For many years real estate has been considered the go to investment.
Whether you’re purchasing your own home, investing in a rental property, or looking to build your own apartment block, it’s likely to be an investment which increases in value.
Of course, this isn’t always the case.
You only need to look at the financial crisis of 2008 to see how both the stock market and the housing market can crash.
The result was millions of people with mortgages worth more than the value of their home.
Real estate remains a good choice for investing.
However, you need to understand the statistics in order to choose the right investment and when best to do it.
Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you.
By looking at many different sources we’ve come up with a list of real estate statistics, all guaranteed to help you make the right real estate decision.
- 61% of buyers are married couples
- Pending home sales decreased by 5.2% in march 2023
- 78% of buyers use a mortgage
- 26% of homebuyers are first timers
- 14% of buyers bought multi-generational real estate
- 18% of sales were for second homes
- The average moving distance is 50 miles
- On average, buyers look at homes for 10 weeks before buying
- House purchases have declined for most ethnic groups
- 28% of buyers don’t expect to relocate again
- There are over 1.5 million realtors in the US
- Cumulatively, US domestic real estate is worth $43 trillion
- In 2022 average house prices rose 5.5%
- Nearly 6 million houses were sold in 2022
- Average house price in San Francisco is $1.36 million
- Average house price across the US is $392,000
- There was a property shortage of over 5 million in 2020
- It takes approximately 56 days to complete a real estate purchase
Top Real Estate Statistics in 2023
1. 61% Of Buyers Are Married Couples
It’s not surprising that more purchases are bought by couples than single people.
Real estate is expensive and a married couple is more likely to have a higher income level if both partners are working.
This automatically makes a house more affordable.
The latest survey shows 61% of buyers are married couples and 10% of purchases were completed by couples who aren’t married.
Interestingly, 26% of purchases were completed by single people.
But, women dominate this group. 17% of all purchases are by single females.
Just 9% of the transactions were by single males.
2. Pending Home Sales Decreased By 5.2% In March 2023
A recent survey by LBM Journal highlighted the number of pending sales in March 2023 was 5.2% lower than the month before.
This reduced the Pending Home Sales Index to 78.9 and indicates the market could be facing a slump in sales.
One of the biggest reasons for this is a lack of housing inventory.
Put simply, people aren’t able to find a house they want to purchase.
This is highlighted by the fact multiple offers are being received on approximately 33% of listings.
That’s great for the seller but not the buyer.
The survey did note that, if the economy continues to grow and mortgage rates continue to fall, there should be an increase in inventory and sales in the second half of 2023.
3. 78% Of Buyers Use A Mortgage
This statistic isn’t surprising. The majority of buyers don’t have the capital available to purchase a property outright.
The fact that 22% of people don’t need a mortgage suggests there is either a lot of second homes being purchased by wealthy people or a large selection of sellers are downsizing
Prior to 2008, approximately half of buyers purchased a property with 100% mortgages.
Today, thanks to the collapse of the subprime market, this isn’t generally an option.
That leaves 78% of transactions to be conducted with a suitable deposit and a large mortgage.
It’s little wonder people are looking for alternatives to the conventional real estate model.
That’s things like living with parents for longer, multigenerational homes, and even tiny homes.
A study by IPX 1031 showed that 56% of Americans considered moving to a tiny home during the pandemic.
It also showed that 86% of first-time buyers would be happy with a tiny home.
4. 26% Of Homebuyers Are First Timers
It is becoming increasingly difficult to be a first-time buyer.
As real estate prices rise faster than wages a reasonably sized mortgage becomes increasingly difficult to find.
In most cases, a hefty deposit, such as 20% of the property value, also needs to be sorted.
Considering house prices are average close to $400,000, a 20% deposit represents $80,000.
That’s a lot for anyone to find.
However, an impressive 26% of homes purchased in 2022 were by first-time buyers.
The main difference now is that the average age of a first-time buyer is 36.
At the turn of the century a first time buyer was likely to be in their early twenties.
It’s worth noting that 26% of sales being completed by first-time buyers is the lowest percentage on record.
In 2021 it was 34% and in 2010 a staggering 50% of all sales.
5. 14% Of Buyers Bought Multi-Generational Real Estate
According to the National Association Of Realtors multi-generational purchases are increasing.
That’s properties which can be used by two or more generations of the same family.
It’s indicative of the desire of grown-up children to look after their parents, and the desire for parents to help their children get the best possible start in life.
Of course, purchasing a multi-generational house also offers significantly better value for money.
Pooling resources reduces the bills and improves life quality for all involved parties.
In 2021 11% of sales were multi-generational.
