Zillow Statistics

By Wendy Ceccherelli


Zillow has some great research tools and puts out regular research reports available for free to anyone interested in learning more about our housing market. They have reported that the three most perceived barriers to home buying among renters are: inability to finance the down payment, qualifying for a mortgage, or dealing with existing debt. By far, the biggest concern in every major market was coming up with the down payment.

There are so many financing programs available for first time homebuyers that it is truly remarkable that this fear exists. Many conventional financing programs allow for a down payment as low as 3-5.5%; allow for gifts from parents or loved ones; or even provide state-subsidized grants and tax credits that do not need repayment. Some programs such as VA loans for veterans and USDA for buying in rural areas provide 100% financing. The best way to find out if you can qualify for a mortgage is to speak with a mortgage lender.

In Seattle, home values are up 11 percent, while the selection of homes is down 10.5% from last year. "Low inventory, strong demand and tough competition will be the defining characteristics of this year's home shopping season," according to Zillow

Zillow also reported that the median mortgage payment in the US takes 15.8 percent of the median monthly income, while the monthly median rent payments takes 29.2 percent of the median monthly income. These statistics come from the largest-ever survey of US home buyers, sellers, owners and renters.

Zillow also analyzed the mortgage costs of moving to a three-bedroom home from a two-bedroom home, an estimated 50% increase on average in their monthly mortgage payout. In many coastal cities or hotter markets like Seattle, a family might expect this move to nearly double the monthly mortgage payment.

Bathroom count can also impact a home's price. Nationally, upgrading to a house with one extra bathroom, but the same number of bedrooms, can increase the monthly mortgage anywhere from $386-$838, depending on the size of the house. Adding an extra bedroom or bathroom to an existing home may be a cost-effective option for some families.

According to Zillow, 90% of the sellers who sold quickly and for more than list price worked with an agent, and two out of three began working with an agent from the very beginning of their sales effort.

The full 200-page Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends is available free at www.zillowgroupreport.com.

Happy Investing!

About the author...

Wendy Ceccherelli is a full-time real estate investor, with Home Land Investment Properties, Inc., and a managing broker at Century 21 Northwest Realty in Kirkland, WA. As the volunteer membership coordinator for the Real Estate Association of Puget Sound, Wendy writes monthly articles for new investors in the REAPS newsletter, oversees membership recruitment and retention efforts, and provides training for new investors to prepare them for their first investments. She invests in single family and multifamily properties mostly in the Seattle area. Wendy spent over twenty-five years as an executive in both the private sector and in four different municipalities, distributing almost $15 million in government and private funding. She has served on over 40 civic boards and commissions in leadership roles, and is experienced in entrepreneurship. In addition, she is a commercially-rated hot air balloon pilot, licensed yoga fitness instructor, Rotarian, and former President of the Seattle Sake dragon boat club. Contact Wendy at [email protected] or 888-621-4999

REAPS is the oldest – and largest - Professional Association for the real estate investor this side of the Mississippi. We provide education and networking resources for real estate investors, those who want to be investors and anyone who provides value to our members. Our goals are to motivate and support our members and guests through education, discussion, legislative action and networking. We host over 40 live events a year around Puget Sound and they are all open to the public. If you've never attended one of our meetings, just email our office at [email protected] and be our guest for free!"

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