Ultimate Home Buying & Mortgage Statistics for 2020

Are you curious about housing and mortgage statistics in America? You have come to the right place. We have curated and categorized a list of the most up-to-date statistics.

Click below to jump to a category or start with our introductory facts.

Introductory facts

  • There are 140.6 million homes in the U.S. 86 million are lived in by the owner, 40.7 million are rented and 13.9 million are vacant/second homes
  • #1 reason people under 65 buy a home is a desire to own their own home
  • 13% of home purchases were newly constructed homes
  • 87% of home purchases were existing homes
  • 83% of home purchases were single-family detached homes
  • 15 years is median expectation for buyers to live in their home

Home buyer expectation
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Who’s buying? 

  • 33% of home buyers were first time home buyers 
  • 52% of 30 – 39 year olds were first time home buyers
  • 88% of 29 and younger were first time home buyers 
  • 38% of homes were purchased by millennials 
    38% of homes purchased by millennials
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  • 61% of buyers were married couples
  • 12% of buyers purchased homes for multi-generational families 

Location, Location, Location

  • 15 miles is the median moving distance for home buyers, suggesting that people typically stay local 
  • 96% prioritize living in a safe neighborhood
  • 46% of buyers said that their commuting distance was the important 
  • #1 reason Seniors choose a location is to be close to family and friends 
  • 4x as many homeowners prioritize location vs. home size
home buyers prefer location to home size
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Home buyers prioritize location over size

The Investment

  • 81% of buyers think a home is good financial investment 
  • 40% of buyers think a home is a better investment than stocks
  • Buyers paid 98% of the asking price 
  • 14% of buyers paid more than the asking price 
  • Only 8% of buyers paid a 10% or more discount to asking price  
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How Big Is It? 

  • The median home size purchased was 1,850 square feet
  • The median number of bedrooms is 3 
  • The median number of bathrooms is 2 

What Features Do People Want? 

  • Hardwood floors are TWICE as desirable as carpeting
  • Only 34% of buyers felt a home office was a necessary feature, but this survey was done before Covid-19. 
  • 35% felt the most important environmental feature is low heating & cooling costs
  • Only 4% of buyers thought having solar panels on the home was very important, yet nearly 50% of homeowners are interested in solar.
  • 4x as many homeowners prefer a move-in ready home vs. one that requires updating 
  • 63% of buyers think a master bedroom with a private master bathroom is an important feature — the highest-ranking feature. A fenced-in backyard was second at 51%
  • 39% of buyers who purchased new homes said the motivating factor was to avoid renovations and trouble with plumbing and electricity 
  • 33% of buyers who purchases existing homes viewed them as a better value
Home buyers prefer move in ready homes
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Finding The Home

  • The median home buying search takes 10 weeks and looks at 9 homes
  • 55% said the most difficult part was finding the right property.
  • 84% of buyers used the internet for their search, with nearly 9 out of 10 saying pictures were the most important feature. 
  • Buyers were 2.75x more likely to start searching online as opposed to contacting a real estate agent. 
  • Over half of all buyers found their home online. Nearly 2/3rds of Millennials found their house online.
  • Buyers were 1.8x more likely to find the house they purchased on the internet than from a real estate agent. Millennials were 2.74x more likely. 
  • 89% of buyers used an agent.
  • Breakdown of who paid the agent: 55% seller only, 12% buyer and seller, 21% buyer only, 13% other/don’t know. 
Breakdown of who pays the real estate agent
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Financing The Home

  • 86% of all buyers financed their home purchase.
  • 96% of millennials financed. 
  • 60% of down payments came from savings / 38% from the sale of the previous residence. 
  • 81% of all buyers viewed purchasing a home as a good investment, and 84% of millennials thought so. 
  • 88% was the median percent financed. Only ⅓ of buyers financed less than 80%.
  • Only 22% of buyers found the mortgage application and approval process to be easier than they expected. 
  • 5% of applications get denied.
  • The four primary reasons for getting denied: Debt-To-Income (DTI) ratio, credit history, collateral, and an incomplete credit application. 
  • Debt-to-income ratio the largest reason for denials at 35%, followed by low credit score at 21%.
  • 89% of buyers opt for a fixed-rate mortgage, with fixed then adjustable being the next highest at 3%. 
  • How it got financed: 66.5% of buyers get a conventional loan, 20.2% FHA, 10.6% VA, 2.7% FSA & RHA.
  • Low-to-Moderate Income buyers were 1.78x more likely to use a non-conventional loan than higher-income buyers. 
  • 4.8% of all loans were jumbo loans
  • 10% of all originations, or 445,000, had pre-approval requests.
  • $291,300 the median-priced single-family home. 
  • $82,471 the median family income.
  •  26% increase in 2019 in the number of closed-end originations, from 6.4 million in 2018 to 8.1 million in 2019. Home purchase loans increased by roughly 4%, while refinancing loans increased by 79%. 
  •  174,000 home improvement loans were issued in 2019, or 0.1% of all U.S. homes.
  • 15% drop in the median interest rate for 30-year conventional loans for prime borrowers (with a credit score of at least 620) in 2019 to 4.1%
  • 5,496 financial institutions reported closed-end applications and originations in 2019.
  • 56.4% of loans were originated by independent mortgage companies in 2019. This is an increase from 35.0 percent in 2010.
  • 58.1% of refinance loans were originated by independent mortgage companies
  • Quicken Loans is the highest volume lender with 541,000 loans or roughly 12% of the market. It does 60% more loans than the next largest lender. 
Types of mortgages used
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Coldwell Banker: “Guiding You Home” Survey

National Association of Realtors: Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends

United States Census Bureau


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: 2019 MORTGAGE MARKET ACTIVITY AND TREND

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