30+ Essential Real Estate Statistics

Real Estate Statistics

Back in 2013, CareerBliss announced that being a real estate agent is the single most satisfying job you could have. Obviously, this affected the national real estate market and led many people into this line of work. Who doesn’t want to be happy, right? Today, there are more than two million real estate agents working in the United States.

With so much active competition it’s important to stand out from the crowd.

Luckily, real estate statistics can help you gain insightful information about the market, homeowners, buyers, and real estate agents themselves. Impress a potential buyer with your extensive knowledge of the facts, numbers, and the most important real estate sales trends right now. Find out who your clients are, what they want, and learn about their buying habits. Discover your own most marketable qualities by scrutinizing the enormous competition at work today.

Top Real Estate Stats

  • There are more than two million real estate agents in the United States.
  • The median sales price for houses bought in September 2019 was $299,400.
  • 73% of realtors use Facebook for their work.
  • The average down payment for a new home is $59,880.
  • An average US realtor has eight years of experience.
  • 701,000 new houses were sold in the United States this year.

Real Estate Agent Statistics

 

1. 41% of buyers choose a real estate agent based on a recommendation.

(National Association of Realtors)

Nearly half of all potential buyers rely on recommendations from a friend, a neighbor, or a relative when choosing their realtor. According to NAR statistics, only 12% of buyers opt for agents they’ve worked with before. Does this mean that they have more faith in other people’s judgments or it’s just a matter of having bad experiences? Make sure you make a great first impression.

2. 52% of home buyers say the main purpose of a real estate agent is to find a desired property.

(National Association of Realtors)

Clients also need help when negotiating a price. About 25% of buyers rely on an agent to negotiate terms of sale or get a better price. If you think your main goal is to sell the neighborhood to the buyer and explain the benefits of a certain area, you’re wasting your time. Only 1% of buyers want to learn more about the neighborhood from the agent. Most of them have probably already done the research and gone through commercial real estate statistics beforehand.

3. 68% of home buyers choose the first agent they interview.

(National Association of Realtors)

If you schedule a meeting with a potential buyer, there’s a good chance you’ll make the sale. The majority of people settle for their first choice, while only 20% of them interview a second agent afterwards. This means that you should concentrate all your efforts into getting that first interview. A bit of clever marketing and a good reputation can go a long way.

4. There are over two million real estate agents in the United States.

(HomeLight)

This includes both licensed NAR Realtors and the real estate agents outside of the association. Of course, the situation is not the same across the country. Real estate statistics by city report that Los Angeles, for example, has a record-breaking number of 39,307 active real estate agents. Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix are near the top with over twenty thousand working real estate agents.

5. 67% of realtors are women.

(National Association of Realtors)

These realtor statistics come from the National Association of Realtors 2019 report that included the vast membership of 1.32 million people. Compared to the year before, this is a four percent jump, which can be translated to 50,000 new female realtors this year. The upward trend is bound to continue with more and more houses being sold every year. According to NAR, the typical realtor today is a college-educated 54-year-old white woman.

6. 73% of realtors use Facebook for their work.

(National Association of Realtors)
(Statista)

Real estate agent stats show that the large majority of licensed agents rely on Facebook for their real estate marketing needs. It makes sense, considering it’s one of the largest networks in the world with over 2.4 billion users worldwide. In addition, more than half of realtors (58%) covered in NAR’s research use LinkedIn to promote their work, while 51% have their own website.

7. In 2018, realtors’ median business expenses were $4,600.

(National Association of Realtors)

In order to be good at their jobs, realtors need to stay mobile. Because of that, the biggest chunk of their money goes to vehicle expenses – $1,370, according to US national real estate statistics. This is a lot when you consider the fact that agents with two or less years of experience earn a median gross income of $9,300. That means that almost half of their earnings go to business spending.

8. An average US realtor in 2019 had eight years of experience.

(National Association of Realtors)

NAR research states that the number has dropped by two years since 2018. This means that younger, inexperienced agents keep joining the market. It is important to mention that this is actually not an average number but a median. The main difference here is that the latter can provide you with more accurate information, without deviations affecting the score.
FSBO Statistics

9. Only 7% of all buyers choose to purchase a home directly from the owner.

(National Association of Realtors)

When they decide to buy a home, most people (87%) first turn to a real estate agent. Buyers who decide to contact homeowners directly are rare. In more than half the cases, they already know the person they’re buying from. The remaining 6% choose to buy directly from the builder.

10. The Homeownership rate in the third quarter of 2019 was 64.8%

(United States Census Bureau)

These rates have been on a steady rise since 2015. The final quarter of the year usually yields the highest percentages. Real estate statistics in 2019 show that this year’s third quarter is identical to the fourth quarter of 2018. Because of that, it’s safe to assume that the percentage might go over 65% by the end of the year.

11. The Midwest has the highest homeownership rate at 69%.

(United States Census Bureau)

This is according to the US Census Bureau report from the third quarter of 2019. The south of the country is in second place with 66.2%, followed by the Northeast at 61.7% and the West at 60.6. If we compare these figures to last year’s real estate agent statistics, we’ll see that they’re pretty much the same. The only “major” fluctuation that happened was a 0.8 increase in the third quarter in the South.

