virtual home showing with drones flying ahead illustrated

50 Handy Residential Real Estate Statistics

Remember the good old days when you could negotiate the price when buying a home?

Yeah, me neither.

No doubt, as these real estate statistics for the residential housing market are about to show you, it’s a sellers market. Yet, almost two-thirds of buyers said they were satisfied at the end of the day.

What gives?

Well for starters it seems as if real estate agents are really knocking it out the ball park, as their customer satisfaction and referral numbers are exceedingly positive across all age groups. On the other hand, the pandemic may have made us more appreciative of what we have.

Whatever the case, the numbers don’t lie, so let’s get to crunching.

Note on mean vs. median: When a median value is significantly less than the mean (a.k.a average), it means a large number of people have less than the average, and so the median is a better gauge of who has what when it comes to money and income.

Overview of key housing market stats:

  • First-time buyers accounted for 31% of homes bought in 2020.
  • Veterans accounted for 18% of recent home buyers.
  • The 2021 median home price increased to $272,500 among all buyers.
  • 43% started their home buying search online.
  • 15% of buyers bought new vs. 85% who bought previously owned homes.
  • 58% of home buyers used their savings as source of down payment.
  • 91% of sellers utilized the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
  • 73% of sellers said they would ‘definitely recommend’ their real estate agent.
  • 23% of buyers who bought during the pandemic paid over $500,000.

What is considered residential real estate?

Property used for residential purposes.

Meaning land/housing developed for people to live on, and is often zoned as such by local zoning authorities. It generally means the property cannot be used for commercial or industrial reasons.

Ultimately, if a house is classified as residential real estate, it cannot be used for any other purpose but for living, unless otherwise clearly expressed in local zoning ordinance regulations.

Some common residential real estate examples are:

  • a single family home
  • condos
  • cooperatives
  • duplexes
  • townhomes
  • and multi-family properties (with less than 5 individual units).

A note on multi-generational homes. You’ll see this term being used in some of the housing market stats ahead. Essentially, this is a house with more than one generation of occupants.

For example, any of the following:

  • Householder, child, and grandchild
  • Householder with parent
  • Householder with parent and child
  • Householder with grandchild
  • Householder with parent, child, and grandchild
  • Householder with parent and grandchild.

Now, let’s get into the statistics, shall we?

Characteristics of Home Buyers

(Source: NAR 2021)

1. First-time buyers accounted for 31% of homes bought in 2020.

One in three people who bought a home in 2020 were first timers. Further breaking this statistics down into age groups we can find the percentage of first time home buyers by age group:

  • 82% of buyers between the ages of 22 and 30,
  • 48% of buyers between the ages of 31 and 40,
  • 22% of buyers between the ages of 40 to 54.

In 2019, the number of first-time buyers was also 31% of the total homes bought. Prior to buying their first home 37% of respondents rented an apartment or a house.

2. The median age of most home buyers in the United States was 47.

We can further dissect the data into homes bough by each generational age group.

  • Silent Generation (19125-1945): Bought 5% of homes.
  • Older Boomers (1946-1954): Bought 14% of homes.
  • Younger Boomers (1955-1964): Bought 18% of homes.
  • Gen X (1965-1979): Bought 24% of homes.
  • Older Gen Y / Millennials (1980-1989): Bought 23% of homes.
  • Younger Gen Y / Millennials (1990-1998): Bought 14% of homes.
  • Gen Z (1999 to Present): Bought 2% of homes.

Thus we can see that those aged 41 to 50 accounted for the largest group of buyers at 24%, and their median age was 47. Following them were buyers aged 31 to 40 coming in at 23% with a median age of 34.

Additionally, the buyers in the age group 40 to 54 were the most racially and ethnically diverse, with 23% of buyers identifying as either Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, or Asian/Pacific Islander.

3. Multi-generational homes were purchased by 12% of home buyers.

One of the most cited reasons for a multi-generational home purchase was to take care of aging parents (25% of buyers). But there were other reasons as well, such as:

  • just getting to spend more time with aging parents (16%),
  • cost savings (16%),
  • children over 18 moving back in (14%),
  • pulling multiple incomes to afford a larger home (12%),
  • children over 18 never left the home (14%).

