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Despite Low Inventory, Buyers Are Positive About Housing Availability

Market Data + Trends

Despite Low Inventory, Buyers Are Positive About Housing Availability

February 2, 2021
Man looking at homes on laptop
Photo: Angelov

Prospective homebuyers were more negative about the housing market conditions, specifically housing availability, in 2019 compared to 2020, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Trends Report. In the fourth quarter of 2020, 37% of prospective buyers said they expect their home search to become easier, while 54% believed it would remain the same or become more difficult. In the fourth quarter of 2019, only 23% of buyers expected conditions to improve while 65% were on the other end. NAHB says this change can be attributed to the number of homes sold in 2020, which topped every other year since 2006.

Across generations, expectations that housing availability will improve in the months ahead rose significantly among Gen X buyers (23% in qtr4’19 to 43% in qtr4’20) and Millennials (24% to 40%), but only slightly among Boomers (18% to 22%). Gen Z buyers did not experience an improvement in availability expectations during this period.

Geographically, expectations that housing availability will ease up jumped up most significantly in the Northeast (22% to 46%) and the West (21% to 40%), while rising more modestly in the South (24% to 32%) and Midwest (23% to 25%).

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