30+ Essential Real Estate Statistics

ByDragomir Simovic
January 20,2022

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.

After all, who doesn’t want to be happy? Today, there are more than two million real estate agents working in the United States: With so much active competition, it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd.

Luckily, real estate statistics can help you gain insights about the market, homeowners, buyers, and real estate agents themselves. Impress a potential buyer with your extensive knowledge of the most important real estate sales trends right now. Find out who your clients are, what they want, learn about their buying habits, and transform them into happy customers by scrutinizing the enormous competition at work today.

  • There are more than two million real estate agents in the United States.
  • The median sales price for houses bought in December 2020 was $355,900.
  • 76% of realtors use Facebook for their work.
  • The average down payment for a new home is $59,880.
  • The average US realtor has nine years of experience.
  • 842,000 houses were sold in the United States in 2020.

Real Estate Agent Statistics

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

(National Association of Realtors)

Nearly half of all potential buyers rely on recommendations from friends, neighbors, or relatives 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 is it just a matter of having bad experiences? Make sure you make a great first impression.

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

(National Association of Realtors)

Clients also need help when negotiating, and about 12% of them 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.

75% 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 be hired. The majority of people settle for their first choice, while only 15% interview a second agent afterward. This means that you should concentrate all your efforts on getting that first interview. A bit of clever marketing and a good reputation can go a long way.

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.

64% of realtors are women.

(National Association of Realtors)

These realtor statistics come from the National Association of Realtors 2020 report, which included its vast membership of 1.40 million people. For comparison, there were 1.23 million members of the National Association of REALTORS® in 2016. 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 55-year-old white woman.

76% of realtors use Facebook for their work.

(National Association of Realtors)

(Statista)

Real estate agent stats show that most licensed agents rely on Facebook for their real estate marketing needs. It makes sense, considering it’s one of the world’s largest social networks, with over 2.79 billion active users worldwide. In addition, more than half of realtors (60%) covered in NAR’s research use LinkedIn to promote their work, while 70% have their own website. The majority of them use some kind of real estate CRM software.

In 2019, realtors’ median business expenses were $6,290.

(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 - $1,400, according to US national real estate statistics. This is a lot when you consider the fact that agents earn a median gross income of $49,700.

According to 2020 statistics, an average US realtor has nine years of experience.

(National Association of Realtors)

NAR research states that the number has risen by a year since 2018. This means that although younger, inexperienced agents keep joining the market, turnover is dropping slightly. It is essential to mention that this is not an average number but a median: The latter can provide you with more accurate information without letting extreme values affect the score.

FSBO Statistics

Only 5% 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 (89%) 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. Another 5% choose to buy directly from the builder.

The homeownership rate in the Q4 of 2020 was 65.8%

(United States Census Bureau)

These rates have been on a steady rise since 2015. The final quarter of each year usually yields the highest percentages. Real estate statistics in 2020 show that this year’s last quarter is similar to the fourth quarter of 2019, when the rate was 65.1%.

The Midwest has the highest homeownership rate at 70.8%.

(United States Census Bureau)

This is according to the US Census Bureau report from the fourth quarter of 2020. The South is in second place with 67.7%, followed by the Northeast at 62.6% and the West at 60.4%. If we compare these figures to previous year’s real estate agent statistics, we’ll see that they’re pretty much the same. The only “major” fluctuation was a 1.3% YoY increase in the fourth quarter in the Midwest and a 1% YoY increase in the South.

More than four-fifths (80.2%) of US citizens aged 65 or over own their homes.

(United States Census Bureau)

On the other end of the scale are people under 35, where only 38.5% of them have their own homes. The percentages increase with age, so the next age group (35-44) reaches 61%, which is quite a leap. This makes sense considering older Millennials are the ones buying most of the houses nowadays.

Housing Market Statistics - Figures

842,000 houses were sold in the United States in 2020.

(United States Census Bureau)

This data comes from the December 2020 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.

The median sales price for houses bought in December 2020 was $355,900.

(United States Census Bureau)

Because these housing market stats offer a median value, it gives us a more realistic presentation of the situation. It eliminates the extremes that might tip the scales in one direction or the other. Also, the average house price in December 2020 was $394,900.

You need to earn at least $60,770.08 a year to afford a new home.

(HSH Associates)

his 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 since HSH reports the national median home price at $313,500. However, official data from December 2020 reveals that the median price is actually $355,900. This means that you will probably have to earn a bit more to cover the expenses.

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

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

According to BLS data housing statistics from the Q4 of 2020, the median weekly earnings in the USA are $983 per week, which translates to $51,116 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.

The median asking rent has reached an all-time high of $1,190.

(YCharts) (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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions
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. For comparison, there were 842,000 homes sold in 2020.

How much does a real estate agent make a year?

Real estate agents earn commissions. Usually, they get about a 3% commission from every home they sell, and the current median income for realtors is $49,700. 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 MSCI’s real estate statistics for 2019/20, the entirety of the real estate industry is worth $9.6 trillion, with further growth predicted.

Sources

About the author

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.