The age group that accounted for the most multi-generational home buys was those aged 41 to 55 at 18%, followed by those aged 75 to 95 at 17%, and thirdly those aged 56 to 65 at 14%.

4. Veterans accounted for 18% of recent home buyers.

Almost 1-in-5 homes bought were by someone who served in one of the military branches of the U.S. government, showcasing that VA home loan programs are functioning as indented.

Another 2% of all homes bought were by those who were on active duty in the Armed Forces, which brings out tally to 20% of homes bought by veterans or active duty service members.

5. Home buyers aged 41 to 55 have highest household incomes of any generation.

Accounting for the highest percentage (24%) of recent home purchases, those aged 41 to 55 also happen to have the highest household income of all home buyers, at $113,300 as of 2019. Followed by the generation right behind them (those aged 31 to 40) whose median income was $105,600.

Education wise, those aged 31 to 40 were the most educated group, with 79% of home buyers having attained a bachelor’s degree or higher. They were also the group with the highest percentage of married couples at 69%. While those aged 22 to 30 were the second most educated.

Characteristics of Homes Purchased

(Source: NAR 2021)

6. 44% of those who bought new homes sought to avoid renovations, as well as plumbing and/or electrical problems.

Is there anything worse than moving into a newly bought home and experiencing serious issues? Few things come close. It’s no wonder then, that 44% of those who purchased newly built houses listed avoiding this scenario as a main motivating factor for buying new.

The ability to choose and customize design features was the second most popular reason for buying brand new as listed by 30% of all buyers. 10% cited smart home features as a reason for buying a newly built home, and 12% said they bought new because inventory for previously owned home was low.

Buyers who purchased previously owned homes were most often considering a better value at 30 percent, better price at 31%, and more charm and character at 20%.

7. The 2021 median home price increased to $272,500 among all buyers.

If you’ve had any exposure to the recent real estate market, this should come as no surprise. It’s the wild, wild west out there, and these stats back it up. In fact, 15% of people paid over the asking price! Another 30% paid 100% of the asking price, and 47% paid between 90% to 99% of asking.

Just 10% of all recent home buyers paid less than $125,000 for their home. Over half (56%), however, paid more than $250,000.

8. On average the typical home purchased was built in 1993, has 3-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms, and is roughly 1,900 square feet.

At 2,100 square feet, buyers in the 41 to 55 years age group typically bought bigger homes than average. Compare this to buyers in the 22 to 30 age group whose median square footage was 1,650. This makes sense as most young people are buying what is considered a starter home.

Those 75 years and older had a median house footprint of 1,850 sq.ft. and those between the ages of 66 to 74 were at 1,900 sq.ft. This latter age group was also the one most likely to buy the newest homes, with 5% of them buying homes built in 2020, and another 12% buying homes built in 2019.

Overall, 58% of the homes recently bought by all age groups were built in the past 20 years.

9. 83% of recent home buyers were concerned with heating and cooling costs.

An increasing number of people are taking a conscientious approach to life, and it’s manifesting itself in the way they purchase homes as well. With a majority of recent home purchasers citing heating and cooling costs as an important environmental feature; 32% consider it ‘very important’.

On top of HVAC concerns, commuting costs were very important to 44% of buyers aged 22 to 29 years-old. Windows, doors, and the condition of siding were also very important (33%).

10. The most common type of home purchase continued to be the detached single-family home.

They made up 81% of all recent homes bought! And it was the most common type of home bought among all generations. Townhomes were the second most common and an apartment or condo in a 2 to 4 unit building was the third most common.

Buyers aged 22 to 30 were most likely to buy townhomes. Just 1 percent of homes purchased were in apartments or condos in building with 5 or more units.

The Home Search Process

(Source: NAR 2021)

11. 43% started their home buying search online, 18% contacted an agent first.

A little under half of home buyers started their house hunting search online, and almost 1-in-5 went straight to an agent. Another 9% looked online to inform themselves on the home buying process.

