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Median US Down Payment Falls by More Than $4,000

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Affordability

Median US Down Payment Falls by More Than $4,000

The recent decrease in costs is welcome relief for homebuyers, but many West Coast markets remain expensive


May 15, 2024
Homebuyer takes keys for new house
Image: Shisu_ka / stock.adobe.com

While single-family home prices remain elevated, it appears costs for buyers are finally falling. According to housing market data platform Realtor.com, the median down payment for a house in the U.S. has dropped from $30,400 to $26,000 quarter-over-quarter. However, housing costs across the country vary considerably, with many Pacific Coast markets taking the lead for being the most expensive. Even so, pricier markets have also seen the cost of the average down payment decrease.

Yet when it comes to the city where buyers shell out the highest down payment in dollars, that dubious honor belongs to San Jose, CA, where buyers put down an average of $213,000, or 24.0% of the purchase price. Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, where Apple, Google, and Nvidia are based, it is the most expensive housing market in America, according to a Realtor.com analysis. There, the median home list price hovers around $1.46 million—and homebuyers need to earn at least $361,000 to own a home.

In a surprise twist, San Jose also nabbed another title: the largest annual decrease in down payments in the largest metros. Down payment amounts dropped by 11.9% (or $28, 779) compared with the last quarter of 2023, highlighting how down payments are falling overall.

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