19+ Real Estate Statistics Every Realtor Must Know in 2021

Buying a house is one of the most exciting milestones in life, but house hunting can also be a challenge. Between finding The One, and dealing with the complexities of the paperwork, valuing a house and actually moving, buying a home can be a lot.

Real estate statistics can be very interesting for any homeowner or real estate professional. If you’re buying a home and finding it a challenge, check out these housing statistics to help you see you’re not alone.

The real estate industry isn’t just about residential buying. It also covers rental homes and the sale and letting of commercial properties too. These three areas can be very different, despite all being covered by the same industry.

Is one more successful than the other? Is it easier to rent or buy? Is it easier to buy a house or rent an office?

Real estate stats can answer all these questions and more for us.

Fascinating Facts About Housing Data

    • 50% of buyers found their home on the internet
    • 5.34 million existing homes were sold in 2019
    • The US housing market was worth $33.3 trillion in 2018
    • Sales of existing homes will fall 1.8% from 2019
    • The cost of renting has gone up by 66%
    • 6% of younger millennials were first-time home buyers

What percentage of home buyers use the internet in 2019?

Years ago, you found a new home by looking at listings in the newspaper, looking out for For Sale boards in the street and going into the office of the local real estate agent. Like most things in life, buying a house has moved online.

There are hundreds of property listing websites online, such as Roofstock, and you can even see houses being offered for sale on sites like eBay! The housing market is a very different place. As well as property listings, there are even entirely online based estate agents with no physical offices. But just how much has the internet changed the way we buy homes?

1. 50% of buyers found their home on the internet.

(Source: NAR)

According to NAR statistics, half of all buyers in 2019 found their new property online. Only 28% used a real estate agent to find their new home. Property listing sites have clearly made a big difference in the way we buy houses.

2. Buyers spend three fewer days looking for a home than in the last year.

(Source: Redfin)

Real estate data shows that on average, buyers are spending less time looking for houses than before. The average buyer took three fewer days to find their property than in the previous year. Could the ease of being able to look at hundreds of property listings online be shortening the length of time it takes to find somewhere to live?

How many real estate transactions were there in 2018?

The current real estate market is in an interesting place. Many first time buyers are struggling to find the money to buy and there is a real need for more affordable housing. The housing market has also gone global, with many young people now choosing to spend some time living abroad. But has this changed the amount of house sold? Real estate statistics from 2018 have something interesting to tell us.

3. 5.34 million existing homes were sold in 2018.

(Source: NAR)

This means homes that were already built are still the ones being sold. Existing homes make up the biggest proportion of sales.


4. 667,000 newly built homes were sold in 2018.

(Source: NAR)

Some of those houses we need so much obviously are being built, and plenty of them are being snapped up by buyers! Recent housing sales show us that the market is still moving.

How much was the real estate industry worth in 2018?

Real estate stats can give us an insight into how the industry is growing as a whole. Slow periods in the market often reflect what’s going on in the wider economic world. In times of slow business growth, house sales tend to be slow too. But the housing market, no matter how slow, is always a big industry. But just how big is it?

5. The US housing market was worth $33.3 trillion in 2018.

(Source: Housing Wire)

That’s an increase of $1.9 trillion from the year before and a 6.2% increase since the housing market crash in 2012. Not bad!

6. California’s housing market value increased by $3.7 trillion since February 2012.

(Source: Housing Wire)

California has led the charge in boosting the US house market, with a third of the US’s housing market values being attributed to California. It’s not the only state with impressive figures though. New York is also a big player, with a market value of $3 trillion.

Will the Housing Market Crash in 2021?

The last housing market crash was in 2012. Some experts are predicting that 2020 could be a hard year for the housing market as the real estate growth rate slows down. But just big a crash are we heading into?

7. Sales of existing homes will fall 1.8% from 2019.

(Source: CNBC)

This might not seem like a huge number, but could be a real problem for both sellers and buyers. Due to the demand for housing, there are likely to be more buyers than there are houses for sale, causing a real issue in the market. Young or first-time buyers will be hit the most by this, as they may struggle to find suitable first-time homes.

8. House prices will flatten nationally, increasing by only 0.8%.

(Source: CNBC)

This might not sound so bad, but according to housing sales prices, but prices are set to fall in a quarter of the 100 largest metropolitan markets. This will include house prices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Dallas, Detroit and San Francisco.

Is the market better for renters?

Of course, the real estate market isn’t just about buyers and sellers. Many Americans live in rented properties, and housing data can be quite different from the buyers market. How are things looking for landlords and tenants?

9. The average rent in San Francisco is $3490.

(Source: Zumper)

That’s the monthly rent for a one bedroom property. This makes San Francisco the most expensive place in the world to rent a home.

