Real estate survey shows almost half would prefer a new home over a resale

According to a new study from Trulia almost half (41%) of Americans say they would prefer to buy a newly built home over a previously-lived-in home.


Modern features and the ability to customize the home are the top reasons. However, just 46% of the people who strongly prefer a new home are willing to pay the 20% premium that new homes typically cost.

These advantages of owning a new home are real. According to the Census, two-thirds of new-home sales nowadays are signed before construction is completed, so buyers of new homes do, in fact, typically have a chance to customize their home. Another Census survey confirms that new homes don’t require as much maintenance and repair; the median expenditure for maintenance and repair is $8/month for homes built in the last four years compared with $33/month for all homes.

Fans of existing homes have their reasons, too. Among all adults – not just the 21% who prefer an existing home – the most compelling reason to buy an existing home is to pay less. However, among respondents who strongly prefer an existing home, it’s not primarily about saving money. For them, the top reasons to buy an existing home are (1) to have traditional features (e.g., original wood floors, woodwork, ornate details, or stained/leaded glass windows) and (2) to live in a more established neighborhood.

The study also identified the top 10 markets with the most single-family construction. Half of them are southeastern states, but only one is in Tennessee (Nashville).

These markets with the most new single-family construction tend to have strong recent job growth and had a milder housing bust. They also tend to be lower-density metros where the majority of new construction is single-family. Of the metros with the highest rate of single-family construction, only Austin had an even higher rate of multi-family construction.

CLICK HERE for the full study, charts and methodology.



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