Last Updated: March 18, 2021
We researched and brought you the top real estate market statistics for 2020.
After all, what’s the most reasonable investment you can make in your life? Many argue that’s buying a house.
And perhaps it’s true, as many of us long for a place they can call home and know it’s their own.
Now, before we step into the enchanted world of homeownership, here are a few statistics to keep in mind.
Mind-blowing Real Estate Market Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in January 2020 the U.S real estate market registered a 5.2% increase in the sales of pending homes
- Compared to January 2019, U.S pending homes sales increased with 5.7% in January 2020
- Existing home sales in America decreased by 1.3% in January 2020
- The average home price in January 2020 is $266,300
- Single female homebuyers represent 17% of the home-buying market in the States
- Mortgage rates in the US for January 2020 are at 3.62%, down from 4.46% in January 2019
- There are 1,42 million units for sale in America in 2020, which is a decrease of 10,7% compared to last year
By the way…
It’s interesting to note that today many people below the age of 35 are taking the important step of purchasing their first home.
But before we tackle the question:
“Do Millennials buy houses?“
And: “How so?”
Let’s look at some historic real estate market stats.
The History of the Real Estate Market
Where do we begin in our quest for housing market statistics?
1. In 1917, the American government started the initiative “Own Your Own Home”
In 1917, the National Association of Real Estate Boards began promoting the idea that every American needs to invest in a home.
The U.S Department of Labor picked the campaign later on. Then, the focus shifted toward a topic that was already engaging the minds of people. It addressed the question of how they could afford to buy their own home.
Up until 1934, Americans were primarily a nation of renters. The majority of the population was shaken by the great depression and couldn’t afford to buy a house. Most citizens in the USA lived in rental homes. Mortgages were constantly in default, and by 1940, homeownership had dropped to the stunning 44%.
2. In 1934, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created.
Before the Housing Administration, Americans were crushed by an unrealistic expectation to spend up to 50% in downpayment on their house and pay off the rest in no more than 10 years.
The purpose of the FHA was to back lenders with insurance for home mortgages so that they can offer better deals to buyers.
And it worked.
Mortgages after FHA started operating, turned into long term loans that covered up to 80% of the cost of the real estate.
The Trap of Affordable Housing Loans
Fast forward to the beginning of the 21st century, and a lot had changed. Our jobs are not the same they used to be, nor will the be in the future. We see a lot of development in egislation, governmental support, and the economic situation. According to housing market statistics, mortgages became everyone’s new best friend. Interest rates were low and mortgages were very affordable – so people took advantage of that.
Subprime mortgages were especially tricky as they targeted borrowers with troublesome credit history. People who could not afford to pay off their loans grew in number. Lending spun out of control and we drove off a cliff into a housing crisis.
3. Between 2007 and 2010, about 3 million borrowers lost their homes and the price of real estate dropped with 30%
The economic collapse we experienced then caused massive foreclosures. Real estate statistics turned upside down and the market needed help – urgently.
This was when…
4. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was initiated by the Obama administration in 2009
(Source: The Balance)
This undoubtedly influenced the real estate market statistics.
The bill got introduced to help deal with the consequences of the economic crisis. Its main tasks were to save existing jobs, create new ones, and provide relief programs for the people most affected by the crisis. Of the provided financial aid, a total of $14.7 billion were spent on housing stimulus programs.
After the recovery programs were put in motion, the economy slowly started to recover.
However, things in the housing market were still shaky:
5. In 2017, 64.2% of U.S households owned their homes
That didn’t change people’s desire to invest in their own homes. Using a survey, Pew Research Center found that in 2017, 72% of the renters wanted to buy a home, they just couldn’t afford it.
Few years down the road, we see a significant improvement in the economic state of the country. This, of course, affects the current housing market as well.
6. In 2019, 65.1% of Americans had their own home
The increasing percentage of house purchases didn’t seem to be affected by the accompanying rise in the price of housing. In January 2020, statistics reported an average home price of $266,300.
Real Estate Market Statistics Today
When we look at the real estate market data today – as recently as January 2020, we can see an increase of 9.6% in existing home sales.
According to some NAR statistics, the market has observed 95 straight months of continuous growth. If we look at the complete statistical history of the housing market, we’ll see this number marks a new record!
Mortgages are also affected:
7. The average fixed mortgage rate in January 2020 is 3.62%
Compared to the rate in January 2019, we see a decrease of almost 1%. While that may seem good for potential buyers, the increase in house prices still excludes a lot of people who want to buy a house from the market.
Despite that, NAR reports an increase in first-time house buyers in this time period.
8. First-time house buyers increased from 31% in December 2019 to 32% in January 2020.
Experts can’t say if the growth will continue. Still, they agree that to sustain the positive real estate trend in 2020, the market needs to figure ways to create more and affordable housing.
But how many homes are there in the US?
In 2018, there were about 138.45 million homes in the States – they are no longer enough.
