You might have heard that you’ll need a 20 percent down payment to obtain a mortgage and buy a home. While it’s true that some properties might require a hefty chunk of change upfront, 20 percent is hardly the do-or-die requirement it once was. Many low- and no-down payment mortgages are available today, including conventional, FHA and VA loans.

Key statistics

  • The median down payment for a home in the U.S. is $31,500
  • The average borrower puts down nearly 15% of the purchase price
  • Conventional mortgage loans require a down payment of between 3% and 20% of the home's purchase price
  • Some government loans, including those backed by the VA and USDA, do not require a down payment

What is the average down payment on a house?

Paralleling the rise in home purchase prices, down payment amounts spiked overall during the pandemic and — though a bit down from their 2022 peaks — remain higher on average in 2023 than they were in early 2020. According to the latest available data from real estate analyst ATTOM Data Solutions, the median down payment on a single-family home in the United States is $31,500 (as of Q2 2023). The average down payment is 14.71 percent of the home’s purchase price, according to Realtor.com data.

Affordability continues to impact the American housing market, with down payments as a prohibitive factor for many prospective buyers. The five housing markets with the highest median down payment as of the first quarter of 2023 were: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($360,000); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward ($239,750); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim ($174,000); Boulder ($171,135); and Santa Rosa, according to ATTOM.

Average down payment by state

There was a big spread in median down payments by state as of the third quarter of 2023, according to mortgage data from Realtor.com. In California, the median was over $80,000, while it was less than $10,000 in a handful of states.

  • State

    Median Down Payment >Average Down Payment Percentage
    Source: Realtor.com Senior Economic Research Analyst
    Alabama $8,788 10.7%
    Alaska $21,354 12.2%
    Arizona $34,072 15.4%
    Arkansas $11,996 11.8
    California $84,244 18.4
    Colorado $75,304 18.5%
    Connecticut $47,342 18.6%
    Delaware $40,412 17%
    Florida $98,670 17%
    Georgia $35,572 15.9%
    Hawaii $98,670 17%
    Idaho $64,985 20.2%
    Illinois $27,348 14.3%
    Indiana $17,477 12.6%
    Iowa $26,461 15.5%
    Kansas $18,325 13.1%
    Kentucky $17,548 13.4%
    Louisiana $6,470 9.2%
    Maine $17,548 16%
    Maryland $25,723 11.9%
    Massachusetts $79,206 18.9%
    Michigan $23,153 14.2%
    Minnesota $38,500 16.1%
    Mississippi $5,814 9.3%
    Missouri $17,832 12.9%
    Montana $72,833 21%
    Nebraska $29,617 15.4%
    Nevada $33,306 15%
    New Hampshire $71,500 20%
    New Jersey $71,547 18%
    New Mexico $17,576 12.6%
    New York $50,843 17%
    North Carolina $31,867 14.5%
    North Dakota $24,543 15%
    Ohio $15,044 12.3%
    Oklahoma $13,177 12.3%
    Oregon $55,015 17.3%
    Pennsylvania $25,402 13.8%
    Rhode Island $45,285 16.6%
    South Carolina $24,357 15.1%
    South Dakota $37,630 16.8%
    Tennessee $25,969 14.6%
    Texas $18,780 12.2%
    Utah $43,488 16.4%
    Vermont $48,534 17.5%
    Virginia $29,704 13.5%
    Washington, D.C. $98,670 20.9%
    Washington $86,752 28.6%
    West Virginia $6,611 9.2%
    Wisconsin $28,333 15%
    Wyoming $32,389 16%

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 2023 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report.
All homebuyers 14%
Homebuyers aged 23–31 8%
Homebuyers aged 32–41 11%
Homebuyers aged 42–56 10%
Homebuyers aged 57–66 20%
Homebuyers aged 67–75 21%
Homebuyers aged 76–96 27%

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

Many of the most common mortgages are available with little or no money down for qualifying borrowers:

Loan type Minimum down payment
VA mortgage 0 percent down
USDA mortgage 0 percent down
FHA mortgage 3.5 percent down with a credit score of 580 or more, or 10 percent with a credit score of 500 or more
Conventional (conforming) mortgage 3 percent

Almost every state and many municipalities also offer down payment assistance to first-time and low-income homebuyers. Some lenders have even begun allowing 1 percent down on conventional mortgages, offering a 2 percent grant to cover the difference.

Mortgage
40% of respondents to an April 2023 Bankrate survey cited the inability to afford a down payment and closing costs as a hurdle to homeownership.

Source of down payment

Forty-seven percent of homebuyers used personal savings for their down payment, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Younger buyers were most likely to use savings, while older buyers were most likely to use the proceeds from the sale of another primary residence.

Other common ways to fund a down payment include selling stocks and bonds, or using a financial gift from relatives or friends, tax refund or inheritance.

Home value vs. down payment

Here’s a quick table to help you estimate your down payment based on how much you plan to lay out and the value of the property you’re purchasing:

Purchase 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
$1,000,000 $30,000 $35,000 $100,000 $200,000

Bottom line on average down payments

For many aspiring homeowners, coming up with a down payment is one of the major obstacles to buying a residence. The average down payment percentage overall is in the teens, but older buyers tend to put down more, often thanks to equity from a previous home.

Another key factor in down payment amounts: where you buy. Homebuyers in higher-priced places like California and New York need to have much more saved for a 3 percent down payment, for example, than buyers in less-expensive areas.

Fortunately, you don’t need the oft-quoted 20 percent to qualify for a mortgage. Mortgage down payment requirements can vary considerably, depending on the sort of loan you want,  and there are low- and no-down payment mortgage options, too.  Just remember, the less you put down, the more you’ll have to borrow — and the more expensive your mortgage will be.

Additional reporting by Meaghan Hunt