Down Payments on Homes Across Top 50 U.S. Metros Now Average $46,000

A new study by LendingTree found that the average down payment on homes across 50 major U.S. metros has reached $46,283.

As interest rates fell to historic lows and the housing market sizzled, high home prices led to larger down payments. Analysts at LendingTree calculated median down payments in the largest 50 U.S. metros and compared how expensive they were relative to their median annual household incomes.

“An average down payment on a home costs at least $28,000 in each of the nation’s 50 largest metros,” they reported. In some markets it was almost four times that number.

The most expensive cities peaked at over $100,000. San Jose had an average of $115,138 down, which amounts to 88% of the median annual household income in the area. San Francisco’s was even more dramatic: $103,016 down, 90% of the city’s median annual income.

Bidding wars have pushed down payments higher as well, as many first-time buyers struggle to outbid cash-rich investors who offer more upfront. The average down payment in 2019 was 12% of purchase price. Now it’s closer to 16%.

More highlights from the report:

  • Oklahoma City, New Orleans and St. Louis are the metros with the lowest down payments. Down payments in these metros average $28,267, $29,371 and $29,958, respectively.
  • Across the nation’s 50 largest metros, the average down payment on a home is about 62% of a given area’s median yearly household income.
  • In Los Angeles and San Diego, the down payments are worth 108% and 102% of each area’s median household income, respectively.
  • Down payments are the most affordable relative to income in Providence, R.I., St. Louis and Baltimore. Homebuyers put an average of 45% of the area’s median household income toward a down payment.