Consumer statistics found that housing is one of the largest costs for a typical American family in 2018:
9. In 2018, the average American family spent about $20,091 on housing
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
That’s 25% of the average household’s income. While this is still within the acceptable 30% mark, it is still a relatively large expense.
On top of that, back in 2016, the average family spent $1,574 per month on housing-related expenses, which is $18,888 per year.
Home Price Index On the Rise
Housing market data confirms a rise in real estate prices in 2019.
10. In 19 of the 20 major cities in the States, we see continued trends of house price increases.
(Source: Global Property Guide)
Phoenix is on top of the list with an increase of 5,83%, followed by Las Vegas with 5.51%, and Tampa with 4.71%.
Seattle was the city that showed an entirely different pattern and saw a decline of 1.32% in prices.
In that case…
Which state has the most affordable housing?
According to the World Population Review:
11. Mississippi has the most affordable housing costs in the US
(Source: World Population Review)
The cheapest houses in America can be found in the state of Mississippi. The cost of living index there is 86.1. Mississippi’s overall housing cost index is 70.1.
The housing cost index, or house price index, indicates the changes in cost for residential homes compared to an average of 100. If the index is higher than 100, then the price is higher than the national average.
That brings us to the next big questions:
“What age group buys the most houses?”
Home Buying Statistics and Millenials
The time of my people has finally come! Or if I have to dress down the excitement and talk numbers:
12. In 2020, more than 50% of home purchases will be done by Millenials
Housing market trends in 2020 show that this year will be dominated by buyers from the Millenial age group.
Generation X and the Baby Boomers currently hold 32% and 17% of purchases. That number is expected to decrease even further.
All the predictions made by real estate experts come at no surprise. Millennials are slowly coming to the age where their priorities shift. They now want to create families and buy their own homes.
In fact, 4.8 million Millenials in the States will turn 30 this year. Many of them have reached significant milestones- like secure and well-paid jobs, savings, and even marriage. Naturally, the next step would be buying homes.
However, creating a family is not the sole contributor to people purchasing homes.
Women Dominating Real Estate Market Stats
Statistics show that there’s a growing number of female homeowners.
NAR reports that:
13. In 2020, 17% of the real estate market consists of single female buyers
Not only female but single female owners!
The group is the second biggest after married couples and is usually comprised of females from the Baby Boomers or Silent generation groups. The average age of the female homeowner is 54.
Real estate facts show that those women are usually caregivers. In 20% of cases, they have children under the age of 18. In 12% of the time, they purchase homes to take care of their aging parents.
NAR survey found that:
14. Florida is the state with the highest homeownership rates of single women
In North Port, Florida, 69.8% of homeowners are single females. As a whole in Florida, female owners prevail. They account for more than 65% of the sales of local homes.
Texas is the second state with more female house owners. In McAllen, 61.6% of houses are owned by women. Georga comes third with 61.3% of homes owned by women in Augusta.
Women not only buy more houses than single men, but they also buy more expensive real estate. NAR’s Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers shows that single women purchase homes that cost $200,450 on average. In contrast, single men buy homes that cost on average $189,920.
With all this in mind, it’s only natural to ask:
What’s the housing market forecast?
Realtors and other experts expect that 2020 will be stable. However, many of them express concerns that the market lacks affordable housing. In order to meet demand, new housing projects need to be developed.
What’s interesting is that for 2020 realtors predict the fastest growing real estate markets to be different than most people would expect.
Boise, Idaho, is the top place where realtors expect sales to skyrocket. In 2019, it was ranked as the 8th most desirable housing market, and in 2020 it is already at number one. Its popularity is due to its mild climate, excellent schools, big employers like HP – and mostly because of the need for more affordable housing.
It’s expected that in 2020 the home price growth will level, with an increase with no more than 0.8%. The inventory of offerings on the market is foreseen to remain limited, more notably in the low price segment.
Mortgages, on the other hand, are forecasted to grow with 3.88% by the end of the year. The low property inventory, and more specifically, that of the single-family home type, will drive sales down. The high mortgages will also be a contributing factor.
On the bright side, foreclosures are expected to continue falling, the way it was in 2019 as well.
15. Foreclosures in 2019 were down with 21% compared to 2018
In 2019 a total of 493,066 cases of properties foreclosures were filled. That’s 0.36% of all residential properties in the States. The number was down from 2018’s 0.47% and it shows that markets continue to be stable.
The average foreclosure time also rises. At the end of 2019, it took about 834 days to go through the foreclosure process. That’s a 3% increase from 2018.
Real estate market statistics show that in recent years the demand for housing has been steadily rising. Driven by a stable economic situation, affordable loans, and personal priorities – the US real estate market has been blossoming.
While we expected to be challenged with higher housing demand in 2020, there have been certain developments that changed those expectations. Yes, I’m talking about the Coronavirus.
As of the time of writing of this article, it is yet uncertain how it will change the predictions we mentioned. We’ll keep you updated.