It’s official! The statistics are in, and 2015 was the best year for new construction since 2007 according to the Commerce Department. New home sales rose an impressive 9.9% year-over-year, and brand new homes now represent approximately 10% of all home sales nationwide. Plus, the construction sector added a significant number of jobs, and is expected to continue adding jobs this year.
A recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders found that the most important features in new homes include walk-in closets, large laundry rooms, and energy efficiency. Interestingly, luxury features such as wine cellars and whirlpool tubs are becoming less popular, as more buyers opt for pragmatic and flexible options.
While new construction sales continued to rise at the end of 2015, existing home sales remained flat. Industry experts believe that this slowed growth is largely due to a lack of homes for sale. In other words, buyers want to buy, and can afford to buy, but there simply aren’t enough homes for sale that they like. The Northeast, however, saw bigger gains in upcoming home sales than the rest of the country. This is probably due to the unseasonably warm weather that the region experienced in November and December.