The Carolinas were one of the top regions in the country for the most single-family construction units in 2013, according to U.S. Census building permit data.
That’s good news for active homebuyers, said Allen Tate President and COO Pat Riley in the July-August edition of Carolinas Market Update, a bi-monthly real estate video series produced by the Allen Tate Companies.
“When existing home inventory lags, new construction offers additional options for buyers, especially those who are ready to sell but are concerned they won’t find the right home available to buy,” said Riley. “When new construction is available, this puts more existing homes on the market, creating a more balanced inventory.”
So why the boom in building again? In recent years, homebuyers who like new construction have been limited in their options, and builders are now responding to that pent-up demand. Nationwide, the markets with the most new construction are those that saw a milder housing bust and strong recent job creation – like the Carolinas.
When newly built homes are available, 41 percent of the market prefers to buy new construction, while just 21 percent prefer an existing home and 38 percent have no preference, according to an April 2014 Harris Poll.
New homes win out because of modern features, such as an open floor plan or pre-wiring for technology. New homebuyers like having choices; they pick the model, décor and other amenities. Many buyers would rather not deal with maintenance and repairs (at least for a few years) or a home with outdated structures and systems.
And then there’s that “new home smell” factor.
“Many buyers simply want to live in a home that’s never been lived in by someone else,” said Riley. “They want to break it in themselves.”
Today’s new homes run about 20 percent higher than a similar, existing home in the same Zip Code. New homes usually cost less in price-per-square-foot, but tend to be larger in size than existing structures.
“One of the biggest misconceptions in buying new construction is that you don’t need a Realtor,” said Riley. “A Realtor is essential to help you find the right property, navigate the process and represent you to a satisfactory conclusion.”
“You will not save money going “direct” to a builder; the price you pay will be the same, with or without an agent,” added Riley.
Carolinas Market Update is targeted to consumers in the Charlotte, Triad, Research Triangle and Upstate S.C. regions. It is produced every other month by the Allen Tate Companies and features information, statistics, trends and predictions about the real estate market in North and South Carolina.
To access the latest Carolinas Market Update, go to the Allen Tate YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/theallentatecompany) or contact any Allen Tate Realtor®.