Before people can put out a welcome mat, they have to find a house. And that’s proving harder than ever. (iStock)

Listings for homes for sale have dropped year-over-year for 34 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors, as prospective buyers are likely aware. Yet the most recent Housing Trends Report by the National Association of Home Builders shows that most home buyers won’t give up looking for a home.

Among the 17 percent of people who responded to the NAHB pool that they were planning to buy a home in 2018, 42 percent said they were actively searching for a home during the first quarter of 2018. More than half (51 percent) reported they had already been looking for a house for three months or longer.

More than half the respondents (53 percent) said the main reason it was taking so long to find a home is that they can’t find a home they can afford.

Those looking for a house for three months or more were asked what they plan to do if they continue to have trouble finding a home they want to buy. Just 13 percent say they will give up on their goal of homeownership until 2019 or later. Far more will stick with their plan: 60 percent say they will continue to look for a home in the same preferred location and 43 percent might expand the area where they are searching. In addition, 24 percent said they might accept a smaller or older home than planned and another 11 percent might buy a more expensive home.