But 87% cited using a real estate agent as an information source, a figure consistent among all age groups. Those over 66 years of age were the most likely to contact an agent first, compared to their younger home buyers.

12. 8 weeks, 9 homes, and 5 showings, was the average search before buying.

Recent buyers house hunted for two months, saw roughly 9 homes and attended 5 showings before signing on the dotted line. Those aged 66 to 74 years had a slightly longer home search period than the rest, at 10 weeks.

Buyers aged 22 to 40 and 75 to 95 spent on average 2 weeks searching for a home before contacting a real estate agent, while those aged 41 to 74 spent an extra week searching before they too contacted an agent.

During the home search, some buyers had to make some compromises on the characteristics of the home. For example:

  • almost a quarter of home buyers (23%) ultimately compromised on the price,
  • another 20% compromised on the condition of the home,
  • 18% on the size of the home,
  • 17% on the style of the home,
  • 15% on the lot size,
  • and 12% compromised on distance from job.

However, 31% of all buyers said they made no compromises when purchasing.

13. 97% of home buyers used the internet to look for homes, an all-time high.

No surprise here, I’ve personally used the internet for each of my home purchases going back over a decade. People see it online and they either schedule a showing or go drive slowly by the house they’re interested in, getting an exterior view and feeling the place out from the outside.

In fact, 51% of all buyers found the home they purchased on the internet. When it comes to what people value the most on real estate website, photos is listed at the top with 89%. Followed by detailed info, floor plans, agent contact info, virtual tours, and so on.

As to what platform buyers used to conduct their internet searches, it was typically split 50/50 between mobile and desktop/laptop. With those under 40 years of age more likely to use mobile, and those over 66 years of age to use a personal computer.

14. Almost two-thirds (64%) were ‘very satisfied’ after all was said and done.

A surprisingly high amount of people were ‘very satisfied’ with their home purchase. Surprising to me at least, considering it’s currently a sellers market out there. More than half of the buyers (53%) cited the most difficult step of the process was finding the right property. Below are some things they were after.

The most important factors influencing a home buyers decision in where to buy were:

  • quality of the neighborhood (62% of all buyers)
  • convenient to job (45% of all buyers)
  • overall affordability of homes (43% of all buyers)
  • convenient to friends and family (41% of all buyers)
  • convenient to shopping (29% of all buyers)
  • design of neighborhood (29% of all buyers)
  • quality of the school district (24% of all buyers)

Interestingly, happiness with the purchase and overall buyer satisfaction increased with age.

15. 15% of buyers bought new vs. 85% who bought previously owned homes.

Those aged 66 to 74 led the way in this real estate statistic on residential homes, with 19% of them buying new. Right behind them were 41 to 55 year-olds at 18% and 75 to 95 age group with 17%.

Only 9% of those aged 22 to 30 bought new, with 11% of them listing lack of inventory for new homes as the main reason they proceeded to purchase a previously owned home. Overall 12% of new home buyers reported the opposite, lack of inventory in previously owned homes.

Home Buying and Real Estate Professionals

(Source: NAR 2021)

16. 88% of buyers bought their home through a real estate agent or broker.

Buyers overwhelmingly continue to find value in hiring real estate agents. With some of the listed benefits provided by a real estate agent during the home buying process being:

  • helped me understand the process (62% of buyers)
  • pointed out unnoticed features and faults (61% of buyers)
  • negotiated better sales contract terms (49% of buyers)
  • provided a better list of service providers (e.g. appraisers) (49% of buyers)
  • improved my knowledge of the search areas (44% of buyers)

Some of the other benefits listed by buyers included agents negotiating a better price, shortening the home search period, providing better mortgage lender list, as well as expanding and narrowing a buyers search area to either broaden or focus their horizons.

17. 51% said having an agent to help find the right home was most important.

Slightly over half of all buyers expressed importance in having an agent when buying a home. With reasons like helping them in terms of sale negotiation, price negotiations, paperwork, comps, how much home they could afford, financing, and overall serving as an expert knowledge base.

