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15 Surprising Real Estate Facts That Will Shock You

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The thought of buying a home may conjure up feelings of stress, excitement, and chaos. Finding the right property is the biggest obstacle for 53% of buyers. Understanding facts about real estate could help you make better investment decisions. 

The real estate industry isn’t all doom and gloom. There are plenty of interesting real estate facts that may surprise you. Did you know that open houses used to last 12 hours?

It can be useful to brush up on real estate trends if you are buying or selling a home. Here are 15 real estate fun facts that are fascinating and practical to know. 

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1. The demand for second homes has grown by 57.1% YOY

Buying a second and third home is becoming a popular choice for home buyers. Since 2015, the demand for second homes has grown by 99%. The estimated total of second homes in America is 7.15 million, which accounts for 5.11% of the total housing stock. 

The state with the largest stock of second homes is Florida. South Dakota has the smallest stock of all 50 states with 20,000 second homes on record. 

2. 1 in 10 Americans sell their home due to paranormal activity

Many people stated that they thought their house was haunted before they bought it. Don’t worry if you don’t have a gift for the supernatural. State disclosure laws may require that agents disclose spirit residents and hauntings to potential buyers. 

A survey conducted by Cinch Home Services revealed that 1 in 10 Americans have sold their home due to a paranormal experience. Half of these encounters occurred in homes with two floors. Many Americans will contact a religious figure to deal with their spooky residents before deciding to sell up and move on. 

3. 33% of millennial investors choose to invest in real estate

Millennial investors are choosing real estate over the stock market. 33% of millennials agree that real estate is a good investment. Owning bricks and mortar is a more appealing and stable asset compared to stock market shares

Millennials are saving 10% of their income, which is more than double what Baby Boomers would have saved. The younger generation is less focused on buying their first home, which means they spend more time saving up for a deposit. Although millennials are becoming more interested in real estate, Baby Boomers are the generation with the most real estate wealth.

4. The average house price in America is $417,700

The average house price in the US has increased each year for the last four years. The median house price increased by 416% between 1980 and 2020 to $417,700. House prices and income vary from state to state, but the average monthly mortgage payment is $2,883 per month for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan.

Hawaii is the most expensive state to purchase a home with an average house price of $834,582.

5. Over 17 million Americans spend half their income on rent

Nationwide, half of all renters now spend more than 30% of their paycheck on rent and utilities, the center found after analyzing 2022 census data. Many of these people will be looking at buying a home to reduce their monthly outgoings.

Fannie Mae recently announced that renters who pay on time will increase their chances of qualifying for a mortgage in the future. 

6. 32% of buyers were first-time homeowners in 2024

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that the typical age of a first-time buyer was 33 years old. When asked, their main reason for buying a house was to own their home. For most people, buying a home is the biggest financial decision they will ever make.

A first-time buyer is not always someone who is buying their first home. Many prospective buyers are single parents who previously owned property with their ex-spouse. A person who has not owned a personal residence in the last three years is also classified as a first-time buyer.

44% of millennials would buy a home based on listing photos

Millennials are more comfortable than older generations when ordering items online. With their finger on the pulse of digital society, Millennials turn to celebrities and influencers to help them make decisions on everything from real estate to furniture.

Buying a house online is a socially distanced and acceptable way to purchase a property in 2024

Millennials are also buying houses through Facebook and Instagram while applying for their mortgages online. Buying a house through a real estate agent can be less convenient than conducting property searches online at any time of day.

8. The US housing market is worth a record value of $47 trillion

The US housing market is now worth more than the GDP of the two largest global economies (the US and China). The total value of every home in America is now estimated to be worth $47 trillion.

9. Staged homes sell 3 times faster 

Staging your home before selling it is a worthwhile expense. A staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home, and 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That is statistically 87% faster than non-staged homes.”

Buyers are looking for a property that is fresh and well-maintained. Spending time on your home’s exterior can also increase the property value.

More recent data compiled by Home Staging Statistics show a similar result. According to Home Staging Statistics, “94% of staged homes sell on average in 29 days or less.”

Realtor.com finds that, “On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes, which is nothing to sneeze at.” 

10. Gen X and millennials want large yards

Most millennials realize that their first house may not be their forever home. However, outdoor space is at the top of their priority list. More than two-thirds of millennials and Gen Xers want access to a large yard or outdoor space. 

A community survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that millennials want a larger home within a walkable community. 

11. 76% of buyers want a detached home

The majority of home buyers do not want neighbors. A report by the National Association of Home Builders revealed that 76% of buyers are interested in a single-family, detached home. 18% of buyers would like a townhouse and 6% want to buy a multi-family condo.

Detached homes offer privacy and the possibility of extending without upsetting neighbors. A detached house also has more curb appeal, which can be handy if you plan on moving again in the future. 

12. Buyers will pay more for smart home devices

10% of home buyers said they would pay more for a home with smart devices installed. Smart home technology makes a house more convenient while saving time and money. Women are also twice as like to desire home security systems as men will.

Multi-functional smart hubs are the most popular devices with video doorbells and smart lighting following closely behind. 

13. The average home purchase takes 42 days

According to CNBC Reports it takes an average of 42 days to close a loan on a home purchase. Getting pre-approved for your mortgage can shorten this time and improve your chances of a better mortgage rate.

The time it takes to close a mortgage depends on where you are in the home purchase or refinance process.

The mortgage process itself — from application to final walkthrough and closing — generally takes between 30 and 60 days. If you’re refinancing a home you already own, that’s your entire timeline.

If you’re a first-time buyer or repeat buyer purchasing a new home, you have to factor in the house-hunting process. You need an offer accepted to get approved for a mortgage, so you can’t start the process in full until you’ve found the home you want. This could add an additional 1-2 months or more onto your timeline.

Although the return is not as good as the stock market, real estate is a lower-risk investment for many Americans.

15. 1 in 5 realtors live in California

There are approximately 1,554,604 Realtors in the USA as of 2024. California is home to more realtors than any other state in the US.

With interest rates at an all-time low, the housing market in California is booming. California is a popular location for home buyers who want a slice of the beachfront lifestyle at an affordable price.

Buying a home in California has so many perks for prospective buyers, too. The Bakersfield real estate market is a popular place to find affordable housing in California. Bakersfield is known for its agriculture and energy production with beautiful, warm summers.

Find more helpful facts about real estate

Fine-tuning your real estate knowledge can be beneficial if you are selling your home. These useful facts about real estate can help you discover what people are looking for when buying a home. If you are thinking of selling your home, getting a price estimation online could be an easy first step.

Do you want to sell your home without the hassle? A trusted iBuying company could make an instant offer for your home in minutes with no obligation. Get in touch with iBuyer to get an instant and accurate estimate for your home.

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