NWReporter logo
Serving More Than 25,000 Real Estate Professionals in the

February 2020

Latest Housing Trends Report has both good and bad news

February 6, 2020

NAHB logoThe share of adults who are considering purchasing a home in the next 12 months fell to 11% in the fourth quarter of 2019, down from 13% reported for the same period of year ago. That decline marked the fifth consecutive year-over-year drop in the number of Americans intending to buy a home in the upcoming year, according to the Housing Trends Report published by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

For the fourth quarter of 2017, nearly one-fourth of respondents (24%) indicated they planned to buy a home within the next year.  

NAHB suggested the declining trend is likely spurred by the low levels of housing inventory.

On a more positive note, researchers reported a significant uptick in the portion of prospective home buyers who are first-time buyers. The figure rose to 63% compared to the year-prior number of 53%. Researchers noted future polls will determine if first-time buyers will continue to grow as a share of those looking to purchase a home.

The Housing Trends Report showed wide differences among generations. Millennials are the most likely generation that plans to purchase a home within a year (19%), followed by Gen Z (13%) and Gen X (12%).  In contrast, only 5% of Boomers reported such plans.

A comparison of geographic regions showed 12% of respondents in both the South and West are prospective home buyers. That ratio was slightly ahead of the Northeast (10%) and Midwest (9%). More than 60% of prospective buyers in every region are buying a home for the first time.

Among prospective buyers in the first-time buyer segment, 88% of Gen Z and 78% of Millennial expressed intentions to purchase within the next 12 months. A majority of Gen X buyers (57%), while a much smaller segment of Boomers (20%), were among those who planned to buy a home for the first time.

Asked about the type of home they intended to buy, 40% of prospective purchases are looking to buy an existing home, while 19% were seeking new construction. The remaining 41% said they were open to buying either a newly-built or resale home.

NAHB's Housing Trends Report is produced quarterly to track changes in buyers' perceptions about the availability and affordability of homes for-sale in their market.