in the final quarter of 2022).  Next most common reason is getting outbid by other buyers, at 36% (up from 30% in the final quarter of 2022), followed by the inability to find a home in a desirable neighborhood (up from 30% to 33%) and one with desirable features (up from 28% to 31%).


When asked what they are most likely to do next if still unable to find a home in the next few months, 46% of active buyers searching for 3+ months said they will continue looking for the ‘right’ home in the same location; 38% will expand their search area, 30% will accept a smaller/older home (up from 23% in Qtr4’22 and 27% in Qtr1’23), and 25% will buy a more expensive home.  Interestingly, despite bleaker affordability expectations, the share who plan to give up their home search until next year or later fell to 21%, down from 23% in the first quarter of the year.


*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 final in a series of six posts highlighting results for the 2nd quarter of 2023. See previous posts on plans to buy, new vs. existing preference, housing availability, housing affordability, and active buyers.

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One thought on “Unaffordable Prices & Bidding Wars Hold Buyers Back

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