With the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate business has experienced quite a lull in the past months. However, with the virus toning down some, real estate statistics show the market is bound to bounce back, and you might just be able to buy the dream home you’ve been looking to get your hands on.
As the real estate world starts to emerge from its slumber, let’s take a look at some interesting, as well as eye-opening, real estate data to get you back on track.
The Top 10 Real Estate Statistics and Fun Facts
- One single mansion in New York is owned by five European countries: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, North Macedonia, and Slovenia.
- Real estate agents sold 5.34 million homes in 2019.
- The Las Vegas Strip isn’t located in Las Vegas—it’s located in Paradise, a city within Las Vegas.
- Median home prices have been increasing sharply since 2011.
- Numerous stories exist of people building houses to mess with their neighbors.
- The US is still experiencing a major home shortage.
- The West Coast boasts the most expensive houses—median home prices exceed $400,000.
- April 2020 represents the largest YOY drop in unit sales (17%).
- Most real estate agents are women (62%), and their median age is 54 years.
- In 2018, 5% of realtors had to use firearms to defend themselves from assailants while doing their job.
Real Estate Statistics Overview
1. More than 5 million homes sold over the course of 2019.
2019 was a breakthrough year for units sold. In that year, 5.34 million existing homes were sold in the US, according to real estate market statistics. Furthermore, 682,000 newly built homes were sold in 2019.
2. The US is still experiencing a major home shortage.
As it currently stands, the market would need 3.8 million new homes to satisfy buyer demand, which is no easy feat. Luckily, the situation is improving, and home-buying statistics are showing a significant jump in the construction of single-family homes per 1,000 households compared to last year (from 4.6 to 7.3).
3. April 2020 represents the largest year-over-year drop in sales (17%).
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the market. Since most people stayed in lockdown only worrying about essential items, the sales percentage for existing home sales dropped significantly. In fact, real estate statistics for 2020 show that April was the worst month, hosting a 17% YOY drop in existing unit sales.
4. The US median home price is just under $250,000.
Median home prices have increased somewhat compared to last year across the US. Real estate stats show that the current price stands at $248,857, a 4.1% increase from 2019.
However, potential buyers shouldn’t panic, as the prices are expected to drop in the following period coming out of the pandemic by 1.5%.
5. Median home prices have been increasing sharply since 2011.
The current median home price across the US might not seem that bad, but it’s important to note that this price has been steadily increasing since 2011.
In fact, US real estate stats show that the overall increase amounts to $7,800 since 2011. In the western US, there’s been a 50% increase over this period. Meanwhile, the average American’s weekly earnings have increased by only 17%.
6. Mortgage interest rates have dropped following the pandemic lockdown.
A piece of good news for those frightened by what effect the global pandemic will have on the real estate market—mortgage interest rates on 30-year loans are among the lowest they’ve been in 25 years.
In order to preserve the American economy, the mortgage statistics show rates dropping to 3.3% in June. This also affects foreclosures; 2019 boasts the fewest foreclosures since 2010—an 83% drop over the last nine years.
Real Estate Statistics by State and Region
7. The West Coast boasts the highest-priced homes.
When it comes to real estate pricing, location is everything. Currently, the most expensive homes are situated in the western parts of the US.
Median home prices in the West have reached $410,000, while the cheapest homes are in the Midwest, with the median price being $203,700. California real estate statistics show that the San Jose area is the most expensive area to leave in, with median home prices reaching over $1.2 million.
8. New York real estate has been hit hard since COVID-19.
Though many experts state that this market is holding steady despite the pandemic, real estate statistics by city and region show differently. New York has been hit particularly hard—the number of listings has dropped by as much as 68.4% in YOY comparisons, and sales dropped by 66.6% in April alone.
Furthermore, the number of closed sales dropped by 29.3%, and the median home price dropped by 2.6%.
9. Sorting real estate statistics by zip code, metro area, and county, Colorado Springs has the fastest-growing market in the US.
California might have the priciest homes, but that doesn’t mean it has the best market. In fact, homes in Colorado Springs spend just 28 days on average on the market. Furthermore, they receive 2.4 times the views compared to the US average.
When it comes to Airbnb stats, California is one of the most demanded destinations.
Real Estate Agent Stats & Facts
10. The number of US agents reached an all-time high in 2019, at 1.4 million.
Ever since the 2007–2009 collapse, the number of agents has been increasing. Real estate agent statistics show that there are currently close to 1.4 million agents operating under the National Association of Retailers, a number that has steadily been growing since 2012.
11. Residential real estate is dominated by women.
While high-ranking positions in real estate are dominated by men, the majority of real estate agents are women. Real estate agent facts and stats show that 62% of all realtors are women, with their average age being 54 years.
12. In 2018, 5% of realtors had to use firearms to defend themselves while doing their job.
(360° Coverage Pros)
One might think that being a real estate agent is rather boring and uneventful day-to-day, but this might not be the case. Real estate agents are often targets of violent crimes—9% of realtors were threatened or attacked on the job in 2018, and 5% had to use a cellphone to call for help. All this for a real estate agent salary of $40,000 per year. On top of that, most agents are self-employed, so they pay higher taxes.
