U.S. Housing Demand Caught Between High Rates & Demographics

Despite mortgage rates topping 7%, Americans persist in their desire to buy a home. According to the latest Housing Trends Report*, the share of adults with plans to purchase a home within a year edged up to 17% in the third quarter of 2023, up from 15% a quarter earlier. The share has fluctuated up and down without a clear trend for over a year, likely due to the push-pull between two opposing forces: higher interest rates/home prices and persistent demand stemming from demographic growth.

Meanwhile, interest for newly built homes continues to rise as the collapse of existing home inventory leaves new homes as the only option in many areas. In the third quarter of 2023, 27% of prospective buyers were looking to buy new construction, up for a third consecutive quarter after falling to 20% in the final quarter of 2022.

  • The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is being discontinued due to changing budget and research priorities. This post represents its final edition. For the third quarter of 2023, the HTR only included the two series shown above.