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Report: New homes in Philly metro cost 188 percent more than old houses

It’s the third highest price gap in the country

New construction underway on Girard Avenue in Fishtown.
New homes cost 188 percent more than old homes in Philadelphia, a new report finds.
Photo by Melissa Romero

Looking to buy a new house in the Philly metro? It’ll cost you a lot more than opting for one of its older homes.

The Philadelphia metro has the third highest price gap between new construction and old homes, after Detroit and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, according to a new Trulia report. On average, new homes cost 188 percent more than old homes in Philly.

In Detroit, that number jumps to 222 percent. And on a national level, a new home costs nearly 1.3 times, or 28 percent more than the rest of the housing stock.

For the analysis, Trulia looked at listings data from 2012 to today and adjusted it all for inflation. Homes that were built within the last two years were considered new.

Trulia researchers found that the older housing stock of the metro, the pricier new homes will be in comparison. They wrote:

Older homes are generally lower in quality, requiring more upkeep with less modern amenities. If a city is mostly filled with old homes, then a new home will look more attractive in comparison.

Not surprisingly, Philly has the oldest housing stock out of all metros compared in the study: The median house age is 82.

But if it’s any consolation, new homebuyers are paying for more space: The average new home in Philly is 74 percent larger in square footage than an old home.

It’s also worth noting that while Philly has one of the highest markups in the nation on new homes, many of them come with a 10-year tax abatement. That means that while owners of a newly built home pay more for the house, they only pay taxes on the value of the land for the first decade after the property has been built.

Want to pay less for a new home? Look to the south. New homes in Charleston, South Carolina are only 6 percent higher in price than older homes.