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Survey: Half of Prospective Homebuyers Held Back by Price

In 2Q 2019, 55% of potential buyers failed to find a home. But while “nothing I could afford” tops their list of reasons, only 16% say they’re ready to give up.

CHICAGO – Fifty-five percent of prospective homebuyers actively searching for a property to purchase in the second quarter of this year say their house hunts were unfruitful for three months or longer, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders.

Affordability was the top reason shoppers cited for a failure to buy, but it wasn’t the only reason.

The survey respondents cite numerous reasons for their failed home searches, including an inability to find one at a price they could afford (50%) – 43% said they couldn’t find one in their neighborhood of choice (43%), and 40% claimed they could not find one with the features they wanted.

The share of buyers who consider high prices their biggest barrier has increased 5 percentage points from a year ago.

The good news: A majority of prospective buyers who report an unsuccessful home search say they plan to keep looking until they find their dream home, according to the NAHB survey:

  • 62% will continue looking for the “right” home in their preferred location.
  • 36% are expanding their search area.
  • 21% will accept a smaller or older home.
  • 16% might consider buying a more expensive home.
  • Only 16% of respondents say they’re putting off their house hunt until next year or later.

Source: “Unaffordable Prices Hold Back Prospective Home Buyers,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Sept. 5, 2019)

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