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Prospective Homebuyers Shying Away From the Housing Market

Just 12% of adults are considering buying a home over the next 12 months, according to a poll by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). [1]

The latest figures represent a 14% year-over-year decline in prospective homebuyers, which is the third-consecutive annual drop for the metric. The 12% of prospective homebuyers is half of the 24% of potential homeowners in Q4 2017.

Additionally, 59% of prospective buyers in the poll showed they have never owned a home before, which is down from last year’s 63%. 

Despite affordability issues across the nation, [2] it is the millennial generation that are most likely to buy a home. Of the generations, 24% of millennials plan to purchase a home in the next year. Generation X followed at 13%, 7% of baby boomers plan to buy a home, and just 3% of seniors are expected to make a purchase. 

However, 77% of millennials will be buying their first home, which is more than Gen X and baby boomers combined. 

Twelve percent of respondents in both the southern and western regions plan to purchase a house, compared to 11% in the midwest, and 10% in the northeast. 

The NAHB also reported that volume of single-family permits [3] issued has fallen 6.1% from June 2018. 

Single-family permits declined in all four regions of the country: Midwest (-9.8%), northeast (-35), south (-3.7%), and the west (-10.2%). 

The states of Idaho, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, West Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia, reported increases in single-family permits. 

Photo courtesy of the NAHB

In a recent report, the New York Federal Reserve Bank [4]called housing starts and permits “anemic.” 

According to the report, total housing starts fell 1% in June to 1.25 million units, which follows a 0.4% decline in June. Compared to June 2018, total housing starts were up 6.2%. 

Existing home sales fell 1.5% in June to 4.69 million units, and are 1.7% below 2018’s figures. New home sales rose 7% with a year-over-year increase of 4.5%. 

The New York Fed called home sales, “lackluster.”