By analyzing government data on speculatively-built homes–or residences constructed on a builder’s land, which are sold in one deal with the property — the NAHB found the median sales price of a single-family home in the U.S. to be around $86 per square foot. In contrast, the Middle Atlantic region of the country averaged around $131 per square foot in 2013. The area, which includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, has reportedly seen a surge in high-quality features, such as ceramic flooring and other accessories, which has increased building costs. Additionally, higher rates for construction workers’ wages and other factors help to make building a new home significantly more expensive.
In contrast, the NAHB’s research shows that the country’s least expensive “spec” homes are found in the West South Central region, which includes Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. New homes in this area reportedly cost an average of $73 per square foot, reflecting different style trends and labor prices. The rest of the nation falls somewhere between these two extremes in new home prices, ranging from around $100 per square foot for most of the West, and prices in the 70s and 80s for most of the Southeast.
However, the NAHB’s data shows that these prices change somewhat when it comes to custom homes, or houses built on an owner’s land, which are typically more expensive than “spec” homes. While the most expensive custom homes were once again on the coasts, this time the Pacific region came out on top, with an average of $145 per square foot. The New England region came in a close second with $143 per square foot. The cheapest area was the East South Central region, which consists of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
“The Oklahoma new home market might be the country’s best kept secret,” says Kelsey McGregor of McGregor Homes. “In Oklahoma a custom built dream home can be a reality for middle class Americans.”