Higher Prices, Lower Availability Affecting Home Purchasing Decisions

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The share of adults planning a home purchase within 12 months has fallen for two consecutive quarters — dropping from 17% in the second quarter of 2021 to 16% and 15% in the third and fourth quarter, respectively — according to data from NAHB's Housing Trends Report. The downward trend provides evidence that higher home prices and low housing availability (relative to demand) are leading some Americans to postpone their homeownership plans. Meanwhile, the share of these prospective buyers who are purchasing a home for the first time dropped for the first time since mid-2020 from 65% in the third quarter to 63% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Geographically, the share of adults planning to buy a home was lower in the fourth quarter in every region except the Midwest, which remained flat at 13%. Generationally, buying plans decreased significantly among Gen Xers — from 18% to 12%. Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president for survey research, provides more in this Eye on Housing post. And for more on the actions NAHB is taking to help improve housing affordability by addressing supply-chain challenges, visit nahb.org/lumber.

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