More Buyers Report It’s Harder to Find a Home

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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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