This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
US real estate statistics give agents, brokers, investors, and clients data-based insights into the constantly shifting housing market. These are particularly helpful when searching for a house, selling a home, listing or searching for a rental home, or representing clients in the current market. We analyzed the latest local median home sale prices, mortgage rates, homeownership rates, existing home sales, and rent prices to provide the most accurate look at the current real estate market.
Here are the top 20 national real estate statistics to guide you in growing your business and improving your marketing strategy in the ever-changing real estate market:
1. Homeownership rate in the US rose to 66% in September 2022
In the third quarter of 2022, the homeownership rate in the US jumped to 66% from 65.80% in the second quarter. The homeownership rate in the US is projected to reach 65.50% by the end of the first quarter of 2023, based on projections from analysts and global macro models at Trading Economics.
Key takeaway: These national real estate market statistics show that many individuals and families can now afford homes and seek social stability, as the homeowning person or family is no longer susceptible to landlord actions that may force relocation or excessive rent hikes.
2. The highest homeownership rate is in the Midwest at 70.1%
In the third quarter of 2022, the Midwest has the highest homeownership rate in the United States, at 70.1%. The next biggest region for homeownership is the South, at 67.5%. In the Northeast, 63% of people own homes, and in the West, the rate is 62%.
Key takeaway: This real estate investing statistic reveals that Midwest states like Michigan, Iowa, and South Dakota are ideal locations for agents to start and establish a real estate career. Having higher rates of owner-occupied homes indicate a higher possibility of homeownership in the future, which presents opportunities for new constructions and listings, and an increased need for buyer’s agents.
3. 79.5% of 65 years old & over owned homes in 3rd quarter of 2022
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the overall population, 74.6% of people ages 55 to 64 and 79.5% of people ages 65 and above are homeowners. The lowest homeownership rate was for people under the age of 35, at 39.3%.
Key takeaway: For small business owners and real estate agents, knowing these housing market stats enables you to create business strategies aligned with your target audience and their financial status. And in this case, numbers are telling us that more real estate businesses should target adults, particularly senior citizens and retirees, to see if they are interested in selling.
4. First-time homebuyers made up 26% of the market
Based on the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, in 2022, first-time homebuyers made up 26% of the real estate market, less than 2021’s 34% market share. These real estate stats are the lowest share of first-time homebuyers since the data collection began in 2021.
The average age of first-time buyers in 2022 increased to 36 years old from 33 the previous year, while the average age of repeat buyers increased to 59. In addition, among first-time buyers, 18% of buyers were unmarried couples. This relevant information shows that younger generations have more difficulty saving up for their first homes than in the past.
Key takeaway: While marketing to these specific audiences is a compelling idea for real estate agents to generate leads, make sure not to violate Fair Housing laws within your marketing materials. Read our article Fair Housing Act in Real Estate: Protect Your License & Clients and RESPA Violations to ensure you comply with your state’s rules and regulations.
5. 47% of homebuyers search online before contacting an agent
Many buyers believe that the most common way to find a house is through a real estate agent. However, according to the NAR 2022 report, 47% of recent buyers look online at properties for sale first, while 18% of buyers first contacted a real estate agent as their first step in the homebuying process.
While an increasing number of homebuyers prefer to consult the web first, 86% of recent buyers still found their real estate agent to be a very or somewhat useful information source. This is not surprising, given the complexity of the homebuying process and all the legal issues that might arise.
Key takeaway: For agents, these real estate statistics prove that agents are still relevant. It presents an opportunity to strengthen digital marketing strategies to gain more exposure for real estate services. If you are a home seeker, read our article The Best & Worst Times to Buy a House to know which time of the year is best for you to purchase your dream home.
6. Home sellers sell their homes to move closer to friends and family (21%)
According to NAR’s research, the desire to move closer to friends and family (21%) was the most reported reason for home sellers to sell their properties. Retirement-related relocation (11%) and a loss in neighborhood appeal (11%) came after it.
The average house seller was 60 years old, up from 56 the previous year, and had resided in their home for 10 years before selling. In addition, 86% of house sellers used a real estate agent to sell their property, 10% sold it themselves, and less than 1% used an iBuyer.
Key takeaway: You must be aware of the seasonal trends and data affecting house sales if you are a homeowner looking to sell your properties or a real estate professional working on behalf of a seller. Weather, days on the market, home prices, and market competitiveness all impact the best and worst times to sell a house.
7. In December 2022, there were 54.7% more houses for sale than last year
There were 54.7% more homes for sale in December 2022 compared to the same time in 2021. This means that there were 244,000 more homes available to buy this past month compared to last year. Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, it is still 38.2% lower than before the pandemic from 2017 to 2019. This means there are still fewer homes available to buy on a typical day than a few years ago.
