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Americans Cautious Even Before Coronavirus' Full Economic Impact

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Americans Cautious Even Before Coronavirus' Full Economic Impact


April 28, 2020
for sale home
By steheap

For the sixth consecutive year, fewer Americans are planning on buying a home in the next 12 months than the year before, according to NAHB's latest Housing Trends Report. Only 10 percent of respondents think they may buy a home in the next year, down. For unsettling context, those results were collected before the record high unemployment claims started rolling in late March. Because of this, NAHB says the data reflects sentiments before the full impact of the economic slowdown and stay-at-home orders. See how people responded in your region to get a feel for where Americans stand on homeownership--at least before the latest shoe dropped. 

According to NAHB’s latest Housing Trends Report (HTR), the share of adults who are considering purchasing a home in the next 12 months fell to 10% in the first quarter of 2020, down from 17% and 13%, respectively, in the first quarters of 2018 and 2019. This decline marks the sixth consecutive year-over-year drop in the share of American adults planning to buy a home in the year ahead. For the majority of these buyers (61%), this will be their first time buying a home, about the same share as a year earlier (60%).

The timing of the data collection for this report is highly consequential. The online survey was in the field from March 17 through March 28, the early stage of the COVID-19 crisis in the US. About 12 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the two weeks immediately after data collection closed. For this reason, we assess that responses in this quarter’s report mostly reflect people’s views prior to the full impact of stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions imposed by local and state governments.

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