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Expectations of rising rates prompt some to consider buying a home

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The prospect of rising mortgage rates may be prompting an uptick in house hunters, according to research by the economics team at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Third quarter findings indicate the share of adults planning a home purchase within a year rose to 15%, up from13% in the first half of the year. In its report, NAHB noted the typical prospective buyer in the third quarter had higher levels of both education and income compared to the typical buyer earlier in the year.

Among those contemplating a home purchase, two-thirds (66%) are first-time buyers, up from 59% in the second quarter. That jump signals a sharp reversal, following three straight quarters of declines in the share of potential first-time home buyers.

NAHB found uneven results when comparing regions. Both the Northwest and West registered gains from the second quarter to the third quarter, but elsewhere, in the Midwest and South, the share of adults with plans to buy a new home declined.

All regions reported more than half of all prospective buyers are first-timers. Most notable were increases in the Northeast (from 54% to 70%) and West (60% to 70%).

The report on adults planning a home purchase is from NAHB’s Housing Trends Report. Produced quarterly it measures perceptions about the availability and affordability of homes for sale in the prospective buyers’ markets.

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