It probably wasn’t on your COVID Bingo card, but the
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is finding more and more evidence
that the pandemic is changing America’s home buying plans. Rose Quint writes in
NAHB’s Eye on Housing Blog that the percentage of those households
considering purchasing a home within the next year took the largest jump in the
history of the association’s Housing Trends Report. Fifteen percent of
those surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2020 had such plans, up 4 points from a
Among those with home buying on
their short-term agenda, it would be the first such purchase for 61 percent,
down from 63 percent a year earlier. However, the share was up from 55 percent
in Q3, which was among the lowest percentages of potential first time borrowers
over the three year life of the survey.
The shares of prospective buyers of
every generation who are considering homeownership for the first time in the
final quarter of 2020 declined from a year earlier, except for Baby Boomers.
The most drastic change was among Millennials.
The share of adults with buying
plans rose in all four regions, up 9 points to 19 percent in the Northeast,
increasing from 12 percent to 18 percent in the West and gaining 3 points and 1 point in the South and Midwest
to 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The percentage of first time buyers
was little changed year over year in three regions and the three were all
clumped in the low 60 percent range. However in the Northeast the share of
first-time borrowers dropped 10 points from the fourth quarter of 2019 to 55