NAHB: Home prices discourage a growing segment of prospective buyers

The share of prospective buyers actively trying to find a home fell in both the third (57%) and fourth quarters (52%) of 2021, after reaching a series high of 61% in the second quarter of the year, according to a new report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The downward trend demonstrates how falling levels of housing affordability have discouraged a growing share of potential home buyers from actively engaging in the purchase process.

The share of buyers actively searching for a home to buy declined in all regions of the country between the third and final quarter of 2021.  The drop was most notable in the South, where it fell from 51% to 42%.

Active buyers continue to spend longer periods of time searching for a home, the NAHB report indicates.  At the start of 2018, 52% had spent more than three months searching for a home.  During the first three quarters of 2021, that share was 66%. By the fourth quarter, it had edged up to 67%.