2024 Real Estate Industry Statistics And Trends (Updated!)


How are current trends shaping the real estate business and what are the market predictions for 2024?

In early 2023, the market size of the real estate sales brokerage industry in the US was $222.3 billion.  However, this figure is subject to fluctuation as the many variables that influence the housing market change. 

A brief look at real estate market statistics reveals the following:

  • In March 2023, the average home price in the U.S. was $761,540. 
  • The homeownership rate in the US rose to 66% in 2022.
  • First-time homebuyers made up 26% of the market in 2022.
  • The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has about 1.37 million members.
  • Real estate agents average annual income increased by 18.5% in 2019.
  • In 2023, the average salary is $84,459 per year.
  • 30–39-year-old buyers are the most likely age group to find their home online.
  • It takes real estate agents 7.5 hours of cold calling to land 1 qualified appointment or referral.
  • 41% of home buyers found their real estate agent through a referral.
  • Buyers look for a new home for an average of 10 weeks.
  • About 90% of sellers work with a real estate agent to list and sell their homes.

Over the last few years, the real estate industry has experienced many changes. Although this isn’t unusual, COVID and its subsequent economic impact have directly and indirectly affected the sector to a large degree. When delving deeper into these statistics, an even clearer picture of the current state of the housing market emerges, and we get an idea of what to expect in 2024. 

US Real Estate Agent Demographics

Image,Of,A,Businessman,Workplace,With,PapersThe number of real estate agents and brokers employed in the U.S. was 465,500 in 2018. By January 2023, there were 1,548,058. However, in total, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) now has about 1,550,720 million members. 

67% of all REALTORS® are female, the average REALTOR® in the US has at least 8 years of experience, and is 52 years of age. This indicates that many real estate agents don’t enter the industry until they’re in their 40s. Becoming a real estate agent is clearly often a second career choice that offers an older demographic the opportunity to earn an income. 

The real estate industry is largely made up of independent contractors, with 87% of REALTORS® opting for this classification. In 2018, real estate statistics showed that REALTORS® worked an average of 35 hours per week.

The median length of time that a REALTOR® will stay at one firm is 4 years. This means that brokerages have a relatively high turnover as realtors move around on a regular basis. Finding the right brokerage is crucial to a real estate agent’s success. Reading peer reviews is one of the best ways to find the right brokerage and ensure a long tenure.

Real Estate Agent Financials

Business,Colleagues,Working,And,Analyzing,Financial,Figures,On,A,DigitalThe median gross income of REALTORS® for 2018 was $43,000. This was a 7% increase from 2017. In 2019, income increased by 18.5% to an average of $48,930. This figure dipped slightly during the pandemic years, with a median salary of $48,340 recorded in 2021. In 2023, the median annual income is trending up, and the average salary is now $84,459 per year. However, this does depend on the state the REALTOR® operates in. 

New York State had the highest annual mean wage for real estate agents at $111,800 in 2019.  In contrast, the five states with the lowest annual mean wage in 2019 were:

  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Idaho
  • Ohio
  • Indiana

Florida had the largest number of employed real estate agents (19,240) in 2019. They’re still the state with the highest number in 2023, at 218,906. California comes in second with 202,970. 

When it comes to expenses, transportation was the largest business expense with an average of $1,370 per year for real estate agents in 2019. These costs may include car maintenance, gas, public transportation tickets or passes, and are increasing with inflation. 

In a nutshell, the average income for real estate agents is inching upward nationally. But there’s a big difference between the national average and the amount of money made across states. For example, the annual mean wage for real estate agents in New York was $111,800 in 2019. That’s more than 2X the mean wages in the five lowest states (listed above).

Real Estate Industry Digital Marketing Statistics

Girl,Working,With,Desktop,Computer,In,Office.,Viewing,Different,Charts,Having an online presence is essential for REALTORS® who want to compete in today’s crowded marketplace. 84% of home buyers say that they frequently use the internet to search for homes, and 8 out of 10 consumers said that they trust a brand more if they are active on social media.

Interestingly, older millennials (30-39 years old) were the most likely age group to use the internet to find their home. However, as Gen X enters the marketplace, this demographic may well change to reflect the younger generations’ digital dependence. 

In 2019, 9% of REALTORS® reported having a real estate blog, and 51% reported having a website for at least 5 years. Yet, this is no longer enough, and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and even TikTok are becoming increasingly essential to maintaining a solid online presence.

Real estate agents are also increasingly using the Internet to help them find new leads. Paid advertising on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are well-known tactics for attracting a good response. Additionally, using Google Ads through Google Search Network or Google Display Network to advertise directly in Google search results, on websites within the display network, mobile apps, YouTube, Gmail, or other major networks is another popular way to target web visitors who’ve already visited a REALTORS® website. 

