Median down payments are down – except in California

Green Escrow | Real Estate

In a bit of good news for home buyers, median down payments are down nationwide from 14.7% at the end of 2023 to 13.6% currently. This comes to a savings of roughly $4,400.

Thew news isn’t so good in California where median down payments continue to be sky-high. Below are the metro areas with the highest down payments based on percentage of total cost.

  1. Oxnard, CA – 24.50%
  2. San Francisco, CA – 24.20%
  3. Santa Maria, CA – 24.10%
  4. San José, CA – 24.00%
  5. Los Angeles, CA – 21.50%
  6. Santa Rosa, CA – 20.50%
  7. San Diego, CA – 20.00%

The most expensive zip codes in the U.S.

Green Escrow Services | woman home buyer

And these are expensive as you’ll by the median list price. Note, all ten are in California and New York.

  1. 92657 – Newport Coast, CA – Median list price: $11,678,350
  2. 94027 – Atherton, CA – Median list price: $10,288,188
  3. 90210 – Beverly Hills, CA – Median list price: $9,503,004
  4. 11962 – Sagaponack, NY – Median list price: $9,443,646
  5. 90077 – Los Angeles, CA – Median list price: $8,851,000
  6. 11976 – Watermill, NY – Median list price: $7,462,188
  7. 90265 – Malibu, CA – Median list price: $6,803,021
  8. 93110 – Santa Barbara, CA – Median list price: $6,731,146
  9. 11932 – Bridgehampton, NY – Median list price: $6,709,792
  10. 93108 – Montecito, CA – Median list price: $6,633,604

Insurance issues affecting home sales

Green Escrow Services | American economy

As if mortgage rates and high listing prices weren’t enough, homebuyers – and sellers – are facing rapidly rising home insurance costs, if they’re able to get insurance at all.

Early in 2023 both Allstate and State Farm announced they wee no longer writing new homeowner’s policies, primarily due to wildfire risks throughout the state.

In some cases, buyers only alternative is the FAIR Plan which often features higher premiums and more limited coverage.

It’s expensive to live here

Green Escrow | buyer regrets

The ten most expensive metro areas in the United States, including the median list price and the median household income to purchase a home.

  1. San José, CA – median list price: $1,467,000 – median household income required: $361,000
  2. Los Angeles, CA – median list price: $1,192,000 – median household income required: $298,000
  3. San Diego, CA – median list price: $1,050,000 – median household income required: $259,000
  4. San Francisco, CA – median list price: $1,027,000 – median household income required: $256,000
  5. Boston, MA – median list price: $870,000 – median household income required: $226,000
  6. New York, NY – median list price: $769,000 – median household income required: $218,000
  7. Seattle, WA – median list price: $725,000 – median household income required: $193,000
  8. Sacramento, CA – median list price: $650,000 – median household income required: $162,000
  9. Washington, DC – median list price: $625,000 – median household income required: $159,000
  10. Austin, TX – median list price: $567,000 – median household income required: $157,000

Insurance premiums are rising, home values could decrease

Green Escrow Services | American economy

Home insurance premiums keep rising – up 33.8% from 2018 to 2023 and up 11.3% in 2023 alone – which is causing a great strain on homebuyers, as well as homeowners, but could also have a long-term effect on home values as well.

Given the increase in climate risks throughout the country and given the skyrocketing increase in premiums – or agencies discontinuing coverage in certain areas entirely – this is clearly a problem that is only going to get worse.

It is estimated that nearly half of the homes in the United States are at severe risk from environmental damage that affects nearly $22 trillion in real estate.

The hottest real markets this Spring

Real Estate Growth

Based on a whole host of criteria including inventory, price trends, demand, property taxes, climate risks, unemployment rate, days on the market etc. the Wall Street Journal and realtor.com have come up with their Housing Market Ranking listed below, including the median list price.

