Outlook on housing availability, affordability declines

Washington, DC — Increased housing market activity in the wake of COVID-19, coupled with rising home prices, has boosted potential home buyers’ prospects and ability to buy a home, according to the National Association of Home Builders. obstructed (NAHB).

NAHB’s Housing Trends Report (HTR) found that 64% of potential home buyers in Q2 2021 expect that finding the right home will be more difficult in the coming months, compared to 54% in Q2 2020. would be easier at home in the coming months in all four regions between the first quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021:

  • Northeast: 44% thought it would be easier to find a home compared to 33% in 2021
  • Midwest: 23% vs 19%
  • South: 32% vs. 29%
  • West: 40% vs 25%

Buyers in the same regions also report a decline in the number of homes for sale over the same period:

  • Northeast: 48% see more homes for sale compared to 43% in 2021
  • Midwest: 30% vs. 28%
  • South: 37% vs. 33%
  • West: 42% vs. 27%

While inventory is expected to improve — with unsold homes up 3.3% to 1.25 million from May to June 2021 — buyers are still being held back by rising house prices. The proportion of potential buyers who can afford only less than half of the homes on their market rose to 71% in the second quarter of 2021, from 65% in the first quarter of 2021 and 63% in the last quarter of 2020.

Housing affordability issues persist in all four regions:

  • Northeast: 51% of potential buyers can afford only less than half of the homes on their market in Q4 2020, compared to 66% in Q2 2021
  • Midwest: 74% vs. 83% in 2021
  • South: 68% vs. 75%
  • West: 61% vs. 70%

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