Jacksonville, North Carolina, Named Best Place to Buy a Newly Constructed Home

The next three cities on the list are also in the South!

Jacksonville, North Carolina
Photo: Weather Underground

While we love a house with decades of history and oodles of historic charm, there's certainly something to be said for new construction. For one, you can't beat that new-home smell. And you also get the added benefits of getting to customize your finishes, create an ideal floorplan, and make sure every last detail in your home is suited to your needs.

But with the rising cost of lumber, plus widespread housing and labor shortages, for some the idea of owning a new build is quickly shifting from a dream to a nightmare. According to 2022 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median price of a newly built home was $423,300 in January, about 20% more than the cost of buying an existing home.

For Southerners interested in new construction, there's good news! Realtor.com conducted a study to find the best places to buy a brand-new home, and it turns out four of the top five cities are in the South.

To determine the rankings, Realtor.com looked at the median sale prices of newly constructed homes in December 2021 for more than 500 metro areas. Each metro had at least 50 new-home sales to compare, including a variety of home styles from single-family homes to condos and townhomes. To create the final list, only the cheapest city in each state was considered.

Jacksonville, North Carolina was the number one best place to buy new construction, with the average cost of a newly built home at just $270,000 in December 2021. The affordable beach town, located two hours southeast of Raleigh, is booming with plenty of new construction, including more than 100 single-family homes that broke ground in January alone.

The second-best place to buy new construction is Greenville, South Carolina, (our South's Best City on the Rise 2022) with a median sale price of $288,262, followed by Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with a median price of $290,000 and Odessa, Texas, with a median sale price of $295,528. Cincinnati, Ohio, prevented the South from taking home a top five clean sweep, but another Jacksonville—this one in Florida—was close behind in the number six spot with a median new home sale price of $331,7000.

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If you've never been to Jacksonville, North Carolina, it's definitely worth a visit. The town's nearby beaches, thriving dining scene, and adorable vacation rentals make it ideal for a coastal escape. And who knows? You might find yourself in the market for a new build to call home after a few days exploring the seaside retreat.

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