Prospective and First-Time Home Buyers Remains High

Industry News ,

Originally Published by: NAHB — October 25, 2021
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After hitting a low of 10% in the first quarter of 2020, the share of adults planning a home purchase within a year rose for five consecutive quarters, peaking at 17% in the second quarter of 2021.  The desire for homeownership cooled off in the third quarter, when the share slid back to 16%.

Meanwhile, the share of prospective buyers who are purchasing a home for the first time increased for a fourth consecutive quarter, up to 65%.   A year earlier, the share was 56%.  These results come from NAHB’s Housing Trends Report for the third quarter of 2021.

Between the second and third quarters of 2021, the share of adults with plans to buy a home plummeted from 20% to 14% in the Northeast.  In contrast, the share increased in the West (17% to 19%) and held steady in the Midwest (at 13%) and in the South (at 17%).

Over half of prospective buyers in every region are 1st-timers.  In the third quarter of 2021, a record 69% of buyers in the Midwest are buying for the first time, along with 65% of those in the Northeast and South, and 61% in the West.

Note: All national and regional series in the HTR were seasonally adjusted for the first time in the second quarter of 2021.  As a result, all data prior to that quarter changed to reflect the seasonal adjustment.  Moving forward, non-seasonally adjusted data will no longer be published.

The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is a research product created by the NAHB Economics team with the goal of measuring prospective home buyers’ perceptions about the availability and affordability of homes for-sale in their markets.  The HTR is produced quarterly to track changes in buyers’ perceptions over time.  All data are derived from national polls of representative samples of American adults conducted for NAHB by Morning Consult.  Results are seasonally adjusted.  A description of the poll’s methodology and sample characteristics can be found here.  This is the first in a series of six posts highlighting results for the third quarter of 2021.