Most People Want Single-Family Homes

March 15, 2016

The suburbs still reign in the eyes of buyers. A new NAR survey reveals that a majority of consumers looking to buy in the next six months want a single-family home outside of an urban area.

According to The Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, a whopping 85 percent of owners and 75 percent of renters want to buy a single-family home. Just 15 percent of owners and 21 percent of renters are looking to buy in an urban area.

This demand for single-family homes, and the lack of inventory in many markets, underscore the need for builders to focus on creating new homes for the single-family suburban market.

“The American Dream for most consumers is not a cramped, 500-square-foot condo in the middle of the city, but instead a larger home within close proximity to the jobs and entertainment an urban area provides,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “While this is not a new discovery, supply and demand imbalances and unhealthy levels of price growth in several metro areas have made buying an affordable home an onerous task for far too many first-time buyers and middle-class families.”

Last year, the inventory of existing homes was around a four- to five-month supply, way below the six- to seven-month supply that most economists consider normal.

Despite ongoing inventory issues, most consumers still believe that now is a good time to buy a home. The survey showed that 82 percent of owners and 62 percent of renters are optimistic about now being a good time to buy, though renter optimism is down slightly.

4 Key Takeaways:

Size and location: Most households anticipate their next housing purchase will be of similar size and in a similar location to where they currently live, though renters and younger buyers said their next purchase will be bigger than their current home. Of those currently living in an urban area, just 39 percent would purchase their next place in a similar location.

Prices: Half of those surveyed said that home prices in their area have gone up in the last year, and forty-four percent believe that prices will continue to increase over the next six months.

Economy: 48 percent of people are optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy, down slightly from last quarter's survey.

Selling: 56 percent of respondents say that now is a good time to sell a home.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®