By Evan Wyloge

Jan 10, 2024

As January unfolds, we shift from crafting resolutions to making them come true. Many aspire to make 2024 the year they purchase a home—if they can find one at a reasonable price.

Buyers frustrated by high home prices and mortgage rates and a painful shortage of homes for sale might want to turn to new construction.

Surprised? Yes, these homes have long been viewed as the province of trade-up and wealthier buyers who can afford the high price tags (generally 25% to 35% more than homes on the resale market). However, newly built homes are offering frustrated homebuyers an invaluable lifeline.

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Many builders have been putting up smaller, more affordable homes recently, slashing prices, and offering mortgage rate buy-downs that can temporarily or even permanently lower a buyer’s monthly payment.

Of course, there are plenty more advantages to being the first occupants of a home. New construction allows buyers to customize their homes, and take advantage of warranties on big-ticket items like the roof, plumbing, and appliances. The modern materials that go into these homes’ windows, insulation, and other features can also offer better energy efficiency—which can save homeowners substantial money over time.

For those who are ready to consider a new home, the® data team found the metropolitan areas with the most new residential construction in the pipeline (relative to the number of existing houses) as we head into 2024.

Builders have filed more permits to put up new homes in more affordable coastal cities in the Southeast, such as in Florida and South Carolina. Southern cities with strong economies are also experiencing construction booms as builders try to accommodate the influx of new residents.

“More people are buying spec homes now than I’ve seen ever before,” says Lesley Barton, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty Global Luxury in Punta Gorda. “It’s so many peoples’ dream.”

The pricier Mountain West is another region where developers are doing what they can to ride the wave of demand that surged in the bigger cities of the rugged Rocky Mountains, along with the sunny capital city of Texas.

Absent from the list are any areas in New England or the Northeast, where older cities have less open space to build on. Only one Midwestern metro made the list, pointing to the softer demand in some of those areas. And there isn’t a single metro from the nation’s Western coastline. Generally, these areas are already densely built up, and prices can be extraordinarily high.

To find the places where builders are constructing more homes, we pulled U.S. Census Bureau housing permit data for the most recent 12 months on record (December 2022 to November 2023). Then we calculated the total new-housing permits from the past year, as a rate per 1,000 existing housing units, for the 200 largest metros in the country. (We selected just one metro per state to ensure geographic diversity.)

Let’s check out some brand-new homes!