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More Americans Want New Homes Rather Than Old, Study Says

by Lark Turner

More Americans Want New Homes Rather Than Old, Study Says: Figure 1
A new home for sale in Arlington.

More American buyers want new homes rather than old ones, according to a Trulia study by economist Jed Kolko released Tuesday.

Forty-one percent of respondents in the study said they preferred new homes because of their modern features, customization options, and lower maintenance costs. To a lesser extent they also said they liked the modern construction standards in new homes, as well as being the first person to live in a home. Those preferring existing homes (21 percent) said they were looking for traditional features, established neighborhoods, and to a lesser extent they were looking for cheaper homes, homes with history, homes built to old construction standards and opportunities for remodeling. Those interests could converge, Kolko noted. (Thirty eight percent of those surveyed said they didn’t have a preference between new and old.)

“Interestingly, respondents are much more likely to mention the neighborhood as a reason to prefer an existing home than as a reason to prefer a new home,” he wrote. “This suggests that for many Americans, the ideal home might be a new home in an established neighborhood.”

More Americans Want New Homes Rather Than Old, Study Says: Figure 2

New construction typically costs about 20 percent more than an existing home, according to the analysis that factored in differences in square footage between the average old home and the average new home, as well as typical locations for new homes, which tend to be in lower-priced neighborhoods. The preferences above are based on price not being a factor.

Compared to the rest of the country, the DC area is not a very hot market for new home sales. But it also doesn’t make the top 10 metros with the least new construction occurring. Raleigh, North Carolina has the most new single-family construction going on in the country, while New York City, unsurprisingly, has the least.

Note: Kolko told us that construction in the Northern Virginia suburbs, calculated as part of the metro area, are driving up the amount of new construction in DC. In comparison to metros listed in the study, single-family permits were 6.2 per 1000 housing units in DC, and multi-family were 4.8 per 1000 housing units.

See other articles related to: trulia insights, trulia, new homes, existing homes

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/more_americans_want_new_homes_than_old_trulia_study_says/8453

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