Are higher-priced new homes a bargain over time?
WASHINGTON – April 3, 2013 – Using data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2011 American Housing Survey, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that buyers can pay more for a newly constructed home and save money over time, even if the new home costs more upfront.
Builders have faced rising costs for labor and supplies recently, and competition from relatively inexpensive existing home prices. To offset that difference, the study focuses on the new homeownership elements that save money.
“Home buyers need to look beyond the initial sales price when considering whether to buy new construction or an existing home,” NAHB Chairman Rick Judson said in a release. “They will find that with the higher costs of operating an older home, they can often afford to spend more to buy a new home and still have annual operating costs that fit their budget.”
NAHB’s study first looked at utility, maintenance, property tax and insurance costs, and analyzed how they vary depending on the age of a home. It found that homes built before 1960 have average maintenance costs of $564 a year, while a home built after 2008 averages $241.
Similarly, operating costs average nearly 5 percent of the home’s value for pre-1960 structures, while they average less than 3 percent when the home was built later than 2008.
The analysis then compared the first year after tax cost of owning a home by the year the house was built, taking into account the purchase price, mortgage payments, annual operating costs and income tax savings. Based on these savings, NAHB says a buyer can afford to pay 23 percent more for a new house than for one built before 1960 and still maintain the same amount of first year annual costs.
While mortgage payments will be greater with a higher-priced new home, its lower operating costs mean a home buyer’s annual costs would be roughly the same in a newly built home compared to an older home’s smaller mortgage payment but higher operating expenses.
“For a family working with a fixed annual budget, new-construction homes offer outstanding comfort, convenience and overall cost savings,” said Judson. “Put that together with today’s near-record low interest rates and competitive prices, and the time has never been better to buy a new home.”
© 2013 Florida Realtors®