The average mortgage size is $318,200, which is the largest it has been in the 27-years of The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly purchase loan data survey.
There are multiple factors leading to higher mortgages in the United States beyond larger and more expensive homes for sale, which include higher leveraging, strong demand and low supply of homes.
The survey also found that the median mortgage size is five times the median annual income, while it was 3.3 times the median annual income when the survey began in 1990.
With these larger mortgages, most first-time homebuyers are putting down less than 20 percent for their down payment, according to the February 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey Report. Among all buyers, 62 percent made a downpayment less than 20 percent, but 80 percent of first-time homebuyers put down less than 20 percent. The median downpayment for first-time homebuyers is six percent and 10 percent for all homebuyers.
Many federal government-backed loans, including the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allow less than three percent downpayment mortgages in order to attract first-time homebuyers. However, the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Q3 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey found that only 13 percent of those 34 years old or younger believe they need a downpayment of five percent or less.