First-Time Home Buyers Deflated, but not Deterred

Filed in Design, Economics by on March 8, 2018 1 Comment

Competition is stiff in housing markets across the country. Limited inventory of existing and entry-level homes combined with interest rate hikes are causing prices to rise and expectations to decline — particularly among first-time buyers.

Evidence of this is shown in a recent NAHB poll which asked prospective home buyers various questions about their perceptions of the housing market. The results depict a pragmatic awareness: 40% of all home shoppers think finding the right home will become harder in the months ahead. Another 25% think market conditions will stay about the same, and just 27% think it will get easier.

The poll also explored which home features are considered the most essential by prospective buyers. More than 40% of second time-plus buyers consider 14 features to be must-haves. Meanwhile, first-time buyers are slightly less picky, as more than 40% listed just 10 essential features.

“Today’s consumers are more informed about the housing market than ever before, and they’re often very particular about what they want,” said NAHB economist Rose Quint, who coordinated the poll. “But demand is exceeding supply and many buyers — especially younger ones — simply don’t have the resources to get everything on their wish list. But that’s not deterring them from homeownership. It’s just compelling many of them to be more flexible with their search criteria.”

The most-wanted features listed by both groups are much the same, and the top two — a living room and laundry room — are identical, just in reverse order. Other features highly desired by both groups include a dining room, garage storage, walk-in closets, and having a shower and tub in the master bath.

Among the notable disparities between the lists, “front porch” was ranked No. 7 by first-time buyers, but it didn’t even make the list for current/former home owners in the market to buy.

In contrast, current/former home owners listed several necessary features that first-timers didn’t, including: a patio, eat-in kitchen, hardwood flooring, Energy Star-certified appliances and granite countertops.

Go to Eye on Housing for more.


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