Old homes are selling higher than new houses. Here’s why.

It’s no secret that U.S. home prices have soared over the past year. That extends to existing properties on the market as well as new construction homes.

But an odd trend has emerged in March’s housing data. The median price of a new construction home was lower than that of an existing home that sold that month.

More specifically, the median price of a new construction home that sold in March was $330,800, while the median price of an existing home that sold that month was $334,500. Meanwhile, the cost of lumber and other common building materials has risen, making new construction an even more costly prospect these days. So what gives?

Why new construction may seem like the more affordable choice

It’s not that new construction is suddenly inexpensive — quite the contrary. Rather, there’s a major shortage of lower-priced homes on the market. So the existing homes that are being sold are largely higher-priced homes that are skewing the median upward, causing it to come in higher than the median price of new construction.

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