NAHB’s latest Housing Trends Report shows home buyers’ perceptions about the availability of homes in the market significantly improved compared to the same period last year. In the last quarter of 2020, 37% of prospective buyers expect their search for a home to get easier in the months ahead, versus 23% the year prior. In contrast, 54% expect it will be harder or stay the same, compared to 65% the year prior.

This improved outlook was strongest among Gen Xers and millennials, at 43% and 40%, respectively. Geographically, the regions that saw the greatest improvement were the Northeast and West at 46% and 40%, respectively.

Record levels of new home production contributed to improved outlooks in the number of actual homes for sale, with 41% of home buyers seeing more homes for sale in the last quarter of 2020 compared to 27% in the last quarter of 2019. Improvements in the number of homes for sale was also strongest among Gen Xers and millennials, as well as in the Northeast and West regions.

Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president of survey research, provides more analysis in this Eye on Housing post.