Overall, 73% of NAR members use Facebook for business while 58% of NAR members are on LinkedIn for professional use. Although TikTok is still a relatively new platform for digital marketing, 12% of REALTORS® were reportedly using the platform in 2022, which is a 4% increase from the year before. In total, as many as 66% of marketers see increased leads from social media after spending just 6 hours a week on social marketing.

Check out the list of the best real estate lead generation companies on AgentAdvice.com.

Real Estate Cold Calling Statistics

Business,ChartDespite the rise of online and social media marketing, cold calling isn’t dead yet. In a 2012 study, real estate agents made 6,264 cold calls, and 28% received an answer. The Keller Center for Research at Baylor University estimates that it will take real estate agents 7.5 hours of cold calling to achieve 1 qualified appointment or referral, and about 1 out of every 330 (.03%) cold calls will result in an appointment.

49% of buyers prefer cold calling as the first point of contact method, and they generally agree that the best time for a follow-up call is between 4 pm – 5 pm. Wednesday is the best day for these calls, as they’re 70% more successful on this day of the week. In 2019, about 17% of real estate agents’ business came from referrals and 13% came from returning clients. 

But in 2023, things look a little different. Cold calling rather surprisingly ranks as the second most effective prospecting method. 57.1% of business comes from cold calls and is beaten only by referrals at 92.8%.

Housing Market Statistics Up

Organization,Chart,Management,Planning,ConceptBefore the 2008 housing market crisis, the percentage of Americans renting their home increased by 13% from 2006 – 2018. As of May 2020, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 13.3% and the total number of unemployed people was around 21 million. This meant that a large percentage of the U.S. population planning to rent or buy a new home likely had to put this off until they can find work again. However, this doesn’t mean that sales have flatlined. 5.34 million homes were sold in 2019, and of these, 682,000 were newly built.

With the impact of COVID-19, sales of existing homes were expected to decrease by 15%. But while the pandemic created a temporary slump in the housing market, home prices were still expected to grow by about 1.1% in 2020, and have subsequently since gone up by 4.6%.

This isn’t the only change the global pandemic has brought about. 

As of May 2020, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, and Boston, MA were the three metro areas with the highest median housing sale price. By July 2021, the median home sale price was $390,500 and based on U.S. Census and Department of Labor data, the average downpayment for a new home is just under $60K.

As the U.S. population ages, more and more millennials will become homebuyers and sellers. According to recent data, 25-34-year-olds are the most mobile group of homeowners and renters in the U.S. Millennials (25 – 34 years old) also move around much more than older generations, with 45% of adults in this age group having moved within the past two years.

Gen Z is also entering the marketplace, with a 2022 Redfin report revealing that 30% of Gen Zers already own homes at age 25. This makes Gen Z a highly desirable target market, and one that’s changing real estate industry trends in their own way.

2023 Home Buyer Statistics

African,Professional,Chartered,Accountant,Woman,Doing,TaxDigging into home buyer demographics and sentiment reveals a few key things. It’s clear that age, referral networks, and internet research are important factors. The role that REALTORS® play is also highlighted, with 89% of buyers purchasing their home through a real estate agent.

The most common way (41%) home buyers find their real estate agent was through a referral. And, about 1 of 5 buyers say the most important factor when choosing to work with a real estate agent is how honest and trustworthy they are. 63% of homebuyers were very satisfied with the home-buying process, and 1 out of 3 home buyers were purchasing a home for the first time.

As of 2020, millennials made up the largest share (38%) of home buyers. In contrast, about 1 out of 4 homebuyers are from Generation X (40 – 54 years old). Overall, 61% of buyers are married couples, while 26% are singles.

When it comes to buyer behavior, there are also certain real estate trends that are prevalent.

On average, buyers tend to look for a new home for 10 weeks, and the median number of homes considered is 9. 

52% of buyers found the home they ended up purchasing on the Internet. During the home buying process, 45% of younger millennial homebuyers (22 – 29 years old) say that the cost of commuting is ‘very important’. 

55% of all buyers agree the most difficult part of the home-buying process is finding the right home. The median number of days-to-close across Redfin metros in the U.S. was 28.7, as of June 2020. This year’s real estate statistics show that 83% of homes bought were detached single-family homes and 13% of buyers purchased newly constructed homes, while 87% bought existing homes. 

50% of new home purchases were in a suburb or subdivision, rather than in a city center. As a result of the pandemic, a growing number of people have moved out of cities and into surrounding suburbs, and the property market has reflected this.

 Real Estate Home Seller Statistics 

Business,Documents,With,Charts,Growth,,Keyboard,And,Pen.,Workplace,BusinessmanIn the current market, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers make up the largest portion of total home sellers. 78% of home sellers are 40 years old or over, while only about 23% of home sellers are between 22 – 39 years old. The most common reason (16%) for selling across all age groups is to be closer to family and friends. Of all sellers, 72% are married couples and 72% move within the same state.

