Survey reveals new versus existing home preferences

For the same price as an existing home, 41 percent of Americans would prefer to buy a new home.

May 06, 2014

Results of a new survey from Trulia indicates that 41 percent of Americans would strongly or somewhat prefer to buy a new home, compared with 21 percent who would strongly or somewhat prefer an existing home.

Of those respondents who indicated they would strongly prefer a new home, only 46 percent would be willing to pay 20 percent more for one; 36 percent of respondents who would somewhat prefer a new home would pay the increased price. Trulia notes the median price for a new home is $290,000, compared with a median existing home price of $198,000.

The survey reveals that those between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely to prefer a new home and would pay at least 20 percent more for one, but Census data shows that this is the age group least likely to buy a new home. In 2012, only 5.5 percent of homebuyers who bought a new home were between the ages of 18 and 34. Alternatively, those over the age of 65 are the least likely to prefer a new home and be willing to pay more for one (11 percent). This age group represented 6.9 percent of homebuyers who bought a new home in 2012.

Trulia also examined why respondents prefer new or existing homes. The top three reasons respondents indicated they strongly prefer a new home are (1) modern features, (2) to customize the home before it is built, and (3) to spend less on maintenance and repairs. Those who indicated they strongly prefer an existing home named (1) traditional features, (2) established neighborhoods, and (3) lower home prices as the top three reasons for their preference.

Based on analysis of 2013 Census building permit data, Trulia listed the top 10 housing markets with the most new single-family construction:

  1. Raleigh, N.C.
  2. Houston, Texas
  3. Charleston, S.C.
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Charlotte, N.C.-S.C.
  6. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  7. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  8. Nashville, Tenn.
  9. Jacksonville, Fla.
  10. Greenville, S.C.

The 10 housing markets with the least new single-family construction are:

  1. New York, N.Y.-N.J.
  2. San Francisco, Calif.
  3. Detroit, Mich.
  4. Los Angeles, Calif.
  5. New Haven, Conn.
  6. Ventura County, Calif.
  7. Springfield, Mass.
  8. Long Island, N.Y.
  9. Chicago, Ill.
  10. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Click here to read the full report 

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