In 2022 this has increased to 14% and it seems likely to grow again in 2023.
The report highlighted that 28% of buyers adopted this approach to save money while 26% said it made a downpayment possible.
A further 30% of buyers felt this was the best way to spend more time with aging family members.
Generation X, those born between 165 and 1979, are currently most likely to buy a multi-generational home.
Thanks to better medical care this is the first generation which needs to look after children and parents at the same time.
(National Association Of Realtors)
6. 18% Of Sales Were For Second Homes
House purchasing is fascinating.
In 2022 the majority of buyers are no longer haggling over the price, with 65% of them paying 100% of the asking price.
A further 22% of buyers are paying over the asking price.
This doesn’t fit with the fact that getting onto the property ladder is becoming increasingly difficult.
However, it is in keeping with the fact 18% of property sales are now for people purchasing second homes.
That’s the group which can afford to pay higher prices and even over the market price.
In 2014, this figure was 14% of sales, showing that the number of second (or third) homeowners is increasing.
Veterans are also one of the largest buying groups.
22% of sales are made to veterans, and a further 1% of sales involve a member of the military on active duty.
7. The Average Moving Distance Is 50 Miles
In most cases people are moving but not changing jobs, they need to remain close which means looking for a first-time property or a larger property relatively close to an existing one.
This meant the people have generally moved an average of 15 miles.
However, the latest statistics suggest that the average is now 50 miles.
That’s significantly further and could be a serious issue for any commute.
Of course, since the pandemic, many people have continued to work from home.
This may explain the willingness to move a larger distance in order to find the right property.
The cost of commuting is no longer an issue.
8. On Average, Buyers look At Homes For 10 Weeks Before Buying
Finding the right home is generally very difficult.
Most people have an array of factors which need to be considered, such as the location, size of the property, local facilities, and even commute distance.
In the past, this would have involved several trips to the local realtor and viewings at an array of properties.
Today, the internet has made things simpler.
Buyers will generally view 5-10 properties online in detail, with many more properties glanced at and quickly turned down.
Of course, narrowing down the search online is great.
But, buyers still need to visit a property to confirm it’s the right one for them.
Statistics suggest the average buyer views 4-5 homes before committing to purchase one.
It takes 10 weeks for them to identify the home they want to buy.
It will then take another 8-10 weeks for the sale to be processed and the property to change ownership. That’s 4-5 months from start to finish.
9. House Purchases Have Declined For Most Ethnic Groups
A concerning sign of inequality is shown in purchasing patterns.
According to the latest reports, 88% of buyers are white or Caucasian and 8% are Hispanic or Latino.
That means white, Hispanic, and Latino buyers make up 96% of the market.
Their percentages have risen at the cost of other ethnicities.
Just 2% of buyers were black or African American people, a further 2% were Asian, and 3% classified themselves as other.
The data doesn’t disclose whether the decrease in buyers is related to earnings or something else.
However, it’s worth noting that Asians make up 6% of the population and are experiencing rapid growth in wealth.
This potentially suggests other factors are driving the decrease in ethnic minority buyers.
10. 28% Of Buyers Don’t Expect To Relocate Again
In the past, the most common reason not to purchase a property was because of difficulty finding the right place in the right location.
However, this has now changed and the biggest reason preventing people from making a purchase was ‘lack of inventory’.
As many as 60% of realtors found this to be the biggest issue facing buyers.
This may explain why a large percentage of buyers don’t expect to move again.
As many as 28% of buyers intend to live in their home for the rest of their life.
However, over half of current buyers expected to stay in the property for at least 15 years.
Combine this with increased difficulty getting on the property ladder and it’s possible that the real estate market will shrink dramatically in the next few years.
Of course, there will be a reduction in supply and demand, meaning the value of property is likely to continue to rise.
11. There Are Over 1.5 Million Realtors In The US
According to the latest statistics, there are over 1.5 million realtors operating in the US at the present.
This is actually slightly less than the number in December 2022, where it reached an all-time high of 1.55 million realtors.
However, as the housing market cools slightly the number of realtors staying in business has dropped.
It’s likely that this trend will continue.
Part of the decrease in real estate transactions is due to the price of houses and the inability of people to get onto the housing ladder.
In fact, the latest statistics suggest that there is an entire generation that is unlikely to purchase houses in their lifetime.
There are more realtors based in Florida than any other US state, currently 218,096.
In contrast, California, one of the most popular and expensive real estate states, has just 202,970 realtors.
12. Cumulatively, US Domestic Real Estate Is Worth $43 Trillion
Real estate values are constantly rising due to an increase in demand and steady, or even decreasing, supply.