Overall, 33% of realtors in 2018 felt they were in an unsafe situation over the course of the year. This is mostly due to the fact that most realtors work with strangers and often can’t pick and choose where their job takes them.
13. 80% of agents fail within a year of getting licensed.
(City Insight Houston) (Investfourmore)
One thing you must know if you want to be a realtor: it’s a dog-eat-dog world. The competition is tight, and the pay is rather small for the effort you put into your job. Real estate agent sales statistics show an average agent sells around 8 homes a year.
Fun and Fascinating Real Estate Facts
14. One single mansion in New York is owned by five European nations: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Slovenia.
Ever consider buying a house owned by a country? What about five countries? Well, if you’re interested in the lavish, Versailles-style mansion at 854 Fifth Avenue, New York, you’ll have to do just that.
This excerpt from our interesting real estate facts concerns a mansion bought by Yugoslavia in 1946, after the war, to serve as an embassy. However, after the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1992, ownership was split among the newly-formed sovereign countries of Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Republic of North Macedonia.
15. Keret House is the narrowest house in the world.
You may have already seen some of the eel-bed apartments in Tokyo, or shoebox apartments in Hong Kong, but the title for the smallest abode belongs to Keret House in Warsaw.
Designed by Jakub Szczesny, the house is crammed between two buildings and is only 28 inches (72 cm) wide at the narrowest point and 48 inches (122 cm) wide at the widest. The house has quickly become one of the more fun real estate facts around the world and is already marked as a tourist destination in Warsaw.
16. The Las Vegas Strip isn’t located in Las Vegas—it’s located in Paradise, a city within Las Vegas.
Our next bit of real estate fun facts concerns Paradise, Nevada, a city within a city.
Paradise is an unincorporated town, meaning it’s overseen by Clark County, rather than being an autonomous settlement, and it, in fact, contains most of the Las Vegas strip. The town (a CDP, to be more exact) was created as a form of tax evasion, as casinos pay high taxes if they want to operate in Las Vegas.
17. Numerous stories exist of people building houses to mess with their neighbors.
(Lighter Side of Real Estate)
Here’s a really fun fact about real estate—there are houses in the US and around the world built purely out of spite. Be it a soldier angry at his brother for stealing his inheritance or an LGBTQ+ member looking to stick it to the Westboro Baptist Church, these houses are built purely to disrupt and annoy.
18. Real estate photography statistics show that homes with high-quality photos taken of them sell 32% faster.
One of the best ways to sell a home is to have as many photos of it posted on your medium of choice. Since a great part of home-shopping unfolds online, people tend to use photos to form their first impressions about a place.
Not only that, having 20 or more photos can reduce a home’s time on the market to just above 20 days. It may also increase its price by $3,000–$11,000 (adjusted for the $200,000 to $1 million price range).
How many houses were sold in 2019?
2019 saw the sale of 5.34 million existing units in the US. Since the market crash in 2007, the number of sold units has been steadily increasing, and though the pandemic had a negative impact on the number of sales in the early months of 2020, the forecast is pretty good, with 5.52 million homes predicted to be sold in 2020, and 5.57 million sold in 2021.
How big of an industry is real estate?
Simple answer: very big. Real estate contributed some $2.7 trillion dollars to the US economy in 2018, which amounts to around 13% of the country’s GDP. Furthermore, real estate in the US employs 2 million people and brings in $10 billion in corporate profit.
What age group buys the most houses?
(New York Times, CNBC)
With new generations growing up and coming into their own as adults, it’s logical that they’ll have the highest stake in real estate.
In fact, from July 2016 to June 2017, 36% of all homes bought were purchased by those younger than 37. Furthermore, the projected market share for 2020 puts millennials in the number-one spot, with at least 50% of all homes being bought by persons belonging to this generation.
What is the projected housing market for 2020?
So far, the greatest concern in 2020 is the impact of COVID-19 on the housing market. Over the course of the lockdown, the number of those who were optimistic about buying a home dropped sharply, from 75% to 43%. In addition, almost half of real estate agents (48%) reported a reduced interest in home purchases in the same period.
Another important note is that while homes are being sold pretty quickly, the supply remains on the low side. This means that potential buyers are likely to face competition now and after lockdown.
What is the average age to buy your first house?
Although millennials (the largest cohort of home buyers currently) face financial obstacles when looking for a home, the average first-time homeowner’s age has gone up only two years since the ’90s (from 32 to 34).
Interestingly, the latest real estate facts show that an increasing number of first-time owners are singles (35%) or are forming a household at the time of purchase (26%).
As with almost every industry, real estate has been subject to some changes owing to the COVID-19 pandemic (global gold demand has skyrocketed, for example). However, most experts believe the situation is slowly normalizing and that there won’t be a significant long-term impact on real estate as a whole.
The good news is that mortgage and foreclosure rates are dropping, so people affected economically by the pandemic can breathe a sigh of relief. However, real estate statistics show that median home prices are increasing significantly. Conversely, the overall increases in income are having trouble keeping up. This represents a major obstacle for millennials, the next generation of home buyers and owners—potentially preventing them from realizing their American dream.