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Homeownership Plans Postponed as Prices Reach New Highs

Market Data + Trends

Homeownership Plans Postponed as Prices Reach New Highs

Weary buyers are struggling to find affordable options in a frenzied market, prompting some to take a home buying hiatus

January 26, 2022
home prices graphic

The share of U.S. adults planning to purchase a home within 12 months fell from 17% in the second quarter of 2021 to 16% and 15% in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, NAHB’s Eye on Housing reports. The second consecutive quarterly decline comes in the wake of higher home prices and low housing supply relative to demand.

The share of first-time buyers also dropped from 65% in the third quarter of 2021 to 63% in the final quarter, the first recorded decline since mid-2020. Over half of all prospective buyers in each region across the United States are first-time buyers. In the Northeast, the share rose from 65% to 70% between the third and fourth quarters of 2021, but declined from 69% to 60% in the Midwest.

The share of adults planning a home purchase within 12 months has fallen for two consecutive quarters, going from 17% in the second quarter of 2021, to 16% and 15% in the third and fourth quarter of the year, respectively. 

The share of adults with plans to buy a home was lower in the final quarter of 2021 than earlier in the year in all regions of the country, except in the Midwest (where it has been flat at 13% since the second quarter). Across generations, buying plans dropped significantly among Gen X’ers, from 18% to 12%, during the year ended in quarter 4, 2021.

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