The U.S. Census Bureau regularly tracks new home prices for the United States, Census Regions and Divisions. However, there is no systematic measurement of new home prices by states or metropolitan areas. To fill the void, NAHB Economics periodically estimates median new home prices for metropolitan areas. The most recent estimates show that median new home prices range from less than $110,000 in Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX to more than $845,000 in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT (Table 1). The map below helps visualize the wide cross-country differences and reveals a familiar geographic pattern with most expensive new homes clustered in the coastal areas of California, Hawaii and the Northeast region. The least expensive new homes are concentrated in Texas and the center of the United States.
To estimate median new home prices by metro NAHB Economics relies on data reported by the 2010 Census Bureau’s Building Permits Survey and Survey of Construction (SOC). The Permits Survey provides both the number and aggregate value of new housing units authorized by building permits and, thus, allows calculating average permit values for all metro areas. However, permit values do not include brokerage commissions, marketing/finance costs and may not include the cost of raw land. These additional costs are likely to differ across geographic areas but not available for metro areas. To account for these additional costs, NAHB Economics estimates ratios of median new home prices to average permit value for nine Census divisions available in the SOC and then uses the division-wide ratios to convert metro average permit values into median new home prices.