Real estate statistics give buyers and agents data-based insight into the constantly shifting housing market. This can be helpful when setting buying expectations, finding the right property, and negotiating the right price for a home. For the most accurate look at the current real estate market, review our 25 statistics below.
1. 40.6% of people under 35 years are homeowners.
The rate of homeownership increased for those under 35 years old from the rate in 20191. This demographic includes newly married couples and people with young children. These buyers are probably seeking starter homes or new constructions to fit into their budget. However, it falls well short of the homeownership rate of older age groups and the national average.
2. The average price of luxury homes has climbed 1.6% year over year.
After seeing declines in the beginning of 2019, the average price of luxury homes rebounded to an average of $1.63 million as of the end of the year2. This represents a 1.6% increase in average selling price year over year. However, while some might see this as evidence of strength in the real estate market, the rapid swing from the first quarter to the fourth indicates volatility in the market.
3. There is an 80.4% chance a person above 65 years old or older is a homeowner.
The U.S. Census Bureau has once again reported that the rate of homeownership in the U.S. for those 65 years or older is the highest out of all age groups surveyed1. This was also the case at the time this article was last updated. However, the raw percentage has increased. This suggests that there is a large population that is reaching retirement age and may be seeking to downsize.
4. Millennials make up 73%-75% of new buyers in mid-sized towns Madison, Wisconsin & Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Millennials are showing patterns of moving from larger cities to mid-sized towns like Madison and Grand Rapids3. Wisconsin and Michigan are becoming hot spots for Millennials, with Durham, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, and Omaha, Nebraska rounding out the top five popular places to live and buy a house in the United States.
5. More than 900,000 houses were sold in the U.S. in July 2020.
Stay-at-home orders caused many people to question whether or not their existing homes were still the best option for their lifestyle. Housing sales increased by more than 36% compared to the number of homes sold in July of 20194. However, new home sales have begun to slip from this high, which may indicate a shift in this trend in the months ahead.
6. The median price of a home in the U.S. in 2020 is $304,100.
Median prices increase and decrease nationwide each month, and some areas will see more fluctuation than others. However, the average cost of starter homes in the U.S with no luxury upgrades remains between $150,000 and $250,0005, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
7. On average, it takes a homebuyer 30-45 days to buy a property.
Knowing how long it takes to close on a house can help buyers manage expectations. While the average 30 to 45 days6 noted above is a good benchmark, the actual time to close depends on the buyer, seller, and agents. Completing the legal process and meeting inspection deadlines will take time, so use this stat as a guidepost and be prepared for delays.
8. Studies show the best cities for families are Fishers & Carmel in Indiana.
Real estate studies conducted by Apartment List show that the best cities for families are Fishers and Carmel in Indiana7. This is based on safety, child-friendliness, education, and affordability.
9. First-time homebuyers are predicted to comprise 33% of the market in 2020.
The National Association of Realtors noted that first-time homebuyers are predicted to make up 33% of all buyers in 20208. This remains the same as last year.
10. Only 29% of homebuyers found a home using an agent.
Many buyers believe that the most common way to find a house is using a real estate agent. The reality is that—according to the NAR—most people find a new home online9 and then locate an agent to show them the property.
11. Miami is the least competitive housing market for buyers.
There are two types of housing markets: strong for sellers and strong for buyers. According to Redfin, the least competitive market (strongest for buyers) is Miami, Florida, where only 32.4%10 of offers faced competition from multiple bids. The next lowest-bidding war rates can be found in Chicago, with a rate of 37.8%, and Las Vegas, with a rate of 39.2%.
12. Homes listed online on Thursday sell, on average, for $3,015 more than the listing price.
Many people do not realize that there are good days to list your home. Real estate stats show homes listed on Thursday sell at a higher price than any other day of the week—$3,000 more than the listing price, on average11.
13. 26% of sellers’ agents spend their own money staging homes.
Prospective buyers have an easier time visualizing a property as a new home when it is staged, and staging has been found to increase the offer on a home between 1% and 5%. In order to reap this benefit, several agents have reported spending their own money to get a home show-ready12. However, while the median spend to stage a home is $400, some agents find it is just as effective to use virtual staging services to increase saleability while avoiding the cost of physically updating furnishings.
14. Only 8% of homeowners regret buying instead of renting.
Many renters put off buying a home due to concerns about regretting the purchase. According to Zillow, however, only 8% of homeowners regret buying a property13. Of the regrets for buying a property, unexpected maintenance costs and being locked into one location are the top concerns.
15. Americans spend, on average, 50% of their earnings on buying a home.
Real estate statistics show that Americans spend, on average, 50% of their household income and earnings on buying a home14. This includes the initial down payment, but more significantly, regular mortgage payments and upkeep costs.
16. Homebuyers in 2019 spent 3 fewer days searching for homes than they did in 2018.
As technology develops and buyers have increasingly ready access to both listings and agents, the time spent looking for an “ideal” property is decreasing15. While once static newspaper and magazine listings were followed up by showings—a process that took several days—apps now allow users to see a wealth of photos, videos, and walk-throughs quickly. This expedites the homebuying process.
17. More than 60% of homeowners stay in state when they sell their home.
The majority of homeowners, regardless of age, plan to find a new home in the same state when they put their existing property in the market8. This is even more reason for real estate agents to take the time to check in with past clients who might be ready for their next home.
