According to data from the American Housing Survey (AHS), one of the virtues of a newly constructed home is the savings that come from reduced energy and maintenance expenses. This was quantified in analysis of data collected since 2009 and is increasing, thanks to increased focus on energy efficient materials and products.
What does this mean for the new construction homeowner? Let’s take a look, first at upkeep costs for homeowners. For routine maintenance expenses, 26% of all homeowners spent $100 or more a month on various upkeep costs. However, only 11% of owners of newly constructed homes spent this amount. In fact, 73% of new homeowners spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance costs.
Energy and piped gas expenses show similar findings. In 2009, on a median per square foot basis, homeowners spent 78 cents per square foot per year on electricity. Owners of new homes spent 65 cents per square foot per year. In 2011, homeowners spent 81 cents per square foot per year on electricity. Owners of new homes spent less: 68 cents per square foot per year. In 2009, for homes with piped gas, homeowners spent on average 53 cents per square foot per year. Owners of new homes spent 38 cents per square foot per year. In 2011, for homes with piped gas, homeowners spent on average 50 cents per square foot per year. Owners of new homes spent 34 cents per square foot per year.
The 2011 data assessed results for water and trash bills. For water bills, homeowners averaged 28 cents per square foot per year, while owners of new homes averaged 22 cents. For trash bills, the median for all homeowners was 15 cents per square foot per year, while the median for new construction was 13 cents per square foot per year.
The evidence supports the fact new homes offer substantial savings over the life of ownership. Due to these reduced operating costs, new homes can clearly offer more and better value. Other savings include lower insurance bills: the median cost for all homeowners of property insurance is 39 cents per square foot, while it is only 31 cents per square foot for owners of new homes. Future benefit may be an update to our current system of appraisals which could take into consideration a better value placed on new homes.
Thanks to new products and materials designed and manufactured with energy efficient features, we are able to design and build beautiful new homes which offer true value. The proof is in the numbers.