Median Price of Newly Built Homes Now Well Above That of Existing Homes

Considering whether to buy an existing home or new construction? Check out these median prices.

According to the most recent figures from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of existing homes in the United States went up to $247,000 in October, 2017. That's an increase of 5.5% year over year, and further evidence that the U.S. housing market is continuing to rebound from its slump of several years ago.

Perhaps more striking, however, are the recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, showing that the median sales price of new houses sold in the United States in October 2017 was $312,800.

As discussed in Nolo's real estate-related books and articles, one of the appealing things about newly constructed house is typically the competitive price, along with the fact that you can customize the house and its finishing touches to your wishes.

This latest comparison, however, suggests that existing homes may be the first place to look if affordability is a priority for you. (Either that, or it means that everyone who's buying new houses is opting for the highest-end finishing touches, thus driving the median prices up.)

The trouble, for would-be buyers of existing homes, is that inventory of what's for sale remains low. But that may change as home builders notice the prospect of rising profits, and start building more, leading to more movement in the real estate market all around.

If you are interested in buying a newly built home, be sure to read What to Look for and Avoid When Signing a Home-Building Contract first.

Effective Date: December 4, 2017