18. 73% of buyers went with the first agent they interviewed.

No doubt one of the most fascinating residential real estate statistics on this list, two-out-of-three people went with the first agent they interviewed. With the percentage staying above 70% for all age groups, increasing to a high of 77% for those aged 75 to 95.

Just 4% of people interviewed 4 agents or more, and 16% of buyers went with their second agent. In fact, 26% of all buyers signed an agent representation disclosure at their first meeting.

In terms of what buyers valued the most in an agent before choosing, honesty and trustworthiness were at the top of the list. While an agents reputation was given more weight by older generations.

19. 91% of home buyers said they’d recommend or use their agent agent.

Real estate agents representing recent home buyers must be doing something right. Because 9 out of 10 buyers would either recommend their agents service, or use them again for themselves.

In fact, a whopping 22% of buyers reported recommending their agent 4 or more times! While another 45% recommended their agents 1 to 3 times. Just 4% of buyers said they would ‘definitely not’ use their real estate agent again, whilst 76% said they ‘definitely will’ use them again.

20. Referrals remain the primary method of acquiring an agent.

In line with the above statistic on 1-in-5 buyers recommending their agent 4 or more times, referrals remain a real estate agent’s bread and butter. Specifically 40% of all buyers reported finding an agent through a referral by friends, neighbors, or relatives.

Referrals were highest among 22 to 40 year-olds, though they stayed above 30% of all home buyers across all ages. Unsurprisingly, older buyers were more likely to contract an agent they’ve worked with in the past, as they’ve had the opportunity to conduct more transactions.

Financing the Home Purchase

(Source: NAR 2021)

21. 87% of home buyers sought a mortgage loan, the average down payment of 12%.

After you’ve reviewed our shocking average American savings statistics, you will appreciate the fact that 13% of recent home buyers did not seek out a mortgage. Most buyers took out a conventional loan, whilst 16% received an FHA loan and another 14% a Veterans Alliance (VA) loan.

Let’s look at the percentages of those who financed for the age groups:

  • 98% of buyers aged 22 to 30.
  • 97% of buyers aged 31 to 40.
  • 93% of buyers aged 41 to 55.
  • 78% of buyers aged 56 to 65.
  • 69% of buyers aged 66 to 74.
  • 54% of buyers aged 75 to 95.

Thankfully, as it ideally should, the percentage of buyers who finance their homes decreases with age, but certainly not by enough.

22. 7% was the average down payment for first-time home buyers versus 16% for repeat home buyers.

As is to be expected, those buying their first home have less money to put down on the mortgage. Versus repeat home buyers who have had the chance to build up equity in their current homes, and/or who made money from selling their previous home that they can tap into for the next one.

If we consider the fact that younger people are on average most likely to be first time home buyers, this home buying statistic makes sense, as they haven’t had as much time to save or invest.

23. 58% of home buyers used their life savings as source of down payment.

As suggested earlier, proceeds from sale of a primary residence help 38% of repeat buyers come up with the down payment. But for first time buyers, and typically the younger generation, it means tapping into their life savings, receiving gifts, loans from pensions, IRAs, inheritance, etc.

With 84% of 22 to 30 year-olds and 71% of 31 to 40 year-olds reporting that they had to tap into their savings. Overall, for 58% of home buyers the down payment was sourced from their savings.

Furthermore, according to our 401k statistics, 37% of Fidelity survey respondents tapped into their 401k for a loan for a down payment on a house. 401k’s have a clause for letting first time home buyers do this.

The good news is that 83% of all buyers view their homes as a financial investment. Over 40% across all age-groups views them as ‘better than stocks’. While 29% say they’re about as good as stock, and 13% take a contrarian view by saying that they’re not as good as stocks.

24. 11% of people say coming up with the down payment is the most difficult step.

