More Buyers Report It’s Harder to Find a Home

Filed in Economics, Housing Trends by on February 8, 2019 1 Comment

The percentage of prospective home buyers reporting that their house search was getting harder or not improving rose from 65% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 to 72% in the final quarter of 2018, according to NAHB’s latest Housing Trends Report.

It only makes sense that with a growing share of buyers feeling that their efforts are getting more difficult or at least not improving, fewer buyers report their home search is getting easier.

In the last quarter of 2017, 27% of prospective home buyers expected the search for a home to get easier in the months ahead. Fast forward a year to the fourth quarter of 2018, and that share falls to 19%.

Do You Expect House Search to Get Easier/Harder in Months Ahead?
(Percent of Prospective Home Buyers)

Another way to explore buyers’ perceptions about the inventory of housing available in their markets is to ask how the number of for-sale homes (that they like and can afford) is changing compared to three months earlier. In the final quarter of 2018, 27% of buyers reported seeing more such homes on the market, lower than the 34% reporting increases a year earlier.

In contrast, the share of buyers who perceive the inventory of for-sale homes they like and can afford to be lower or unchanged rose from 58% to 64% during this period.

NAHB economist Rose Quint provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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  1. Mac Smith says:

    The house inventory this survey is taken upon were built with the more expensive lumber before that issue was corrected. The real thing is the currently lower pricing of the homes being built may cause the inventory of the older homes with the higher price tags to become “stagnant”, unless builders can close that span in pricing by taking it in the pocketbook.
    Also, following every recession is an inflationary period, where the income simply will not meet to the higher prices of food, housing, etc. Only the controlled costs of the utilities are delayed with the inflation, so as to follow , rather than lead.

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