The Most Common Reason Active Buyers Can’t Close the Deal

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A recent Eye on Housing blog post revealed that 64% of buyers who were actively engaged in the process of finding home in the first quarter of 2021 have spent upwards of three months searching for a home without success.

The most common reason long-time searchers have come up empty-handed is not because they can’t find a home at an affordable price (32%), but because they continue to lose out in bidding wars (45%), according to survey results from NAHB’s most recent Housing Trends Report.

The reasons are flipped from a year earlier, when 40% cited unaffordable prices and only 23% because of better offers by other buyers.

When asked what they are most likely to do next if still unable to find a home in the next few months, 50% of active buyers searching for three-plus months will continue looking for the ‘right’ home in the same location – about the same percentage as a year earlier. On the other hand, 42% will expand their search area, an increase from the 34% willing to take that step a year earlier.

Difficulties finding a home to buy will likely lead 25% of active buyers to give up until next year or later, up from 16% a year earlier. Historical data show a steadily rising trend in the share of long-term searchers likely to quit looking for a home until next year or later, as the latest increase marks the fifth year-over-year rise in this metric.

Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research, provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing blog post.

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