According to new data from the National Association of Home Builders, homebuyers expecting an easier home search in the coming months fell 8 percent annually.
From 27 percent in the last quarter of 2017 to 19 percent in Q4 2018, buyers see easier shopping diminishing. Additionally, the NAHB found that the share of home searchers who say conditions are getting tougher grew from 65 percent to 72 percent in the same period. As well, this buyer perception cut across each generation studied, with only 15 to 21 percent of a given generation thinking their home search will get easier over the next several months.
Another way to explore buyers’ perceptions about the inventory of housing available in their markets is to ask how the number of for-sale homes (that they like and can afford) is changing compared to three months earlier. In the final quarter of 2018, 27 percent of buyers reported seeing more such homes on the market, lower than the 34 percent reporting increases a year earlier. In contrast, the share of buyers who perceive the inventory of for-sale homes they like and can afford to be lower or unchanged rose from 58 percent to 64 percent during this period.