For those over 66 years old this figure was only 1%, versus for those under 30 years old, for whom it was at 25%. Many buyers reported having to make sacrifices in order to buy a home. Such as:

  • cut spending on luxury and non-essential items (23%)
  • lower entertainment spending (15%)
  • reduce spending on clothes (12%)
  • canceled vacation plans (7%)
  • moved in with friends/family without paying rent (4%)
  • sold a vehicle or decided not to buy one (4%)
  • paid minimum payment on bills (2%)

Depending on how you look at it, the good news is that once buyers are able to come up with the downpyament, the types of loans they’re taking out are fixed. With 93% of buyers taking out a fixed-rate mortgage, and just 3% taking out a fixed-then adjustable rate mortgage.

Perhaps you don’t see this as such a big deal, but after reviewing our timeline of the 2008 financial crisis you can see how adjustable rate mortgages can quickly get out of hand.

25. 22% of home buyers reported having student-loan debt with the median of $30,000.

Us Americans are no strangers to debt, just take a look at our statistics on the average American credit card debt and everything will come into focus. But other types of debt are preventing home buyers from taking out a mortgage, with student loans being one of the major types.

Debt delays buyers from saving for a down payment, it’s also the number one reason a mortgage lender will reject a would-be home buyer. An unfavorable debt-to-income ratio was listed as the main reason mortgage lenders rejected borrowers, cited by 35% of respondents.

The median time debt delays home buyers from saving for a down payment is 3 years, but 24% of all buyers reported they were delayed by debt for more than 5 years. To illustrate, 22% of buyers aged 41 to 55 still had a median amount of student debt of $35,000

Home Sellers and Their Selling Experience

(Source: NAR 2021)

26. 15% said the reason they sold their home was to move closer to friends and family.

Another 14% said their current home is too small and 12% cited changes in family situation such as marriage, having kids, divorce, etc. On the other hand 9% of sellers wanted to downsize, stating their current home was too large. And 7% saw their neighborhood go in the wrong direction.

Moving due to retirement was cited by 7% of sellers, and those over the age of 56 were the most likely to move out of state. On that note, if you’re not saving for retirement perhaps our retirement statistics will shock you into saving more!

Furthermore, though the top reason listed by sellers was to move closer to friends or family, most (70%) ended up staying in the same state with only a median of 15 miles from where they previously resided. In fact, 84% of sellers aged 22 to 34 re-bought in the same state, compared to 61% of sellers aged 66 to 74 years.

27. Almost 9-in-10 (89%) utilized a real estate agent when selling.

The majority of transactions were by repeat sellers (69%) versus first time sellers (31%). However, 88% of 22 to 30 year-olds and 67% of 31 to 40 year-olds were first time sellers. On average 84% of sellers under 30 years old lived in their house for 5 years or less, versus 40% for ages 31 to 40.

As was the case with buyers, the overwhelming majority of sellers find value in real estate agents. With just 1% of those sellers who used agent or broker to sell, having first tried to sell it themselves.

Additionally, sellers reported selling their homes for a median of $66,000 more than their original purchase price. With sellers aged 22 to 30 gaining the least in equity at $33,400, versus the $100,000 gained by those aged 66 to 74 who typically lives in their homes for much longer.

28. Almost all recent home sellers got the price they were asking for.

It’s a good time to be a seller! As almost all of them got their asking price, at a minimum. In fact, the median final sales price was 99% of the listing price. On the other hand, 18% of sellers sold their homes for more than what they listed them at. While 29% of sellers got 100% of asking price.

Just 6% of sellers sold for less than 90% of asking price. A whopping 62% did not need to reduce the asking price and another 22% had to reduce it just once.

On top of that, showing just how much equity people have gained, 95% of sellers reported not having to wait to sell as home was worth more than mortgage. It’s no wonder that 69% of sellers report being ‘very satisfied’ with their sales process, a year-over-year gain from 2019.

29. 33% of sellers offered some type of incentive to attract buyers.

An overwhelming majority (70%) of homes sold in 6 weeks or less. Nonetheless, roughly 33% of all sellers ended up offering some type of incentive to prospective buyers.