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Two years later, leads list/database, social selling, account targeting, and skills training and recruiting were added to the list. With six tools in regular use, the sales sector started to see more opportunities for leveraging technology to better cater to customers.  91% of consumers would like to see interactive content in marketing emails. (Hubspot) A Litmus report dubbed 2021 State of Email reveals most respondents feel that only interactive content in marketing emails can get their attention. However, only 17% of marketers actually use such content when advertising their products or services. Depending on your target audience and relevant sales information and analytics, you can add interactivity into your emails by including an embedded video, animated GIFs, a form, faux video, or carousel. Think about creative SMS content, too, or employ mass text software to help you create one with catchy phrases.  An average of 18 calls is needed to connect with buyers. (Gartner) Reaching potential buyers isn’t always easy. Consumers are generally suspicious when it comes to calls from sales reps and tend to avoid them by hanging up or not answering the phone at all. Likewise, only 23.9% of sales emails are opened, and others usually end up in a bin. The sales numbers indicate that more investment is needed into technologies that help locate potential buyers and improve the quality and quantity of communication. 60% of all contacted buyers reject the offer four times before saying yes.  (Invesp) Follow-up calls can make all the difference. But almost half of the salespeople (48%) never make a single follow-up attempt. Statistics that expose this passive trend among sales reps also indicate that consumers tend to change their minds if called at least four times. An astounding 60 percent of contacted prospects agree to buy a product or service during the fifth call, according to sales follow-up statistics compiled by the US consulting company, Invesp.  57% of people prefer buying from sales representatives that do not hassle them. (Invesp) Even though follow-ups are essential for convincing customers to purchase your product, more than half of the respondents said they prefer buying from sales representatives who aren’t too pushy. Salespeople have a reputation for hassling potential consumers, and these figures show that they would improve their chances of making a sale if they change their approach.  70% of businesses agree that retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones.  (Invesp) Prospecting statistics reveal that even though most newly established businesses have to focus on acquiring new customers, the long-run focus should be on retaining them. Namely, it costs five times as much to gain a new buyer than to keep an existing one. Unfortunately, despite the convincing figures in favor of focusing on retention, only 40% of companies and 30% of agencies cultivate the same approach to acquisition and retention.  The American auto industry was showing signs of recovery in the summer of 2021, with nearly 1.2 million cars sold in July. (Goodcarbadcar) Following a sharp decline that saw sales plummet from 17 million in 2019 to just a little over 14.5 million in 2020, the car industry started showing signs of recovery by mid 2021. But according to United States car sales statistics, the positive trend failed to extend into the spring, with only 589,743 automobiles sold in October. Those are the lowest monthly sales figures in years.  California accounts for the highest number of car sales in the US. (Statista) Research from 2019 shows that the state of California registered more than 14.8 million automobiles that year alone. The state is also the biggest market for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and for used car sales. Statistics by state reveal that Texas had the second-highest number of automobile registrations, with just over 8.3 million cars registered. Texas is followed by Florida (7.8 million) and New York (4.4 million). Handgun sales in the US in 2020 rose by 65% compared to 2019. (Statista) The US gun industry is having a good pandemic, with Americans buying handguns in record numbers. Research shows that in October 2020, around one million handguns were sold, marking a 65% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Gun sales statistics also reveal a spike in handgun sales in June 2020, when 1.511.710 items were sold. The American trade book market recorded a 9.7% increase in revenue in July 2021. (Association of American Publishers) During the pandemic-induced global lockdowns, many people turned to books. Perhaps unsurprisingly, book sales generated $750.7 million in revenue in July 2021. Reading once again became a favorite pastime in many American households, who contributed to the 9.7% growth in this sector, compared to July of 2020.  According to book sales statistics, eBook revenues in July 2021 went down 16% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Paperbacks went up by 30%, generating $274.3 million in revenue. Video game sales amounted to $4.93 billion in July 2021, marking a 5% year-over-year increase. (Statista) Video games had a huge 2020 with more people than ever buying and playing games during the pandemic. Sales soared to $177.8 billion - an increase of 23.1% from 2019. The future looks equally promising, with some forecasts suggesting that the global gaming market will be worth $268.8 billion by 2025. Video game sales statistics for the US market in 2021 show that the industry is maintaining its upward trajectory. 2020 has seen a significant decline in draft beer sales, while canned beer sales went up. (NBWA) The forced closures of bars and restaurants during the pandemic had a significant impact on alcohol sales. Draft beer’s share of total volume declined from 10% in 2019 to around 6% in 2020. Beer sales statistics also show that demand for canned beer rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. At the same time, sales of beer in glass bottles remained relatively unchanged, accounting for 29% of the market share in 2019 and 28% in 2020. Toilet paper sales in the US spiked by 845% in 2020. (Business Insider) Toilet paper hoarding in 2020 resulted in a spike in sales of 845% in March 2020, compared to 2019, with a total of $1.45 billion sold in a single month. In March 2020, 73% of all grocery stores ran out of toilet paper. By May, that figure dropped to 48%. Toilet paper sales statistics in 2020 exposed a somewhat disturbing and equally commercial side of consumer behavior in times of crisis.  Girl Scout cookies sales amount to around $800 million during each cookie season. (Girl Scouts) Selling Girl Scout cookies has been a tradition in the US since 1912 and has become a lucrative business for many. Girl scouts sell about 200 million boxes of cookies each season and earn nearly $800 million in revenue. According to mouth-watering girl scout cookie sales statistics, the most popular variety is Thin Mints, followed by Samoas, Caramel deLites, and Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties.  Sales: the Bottom Line In the choppy waters and hazy horizons of the pandemic-hit world, steering your business in the right direction isn’t easy. There are many challenges facing sales teams and managers, especially when it comes to locking down customers and promoting products and services. On the other hand, some industries are doing better than ever. Business sales statistics show that demand for canned beer, video games, and guns has never been higher. But that doesn’t change the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone, and the new business world is yet to shape out.
By Danica Djokic · November 10,2021

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