On average, sellers live in their home for about 10 years before deciding to sell, and when they do, they sell for a median of $60K more than they purchased the home for. The median income for all home sellers is $102,900 and 4 out of 10 reduce their asking price to complete the sale.

About 90% of sellers work with a real estate agent to list and sell their home, and 64% of home sellers said they were ‘very satisfied’ with the overall selling process. This closely matches the percentage of buyers (63%) that are ‘very satisfied with the home buying process. For real estate agents, it’s reassuring to know that a majority of buyers and sellers are satisfied with this process. But this also means that real estate agents still have work to do and there’s the opportunity to make this process better for about 36% of buyers and sellers.

Real Estate Trends Predicted For 2024

House,Model,calculator,And,Financial,Chart,On,Wooden,Table.,Investment,ToLooking toward 2024, there are several trends that real estate experts are predicting.

These include:

A stabilizing of the property market:

After a tumultuous few years, it’s predicted that the home price and rental boom is going to end. Between January 2022 and 2023, home prices increased by 5.5% nationwide. However, on a month-to-month basis, prices plummeted by 0.2%. This looks set to stabilize as home prices continue to increase, but only at an average annual rate of 5.4%. This will allow more buyers to enter the marketplace. Mortgages are also expected to drop, making buying a home more affordable.

First-time buyers will drive demand:

First-time homebuyers are defined by the NAR as buyers who haven’t owned a home in the last three years. In 2022, NAR reported the lowest point on record for first-time buyers.  According to NAR, first-time homebuyers made up 26% of all housing purchases in 2022. This is down from 34% in 2021. But by 2024 and 2025, Zillow expects that first-time buyers will regain their market share and figures will revert to pre-pandemic levels.

AI will grow in use:

Magnifying,Glass,On,Colourful,Pie,Chart,With,"property,Value",TextArtificial Intelligence (AI) has been making waves in just about every sector, including real estate. It’s predicted that as we move into 2024, a growing number of REALTORS® will use AI to analyze buyer and seller data, identify patterns and trends, automate systems, and create targeted marketing campaigns. The real estate agents that can utilize AI to its full potential will have the edge in the market, especially with Gen Z who is defined as the digital generation.

Tech will continue to take over:

It’s not just AI that REALTORS® will find more uses for, but technology in general. The virtual showings and video tours of the pandemic are remaining popular, as is other property tech or “PropTech”. Everything from a growing adoption of AR and VR technology to drone footage and smart homes is on the rise, as are enhanced digital transactions, online management and sales processes, and mobile apps. 

The more tech-savvy a REALTOR® is,  and the better their online presence, the greater the potential for finding new leads, engaging with potential buyers and sellers, and racking up sales. 

More Resources for New Real Estate Agents

It’s important to keep your thumb on the tab of real estate agent demographics, financials, and housing market stats. This will help you stay aware of vulnerabilities in the market and be on top of new trends. 

Estate,Agent,Using,Laptop,At,Desk,Shot,In,StudioMost importantly, if you’re a REALTOR®, it will help you better understand your clients. Along with staying on top of real estate market trends, maintaining professional credentials is another key ingredient for real estate success. All real estate agents need to renew their licenses every few years, and many go on to earn specific certifications.

AgentAdvice.com has detailed information and reviews of real estate schools across states. These schools provide materials for licensing exams, info about investing in real estate, and continuing education courses.

If you’re new to the industry and looking for your first brokerage, reviews from fellow agents can help you find a brokerage that’s right for you. Find more information about everything you need to be successful as a real estate agent, such as how and where to network, on AgentAdvice.com.

Many thanks to the following sources for providing information for this AgentAdvice.com article: NAR Quick Research and Statistics, NAR 2019 Member Profile, U.S. BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents, U.S. BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, G2 Learning Hub’s 60+ Must Read Real Estate Statistics, Forbes’ Here’s How Much Real Estate Agents Earn In Every State, NAR 2020 Generation Trends Report, Placester Real Estate Marketing Academy’s Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Real Estate Social Media Marketing, Sales for Life’s What is the Real Evidence for Cold Calling Effectiveness?,  Baylor University Keller Center for Research’s Has Cold Calling Gone Cold?, Wade Webb’s AgentsBoost’s Shocking Real Estate Sales Stats That Will Change How You Do Business, Realtor.com 2020 Housing Market Forecast, Zillow’s On The Move: Why Young Adults Today Are More Mobile Than Previous Generations, smallbizgenius’ 30+ Essential Real Estate Statistics, Redfin’s COVID-19 Weekly Housing Market Data, NAR 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report

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About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 12/29/2023