April 20, 2012
Don Whyte
50+ Housing Council Chair
50+ Housing eSource
NAHB Economists Examine Maintenance Costs for New vs. Older Homes

Just in time for New Homes Month, NAHB's economists have recently conducted an analysis of data from the 2009 American Housing Survey that just might help push that prospective buyers off the fence and into a new home.

Specifically, the data effectively quantifies the savings that a newly built home (defined as one built within the last four years) can generate for the buyer in terms of monthly energy and maintenance costs.

For example, for routine maintenance, 26% of all home owners spent $100 or more per month on various upkeep costs as of 2009. However, only 11%  of owners of newly constructed homes spent this amount. Meanwhile, 73% of new home owners spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance costs. Also, on a median per-square-foot-basis, the average home owner spent 78 cents per square foot per year on electricity, while owners of new homes spent 65 cents per square foot per year. And for homes with piped gas, owners spent an average of 53 cents per square foot per year, versus owners of new homes who spent 38 cents per square foot per year.

These data highlight how much cheaper it can be to own and operate a newly built home versus an older one, and also further the argument for reforming the current appraisals system to accurately reflect the flow of benefits stemming from the features of a newly built home.

See the Eye on Housing blog entry on this subject for the full report. Direct any question to Rob Dietz, at 800-368-5242 x8285.

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