The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) latest Housing Trends Report (HTR) reveals that in the first quarter of 2020, 25% of prospective home buyers indicated that they are expecting their house search will be getting easier in the months ahead. This up from the first quarter of 2018 at 16% and 2019 at 22%. This marks the third consecutive year-over-year increase in the share of prospective buyers anticipating that housing availability will improve. Across generations, expectations that housing availability will improve are highest among Gen X buyers (27%) and lowest among Boomers (20%). Geographically, 20% to 27% of buyers in every region expect that finding a home will become easier in the months ahead. The NAHB did note that the timing of the data collection for this report is highly consequential. The online survey was in the field from March 17 through March 28, the early stage of the COVID-19 crisis in the US. For this reason, we assess that responses in this quarter’s report mostly reflect people’s views prior to the full impact of stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions imposed by local and state governments.
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