High Prices Most Common Reason Why Active Buyers Remain Sidelined

Housing Affordability

The inability to find an affordably priced home is the primary reason active buyers have not pulled the trigger, with 39% citing high prices as their biggest obstacle in the second quarter of 2021, according to the latest Housing Trends** report produced by the NAHB Economics team.

Two-thirds of buyers who were actively engaged in the process of finding a home in the second quarter have spent upwards of three months searching for a home without success.

In the prior two quarters (fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021), longtime searchers reported their most common reason for not finding a home was “getting outbid by other offers.”

When asked what they are most likely to do next if still unable to find a home in the next few months, 43% of active buyers searching for three-plus months will expand their search area (up from 37% in the final quarter of 2020). On the other hand, 42% will continue looking for the ‘right’ home in the same location (down from 50% in the final quarter of 2020).

More buyers expanding the area where they are searching for a home is linked to the increasing ability of many workers to work remotely from home, thus severing the need to be in close proximity to office space.

Meanwhile, after reaching a series high of 28% in the final quarter of 2020, the share who are likely to give up their home search until next year or later has declined for two straight quarters, falling to 20% by the second quarter of 2021.


**The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is 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.

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