12. Nearly four-fifths (78.9%) of people aged 65 or over own their home.

(United States Census Bureau)

On the other end of the scale are people under 35 where only 37.5% of them have their own homes. The percentages increase with age, so the next age group (35-44) reaches to 60.3%, which is quite a leap. This makes sense considering older Millennials are the ones buying most of the houses nowadays.

Housing Market Statistics – Figures

 

13. 701,000 new houses were sold this year.

(United States Census Bureau)

This data comes from the October report provided by the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The number is seasonally adjusted to account for the usual seasonal fluctuations that happen between March and October. It is usually the time of the year when people go house-hunting and make purchases.

14. The median sales price for houses bought in September 2019 was $299,400.

(United States Census Bureau)

This is the lowest point this year and an 8.8% decrease from the same period in 2018. Because these housing market stats offer a median value, it gives us a bit more realistic presentation of the situation. It eliminates the extremes that might tip the scales in one direction or the other. For example, the average house price in 2019 was $362,700, which is a 6.1% decrease from the year before.

15. You need to earn at least $61,123 a month to afford a new home.

(HSH Associates)

This data comes from HSH, a website dedicated to mortgage rate analysis. They used the median home price and various tax rates in 50 US metropolitan areas to come up with this estimate. However, their numbers might be a bit outdated. For HSH, the median home price at a national level is $279,600. However, official data from September this year reveals that the median price is actually $299,400. This means that you will probably have to earn a bit more to cover the expenses.

16. The average down payment for a new home is $59,880.

(United States Census Bureau)
(United States Department of Labor)

According to BLS data housing statistics from the third quarter of 2019, the median weekly earnings in the USA were $919 per week, which translates to $44,112 a year. This means that a typical home buyer in America needs to save more than a year’s worth of their salary to be able to afford the down payment. Because a lot of people can’t actually afford that, they opt for a higher mortgage rate.

17. The median asking rent has reached an all-time high of $1,002.

(United States Census Bureau)

As many unfortunate US tenants can confirm, their rent has been on a steady rise for more than a decade and it’s highly unlikely it will go down anytime soon. When it comes to median asking sales prices, the situation is similar but with more fluctuations. The real estate prices dropped after the recession but quickly picked up the pace in just a few years.

Home Buying Statistics

 

18. At 37%, millenials are the biggest home buyers on the market.

(National Association of Realtors)

Of course, not all millennials are the same. NAR’s report differentiates between younger and older generations of millenials to show that the latter is the one doing all the work. People who belong to the age group between 29 and 38 hold 26% of the home-buying real estate market share. The second-largest group are the Gen Xers who hold 24% of the market share.

19. Real estate statistics show that 24% of home buyers still have student loan debt.

(National Association of Realtors)

People in the United States are used to living in debt, so it’s no surprise that many of them would decide to buy a home while still paying off student loans. According to the National Association of Realtors statistics, the median amount they owe is $28,000 but 18% of buyers owe more than $75,000.

20. Among home buyers aged 29-38, 33% decided to buy their homes to take care of their parents.

(National Association of Realtors)

This is the older generation of millennials, the age group that is also the most active when it comes to home purchases. At this age, people already have steady jobs or hints of a career, so they’re able to think about their loved ones. Another 30% of older millennials agree that taking care of family is the most important reason to buy a home.

21. 33% of people who buy a home in the USA are first-time buyers.

(National Association of Realtors)

This means that almost one third of all home-buyers need help from professional real estate agents to ensure a successful transaction. It makes sense, since FSBO vs realtor statistics suggest that the large majority of people don’t like buying directly from homeowners anyway. Homes for sale by owner can often turn out to be scams and the paperwork is a lot more complex.

22. The desire to own a home is the main reason young people want to purchase a house.

(National Association of Realtors)

This desire decreases with age, so it’s a primary incentive for only 7% of people over 64. At that point in life, the primary motivators slowly become retirement and the desire to be close to family. Besides that, many seniors just want a smaller home that is cheaper and more energy-efficient.

23. The majority of purchased houses are previously owned homes.

(National Association of Realtors)

It’s hardly surprising to hear that 86% of buyers go for previously owned homes instead of new ones. Home buyer statistics tell us that resale homes are usually cheaper and, though it’s not the standard, can also come fully furnished. Buyers under 28 are least likely to purchase a new home with 94% of them opting for a resale house.

24. 82% of buyers opt for detached single-family homes.

(National Association of Realtors)

It doesn’t matter which age group you ask, they all prefer to buy detached single-family homes above everything else. The greatest enthusiasm is found among young middle-aged people (39-53) where 88% of them would go with this option. On the other hand, those over 73 are the least likely to choose this type of dwelling with 66% of votes. Undoubtedly, the least popular choice among all groups is the purchase of an apartment in a building with five or more units. People don’t seem to like living next to strangers.

