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14% of Adults Plan to Buy Homes in Next
12 Months; Most for the First Time

Thursday, July 26, 2018

This post releases the second edition of the Housing Trends Report (HTR), a research product created by the NAHB Economics team with the goal of measuring prospective homebuyers’ perceptions about the availability and affordability of homes for-sale in their markets. The HTR will be released quarterly in order to track changes in buyers’ perceptions over time. All data are derived from national polls of representative samples of American adults conducted for NAHB by Morning Consult.

Results are not seasonally adjusted due to the short time horizon of the series, and therefore caution is advised when interpreting trends or comparing time periods. This is the first in a series of four posts highlighting results for the second quarter of 2018.

Fourteen percent of poll respondents are planning to buy a home within the next 12 months, and for 61% of those prospective homebuyers, this would be their first time buying a home. In comparison, in the first quarter of 2018, 17% of respondents had plans to purchase a house within a year, and of those, 45% self-reported as first-time buyers.

More granular findings for the second quarter of 2018 show that Millennials were the likeliest generation to have plans to buy a home in the next 12 months (22%) while Seniors were the least likely (3%). These results are not surprising, given that mobility rates decline significantly with age: According to the Census Bureau’s 2017 Current Population Survey, 18% of those under 40 years of age moved in the previous year, compared to 9% of those 40 to 49, 6% of those 50 to 69, and 3% of those 70 or older.

For more than two out of three Millennials (77%) planning a home purchase, this is their first attempt at becoming homeowners. Among Gen X’ers and Boomers, the share is 49% and 34%, respectively. Since only 3% of Seniors reported plans to buy a home, not enough data are available to reliably estimate the share that would be first-timers.

In terms of the type of home these prospective homebuyers are interested in, 39% said they are looking to buy an existing home, 21% are looking specifically for a newly-built home, and 40% are looking at either type.

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