Expectations for housing availability has improved, but the majority of prospective buyers continue to believe their home search will remain difficult. The National Association of Home Builders’ most recent Housing Trends Report found 28% of prospective buyers believe the third quarter will bring an easier journey toward homeownership. Those believing searching for a home in the months ahead would remain the same or become harder hit 61%. But compared to this time last year, pre-pandemic, the split remained similar. More people, 68%, thought it would be harder to find a home at this time last year and 21% expected it to become easier.
Across generations, expectations that housing availability will improve rose most significantly among Gen X buyers (21% in qtr3’19 to 32% in qtr3’20) and Millennials (22% to 30%). Geographically, expectations that housing availability will ease up increased most significantly in the West (16% to 28%) and the Northeast (24% to 35%).
In terms of the actual number of homes buyers are seeing for-sale (that they like and can afford), 35% reported seeing more available in the third quarter of 2020 than three months earlier (i.e. the peak of the COVID crisis), which reflects the growth in new home production and listings of existing homes between the spring and summer of 2020.