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 takeaways

  • The down payment on a home is a percentage of the property's price paid for in cash upfront. The remaining portion is paid via a mortgage.
  • You can make a down payment using personal funds from savings or investments, gift money from family or friends or a second mortgage or grant.
  • Conventional loans require a minimum down payment of 3 percent, while FHA loans require 3.5 percent. VA loans and USDA loans don't require a down payment. For a jumbo loan, you might need 10 percent, 20 percent or more.

2023 average down payment statistics

  • The average down payment on a primary residence as of the first quarter of 2023 was 13 percent, according to
  • The median down payment as of the first quarter of 2023 was $26,250, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
  • 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.

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

Down payment requirements and assistance programs

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.

Average down payment by state

There was a big spread in median down payments by state as of March 2022, according to Optimal Blue of mortgage data and technology firm Black Knight. In California, the median was over $100,000, while it was less than $10,000 in a handful of states.

  • State Median down payment in March 2022
    Source: Optimal Blue, a division of Black Knight
    California $103,000
    Idaho $94,000
    District of Columbia $86,625
    Colorado $83,014
    Hawaii $82,135
    Washington $77,800
    Massachusetts $77,500
    Utah $75,000
    Montana $69,975
    Oregon $65,375
    New Hampshire $63,000
    New Jersey $60,200
    Arizona $59,000
    New York $55,200
    Florida $50,000
    Nevada $50,000
    Delaware $48,300
    Vermont $47,000
    Rhode Island $45,000
    Minnesota $38,000
    Maine $35,000
    Tennessee $33,250
    North Carolina $32,890
    Connecticut $32,679
    Texas $31,750
    South Dakota $29,725
    Virginia $29,000
    Illinois $26,457
    South Carolina $26,000
    Wyoming $25,595
    Maryland $25,000
    Wisconsin $25,000
    Pennsylvania $24,000
    Nebraska $23,650
    Iowa $23,500
    New Mexico $23,399
    Georgia $21,880
    North Dakota $20,000
    Kansas $19,190
    Michigan $19,000
    Ohio $17,775
    Indiana $17,000
    Oklahoma $16,400
    Alaska $16,035
    Missouri $15,600
    Alabama $14,441
    Arkansas $14,000
    Kentucky $13,500
    Louisiana $8,670
    West Virginia $7,000
    Mississippi $6,982

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 2022 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%

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

For many renters, coming up with a down payment is one of the major obstacles to buying a home. 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 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-heard 20 percent to qualify for a mortgage. Learn more about mortgage down payment requirements.