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Buyers of All Ages Prefer New Homes

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Market Data + Trends

Buyers of All Ages Prefer New Homes


April 2, 2021
Newly built homes
Photo: trongnguyen

In an ideal world, 60% of homebuyers would purchase a new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 survey. NAHB conducted the survey during summer 2020 and questioned 3,247 recent and prospective buyers. Compared to past surveys, this year’s shows a clear shift in preferences, says NAHB. In 2018, 54% of buyers preferred a new home to an existing one. This year’s report marks the highest level of preference for new homes since 2003 where the share reached 71%.

Some of the most important factors contributing to the rising desirability of new homes in 2020 include:

New homes have the features buyers want today
Buyers are concerned about touring occupied existing homes during the COVID-19 era
New homes are more likely to be located where a growing segment of buyers wants to live: the outlying suburbs (read more on that here).
Across generations, Gen X buyers are the most likely to prefer a newly-built home (68%), ahead of both Millennials (65%) and Baby Boomers (55%).

Note: New homes in this post refer to both homes built for-sale (including the land) as well as homes custom-built on the buyer’s land.

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