Buyers Finding Love Takes More Time

February 14, 2018

Your buyer clients may need to brace for longer house hunts. Inventories are at record lows, and that means finding the perfect house match is becoming more difficult.

Two-thirds of home buyers said they searched for more than three months before going under contract on a home, according to a new survey by the National Association of Home Builders. Buyers also complain that homes are getting too pricey. Forty-two percent of respondents said that the homes they wanted were too expensive for their budgets, which further delayed their search. Twenty-seven percent said they were being outbid by others.

“It’s the inventory problem that we’re having out there that is causing these long delays in pulling the trigger,” Rose Quint, the NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research, told CNBC. “It’s lack of affordability, although the other problems are serious as well.”

The house hunt can prove frustrating for buyers. About a third of survey respondents said they couldn’t find a home with the features they wanted or in a neighborhood they desired.

Home prices increased in 92 percent of the nation’s housing markets at the end of last year, the National Association of REALTORS® reported this week. Twenty-six markets—or 15 percent—saw double-digit increases in prices.

"These consistent, multiyear price gains have certainly been great news for homeowners, and especially for those who were at one time in a negative equity situation," says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. "However, the shortage of new homes being built over the past decade is really burdening local markets and making home buying less affordable."

Source: “Most Buyers Actively Trying to Get a Home Have Been Searching for 3 Months-Plus,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Feb. 13, 2018) and “Shopping for a Home? It Will Take a Lot Longer Than You Think Because Home Prices Are Overheating,” CNBC (Feb. 13, 2018)