25. The suburbs are the number one choice for 51% of home buyers.

(National Association of Realtors)

The perfect suburban life people see in the movies seems to be the main driving force for more than half of home buyers in the United States. Second place goes to small-town dwellings with 20%, followed by urban and rural areas with 14% and 13%, respectively. The least favorite option on the housing market in 2019 among all age groups was a resort area. This is probably because these resorts tend to have high costs of living and additional taxes, so it doesn’t pay off in the long term.

26. Only 2% of home buyers decided to buy the house they were renting.

(National Association of Realtors)

It seems that the whole “try before you buy” concept doesn’t really work with real estate. Despite the fact that 37% of people rented an apartment before finding their own place, almost all of them ended up buying a new home. It is interesting to note that both younger millennials and the Silent Generation have less than one percent of people who bought the homes they rented.

27. Older people are more likely to buy a new home that’s farther from their old residence.

(National Association of Realtors)

On average, home buyers who are over 64 tend to relocate up to 30 miles away from their old home. On the other hand, the younger population (buyers under 38) don’t tend to go past the 10-mile mark. We can try to explain this by the younger generation’s desire to stay close to the family home, their parents, and their familiar surroundings.

28. Neighborhood quality is the key factor for 58% of home buyers.

(National Association of Realtors)

While this is something people from every age group can agree on, it is not the case with the second most cited factor – job convenience. Namely, retired home buyers care little about their jobs – since they no longer work. That is why only three percent of people over 73 take that into consideration. On the other hand, real estate statistics show that 71% of millennials under 28 consider it a major factor.

29. 93% of people visit websites when searching for homes.

(National Association of Realtors)

Visiting a website and looking for the most lucrative offers available seems to be the best option for nearly all age groups. The older millennials (29-38) seem to be leading the pack again with a staggering 98% of internet-relying home buyers. Real estate industry statistics confirm predictions that the members of the so-called Silent Generation push in a different direction. While 72% of them turn to website searches, about 86% of old-timers prefer to consult with a real estate agent. Nearly half of all buyers (46%) get informed through yard signs, and slightly more than that go to open house events.

30. 74% of younger millennials prefer new homes because they don’t have to renovate or think about bad plumbing.

(National Association of Realtors)

However, since this is the age group that is also the least-likely to have any savings, they are more than willing to go with the cheaper options as well. Realtor sales statistics show that slightly over half of them (52%) buy previously owned homes because they offer a better price. The median price that people under 28 are willing to pay is $177,000, which is by far the lowest amount in any age group.

31. For 40% of millennial home buyers, reducing commuting costs is one of the most important factors.

(National Association of Realtors)

Gen Xers would also like to reduce heating/cooling costs, and find a home with properly installed windows and doors. Despite their other environmental concerns, real estate trends show that all age groups seem to care little about solar panels. Only three percent of buyers in total consider it a major factor.

32. On average, home buyers spend 10 weeks searching for a new home.

(National Association of Realtors)

They spend about three weeks searching for a home on their own before contacting a professional real estate agent to help them out. Throughout the process, buyers typically visit an average of 10 homes. If you’re in the market for a new house, this is what you have to deal with.

33. 69% of home buyers are not interested in purchasing a home in foreclosure.

(National Association of Realtors)

When mortgage owners don’t pay their debts in time, the bank can, by law, repossess the house and put it on the real estate market. Even though this is a good way for buyers to get a home below its regular price, real estate market statistics say that more than two-thirds of potential buyers aren’t interested. Purchasing a foreclosure home often means inheriting its unpaid taxes, debts, or being forced to evict the family living in it.

34. Doing the paperwork is the number one problem for 20% of home buyers.

(National Association of Realtors)

Young people seem to be struggling the most with this type of bureaucracy but it gets easier with age. While 27% of millennials under 28 can’t deal with the paperwork, another 38% have trouble understanding the whole home-buying process and the necessary steps. Seniors are a lot more confident as 35% of Silent Generation buyers consider it a walk in the park.

FAQ

How many houses sold in 2019?

As of September 2019, the average number of houses sold by a real estate agent per year was 701,000. If we take a look at last year’s report, we’ll see that there are obviously some rising real estate market trends at work. In that same month in 2018, the number of sold houses was a lot smaller – 607,000.

How much does a real estate agent make a year?

Real estate agents earn commissions. Usually, they get about a three-percent commission from every home they sell. If we consider the median home price of $299,400, real estate agents earned nearly $9,000 per home in September. This translates to a yearly salary of nearly $108,000. This is just an approximation, as experienced real estate agents can earn a lot more.

How much was the real estate industry worth in 2019?

According to the Federal Reserve’s real estate statistics from March 2019, the entirety of the real estate industry is worth $27.2 trillion, which is 13% more than it was in the last peak that happened in 2006, before the crisis.

 

Sources:

HomeLight

HSH Associates

Statista

National Association of Realtors

United States Census Bureau

United States Department of Labor


Dragomir Simovic is a staff writer for SmallBizGenius, where he regularly contributes well-researched, engaging content about the latest trends in the finance industry. As a successful entrepreneur and freelancer himself, he knows the ins and outs of running a small business and is eager to share his insights. When he’s not analyzing the latest finance news or thinking up startup strategies, Dragomir likes to play the guitar, discover new indie games, and sample craft brews - responsibly, of course.