Further data from the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) latest Housing Trends Report (HTR) reveals that the share of prospective buyers who are actively searching for a home declined in three of the four Census regions between the Q2 and Q3 of 2021: in the South, from 58% to 51%; in the West, from 72% to 65%; and in the Northeast, from 66% to 65%. The share was flat in the Midwest, at 50%.
Nationwide, the total number of buyers actively trying to find a home to buy declined to 57% in Q3 2021. This change occurred after growing steadily for the past six straight quarters and peaking at 61% in Q2 of 2021. The HTR notes that is an indication that the fast-growing home prices have begun to discourage a portion of potential buyers from moving beyond the home buying planning stage.
The report also sees that most buyers actively engaged in the purchase process are spending long periods of time searching for a home. During each of the first three quarters of 2021, 66% reported spending 3+ months looking. Before COVID-19, in the final quarter of 2019, the share stood at 57%.
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Elevated Home Prices Continues to Discourage a Portion of Prospective Buyers