Down Payments on a Home Are Dropping

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Perhaps the highest hurdle for first-time home buyers has always been scraping together the down payment. A 20% down payment on a $250,000 home comes to $50,000, not an easy pile of cash to amass.

Researchers at Lending Tree have some good news though. In the third quarter of this year, the average down payment amount fell from $52,480 to $47,265. The average percentage of a home’s price required actually rose, from 18.02% to 18.05% in the same period, and the average loan amount offered to potential buyers fell by almost $28,000, from $285,903 in the second quarter to $257,749.

If you are looking to buy a home, this is good news. You’ll have to come up with a smaller down payment and your loan could be smaller, yielding a lower monthly mortgage payment. If you’re planning to sell your home, moderating home price increases make now a good time to sell because more affordable homes mean more buyers will be in the market.

Lending Tree has compiled a list of the states where average down payments are lowest and highest, both on a cash and percentage basis. Here’s the firm’s list:

The lowest average down payments, by percentage

Alaska
Average down payment percentage: 15.41%
Average offered down payment: $36,476
Average offered loan amount: $236,643

West Virginia
Average down payment percentage: 15.44%
Average offered down payment: $21,415
Average offered loan amount: $138,696

Mississippi
Average down payment percentage: 15.78%
Average offered down payment: $22,964
Average offered loan amount: $145,523

The lowest average down payments, by dollar amount

West Virginia
Average down payment percentage: 15.44%
Average offered down payment: $21,415
Average offered loan amount: $138,696

Arkansas
Average down payment percentage: 15.90%
Average offered down payment: $21,707
Average offered loan amount: $136,505

South Dakota
Average down payment percentage: 18.38%
Average offered down payment: $22,149
Average offered loan amount: $120,529

The highest average down payments, by percentage

California
Average down payment percentage: 21.44%
Average offered down payment: $97,809
Average offered loan amount: $454,146

Hawaii
Average down payment percentage: 21.32%
Average offered down payment: $69,923
Average offered loan amount: $328,046

Delaware
Average down payment percentage: 21.29%
Average offered down payment: $51,678
Average offered loan amount: $242,735

The highest average down payments, by dollar amount

California
Average down payment percentage: 22.44%
Average offered down payment: $97,809
Average offered loan amount: $456,146

Washington, D.C.
Average down payment percentage: 19.84%
Average offered down payment: $91,397
Average offered loan amount: $460,685

New York
Average down payment percentage: 19.85%
Average offered down payment: $90,318
Average offered loan amount: $454,968

The Lending Tree report covers conventional 30-year fixed mortgages offers that borrowers received on LendingTree’s platform in Q3 2018. The down payment is the total dollar amount contributed to the purchase price excluding the mortgage. The down payment percentage is the proportion of this dollar amount to the total purchase price.

For listings of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, visit the Lending Tree website.