  1. Rockford, IL – $235,000
  2. Canton, OH – $248,000
  3. Ann Arbor, MI – $525,000
  4. Akron, OH – $212,500
  5. Springfield, MO – $340,000
  6. Fort Wayne, IN – $235,000
  7. Manchester, NH – $500,000
  8. Columbus, OH – $380,000
  9. Kingsport, TN – $315,000
  10. Portland, ME – $623,000
  11. Springfield, MA – $350,000
  12. Burlington, VT – $499,000
  13. Dayton, OH – $230,000
  14. Worcester, MA – $500,000
  15. Lancaster, PA – $420,000
  16. Appleton, WI – $400,000
  17. Hickory, NC – $360,000
  18. Toledo, OH – $230,000
  19. Louisville, KY – $315,000
  20. Lansing, MI – $225,000

Eco-friendly listings

GreenEscrow | Solar

With climate change all around us, it’s no surprise that more and more communities are putting an emphasis on protecting the environment with eco-friendly homes. It’s also no surprise that California leads the way with 6 of the top 10 listings. included are the percentage of eco-friendly terms for that metro area.

  1. Yuba City, CA – 12.3%
  2. Vallejo, CA – 10.6%
  3. Tucson, AZ – 8.3%
  4. Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura, CA – 8.2%
  5. San Diego – Chula Vista – Carlsbad, CA – 8.1%
  6. Fort Collins, CO – 8.0%
  7. Stockton, CA – 7.9%
  8. Greeley, CO – 7.6%
  9. Los Alamos, NM – 7.5%
  10. San José – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, CA – 7.4%

Home are selling … slowly

Green Escrow | Real Estate

Yes, spring is here and homes should be flying off the market. But, of course, nothing has been normal for years now. Many of the slower moving metro areas are in flood zones and facing higher insurance premiums. So if you’re thinking about moving to one of these areas, there’s probably still time. Included are median days on the market as well as median list price.

  1. Lafayette, LA – 69 days – $259,250
  2. Punta Gorda, FL – 69 days – $419,000
  3. Brownsville TX – 68 days – $308,00
  4. Utica, NY – 68 days – $239,900
  5. New Orleans, LA – 67 days – $329,000
  6. Crestview, FL – 66 days – $644,000
  7. Huntington, WV – 66 days – $179,950
  8. Waco, TX – 66 days – $345,000
  9. Longview, TX – 64 days – $305,500
  10. Naples, FL – 64 days – $849,000
  11. Cape Coral, FL – 64 days – $474,100
  12. Baton Rouge, LA – 64 days – $305,000

Gen Z’ers are buying here…

Green Escrow Services | woman home buyer

Generation Z (born late 1990’2 to early 2010’s), said to frugal and financially responsible, make up approximately 6.2% of homeowners.

Known for doing their research, Gen Z has also shown a willingness to move to less expensive areas to purchase their first home.

Here are the top ten metro areas where Generation Z is buying. The percentage is the percentage Gen Z homebuyers followed by the median list price:

  1. Jacksonville, NC – 17.91% – $330,000
  2. Elkhart, IN – 17.86% – $295,000
  3. Lima, OH – 17.44% – $212,500
  4. Waterloo, IA – 17.14% – $280,450
  5. Cumberland, MD – 15.2% – $158,000
  6. Watertown, NY – 15.14% – $235,000
  7. St. Joseph, MO – 14.96% – $169,9000
  8. Hinesville, GA – 14.86% – $282,000
  9. Dubuque, IA – 14.78% – $308,750
  10. St. Cloud MN – 14.62% – $350,000

Too good to give up

Green Escrow Services | American economy

Mortgage rates have been high – close to 7% – for the last two years. This, of course, has slowed the housing market but the main factor that has kept movement at a standstill is that 70% of existing mortgage holders have a rates that are more then three percentage rates below the current rate.

This means that those thinking of relocating for better jobs or pay, those looking for more space or those looking to downsize aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

It’s estimated that low locked-in rates are worth close to $50,000 to the average mortgage holder over the life of the loan.

Is it any wonder they’re reluctant to give that up?