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Buyers are Optimistic for Purchasing in 2021 as Pent-Up Demand Grows

Market Data + Trends

Buyers are Optimistic for Purchasing in 2021 as Pent-Up Demand Grows

January 28, 2021
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Photo: Prostock-studio

Stress brought on by 2020 may be fading for some 28 million optimistic Americans who are considering buying this year. According to a NerdWallet study in December 2020, 11% of 2,000 Americans surveyed said they plan to purchase a home in the next year, which translates to 28 million homebuyers. Americans are becoming more optimistic about this year’s housing market, according to NerdWallet’s 2021 Home Buyer Report, but only roughly 6 million homes typically sell in a year. Those who could not purchase in 2020 are hoping to make 2021 their year. Nearly 39% of those planning to buy last year could not, but it shows there is steady pent-up demand.

“Maybe one-quarter that number of people will actually buy homes in 2021,” says Holden Lewis, NerdWallet home and mortgage expert. “Millions of people are eager to own, and the pent-up demand keeps growing. To be successful in 2021, buyers will need to prevail against competing offers, rising prices and cautious lenders.”

Key findings
The coronavirus pandemic interrupted, but didn’t quash, homebuying plans: 39% of Americans who had planned to purchase a home in 2020 postponed or canceled those plans due to the pandemic or related effects, while 43% fulfilled those plans or were in the process of doing so at the time of the survey.

Lack of supply made home-shopping hard: Nationally, active listings were down 26% in 2020 compared with 2019, according to NerdWallet analysis, making competition tough for buyers braving the market. 

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