6 Reasons Buyers Prefer New Homes

by Peter Thomas Ricci

A new survey sheds light on why consumers opt for a specific kind of property. Harris Poll, which conducted the online survey on behalf of Trulia and sampled more than 2,000 people age 18 and older between March 28 and April 1 of this year, found that when looking at homes with the same price, two out of five people (41 percent) either strongly or somewhat preferred a newly built home, with 21 percent preferring an existing home and 38 percent having no preference.

However, Trulia calculates that new homes built in 2013 or 2014 are typically priced 20 percent higher than older homes of a similar size and location. Among those who strongly prefer a new home, less than half – only 46 percent – are willing to pay at least 20 percent more to purchase a new home versus a comparable existing home.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans said they would prefer to buy a new home with modern features, such as bigger closets, a kitchen island, an open floor plan, walls pre-wired for flat screen TVs or radiant floor heating. The second most popular reason is being able to customize the home (56 percent), while the third is to spend less on maintenance and repairs (55 percent). Those reasons were even more pronounced among the people who strongly prefer new homes to existing homes.

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