In every year since 2011, 16 percent of homes purchased were new homes, the lowest the rates have ever been.
The NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog examined data from the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and found that buyers have consistently turned to existing stock. In many cases, new home construction does not exist in certain areas, and new homes are significantly more expensive than existing homes ($277,000 to $209,000).
More than five million existing homes were sold last year, compared to only 501,000 newly constructed single-family homes.
In the last few years, there has been a lack of inventory of homes on the market and builders have been reluctant to start new development since the recent market downturn despite historic low mortgage interest rates. In 1981 and 1985, new home purchases were similarly low at only 18 percent of all homes purchased and were at their lowest in 2010 at 15 percent.