Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- The average mortgage payment is $1,275 on 30-year fixed mortgage, and $1,751 on a 15-year fixed mortgage.
- However, a more accurate measure of what the typical American spends on their mortgage each month would be a median: $1,556 in 2018, according to the US Census Bureau.
- The typical payment varies widely between states and cities, as home values and property taxes varying widely. The costs have also increased over time.
- When buying a home, the mortgage isn't the only thing you'll pay for. Monthly costs also include insurance, property taxes, utilities, and HOA fees where applicable.
- Sign up for Personal Finance Insider's email newsletter here »
According to Business Insider's calculations using 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average mortgage payment is $1,275 on 30-year fixed mortgage, and $1,751 on a 15-year fixed mortgage. You can see the full methodology at the end of this post.
However, an average, which can be skewed by payments that are atypically low or high, probably isn't the most accurate depiction of what the typical US homeowner actually pays. A better measure of this is the median, which represents the middle number in a data set.
The median monthly cost of homeownership in the US is $1,556 per month, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau's 2018 American Community Survey. That cost includes not only the monthly mortgage payment, but also other necessary costs like insurance, HOA fees, and property taxes.
Below, we've broken out median data by state, city, and year.
Mortgage payments by state
While some states have relatively low home values, homes in states like California, Hawaii, and New Jersey have much higher home costs, meaning people pay more for their mortgage each month. Additionally, mortgage interest rates vary by state.
Data from the 2018 American Community Survey shows that homeowners paid a median amount of $1,556 per month. This figure includes a mortgage payment, as well as insurance costs, property taxes, utilities, and HOA fees where necessary.
Here's how all 50 US states stack up:
|State||Median monthly home payment|
Mortgage payments by city
Especially in coastal cities where space is at a premium, a monthly home payment can be much higher than the national average or median payment. According to US Census Bureau data from the 2018 American Community Survey, the median monthly home payment (including utilities, insurance, and HOA fees) was more than $2,500 per month in Los Angeles, and over $2,700 per month in the New York City area.
But, not all metro areas are as expensive — in Phoenix, Arizona, the median home payment is about $1,500 per month, and about $1,700 per month in Dallas. Here's how the most populated metro areas stack up in monthly living costs according to Census Bureau data. Cities are listed by size.
|City||Median monthly home payment||Median home cost|
|Los Angeles, California||$2,573||$658,600|
|New York City, New York||$2,709||$460,900|
|Riverside County, California||$1,900||$380,800|
Mortgage payments by year
The median cost of homeownership has risen year over year since 2010. Between 2018 and 2010, the median home sale price risen $56,000. However, the median monthly home payment has only risen by $70 per month.
Here's how the costs have changed over the past eight years, according to American Community Survey data.
|Year||Median US monthly home payment||Median home sale price|
Costs included in a monthly mortgage payment
In the Census Bureau's American Community Survey's data, the monthly mortgage payment includes things like insurance and taxes. In part, it's because that's how mortgages actually work — oftentimes, you pay for more than just the loan's principal and interest in your monthly payment.
If your mortgage includes an escrow account, you'll pay for two costs each month in your monthly mortgage payment:
- Property taxes: You'll pay tax on your home to your state and local government, if necessary. This cost is included in your monthly payment if your mortgage includes escrow.
- Home insurance: To keep your home covered, you'll need to purchase a homeowner's insurance policy. The average cost of homeowners insurance is about $1,200 per year.
In addition, mortgage payments can also change based on several factors. Two different people could face very different homeownership costs for the same house, even. There are two big factors that change your monthly payment:
- The size of your down payment: Like many other types of loans, a mortgage requires a down payment. If you don't have a 20% down payment for the house you're purchasing, you'll add to the cost of your monthly mortgage payment with private mortgage insurance, or PMI. The higher your down payment, the lower your mortgage will be each month.
- Your mortgage's interest rates: The amount of interest you pay on your mortgage will influence the amount you pay each month. Interest rates vary based on your credit score, where you live, and the type of loan you're taking out.
Another monthly cost to consider should be how much you'll need to save for repairs. In general, the older your home is, the more you should keep on hand for repairs. Utilities like internet, garbage removal, and electricity will also add to your monthly costs of homeownership.
Methodology: How we got our average number
We took the current median home sale price of a new home in the United States as reported by Zillow, then assumed a standard 20% down payment and took into account current 15 and 30-year fixed interest rates as reported by theto get the average monthly mortgage payment.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.