A man and a woman using a smart tablet to search for a home.

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Buyers More Willing to Widen Their Searches

May 24, 2022

Fifty-eight percent of U.S. adults say they’re willing to take steps to find housing that is more affordable. Younger adults—Gen Z and millennials—are more likely to do so than older generations, a new survey from Bankrate.com finds. Those actions include moving to a less expensive area or even purchasing a fixer-upper.

“Wages are going up a bit, but these [home] price increases are really squeezing Americans who want to buy homes,” Jeff Ostrowski, Bankrate.com’s analyst, told CNBC. “Now that mortgage rates have risen pretty dramatically, there is an affordability crunch really affecting first-time buyers.”

Mortgage payments are about 50% higher than a year ago due to higher home prices and higher mortgage rates, according to realtor.com® data.

Buyers are expanding their searches to different neighborhoods and to other states. More than a quarter of consumers surveyed said they’d be willing to move out of state. With the increasing prevalence of remote work, more consumers may have the opportunity to stretch the boundaries of where they choose to live.

For example, Airbnb has been marketed short-term rentals as a means for workers to experience markets before they buy. Read more: Buyers Use Rentals to Test New Neighborhoods and Short-Term Rentals Surge Among Remote, Hybrid Workers

To try to drum up more housing inventory, some buyers are willing to offer concessions. Some buyers are waiving home inspections. A quarter of buyers waived contingencies like inspections and appraisals, according to a realtor.com® survey conducted from Feb. 16 to Feb. 18.

“If there is something wrong with the home that they can’t see with the naked eye, it could cost them tens of thousands of dollars to fix,” Clare Trapasso, realtor.com®’s deputy news editor, told CNBC.