For awhile, as builder confidence rose, homebuyers remained wary of the health of the housing market. But in the final quarter of 2019, their mindset changed as homebuyers were more likely to expect an easier home search and less likely to think housing availability will worsen than at the same time last year. Although that increase in optimism varies by location, 20 percent of all potential homebuyers in every region expect the process will be easier now. Yet homebuyers may be in for a rude awakening as expectation does not always align with reality: The truth is that actual inventory numbers are not getting better with the reported stock either declining or staying the same.
In the final quarter of 2019, home buyers are less likely (65%) to think housing availability will get harder (or stay the same) than in the final quarter of 2018 (72%). Put another way, fewer home buyers expect housing availability to worsen. On the contrary, the share of optimistic buyers expecting an easier home search process in the months ahead rose to 23% in the final quarter of 2019, up from 19% during the same quarter in 2018. These results come NAHB’s latest Housing Trends Report.
Across generations, expectations that housing availability will ease are highest among Gen Z buyers (27%) and decline slightly with age: Millennials (24%), Gen X (23%), and Boomers (18%). Geographically, over 20% of buyers in every region expect that finding a home will become easier in the months ahead.