The inventory-starved housing market got some relief in March. Around 621,000 newly constructed homes were sold, which is a 5.8 percent increase from February and a 15.6 percent jump from a year ago.
But according to Realtor.com, most of these new homes are too expensive for first-time buyers. The median price of all new homes last month was $315,000, which is 33 percent higher than the median price of an existing home ($236,400).
High land, labor, materials, and regulatory costs drive up prices on these homes. … "The good news is, new home sales are surging," says realtor.com Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner. "But the bad news is, the percentage of affordable homes" under $200,000 isn't going up as well.
Homes that cost $150,000 or less make up just 6 percent of the new home market. Homes priced between $150,000 and $200,000 are 10 percent of the market, down from 13 percent in February.