Real Estate

NAHB: Biggest roadblock for U.S. home shoppers is high home prices

Half of home seekers in the first quarter had been searching for three months or longer

About half of the people who were looking for a home in the first quarter had been searching for three months or longer without success, according to the National Association of Home Builders

The No. 1 roadblock was high prices, cited by 46%, followed by not being able to find the right property in the neighborhood of choice, cited by 40%, NAHB said in a report based on a survey of 15,401 people conducted during March. 

Of those unsuccessful house hunters, 51% said they are going to keep looking, using their existing criteria. About 41% said they would expand their search area, 30% said they would shift their standards to accept a smaller or older home than they had hoped for, and 21% said they planned to raise their budget to find a more expensive home.

Only 14% said they planned to give up on plans to buy a home, down from 16% in the year-earlier quarter, the report showed. 

Southerners were the most likely to give up in the first quarter — they came in at 17%. About 13% of unsuccessful home searchers in the Northeast said they would give up, followed by 11% in the Midwest and 10% in the West, the report said.

About 60% of prospective home buyers in the first quarter were first-time buyers. A year earlier, the share was 54%, the NAHB report said. 

By region, the biggest share of home searchers who were first-timers was in the Northeast, at 67%, followed by the South, at 62%, the Midwest at 58% and the West at 55%, according to the report. 

About 41% of home shoppers wanted to buy an existing home, 22% wanted a new home, and 38% said they would buy either one. The younger the buyer, the more desirable a new home was, according to the report. About 25% of Millenials wanted a new home, followed by 21% of GenXers, and 15% for Baby Boomers and Seniors.

The NAHB report defined Millennials as born between 1980 and 2000; GenXers between 1965 and 1979; Boomers between 1946 and 1964, and Seniors as 1945 or earlier. 

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