Price and proximity to work are key concerns for first-time home buyers, while trade-up buyers tend to be most focused on the design of the home and neighborhood.
More than 90 percent of the sales reported in 2011 were existing homes, a significant increase from previous years. “Sales of new homes were very low in 2009 and 2010 due to the unique circumstances surrounding the Great Recession and housing market crisis. We expect that situation to turn around as the housing market recovery takes hold,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist.
There is a growing interest in single-story homes, and energy efficiency continues to be a concern. In fact, nine out of ten buyers would prefer to purchase a home with energy-efficient features and permanently lower utility bills rather than buy a home without those features that costs two to three percent less.
NAHB’s analysis of information from 2011 AHS shows that energy costs are about 10 percent lower in new homes, even though new homes tend to be larger. The average annual cost of energy was $2,478 for all single-family homes and $2,240 for those built after 2008.
“No matter what their preference for location or style, financially qualified buyers are likely to find a new home with the features they most want,” said Crowe. “The housing market is strengthening in most areas of the country, and home builders are eager to help buyers achieve or further their homeownership goals.”