Where Are People Making the Biggest Down Payments?

Written by Ashley Sutphin Posted On Tuesday, 29 November 2022 00:00

According to a recent LendingTree report, down payments on homes across the 50 largest metros in the U.S. are more than $62,000 on average.

The Research

There are signs that the housing market is beginning to cool from pandemic highs, but home prices remain pervasively high in many parts of the country. One element of these high prices is higher down payments.

LendingTree analyzed data from 960,000 platform users who lived in one of the 50 largest metros in the nation and were offered a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage from January 1, 2022, to October 10, 2022.

LendingTree reports that homebuyers across the most significant 50 metros in the country are putting, on average, tens of thousands of dollars toward their down payments, including in areas where household incomes and loan amounts are somewhat low.

Key Findings From the Study

LendingTree’s data uncovered that the average down payment on a house across the 50 most significant metros averages $62,611. That is more than 35% higher than when LendingTree published the same study in September 2021. At that time, the average down payment in the identical areas was $46,283. No metro in the 2022 updated study had an average of under $38,000.

Three of the highest metros are in California. The average down payment equals more than 58% of the area’s average yearly household income.

Below are details on the metros with the highest average down payments.

San Jose, California

In San Jose, the average down payment is just over $142,000, and the average mortgage amount homebuyers borrow is $636,091. The annual household income in San Jose is $195,284.

The percentage of the average down payment of someone’s income in San Jose is 72.7%.

San Francisco, California

The average down payment for people buying a home in San Francisco is $131,631. The average amount of a mortgage in the city is $593,860, and the average household income is $167,674.

As a percentage of household income, the average down payment is 78.5%.

Los Angeles, California

Another California city topping the list for the highest average down payments is Los Angeles. The average down payment is $104,749, and the average mortgage amount is $535,268. The average household income for residents of Los Angeles is $115,845, so a down payment represents 90.4% of that.

Other Cities with High Down Payments

The three California cities above have the highest average down payments, and others that ranked similarly high include:

  • San Diego, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • New York, NY
  • Boston, MA
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Denver, CO
  • Sacramento, CA

Metros with the Lowest Average Down Payments

LendingTree found that if you’re looking for metros where people make the lowest average down payments, consider the following:

  • Oklahoma City: The average down payment here is just $38,169, and the average mortgage is $252,495.
  • Louis: In St. Louis, the average household income is $96,061, and the average down payment is $40,113. The average mortgage amount is $248,228, meaning that the percentage of household income going toward a down payment is 41.8%.
  • Virginia Beach: In Virginia Beach, the average down payment is $40,530, and the average mortgage amount is $287,146.


Other metros with low down payments are Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Cleveland, OH; and Cincinnati, OH.

The Impact of High Down Payments

When someone makes a high down payment, it can impact them as a homebuyer. For example, if you already have a home, you might have to stay in it longer than you would like to because you have to spend more time-saving cash for a down payment.

If you sell your current home and make a profit on that sale, you might have to put more of what you make toward the down payment on your new home. If you don’t own, you might have to rent a house for longer or move in with friends or family while you save for your down payment.

If you have plenty of cash on hand, a higher down payment isn’t necessarily a huge deal, so putting more down is beneficial if you can afford it.

Down payments can make homebuying challenging for some, but in the long term, they can make it more affordable and simplify the process.

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