But it turns out that's a case of comparing apples to oranges. Yes, the median price of a new home is $244,000, while the median price of a resell unit is $177,000, but to begin with that new home has about 2100 square feet versus 1690 square feet for the existing home. When you adjust for size, the median price per square foot for the new home is only 29% higher.

Then if you factor in reduced operating costs (new homes are far more energy-efficient than old homes) and assume, as you should, that almost all old homes will need some kind of expensive upgrade or remodel (a better bathroom or kitchen or a replacement roof, for example), then all of a sudden the typical new home is actually cheaper than a money pit existing home. Moreover, the new home will almost assuredly have a floorplan better suited to today's lifestyle and lower maintenance products.

Which means, a new home should be the apple of most home buyers' eyes.