Washington, D.C.—COVID-19 has influenced a number of decisions surrounding the home, including a movement toward less dense areas, and homeownership is no different. According to data from the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) latest Housing Trends Report, in the third quarter of 2020, 13% of Americans are considering purchasing a home in the next 12 months. Interest has increased one percentage point over last year—the first year-over-year gain in the three-year history of this series.
Increased interest can be seen across generations, with millennials as the primary driver (22%). Gen Z (14%) and Gen X (14%) also saw increased interest year-over-year, while baby boomers’ interest remained flat. The share of prospective first-time buyers, however, is declining. In the third quarter of 2018, 61% of prospective buyers were first-time buyers; by the third quarter of 2020, the share was 55%.
Interest in existing homes declined as well, from 41% to 37%, with prospective home buyers increasingly looking toward new homes. The share interested in a newly-built home rose to 31% in the third quarter of 2020, up from 18% a year earlier.