Older sellers were less likely to do so, while their younger counterpart felt more inclined. Some of the incentives offered to attract home buyers included:

  • home warranty policies (offered by 17% of sellers)
  • assistance with closing costs (offered by 14% of sellers)
  • credit toward remodeling or repairs (offered by 8% of sellers)
  • other incentives (car, flat screen TV, etc). (offered by 3% of sellers)

Those aged 75 to 95 offered the least incentives, with 73% saying they offered none whatsoever.

30. Those aged 41 to 55 sold the most home and had the highest income.

Those aged 41 to 55 years constituted the largest percentage of recent home sellers at 25%. They also had the highest median income at $132,700 and a median age of 48. Followed by the 56 to 65 age group which constituted the second largest percentage of home sellers at 22%.

71% of all sellers were married couples, and marriage was highest among the 31 to 40 age group at 84%. Just 2% of home sellers were under the age of 21, and 6% under the age of 31.

Also, 30% of all home sellers had less than a bachelor’s degree, and 33% of the homes were sold in a small town or a rural area. While 51% of all homes were sold in the suburbs or a subdivision.

Home Selling and Real Estate Professionals

(Source: NAR 2021)

31. 77% of sellers found the right real estate agent on the first try.

Some of the most important factors sellers looked for in a real estate agent included:

  • agents reputation (31%)
  • honesty and integrity (26%)
  • agent is family or a friend (15%)
  • their knowledge of the neighborhood (12%)
  • agent commission (3%)
  • caring personality/good listener (2%)
  • agent seems 100% accessible (2%)
  • and just 1% cared about the agent’s association with a particular firm.

A whopping 77% of sellers contacted a single candidate before selecting a real estate agent to assist them with the sale of their home. In fact 90% never interviewed more than 2 agents. Across age groups, 89% of 22 to 30 year-olds went with the first agent, versus 77% of 75 to 95 year-olds.

32. 91% of sellers utilized the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

The most common methods sellers used to market their homes were:

  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website (88%)
  • good ol’ yard sign (68%)
  • open house (53%)
  • (52%)
  • real estate agent’s website (50%)
  • third party aggregators (46%)
  • real estate company’s website (44%)
  • social networks (22%)
  • virtual tours (17%)
  • video (12%)
  • direct mail (9%)

Clearly, the overwhelming majority used the multiple listing service commonly offered by agents.

33. 77% of sellers reported they provided the agent’s commission

How do most seller’s agents get compensated? Predominantly by the seller as a percentage of the sales price. Only 3% of home sellers paid the commission on a flat fee basis.

In fact, 77% of sellers reported paying the agent commission, and 11% reported splitting it with the buyer. Just 6% of selling agent’s commissions were paid by buyer only.

34. 54% of home sellers used the same agent they worked with in the past or a referral.

How did sellers find the real estate agent they used to sell their home?

The most common methods were:

  • referred by friend, neighbor, relative (41%)
  • used agent in the past to buy or sell a home (26%)
  • personally contacted by agent (4%)
  • internet website (5%)
  • visited open house and met agent (4%)
  • saw contact information on yard sign (1%)

As is the case with buyers, sellers tend to stick with agents they know or are referred to. Over half of recent home sellers utilized the same agent they worked with when they first bought the home.

But for age groups 22 to 30 and 31 to 40, the percentages are 69% and 67% respectively. Interestingly, those over the age of 56 were most likely to use a new agent to sell their home.

This could be due to the agents moving out of town, or simply losing touch and contact information, as older people statistically tend to occupy their homes much longer than their younger counterparts.

35. 73% of sellers said they would ‘definitely recommend’ their real estate agent.

What do sellers think is the most important service an agent provides? As reported by sellers themselves, some of the most desired offerings are:

  • help me sell my home within specific timeframe (22%)
  • price my home competitively (21%)
  • market my home to potential buyers (17%)
  • help me find ways to fix up home and sell for more (16%)
  • find a buyer for my home (11%)
  • negotiate and deal with buyer on my behalf (7%)
  • help with paperwork, inspections, and closing (3%)

And it seems agents are providing this service in a satisfactory manner. Because much like their buyer counterparts, sellers too were very satisfied with their real estate agents. So much so that almost 9-out-of-10 would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ recommend their agent.

