60 real estate facts + home buying trends for 2022

Published Date: January 6, 2023

A family enters the new home they purchased after researching current real estate facts.
The housing market has seen drastic changes in recent years, leaving homeowners and home buyers searching for answers. Housing prices are sky high, and interest rates are on the rise after remaining near record lows throughout much of 2020 and 2021. We've taken a closer look at the numbers to identify a few housing trends for 2022. Whether you’re entering the housing market for the first time — or returning as a second home buyer — this data can help you make more informed buying decisions.

Home financing is becoming more flexible

In 2021, 96% of home buyers had their mortgage application approved
Getting approved for a home loan is a common barrier for people dreaming of owning a house. Fortunately, many of today’s buyers are able to secure home financing with flexible low interest rates. The following real estate facts illustrate why the ease of financing is a contributing factor to increased activity in the housing market.  
  1. Mortgage credit availability increased 3.9% between July and August of 2021. (Mortgage Bankers Association)
  2. 24% of home buyers find the mortgage application and approval process to be easier than expected. (National Association of Realtors)
  3. The median mortgage payment in 2019 was $1,609 per month. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  4. In 2020, the median down payment on a house or condo was 12%. (National Association of Realtors)
  5. The average approved home buyer had a credit score of 735 in 2020. (FHFA)
  6. In 2020, 96% of home buyers had their mortgage application approved. (National Association of Realtors)
  7. 30-year mortgages had an average rate of 3.79% in Q1 2022. (Freddie Mac)
  8. 92% of all mortgages in 2021 were fixed-rate. (National Association of Realtors)
  9. In 2020, 14% of home loans came from the VA. (National Association of Realtors)
  10. The average annual rate for a 15-year mortgage was 3.02% in Q1 2022. (Freddie Mac)

Residential home buying trends

31% of home buyers in 2021 purchased for the first time, trading apartments for houses
While some buyers may have felt pushed to buy quickly at the onset of Covid-19 lockdowns, many consider their home to be a long-term commitment rather than a temporary alternative. The internet and the use of virtual technology are aiding home buyers in their search during these unique circumstances and will likely remain a home buying trend in 2022 onward. 11. In 2020, 21% of all buyers delayed buying a home for two years due to their debt. (National Association of Realtors)12. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the Midwest had the highest regional homeownership rate at 70.1%. (U.S. Census Bureau)13. 44% of home buyers plan to spend 16 years or more in their new home. (National Association of Realtors)14. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the national homeownership rate was 65.5%. (U.S. Census Bureau)15. 31% of home buyers in 2021 purchased for the first time. (National Association of Realtors)16. New home sales reached a 9-month high of 860,000 annual units in December 2021. (U.S. Census Bureau)17. 79.4% of those aged 65 and over are homeowners. (U.S. Census Bureau)18. The average buyer looks at nine homes before making a purchase. (National Association of Realtors)19. 81% of Americans value the location of a home over its size. (Coldwell Banker)20. In 2020, 58% of all buyers deemed virtual tours to be very useful. (National Association of Realtors21. Historically, homes listed during April 18-24 sold 14.1% faster than the average week. (Realtor.com)22. 21% of home buyers believe their new home will be their forever home. (National Association of Realtors)23. 54% of millennials want to live close to bars and nightlife. (Coldwell Banker24. In 2020, 43% of home buyers looked online for properties for sale. (National Association of Realtors)25. In the fourth quarter of 2021, 79% of households with an income greater than or equal to the median family income own their home. (U.S. Census Bureau)26. In the fourth quarter of 2021, only 52% of households with an annual income below the median income level were homeowners. (U.S. Census Bureau)27. 80% of home buyers prefer a move-in ready house over a fixer-upper. (Coldwell Banker)28. Home buyers spent an average of eight weeks searching for their home. (National Association of Realtors)