10. Henderson, NV and Phoenix, AZ, had a rent growth of 4.5% and 4.1% in 2019.

(Apartment List)

Housing prices by state for renting show us that Henderson and Phoenix saw the fastest rent growth in the country in 2019. Good news for landlords!

11. The cost of renting has gone up by 66%.

(Source: Realtor)

Across the US, renting has become more expensive, which is bad news for people looking to hold off on buying a house. As house prices begin to slow down, rental is still soaring. This is great if you have a second property that you want to let out but not so great if you’re the person hoping to rent it.

12. 8% of homeowners regret purchasing a home instead of renting.

(Source: Zillow)

Buying a house and becoming a homeowner can be a real culture shock. Paying a mortgage usually works out at a similar price to renting, but owning does come with more costs. If something breaks, you have to pay to get it fixed and can’t just call the landlord! Despite the challenges of homeowners, it seems to the majority of buyers have no regrets about deciding to make the leap from renting.

Are millennials buying houses?

Millennials are a generation of renters. They rent their homes, stream their music and their TV and even rent their clothing sometimes, with businesses popping up to loan out designers accessories and clothing. But are any of them actually buying houses? The housing market data on this might surprise you.

13. 86% of younger millennials (aged 21 – 28) were first-time home buyers.

(Source: NAR)

Millennials, and in fact, younger millennials are buying houses after all! Many of them are choosing to invest in property instead of sinking money into rent. 52% of older millennials (aged 29 – 38) were first-time home buyers too. In 2018, the smallest segment of home buyers was the ‘silent generation’, who are aged between 73 and 93.

14. 2020 is going to be a peak year for millennial home buying.

(Source: Realtor) 

Despite the fact that the housing marketing is expected to dip next year, 2020 is looking like it’s going to be a good year for first time buyers and millennials. This could be because the crash will cause average prices to fall, making buying your first property a little easier. We’re already seeing this effect, with 45% of mortgages being held by millennials.

Is it a good time to be a realtor? 

A real estate agent is someone who is licensed to sell property in their state. Realtor statistics show us that buying and selling properties can be very lucrative, but like all industries, it does come with some challenges.

15. The average realtor spends $1370 a year on transport.

(Source: NAR)

Being a real estate agent can mean a lot of driving around. Whether you’re cruising the neighbourhood looking for potential sales, visiting properties you’re hoping to sell or are heading out to show around potential buyers, realtors spend a lot of time in the car. All this travel soon adds up, and for most real estate agents, is their biggest business expense.

16. In 2019, agents earned 17% of their business from referrals.

(Source: NAR)

13% of agents managed to get business from returning clients, but most people don’t want to move too often. If you have successfully sold somebody’s house, it’s unlikely that they’ll be needing your services again for a while. However, referrals are very important for realtors. Hopefully, those homeowners you helped will be telling all their friends that you got them an amazing price for their house, so their friends will want to use your services too.

What’s the market like for commercial property?

For many realtors, the real big business is in selling or renting out commercial properties. Instead of residential property, commercial covers any business locations, like offices, warehouses and even shopping malls. Real estate market data for commercial properties can tell us just as much about the health of the real estate industry as the sales of residential properties can. Office space or other business properties can often be the biggest expense for a company, so it’s important to stay informed about prices and where you can get the most space for your money.

17. The average commercial property sale in 2019 was $1.2 million.

(Source: NAR)

Looks like that commercial property market is looking pretty healthy! The market for commercial property doesn’t always move at the same pace as the marketing for domestic homes.

18. Causeway Bay has the most expensive retail rates in the world.

(Source: Statista)

Renting space is not cheap at all, especially if you want to do it in Hong Kong. Causeway Bay, located in the main street of Hong Kong boasts rates of $2,745 by square inch, making it the most expensive retail location in the world.

It is followed by Upper 5th Avenue, New York with $2,250, and New Bond Stree of London costing $1,714.

19. Hong Kong’s office space costs an average of $225.50 per square foot.

(Source: Statista)

This average cost makes Hong Kong the most expensive city in the world for renting out office space. Hong Kong is an expensive city for businesses, which can make things difficult for new or small businesses. When your overheads are as high as that, you need to work extra hard to turn a profit!

To compare the situation in New York, it would cost at least $100, or more precisely at least $153.

Wrap up

Buying a home, whether you’re a first-time buyer is rewarding but stressful. Hopefully, these real estate statistics have helped you to feel less like the only person who found house hunting a real challenge. Whether you’re a realtor or a homeowner, the real estate market can be a frustrating but fascinating place to be.


Christo is a bachelor in Economics, but he found a passion for crafting web content. He sees SpendMeNot as an opportunity to create engaging articles and help readers make informed financial decisions.

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