Buyers Search Longer And View Fewer Homes Due To Tightened Inventory

November 21, 2016

With fewer homes on the market, potential buyers have to be patient.

Using data from the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog reports that buyers today are spending more time looking at fewer homes compared to peak years. In 1987, buyers spent a median of seven weeks looking for a home, and they looked at a median of 12 homes. In 2016, buyers spent 10 weeks searching, viewing only 10 homes.

The numbers have risen and fallen over the years. In the mid-2000s buyers viewed nine homes over eight weeks, and in the early 2010s, buyers looked at 12 homes over 12 weeks.

There has been a gradual move towards the midpoint in the home search process. Meaning, tightened inventory in recent years means there are less homes on the market and buyers must search longer for the right home. With fewer homes available, buyers also look a fewer homes that suit their needs.

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