While the housing market is improving, it’s still often pricier than it’s been in decades. Some evidence suggests that the market may have suffered long-term damage—with both renters and buyers struggling to find places to call home and sellers and homeowners struggling with the balance of creating a place of their own and maintaining their investment. For a deeper understanding of where the U.S. housing market dwells today, we’ve rounded up the statistics from the Zillow Housing Trends Report 2017 that sum up today’s renters, buyers, sellers, and homeowners.


Nearly 40 percent of American households are renters. That’s more than it’s been in decades. Of course, some rent by choice, and some rent because of market conditions, but regardless that’s about 43.7 million homes, an increase of nearly 7 million since 2005. When breaking down renter statistics further, we find that most renters are young adult (median age: 32), diverse (with 55% white, 19% black, 17% hispanic, 7% asian, 3% other),  and single with roommates. The median rental in the U.S. is $1,010 (highest in the West, lowest in the Midwest). Plus, 79% of renters who moved in the past year had a rent increase and 57% say the increase impacted their decision to move.


Buying remains difficult in every market. It takes an average of 4.3 months to search for a new home and the typical home in the U.S. purchased has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, is about 1,800 square feet and costs $200,000. The median buyer’s age is 40, though the majority (71%) of first-timers are millennials, with a median household income of $87,500.

What kind of houses are Americans buying? Homes in a safe neighborhood (71% of buyers look for this), in their price range (67% of buyers), with air conditioning (62% of buyers), and mostly in the suburbs (49% of buyers).


Selling is relatively easy in most markets with two main purposes: to sell in their preferred time frames and for their desired price. Most sellers are a median age of 45, though millennials make up nearly ⅓ of sellers, with a median income of $87,500. Typical sellers have lived in their home for 12 years and are selling for the first time (61%) and buying at the same time (71%). Half of sellers end up selling their home for less than their original listing price and 76% have to make at least one concession.


Owning a home is a great investment, especially in today’s markets where appreciation rates are extremely high right now. Homeowners are a median age of 57, with just 14% being millennials, and 71% live with a spouse or partner. They have a median household income of $62,500 and 86% have no plan to sell in the next three years. About half live in the first home they purchased, although this percent decreases with age, and nearly half own pets. When it comes to their home’s condition, less than 25% say their home is “like-new,” while most (60%) say their’s needs updating. What kind of updating? Painting the interior tops the charts at 25%, with improving the bathroom and landscaping coming in a close second and third, respectively.

Want to learn more about the American housing market? Check out the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017. Are you a renter ready to be a homeowner, or a homeowner ready to make some updates? Contact Sandy Spring Builders today.