Home purchasing on the rise

Home COVID-19 COVID-19-home Home purchasing on the rise

home purchasingWashington, D.C.—In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Americans are interested in home purchasing, according to the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) latest Housing Trends Report.

The share of Americans who are considering home purchasing in the next 12 months was 15% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the report. That was four percentage points higher than a year earlier and the largest year-over-year gain in the three-year history of this series. The gain shows the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact Americans’ propensity to want to buy homes.

Millennials stand out among the demographic groups in home purchasing intent. Between the fourth quarters of 2019 and 2020, the share of millennials planning a home purchase rose eight points to 27%. The share increased six points to 18% among gen xers, three points to 16% among gen z and was flat at 5% among baby boomers.

Geographically, the share of adults with plans to buy a home rose in all four regions during this period, led by the Northeast (up nine points to 19%) and the West (up six points to 18%).

Housing starts

As was previously reported, overall housing starts—led by a solid, double-digit gain in single-family starts—increased 5.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.67 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The December reading of 1.67 million starts is the number of housing units builders would begin if development kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts increased 12% to a 1.34 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. The multi-family sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, decreased 13.6% to a 331,000 pace.

Total housing starts for 2020 were 1.38 million, a 7% gain over the 1.29 total from 2019. Single-family starts in 2020 totaled 991,000, up 11.7% from the previous year. Multi-family starts in 2020 totaled 389,000, down 3.3% from the previous year.

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