Real estate statistics give real estate agents, investors, and clients data-based insights into the constantly shifting housing market. This can be helpful when searching for a house, selling a home, listing or searching for a rental home, or representing customers in this market. For the most accurate look at the current real estate market, check out these 20 essential real estate statistics.
1. The average price of newly listed homes has climbed 32.6%
Newly listed home prices have risen 32.6% since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. In large metro areas, such as New York, Chicago, and Dallas/Fort Worth, prices have increased 43%. In April 2021, the median price for active listings was $375,000, representing a 17.2% increase from the median active listing price in the same month last year.
As a result of the increasing demand, the national inventory of active listings decreased by 53%. This real estate statistic indicates that the number of people looking for houses is going up while the supply is going down (also known as a seller’s market), driving prices up and creating a shortage.
2. Homebuying power has increased 21%
While house prices have increased, incomes have also increased with inflation. Interest rates are at an all-time low as well. When incomes are high and interest rates are low, buyers can get more home for their money, even if the nominal price of houses has increased significantly. Between 2020 and 2021, homebuying power actually increased 21%.
3. Interest rates have been hovering around 3% since COVID
The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to keep consumer-level interest rates low—and it worked. Since March 2020, interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have hovered near 3%, often going well under 3% and not going higher than 3.11% since July 2020.
In December 2020, interest rates dropped to an all-time historic low of 2.68%. This is an important real estate statistic, explaining why more people have been able to afford a home, and thus why demand has increased so much.
4. Nearly 80% of senior citizens owned homes in Q1 of 2021
Of the overall population, 76% of people ages 55 to 64 and 79% of people ages 65 and above are homeowners. For small business owners, knowing this statistic can help you create business strategies aligned with your target audience and their financial status. And in this case, more real estate businesses should target adults, particularly those who are senior citizens and retirees, to see if they are interested in selling.
5. Gen X is the biggest generation of homebuyers
Gen X, those who were born between 1965 and 1979, is the largest proportion of homebuyers in America (24%). They are also the biggest generation of homesellers. Older millennials (1980 to 1989) make up the second-largest group of homebuyers, at 23%.
The older generations are predominantly selling, while the younger generations are more often buying. This is relevant information, hinting at which populations to target as potential clients.
6. The median home price in 2021 is $350,300
House prices have been rising dramatically through 2020 and into 2021. COVID-19 caused a housing crunch, as people had to stay home and houses became far more attractive than apartments as shelter-in-place prospects. Between 2018 and 2019, median house prices rose only $13,000, but between 2019 and 2020 they rose $25,000, and then between May 2020 and May 2021 they rose $66,000.
7. 5.8 million houses sold in May 2021 (up 44.6% from last year)
In May 2021, 5,800,000 houses sold in the U.S., which is an increase of nearly 45% from May 2020. Real estate agent statistics show that as sales numbers have increased, house inventory numbers have not significantly increased, and thus there are fewer houses on the market than usual and greater competition for the houses on the market.
8. Houses are only on the market for 37 days
As of June 2021, the median number of days houses are on the market is only 37. In June of last year, houses stayed on the market for about 71 days.
There is a slight bump between March and May 2020 that doesn’t fit the yearly pattern. This bump shows the effect of lockdown. Usually, houses sell faster during the spring and summer, but from March to May 2020, social distancing made it harder to buy and sell houses. As a result, the time that houses stayed on the market became longer.
Houses typically spend longer on the market during the winter months and sell faster during the summer, but the summer of 2021 is seeing houses fly off the market faster than ever before. This real estate statistic confirms that there is greater demand and competition for houses post-pandemic, and buyers are snapping them up as quickly as possible.
9. The supply of existing homes dropped to 1.9 months (winter 2020-21)
The monthly supply of existing homes is a measure of how many months the current inventory of houses for sale would last. At the current rate of sale, no new houses were built.
For most of the 2010s, the monthly house supply was around four to five months, with variations. In 2020, it dropped to an average of 3.1 months, with an extremely low point of 1.9 months from December 2020 to January 2021.
This real estate statistic shows that there is a high demand and low supply of houses, making it hard to find houses and driving prices up on the available houses.
