® found the average percentage down payment in the 50 largest U.S. metro areas.
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In the first quarter of 2024, 93% of metros, or 205 out of 221, recorded home price gains, according to the National Association of Realtors’ latest quarterly report.

Of the 221 metros tracked, 30% experienced double-digit gains in the first quarter, up from 15% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Compared to one year ago, the national median single-family existing-home price increased 5% to $389,400. In the prior quarter, the year-over-year national median price increased 3.4%.

“Astonishingly, greater than 90% of the country’s metro areas experienced home price growth despite facing the highest mortgage rates in two decades,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “In the current market, rising prices are the direct result of insufficient housing supply not meeting the full demand.”

Regionally, the South registered the largest share of single-family existing-home sales (46%) in the first quarter, with year-over-year price appreciation of 3.3%. Prices swelled 11% in the Northeast, 7.4% in the Midwest, and 7.3% in the West.

The top 10 metro areas with the largest year-over-year median price increases—which can be influenced by the types of homes sold during the quarter—all registered gains of at least 18.2%. Six of the markets were in Illinois and Wisconsin. Those markets were Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (23.7%); Kankakee, Illinois (22.0%); Rockford, Illinois (20.1%); Champaign-Urbana, Illinois (20.0%); Johnson City, Tennessee (19.3%); Racine, Wisconsin (19.0%); Newark, New Jersey-Pennsylvania (18.8%); Bloomington, Illinois (18.5%); New York-Jersey City-White Plains, New York-New Jersey (18.4%); and Cumberland, Maryland-West Virginia (18.2%).

Eight of the top 10 most expensive markets in the U.S. were in California. Those markets included San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($1,840,000; 13.7%); Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine ($1,365,000; 14.2%); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward ($1,300,000; 14%); Urban Honolulu, Hawaii ($1,085,800; 5.5%); San Diego-Carlsbad ($981,000; 11.5%); San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles ($909,300; 7%); Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura ($908,700; 7.6%); Salinas ($899,200; 4.1%); Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida ($850,000; 9.4%); and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale ($823,000; 10.2%).

“The expensive markets in the West, where home prices declined last year, are roaring back,” Yun says. “Price dips in that region were viewed as second-chance opportunities by many buyers.”

Fifteen of 221 experienced home price declines in the first quarter, down from 14% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

As mortgage rates declined, housing affordability improved in the first quarter. The monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment was $2,037, down 5.7% from the fourth quarter of 2023 ($2,161) but up 9.3% from one year ago. Down from 26.1% in the prior quarter but up from 23.3% one year ago, families typically spent 24.2% of their income on mortgage payments.

For a typical starter home valued at $331,000 with a 10% down payment loan, the monthly mortgage payment fell slightly to $1,998, down 5.7% from the previous quarter ($2,118). Although that was an increase of $168, or 9.2%, from one year ago ($1,830). First-time buyers typically spent 36.5% of their family income on mortgage payments, down from 39.3% in the prior quarter.

In the first quarter, a family needed a qualifying income of at least $100,000 to afford a 10% down payment mortgage in 40.7% of markets, down from 47.1% in the previous quarter. Yet, a family needed a qualifying income of less than $50,000 to afford a home in 4.5% of markets, up from 2.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023.