Unaffordable Prices and Lack of Inventory Delaying Housing Search for Potential Buyers

February 6, 2020
magnifying glass focused on one house painted red that stands out among other plain wood houses
By Watchara

Over half of homebuyers actively searching for a home have been looking for at least three months. They just cannot seem to find what they’re looking for. Either the price is wrong, the location is not ideal, or the home itself is not up to par with buyer expectations. Still, they plan to continue their search in their preferred location for a dream home despite striking out left and right, according to NAHB Housing Trends Report. Thirty-nine percent do say they will expand the search area, but a large majority are not willing to compromise on the size, age, or price of their home. This could be a tall order, considering we’re millions of homes short and the spring season means there will be even more potential buyers jumping into the game. 

As revealed in a previous post, 60% of buyers actively searching for a home to buy in the final quarter of 2019 have been looking – unsuccessfully – for at least three months. Why is it taking these buyers that long to pull the trigger?  Once again, the most common reason is they can’t find a home at a price they can afford (44%), followed by not being able to find a home in the neighborhood of their choice (32%), and not finding a home with the features they want (30%).

The final question in NAHB’s Housing Trends Report asks these veteran house hunters, who have been actively searching for a home for at least three months, about their future plans if the right home remains elusive in the months ahead:

51% will continue looking for the ‘right’ home in the same preferred location,

39% will expand the search area,

19% is willing to accept a smaller/older home,

16% might buy a more expensive home

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