Interest in homeownership on the rise

Fifty-percent of Millennials and 48% of Gen Xer buyers are looking to buy a new home.

By Bob Kirkpatrick

The number of people looking to purchase a home in the next 12 months rose in the fourth quarter of 2020, increasing from 11 to 15%. Those were the findings of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Trend Report (HTR) released on Feb. 4, 2021.

According to the report, 56% of adults who plan to purchase a home have moved beyond the planning stage and are actively searching. The NAHB has attributed several factors for the increased activity, including fear of missing out on low mortgage rates, and the desire to move further away from core urban areas in favor of more space due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data collected in the report is based on the perception of availability, affordability of homes in the desired market, and feedback by generation and region across the country.

Fifty-percent of Millennials and 48% of Gen Xer buyers were looking to buy a new home. Contrast that with 50% of Baby Boomers and 38% of Gen Z buyers who said they would prefer to buy an existing home

The majority of buyers in the Northeast (53%) and West (51%) prefer a new home, compared to just 33% in the South and 24% in the Midwest. 

Not everyone looking have to means to purchase a home, however, so some area brokers and members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) in Kirkland suggest condominiums as an option.

“Condos are one bright spot for buyers. They are more reasonably priced and there are more months of inventory than with single-family homes,” NWMLS Director John Deely said in a February 4 press release. “With interest rates so low, buyers should consider condos as an ownership opportunity and a way to build equity—especially if they’re currently renting.”

According to the NWMLS, 76% of available condos are located in King County. Pricing ranges from $149,000 to $14,895,000. The median asking price for condos that sold in King County in January of this year was $399,975; system-wide was $359,950. Single-family homes (excluding condos) had an area-wide median sales price of $509,950. 

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