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Share of Prospective Buyers Falls in Q1 2020

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) found just 10% of respondents in Q1 2020 are looking to buy a home. 

This is a month-over-month decline from 11% during Q4 2019 and 13% in Q1 2019. The NAHB said data was collected during March 17-28, which was during the early stages of COVID-19. 

When breaking it down across age groups, prospective buyers among Gen Zers fell from 20% in Q1 2019 to 13% in Q1 2020. The share of millennials looking to buy a home grew year-over-year to 16% from 15%. 

The west and south regions were found to have the most prospective buyers, with 11% responding they were looking for a home over the next year. 

Additionally, 61% of buyers in Q1 2020 will be first-time buyers, which is a minimal increase from Q1 2019’s 60%. 

Also, during Q1 2020, homebuyers were less likely to think housing availability will get harder or stay the same (62%) than a year earlier (67%). Twenty-five percent expect to find the right home will get easier in the month ahead, which is up from 22% from last year. 

The report also found that 31% of buyers in Q1 2020 reported seeing more homes for sale than in the three months earlier, which is a slight increase from the year-earlier (30%). 

A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that the majority of realtors believe buyers and sellers will return to the market at the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NAR states that nearly six of 10 members (59%) said buyers are delaying home purchases for a couple of months. Fifty-seven percent said sellers are delaying home sales for a couple of months. 

Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) dropped 11.7 points in March to 80.8—the lowest reading since December 2016.

Five of the six HPSI components declined month-over-month, including the number of consumers concerned about losing their job over the next year. Fannie Mae also says consumers also reported homebuying and selling conditions have worsened and they have a “more pessimistic” view of home-price growth. 

The HPSI is down 9 points year-over-year. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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