18. The highest home ownership rate is in the Midwest, at 71.4%.
The highest level of home ownership is in the Midwestern United States. Real estate statistics show that over 71.4% of people in this region own their home1. The next-highest rate of home ownership is 71.1% in the South. Compared to coastal cities and states, housing costs in the Midwest and South are relatively low, making home ownership feasible for a large percentage of the population.
19. GenXers purchase the largest homes, at 2,000 square feet.
Among all generations, GenX buyers purchase the largest homes—averaging around 2,000 square feet per property8. This trend has been shifting downward for the past few reporting cycles.
20. Approximately 52% of buyers found their homes on the internet in 2019.
In 2019, 50% of homebuyers found their home online9. In fact, the online listing site Zillow has become hugely popular, bringing in roughly 190 million monthly visitors. Instead of seeking out agents to help buyers find homes, they now find homes and then contact an agent to coordinate a showing.
21. There are over 92,000 agents listed on Zillow.
The first exposure many people get to a real estate agent is while searching through properties on Zillow. With more than 90,000 agent profiles16, Zillow.com is a prime way for buyers to find local realty professionals.
22. Married people make up 61% of all homeowners.
Many people who get married usually consider buying a home. Little surprise, then, that 61% of homeowners in the U.S. are married8. This means that the other 39% are divorced, separated, or single. For agents, therefore, it appears that the best target demographic for new clients is married (or soon-to-be-married) couples.
23. The cost of renting increased in 65% of counties across the U.S. as of March 2020.
The increase in rent—a pattern throughout 2020—has driven more people to examine the possibility of owning their own home17. However, there are still many places where it’s cheaper to rent, including Washington, Oregon, and California on the West Coast.
24. GenX makes up the second-largest segment of homesellers.
Millennials and older GenXers, those aged between 30 and 39 years old8, collectively make up 43% of the sellers in the U.S., citing the number one reason they needed to move was due a job change, followed by the desire for a larger home. However, only 1% of these age groups reported being given relocation assistance from their employer.
25. In 2019, a property was on the market for 40 days on average before purchase.
For sellers, one of the most important questions is how quickly a home will sell once placed on the market. The longer the home stays on the market, the more concessions will likely be made—like price decreases and upgrades. Knowing that the national average is 40 days18 can help manage expectations and prevent negotiation catastrophes.
Understanding the real estate statistics of your area can help you 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, generational buying habits, and use of technology, agents and homeowners can make the most of real estate in 2020—and beyond.
1 U.S. Census Bureau (2020), Quarterly Residential Vacancies and Homeownership, Second Quarter 2020. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/files/currenthvspress.pdf
2 Redfin (2020), Luxury Housing Prices Strengthen in Fourth Quarter, But Still Have Room to Grow. Retrieved from https://www.redfin.com/blog/q4-2019-luxury-housing-report/
3 National Association of Realtors (2019), Top 5 Most Popular Areas for Millennials. Retrieved from https://www.nar.realtor/infographics/top-5-most-popular-areas-for-millennials
4 U.S. Census Bureau (2020), Monthly New Residential Sales, July 2020. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales.pdf
5 National Association of Realtors (2020), Research and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics
6 Money Under 30 (2019), What Should You Expect When Closing On A House. Retrieved from https://www.moneyunder30.com/closing-on-house-process-and-costs
7 Apartment List (2019), Best Cities for Families 2019. Retrieved from https://www.apartmentlist.com/renter-life/best-cities-for-families-2019
8 National Association of Realtors (2020), NAR Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. Retrieved from https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2020-generational-trends-report-03-05-2020.pdf
9 National Association of Realtors (2020), Quick Real Estate Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/quick-real-estate-statistics
10 Redfin (2020), More Than Half of Redfin Offers Faced Bidding Wars for Second Consecutive Month in June. Retrieved from https://www.redfin.com/blog/june-2020-real-estate-bidding-wars-increase
11 Redfin (2019) Thursday is the Best Day to List Your Home for Sale. Retrieved from https://www.redfin.com/blog/best-day-to-list-your-home-for-sale-2019
12 National Association of Realtors (2019), 2019 Profile of Home Staging. Retrieved from https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2019-profile-of-home-staging-03-14-2019.pdf
13 Zillow (2019), Unexpected Repairs and Maintenance Top the List of Regrets for Homeowners. Retrieved from https://www.zillow.com/research/homeowner-regrets-24283
14 PWC (2019), Emerging Trends in Real Estate. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/asset-management/real-estate/assets/pwc-emerging-trends-in-real-estate-2019.pdf
15 Redfin (2019), Homebuyers in 2019 Spend 3 Fewer Days Searching, Visit 1 Less Home on Average than Last Year. Retrieved from https://www.redfin.com/blog/homebuyers-finding-homes-faster-2019/
16 DMR (2020), 40 Zillow Statistics and Facts (2020) | By the Numbers. Retrieved from https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/zillow-statistics/
17 Realtor.com (2020), Rent vs Buy. Retrieved from https://www.realtor.com/research/reports/rent-vs-buy/
18 Redfin (2019), Data Center. Retrieved from https://www.redfin.com/blog/data-center/