Consumer sentiments on housing help signal what mortgage lenders can expect for the market, and a second quarter National Association of Home Builders report suggests activity may not come in so hot.

Prospective homebuyers surveyed by NAHB expressed concerns about making a purchase: Only 20% of house hunters expect their search to get easier in the months to come, and an even smaller share plan to buy a house within a year. Some report seeing more inventory hit the market, but the highest share by region is in the South — at only 30%.

From perspectives on purchase difficulty to available supply, here's a look at five ways homebuyers view the housing market.
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Low expectations
Consumers have little faith their home shopping experience will get any easier. About 67% of prospective homebuyers expect their search to get harder or stay the same in the coming months, with only 20% claiming it'll get better. While this doesn't show much optimism toward making a purchase, it could also suggest consumers won't be waiting around for a better outcome before pulling the trigger.
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Same old supply
Homebuyers aren't noting much relief from recent years of tight inventory. About 59% of shoppers reported seeing fewer or the same number of homes on the market, while only 27% claimed there were more houses available in the second quarter. Under two years ago in 4Q17, 38% of consumers saw more options on the market.
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Few prospects
Only 12% of those surveyed are planning to make a house purchase within the next 12 months, a share chopped in half since the close of 2017. By generation, 17% of millennials plan to buy within a year, followed by 13% of Generation Xers, 7% of baby boomers and 3% of seniors.
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Targeting a type
In terms of housing selection, prospective buyers are seeking out an existing home over a new one. Likely due to higher home values for new properties, particularly at a time when house prices are already elevated. About 41% overall said they're searching for an existing home, 40% claimed they'd take either new or existing and 19% were only looking to buy a new house. Of all generations, baby boomers are most likely to be looking for an existing home, while millennials are most likely to want new.
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Limited options
While consumers may be searching for homes, their options are limited; about 80% of homebuyers could afford fewer than half the houses on the market in the second quarter. This means only 20% of house shoppers can look at half (or more) of the homes for sale. Those in the Northeast can afford more than other regions, but not by much.
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