Housing shortage facts

In 2023, approximately 1.2 million single-family housing units will be under construction
The unexpected increase in the demand for homes led to an understandable shortage in supply. The desire for primary and secondary homes away from city centers led to unforeseen growth in housing prices in smaller markets. Although new construction of single-family residences is underway, developers are forced to play catch-up after a decade of insufficient development.   29. Home supply decreased by 66% between January 2020 and January 2022. (Pacaso-sourced data)30. There were 406,000 new homes for sale at the end of January 2022. (U.S. Census Bureau)31. Approximately 978,000 building permits were issued for single-family homes in 2020. (Statista)32. In 2020, 29 states were estimated to have a housing shortage. (Freddie Mac)33. Active home listings dropped 28% between 2020 and 2021. (Realtor.com)34. $609.3 billion was invested in private new home construction in 2020. (Statista)35. 89.5% of all housing units were occupied in 2021. (U.S. Census Bureau)36. Pre-pandemic, the national housing deficit was predicted to be 2.5 million in 2020. (Freddie Mac)37. At the end of 2020, the housing deficit was actually much higher, with an estimated shortage of 3.8 million homes. (Freddie Mac)38. In 2023, approximately 1.2 million single-family housing units will be under construction. (Statista39. An estimated 65,000 entry-level new homes were constructed in 2020, compared to 150,000 units per year during the first decade of the 21st century. (Freddie Mac)

The rising cost of real estate

42% of home buyers see real estate as a better investment than stocks
As the price of real estate rises, so does the belief in its long-term value. Home buyers see houses as a reliable store of value, and in some cases, the houses are being used as a secondary source of income. While a spotlight has been placed on corporations purchasing houses, real estate statistics reveal the majority of rental property investors are individuals.   40. 72.5% of rental property investors in the U.S. are individuals. (Pew Research Center)41. Only 5.6% of rentals were vacant in the fourth quarter of 2021. (U.S. Census Bureau42. In the fourth quarter of 2021, vacant for-sale units had a median asking price of $239,000. (U.S. Census Bureau)43. 42% of home buyers see real estate as a better investment than stocks. (National Association of Realtors)44. Rental units had a median rental asking price of $1,207 in the fourth quarter of 2021. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Second home buying statistics

Demand for second homes grew by 95% between 2015 and 2020
Not everyone who buys property in suburban and rural areas is looking for a permanent change in location. Many home buyers purchase second homes as a temporary escape from their primary residences. The demand for second homes had already been on the rise prior to the pandemic, but growth in this market surged after lockdown restrictions were put in place, with second homes outpacing primary home sales.    45. Between 2019 and 2020, vacation home mortgage applications increased by almost 30%. (Zillow)46. The demand for second homes outpaced primary home demand by 24% between 2015 and 2020. (Pacaso-sourced data)47. In summer 2021, second home transactions held a market share of 4.3%. (Pacaso)48. Vacation home sales growth outpaced primary home sales by nearly 3 to 1 during the pandemic. (National Association of Realtors)49. Demand for second homes grew by 99% between 2015 and 2020. (Pacaso-sourced data)50. As of January 2022, homes in 18 of the 20 most popular vacation destinations in the U.S. appreciated faster than the average home. (Zillow

The state of home prices today

The average price of homes grew by 134% between January 2020 and January 2022
It stands to reason that the current housing shortage would lead to an increase in house prices. Although many home buyers were motivated to leave their city, not all metro areas saw their populations decline. Many cities saw boosts to their populations and house prices — likely aided by the implementation of remote work practices.    51. The average price of primary homes grew by 134% between January 2020 and January 2022. (Pacaso-sourced data)52. The median sales price of a new home in the U.S. was $400,600 in February 2022. (U.S. Census Bureau)53. As of February 2022, the typical home in the U.S. is valued at $331,533. (Zillow54. 82% of homes were affordable to the median homeowner in 2019. (JCHS)55. The number of cities where a typical home costs $1 million or more increased 17% in 2020. (Zillow)56. 23% of home buyers made compromises on the cost of their home. (National Association of Realtors)57. U.S. home values increased 50.7% since November 2016. (Zillow)58. In the first quarter of 2021, Boise, Idaho, saw a 28% year-over-year rise in house prices, the highest among metro areas. (JCHS)59. In the first quarter of 2021, Austin, Texas, saw the second highest year-over- year rise in house prices at 23%. (JCHS)60. As of January 2022, the typical home value increased 19.9% from the previous year. (Zillow)The housing market continues to experience unprecedented increases in housing demands and shortages. Hopefully these real estate facts can help you navigate your way to achieving your dream of owning a home — or even a second home.
An infographic overviews real estate facts and home buying tips for 2022.

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