In fact, most sellers do end up recommending their agents at least once after selling their houses. But another 36% recommends their agent three of more times! A number that jumps to 38% for older sellers (74 and up), who are also more likely (83%) to ‘definitely recommend’ their agents.

For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) Sellers

(Source: NAR 2021)

36. The median age for owners selling their own homes is 57 years.

Younger people are the generally less likely to list as for-sale-by-owner, though those aged 66 to 74 had the same percentage as their 31 to 40 younger counterparts. But those aged 75 to 95 were the most likely to list a home as FSBO, at 9%.

Perhaps our estate planning statistics could shed some light as to why this may be the case. Older people may be ‘selling’ the homes to their children or relatives as they enter their final chapter.

37. Married couples with a median household income of $96,700 accounted for 64% of For-Sale-by-Owner sales.

There is something about this demographic that prefers to list their own homes and skip the services of an agent. They accounted for 65% of the FSBO sales in 2019 and for 64% in 2020.

38. For-Sale-by-Owner listings sold for almost $25k less than agent-assisted sales.

Though For-Sale-by-Owner listings saw an uptick in their median price in 2020 (from 2019), they still significantly trailed the median selling price of those listed by real estate agents.

FSBO homes median selling price was $217,900, while the median agent-assisted selling price was $242,300. An $24,400 dollars difference! Which begs the questions, should you FSBO your home?!

39. 77% of FSBO homes sold in less than 14 days, much quicker than agent-assisted sales.

There does seem to be one realm in which FSBO’s are outperforming agent-assisted sales, time on the market. With 77% of For-Sale-by-Owner homes selling in less than two weeks.

However, as is typically the case with FSBOs, there tends to be a pre-existing relationship between the buyer and seller. For example a parent passing their family home on to the next generation.

40. 8% of all homes for sale were listed as For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO)

An overwhelming percentage of homes for sale continue to be listed through the help of an agent or broker. In fact, this 8% number is close to the lowest percent of FSBO listing since the National Association of Realtors started keeping track of this residential real estate statistic.

What impact did COVID have on buying and selling homes?

Home Buyers Before and During COVID-19

(Source: NAR 2020)

41. 15% of buyers who bought after March of 2020 bought multi-generational homes, versus 11% of those who bought before April.

42. Buyers who bought after March 2020 expect to own their homes for 10 years, versus that of 15 years for those who bought before the pandemic.

43. 57% pandemic-era buyers bought a home in a suburban location vs. 50% for pre-pandemic buyers.

44. 23% of buyers who bought during the pandemic paid over $500,000.

45. Those who bought a home during COVID typically paid $339,400 vs. pre-pandemic buyers who typically paid $270,000.

Home Sellers Before and During COVID-19

(Source: NAR 2020)

46. Sellers who sold during the pandemic listed ‘home was too small’ as the most common reason for selling.

47. 46% of home sellers who sold after March 2020 felt it somewhat urgent to sell, versus 39% of those who sold before March 2020.

48. 27% of home sellers used virtual tours to sell their home during COVID vs. 16% of sellers pre-COVID.

49. On average, home sellers who listed during the pandemic sold for $300,000, versus those who sold before April 2020 and got $270,700.

50. 34% of sellers who sold pre-COVID owned their home for 16 years or more vs. 39% of those who sold during COVID.

Note on the numbers used in the article: In an effort to paint a fuller picture, the figures in this article were aggregated from numerous credible sources, who reported the results of their surveys at various points in time.

Parting Words

Whether you’re planning to buy or sell a home, we hope these housing market statistics will help you shed some light on the current real estate market and where your transaction will fit in, on average.

Oh, and if you’re curious about the commercial side of things, be sure to check out these eye-opening commercial real estate statistics.


National Association of Realtors: 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Report | National Association of Realtors: 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers |

Finance grad turned digital entrepreneur. I've been investing in the stock market and real estate since 2010, but the learning never ends! Fan of buying and holding dividend stocks, monkeying around on the web, and offering data-driven actionable content for those looking to enjoy their golden years.

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