Key takeaway: The increase in home inventory could spell relief for homebuyers since the supply-demand gap is decreasing. This also allows homebuyers to get more choices and have to make fewer compromises. In addition, as home inventory increases, it could drive home sale prices gradually down toward more affordable levels.
8. US existing home sales fell by 1.5% in December 2022
During December 2022, existing home sales in the US decreased by 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.02 million. The total number of housing units available was 970,000, which was 13.4% lower than in November.
As homebuyers continue to experience a lack of inventory and high mortgage rates, it is the longest streak of declining home sales since 1999 and the lowest level since November 2010.
Key takeaway: To identify the ideal time for profitable transactions, real estate professionals and homebuyers and sellers should evaluate the critical housing market indicators, such as affordability and days on the market. However, rising interest rates and property prices favor home sellers who can profit from higher prices for sold properties.
9. In 2022, 10% of recent home sales were FSBO transactions
In 2022, For Sale by Owner (FSBO) sales made up 10% of recent home transactions. NAR reported that 50% of FSBO sellers knew the home’s buyer. Apart from these, 13% of homes sold in rural areas are via FSBO, and 6% are in suburban areas.
FSBOs typically sell homes for less than the selling price of comparable properties. Last year, the median price of FSBO homes sold was $225,000, much less than the median price of properties with agent assistance, which was $345,000.
Key takeaway: Real estate professionals must know how to find and buy FSBO homes to leverage the increasing FSBO transactions in the housing market. Visit our 6 Best FSBO (For Sale by Owner) Lead Sources in 2023 and 6 Best For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Sites in 2023 articles, to know how and where to generate high-quality FSBO lead sources to add to your contact list.
10. 376,319 homes sold in December 2022
The number of homes sold was down 36.7% year-over-year, and there were 376,319 homes sold in December 2022, down from 594,572 homes sold in December 2021.
Key takeaway: These real estate stats indicate that the housing market is currently not very active or strong. In today’s highly competitive real estate market, agents need to stand out from the crowd and find new ways to attract clients and increase sales. Getting involved in your community, creating a stellar website, and improving your listing photography and videos are some sales strategies you can use to help you increase your home sales.
11. In May 2022, an all-time high home sale price ($432,877) was recorded
Prices are higher today than they were in the past despite a housing market that is declining. A typical property sold for $432,877 in May 2022, breaking the previous record set in 2021 ($386,000). In December 2022, US home prices were up 1.2% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $388,100.
Key takeaway: These real estate industry statistics indicate that following the pandemic, supply remained historically low while demand increased, resulting in a severe housing scarcity and price boom that persisted through 2021 and peaked in the middle of 2022. Aside from these, mortgage rates increased in April and May 2022 to offset rising inflation, which caused housing market statistics to change.
12. Median sale price of single-family homes was $372,700 in December 2022
The median sale price of single-family homes in the United States was $372,700 in December 2022, up 2.0% from December 2021. A seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.60 million single-family homes was sold in December 2022, a decrease of 1.1% from 3.64 million in November and a decrease of 33.5% from 2021.
Key takeaway: In December, the lack of available inventory and high mortgage rates continued to challenge homebuyers. As a result, existing-home sales declined in December 2022 for the 11th year in a row, with month-over-month declines seen in three of the four US regions.
13. Homes are sold in a median of 37 days in December 2022
Homes stayed on the market for a median of 37 days in December 2022, the slowest month of that year and the most significant year-over-year slowdown ever. Additionally, homes stayed on the market for an average of 24 days in 2022, an 8.4% increase year-over-year from 22 days in 2021.
Key takeaway: These real estate numbers reveal that, as the economy slowed and layoffs rose near the end of 2022, many homebuyers delayed their home search due to affordability, high mortgage, and inflation rates, contributing to the sharp decline in home sales.
14. Birmingham, AL, has the fastest-growing sales price at 24%
Homes in Birmingham, Alabama, received two offers on average and sold in around 48 days. Average Birmingham’s home sale price was $214,500 December 2022, up 24% since 2021.
Top 5 Cities
Sales Price Rate
Overland Park, KS
St. Petersburg, FL
Pompano Beach, FL
Fastest-growing sales price in the US metros (Source: Redfin)
Additionally, Birmingham’s average sale price per square foot is $131, which is 22.4% higher than in 2021. Furthermore, from October to December 2022, 24% of Birmingham homebuyers searched to move out of Birmingham, while 76% looked to stay within the metropolitan area.
Key takeaway: If you’re planning to buy a home in Birmingham, the growing home sale prices and low home inventory may decrease your purchasing power. Having a financial plan beforehand will help you prepare for the market.
