Key statistics

  • The median down payment on a home in the U.S. is $51,250. (ATTOM)
  • 41% percent of current homeowners saved specifically for the down payment and closing costs on their first home, while 14% used a financial gift from family or friends. (Bankrate)
  • The typical first-time homebuyer down payment is 8%. Repeat buyers put down more: 19%. (National Association of Realtors)

You might have heard you’ll need a 20 percent down payment to buy a home. While there’s a reason that standard exists, 20 percent isn’t a requirement, and many borrowers put down less with a low- or  no-down payment mortgage. Here’s an overview of the numbers.

What is the average down payment on a house?


Median down payment on a home in the U.S.

The median down payment on a home in the U.S. was $51,250 as of December 2023, according to real estate data provider ATTOM, an 8.6 percent increase year-over-year.

Repeat homebuyers tend to put more money down than first-time homebuyers: 19 percent versus 8 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s because repeat buyers often use the sale proceeds of their former home as a down payment on the next.

In step with the housing market, the typical down payment has changed over time based on home prices, mortgage rates and other factors. Looking back to 2005, the lowest median down payment between now and then was a mere $1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Average down payment by state

Just as home prices vary widely across the U.S., down payment amounts vary by location. The higher down payments tend to be concentrated in higher-cost states like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Washington.

Average down payment by generation

In general, the younger a buyer is, the more likely they are to make a smaller down payment.

Age group Median down payment percentage
Source: National Association of Realtors
Homebuyers aged 24-32 8%
Homebuyers aged 33-42 11%
Homebuyers aged 43-57 10%
Homebuyers aged 58-67 20%
Homebuyers aged 68-76 21%
Homebuyers aged 77-97 27%

How much should you put down on a house for each loan type?

The minimum amount you’ll need for a down payment depends on the cost of the home and what type of mortgage you get. The minimum requirements range from no down payment at all to 3.5 percent. Here’s an overview:

Loan type Minimum down payment
Conventional loan (Conforming) 3%
Adjustable-rate loan (Conforming) 5%
FHA loan 3.5%
VA loan None
USDA loan None

Many borrowers put down more than the minimum, either through savings, gifts or down payment assistance. In fact, 14 percent of current homeowners used a financial gift from family and friends for a down payment for their first home, while another 14 percent used an assistance loan or program for first-time buyers, according to a recent Bankrate survey.

The more you put down, the less you’ll need to borrow and the less you’ll pay in interest. You’re also more likely to get a better interest rate on your mortgage.

A bigger down payment also translates to more equity in the home to start — a tappable asset, as well as a potential safeguard against any declines in home values.

If you’re getting a conventional or FHA loan and can put down at least 20 percent, you’ll also avoid the requirement to buy mortgage insurance, an extra expense on top of your monthly mortgage payment.

That said, there is a case to be made for a smaller down payment, even if it means paying mortgage insurance.

Should you wait to save a larger down payment?
If you’ve been renting for a while and have limited savings, pulling together at least the minimum down payment might be preferable to continuing to rent, especially if your housing needs have changed. Buying a home sooner rather than later also moves you quicker into wealth-building territory.

Down payment examples

We’ve done the math to help you estimate your down payment at various price points.

Home price 3% down 3.5% down 10% down 20% down
$200,000 $6,000 $7,000 $20,000 $40,000
$300,000 $9,000 $10,500 $30,000 $60,000
$400,000 $12,000 $14,000 $40,000 $80,000
$500,000 $15,000 $17,500 $50,000 $100,000
$600,000 $18,000 $21,000 $60,000 $120,000
$700,000 $21,000 $24,500 $70,000 $140,000
$800,000 $24,000 $28,000 $80,000 $160,000
$900,000 $27,000 $31,500 $90,000 $180,000
$1 million $30,000 $35,000 $100,000 $200,000


  • As of 2023, the typical mortgage down payment for a first-time homebuyer was 8 percent, while the typical down payment for a repeat homebuyer was 19 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • If you’re putting down less than 20 percent on a conventional loan, you won’t be able to completely avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). A few mortgage lenders offer “no-PMI” mortgages. While you won’t have to pay for PMI with these types of loans, you will pay a higher interest rate, which could end up costing you more over time than the insurance premiums.

    Another possible solution: a piggyback mortgage, which calls for just 10 percent down. You’ll finance 80 percent of the home’s price with one mortgage and the remaining 10 percent with a second mortgage. That second mortgage, plus your 10 percent contribution, puts you at 20 percent down.

    If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you might get a break on PMI anyway. Many first-time buyer programs come with reduced premiums.
  • The most common ways to fund a down payment include saving, using a gift from relatives or friends or getting a grant or some other form of assistance. Some buyers get second or third jobs, pull from retirement accounts or sell cryptocurrency. However you get your funds, just be sure to have them in your bank account for a minimum of two months’ prior to applying for a mortgage. If not, you’ll likely need to provide extra documentation to prove where the money came from.

    Learn more: How to save for a down payment