10. First-time homebuyers comprised 31% of the market in 2020
In 2019, first-time homebuyers made up 33% of the market and most homebuyers were 47 years old. In 2020, first-time homebuyers only made up 31% of the market. The age of the typical homebuyer remained at 47 years old in 2020, while the median household income of homebuyers rose to $96,500.
11. 43% 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. The reality is that—according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)—most people find a new home online and then locate an agent to show them the property.
43% of buyers search online first, and only 18% contact an agent first. 97% of homebuyers searched online for homes at some point in the shopping process.
These real estate statistics do not make agents obsolete. In fact, it presents an opportunity to strengthen digital marketing strategies, especially during the pandemic when there is limited mobility.
While there’s an increasing number of buyers who prefer to consult the web first, 91% of homebuyers in 2020 still find their real estate agent to be a useful or very reliable information source. This is not surprising, given the complexity of the homebuying process and all the legal issues that might arise.
12. San Jose is 2021’s most competitive buyer’s market
In 2021, it would be hard to find a housing market that’s not a seller’s market. No matter where you go, buyers are competing for houses, not sellers competing for buyers. However, some areas are more competitive for buyers than others.
San Jose, California, is the most competitive buyer’s market in the U.S., while Virginia Beach is the least, based on the number of loan requests received by LendingTree.
13. Homes listed online on Thursday sell fastest & highest
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 average.
Homes listed on Thursday sell an average of six days faster, based on a 2019 study. This real estate statistic is important for anyone who is considering listing a house and wants the best results. Listing a house on Thursday means that buyers have a heads-up about any weekend open houses they might want to attend, which means more exposure and potentially faster and more competitive offers.
14. 66% of millennials have some regrets about homeownership
According to a 2021 study by Bankrate, 66% of millennials have at least some regrets about buying a home. In comparison, only 33% of boomers have regrets. This does not mean that homeowners regret buying a home overall, but that there is some facet of it that they regret having to deal with. Across all generations, the biggest regret is the costly maintenance fees and expenses.
The second-most common regret for millennials is a tie between having overpaid for the house and the mortgage payment being too high. With the current competitiveness of the housing market right now, it is not a surprise that some homebuyers would find themselves feeling like they paid too much.
15. The down payment is the biggest obstacle for 11%
For 11% of homebuyers, saving for the down payment is the hardest part of the homebuying process. Of those who struggled to make the down payment, 47% said that student loans made saving difficult, 43% said that high rent or mortgage payments made it hard to save, and 36% said that credit card debt was an obstacle. These numbers add up to more than 100%, which shows that there is, unsurprisingly, a significant amount of overlap with these financial issues.
16. Homebuyers in 2020 spent 8 weeks looking
The internet has dramatically increased the speed of shopping for homes. Homebuyers in 2020 spent only eight weeks looking for homes before buying. They looked at a median of nine homes, and only saw four of them in person. The other five they viewed only online. This real estate statistic shows how much shelter-in-place and social distancing affected the homebuying process in 2020.
17. The highest homeownership rate is in the Midwest at 70.3%
The Midwest has the highest homeownership rate in the United States, at 70.3%. The next biggest region for homeownership is the South, at 67.4%. In the Northeast, 63.1% of people own homes, and in the West, the rate is 59.7%.
18. GenXers purchase the largest homes at 2,100 square feet
Among all generations, GenX buyers purchase the largest homes, with a median of 2,100 square feet. They also buy the most expensive houses, at a median price of $305,000. If you want to market most effectively to get buyers willing to spend the most, this real estate statistic says to market to this demographic.
19. 62% of homebuyers in 2020 were married couples
The majority of people who bought homes in 2020 were married couples. The next biggest relationship-status demographic were single women, at 19%. Single men made up 9% of the market, and another 9% were unmarried couples.
20. The cost of renting increased in 26 states in 2021
In year-over-year price comparisons, rent went up in 26 states between May 2020 and May 2021, with a maximum increase of 38% (in Louisiana). According to available data, rent only decreased in 15 states. The greatest rent decrease was in Illinois, at 9.61%.
With rent increasing far more than decreasing, this real estate statistic shows that it is no wonder that more and more people are looking toward homeownership as a more affordable option.
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, buying, selling, and renting habits, and use of technology from these real estate statistics, agents and homeowners can make the most of real estate in 2021—and beyond.