15. Fayetteville, NC, is the most competitive city in the US
The Fayetteville, North Carolina housing market is very competitive. Homes in Fayetteville sold for a median price of $195,000 in December 2022, an increase of 14.7% over the same month the previous year.
Top 5 Cities
Fort Wayne, IN
Most competitive cities in the US (Source: Redfin)
Fayetteville homes typically sell after 11 days on the market, compared to 53 days in 2021. However, compared to 415 sales in December 2021, 285 properties were only sold in the same month of 2022, which is 31.3% lower.
Key takeaway: Since Fayetteville is the most competitive market and homebuyer demand will remain high, houses will sell rapidly as serious buyers strive to lock in current mortgage rates. Also, expect high asking prices, bidding wars, and rejected offers before succeeding in getting a deal.
16. In 2022, San Francisco was the most expensive metro area
According to the Redfin report, the median home sale price in San Francisco was $1,505,000 in 2022, up 0.3% year-over-year. The median price rose to $1,700,000 for one week in April, just below the historic high set in 2021 of $1,728,000.
Median Sale Price
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Top 5 most expensive cities to buy a home in 2022 (Source: Redfin)
Key takeaway: Prices began to fall throughout the year, likely continuing until mortgage rates decreased further. Additionally, several Florida metros recorded the most year-over-year price growth, including Tampa. It had the highest year-over-year price growth of any large metro in the country, at 18%, which will most likely yield real estate agents and potential home sellers high sales.
17. In 2022, Detroit was the most affordable metro area for homebuyers
Detroit’s median home sale price was $165,000 in 2022, up 3.3% year-over-year. In June 2022, the cost of a home in Detroit reached $213,000 for a week, making it the most expensive month in 2022 but still nearly 50% cheaper than the national median.
Median Sale Price
Top 5 least expensive cities to buy a home in 2022 (Source: Redfin)
Key takeaway: Most major metros experienced smaller year-over-year price increases in 2022 than in 2021, and growth continued to dip until the first week of December. On top of that, all the top five least expensive metros are situated in the Rust Belt.
18. Mortgage rates fell to 6.15% (30-Yr FRM) and 5.28% (15-Yr FRM) in January 2023
According to a Freddie Mac report, mortgage rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have dropped from 7.08% in November 2022 to 6.15% as of Jan. 18, 2023, and for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, from 6.38% to 5.28%.
Key takeaway: Mortgage rates dropped once again this month as inflation remained moderate. Rates are at their lowest point since September of last year, which has increased demand from homebuyers and homebuilders’ outlook. The housing market is receiving a much-needed lift from falling rates, but the availability of homes continues to be a constant issue.
19. 1,382,000 new housing units started in December 2022
As of December 2022, the total new housing units started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,382,000. This is 21.8% lower than the December 2021 rate of 1,768,000 and 1.4% lower than the revised November 2022 forecast of 1,401,000.
In addition, single family housing starts in December 2022 were at a rate of 909,000, an increase of 11.3% from the November 2022 total of 817,000. Also, the December 2022 rate for building units with five or more units was 463,000. Around 1,553,300 housing units were started in 2022, which is 3.0% less than the 2021 figure of 1,601,000.
Key takeaway: Due to the nationwide housing shortage, the market will continue to favor home sellers despite the rising inventory. If you intend to sell your home, you must prepare it for the market ahead of time, limit showings to stimulate buyer competition, and reduce the sales price to allow buyers enough room to bid higher than the asking price.
20. Rent prices in 2022 were 12.8% higher compared to 2021
The cost of renting increased by 12.8% in 2022 compared to 2021. The nationwide median rent price rose to $2,053 in August, the highest on record and a 12.3% increase year-over-year. Following the pandemic, rent prices skyrocketed mainly because of a lack of supply and a demand boom, which is just now balancing out.
Here are the top cities with the most and least expensive home rentals in 2022:
Top 5 Most Expensive Cities to Rent a Home in 2022
Median Rent Price
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Top 5 Least Expensive Cities to Rent a Home in 2022
Median Rent Price
Oklahoma City, OK
San Antonio, TX
Key takeaway: Low inventory and high demand are the main factors behind rent increases. This encourages home sellers to raise prices to keep up with rising demand. Be prepared for more bidding wars, especially from first-time buyers, when purchasing a house during a period of high rental rates.
Understanding the real estate investment statistics of your area empowers you to make informed decisions about the right property and price—or guide an agent to the right market for the greatest success. Armed with data about the trends in homeownership, buying, selling, and renting habits, as well as the use of technology from these real estate stats, agents and homeowners can make the most of real estate in 2023—and beyond.