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Buyers have always paid dearly for the privilege of buying a newly built home. From custom countertops to increased energy efficiency, to that oh, so seductive new-home smell, the benefits aren’t tough to discern. Younger buyers these days largely favor new builds, which is pushing prices even higher—at a time when builders are already struggling to keep up with demand.

The median price of a newly built home hit $423,300 in January, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s about a 20% premium compared with an existing home during the same time period. Besides the post-pandemic difficulties in obtaining supplies and labor across the U.S., part of the reason is a continuing hangover from the Great Recession. Home construction ground to a halt, leading to today’s housing shortages—and steeper prices.