Photo: Robert Clark

The number of Americans reportedly planning on buying a home in the next year continued to slip in the second quarter.

The slip is particularly disappointing as the second quarter marks the start of the much anticipated annual spring homebuying season.

However, despite fewer overall buyers in the marketplace, the share of first-time buyers grew dramatically, according to the results of a recent quarterly poll conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“The two most important obstacles to homeownership facing Americans at the current time are lack of inventory and high home prices,” Rose Quint, Assistant Vice President of NAHB Survey Research, tells Livabl.

Over the last three quarters, the total number of Americans reportedly planning to buy a home in the next 12 months has steadily declined.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, some 24 percent of respondents reportedly had plans to buy a home in the next year. The share of prospective buyers fell 7 percentage points in the first quarter of 2018 and then slid another 3 percentage points to just 14 percent in the last quarter.

For 61 percent of all prospective homebuyers, this would be their first home purchase. The share of first-time buyers jumped 16 percentage points from last quarter.

Millennials accounted for 22 percent of all prospective homebuyers surveyed and 55 percent of those planning to buy in the next year — the strongest showing of all generational groups.

Over three-quarters of Millennial prospective buyers in the marketplace were reportedly shopping for their first home.

“The homeownership rate has been rising among Millennials recently, thanks in part to a growing economy, strong job growth, and low unemployment,” Quint says.

By comparison, Generation X buyers accounted for 14 percent of all respondents and 26 percent of buyers with plans to buy in the next year. And, nearly 50 percent of Generation X buyers with plans to buy were reportedly buying for the first time.

NAHB said that the results were not surprising, noting that mobility tends to decrease with age.

According to the Census Bureau’s 2017 Current Population Survey, 18 percent of those under 40 years of age (Millennials) moved in the previous year, compared to just 9 percent of those 40 to 49 (Gen X).

Meantime, in terms of the type of homes these prospective buyers are interested in, 39 percent of all respondents said they were looking to buy an existing home, while 21 percent were looking specifically for a new construction home.

NAHB polled a total of 15,412 people, with 2,213 of respondents indicating they planned to buy in the next year.

Click here to read the entire release.

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