The result of increasing prices is the value of real estate rises, usually much faster than the rate of inflation.
Currently, the value of all domestic real estate in the US is $43 trillion.
13. In 2022 Average House Prices Rose 5.5%
There are currently 144 million housing units in the US. That’s a huge number although only a third of the size of the population.
What’s particularly interesting is that this number is surprisingly small.
The number of units has only grown by 7% since 2010. Yet, in the period 1980-1990 it grew by 18%.
The staticness of supply compared to increasing demand is why house prices continue to climb.
In 2022 the statistics show that the average property price increased by 5.5% This probably wouldn’t have happened if the number of housing units had increased by a higher rate.
Rising house prices are also reflected in the average downpayment, which has now risen to $24,100.
While it’s a large amount, it’s only 13% of the average property price.
As most lenders like a 20% deposit it’s fair to summarize people are finding additional funds from elsewhere.
14. Nearly 6 Million Houses Were Sold In 2022
After the financial crash of 2008 there was a significant decrease in the number of real estate deals being completed.
Unsurprisingly, the market has slowly recovered. In 2011 there were 4.5 million properties sold in the year.
By 2022 this had increased to nearly 6 million. A sign that the market has recovered.
In fact, real estate sales in 2022 have finally reached the level of sales pre the market crash.
The number of property sales is expected to rise again in 2023.
It’s worth noting that the market is much stronger this time as the subprime market is significantly smaller than in 2008.
15. Average House Price in San Francisco Is $1.36 Million
Think about the most expensive parts of the US and you’ll probably consider New York, or perhaps California, especially around Los Angeles.
You’d be wrong. The average house price in San Francisco is $1.36 Million, that’s the highest average price across the country.
This is partly based on the fact San Francisco is a neutral market, not favoring buyers or sellers.
In contrast, Manhattan in New York has an average listing price of $1.6 million.
However, the average selling price is $950,000. It is still the most expensive area by square foot, a whopping $1,400 per square foot.
San Jose in California is another popular choice with the average price being $983,000.
Surprisingly, Los Angeles is in 6th place with an average value of $760,000.
16. Average House Price Across The US IS $392,000
The real estate brokerage industry is worth a staggering $222.3 billion.
That’s a sign of how many sales are processed every year.
After all, every sale results in a commission being taken by real estate brokers.
That’s what makes the industry so large and lucrative.
What is particularly interesting is that there are plenty of very expensive houses sold each year.
But, the average house price across the country is $392,000.
As real estate brokers work on commission, it would be necessary to sell a huge number of houses to reach the industry figure of $222.3 billion.
If you’re looking for affordable then Texas is a good place to look.
The average house price in Houston, Texas is just $342,000. That’s below the countrywide average.
Naturally, it’s not just price which matters. Washington State sells a house, on average, within two weeks of it being listed.
The state is popular because of the high number of tech companies.
Thanks to high demand 44.74% of houses here sell for more than their listing price.
17. There Was A Property Shortage Of Over 5 Million In 2020
Proving how fickle the housing market can be is the fact there was a property shortage in 2020 of an estimated 5 million homes.
That’s people looking for homes versus the number available for sale.
It’s a significant change from 2012/2013 when there were at least half a million more homes than needed.
The two figures could be linked with the housing market crash as the industry took several years to recover.
Immediately after the crash there was a surplus of homes as properties were repossessed.
Current figures suggest the shortage is shrinking, but there are still significantly fewer properties on the market compared to potential buyers.
18. It Takes Approximately 56 Days To Complete A Real Estate Purchase
Finding a new home is always exciting and frustrating.
It can take weeks and even months to locate the perfect home within your budget.
The problem is, that’s only the start of the process.
It’s estimated the average person takes four and a half months to find the right property.
With that located, you’ll need to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage.
This confirms you are looking at properties within your affordability range.
You’ll then need to make an offer and perhaps deal with counter-offers.
After that, there are several inspections carried out on behalf of the mortgage company and appraisals.
These are followed by an official mortgage offer and the necessary legal parts of the process to finalize the sale.
On average, this process, not including finding the property, takes 56 days.
During that time you’re anxiously waiting for it to complete and nothing to go wrong.
Since 2021 house prices have risen, on average, by 15% This has yet to create an issue in the real estate market, it remains stable with good levels of supply and demand.
There is an increase in states with a buyers market which is likely to push prices down.
However, there are also plenty of states enjoying a sellers market, pushing prices up.
It’s unclear whether these real estate statistics will convince you to purchase a home or not.
However, what they should do is ensure you’re aware of the current state of the market and the importance of continuing to monitor it.
This will help you to purchase the perfect home for you at the right time.