Size of Down Payment in this market

We are all well aware of this frenzied market - I'm genuinely curious how much people are putting down in terms of downpayment, I know general rule of thumb is 20%.  So are folks out there putting down 300-400K for $1.5mm - $2mm homes, or do you put down less and just pay up more in the monthly payments?

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Yep, just purchased a home in oakmore neighborhood in Oakland, still did the standard 20% down

I think you'll find people doing either of these things. Some will put down 20% and others will put down less and pay for PMI. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what proportion of buyers is putting down 20% vs less.

We paid $950k for our house and put down $200k, enough to qualify for a conventional loan. I know someone who put down close to $1M for a $1.7M house to get a conventional mortgage instead of jumbo loan to keep the monthly mortgage low. But typically it’s 20% or more down payment to be competitive in a multiple offer situation. 

As first time home buyers we could put down less. We only put down 10% because it was what we could afford. You have to carry Mortgage Insurance if you put down less than 20%, but the interest rates are so good right now we didn't think it would have been beneficial to wait until we had saved the full 20%.

I am not a real estate expert, but I am in escrow on a house in the area, so I know a bit about the market. To be competitive here these days, you have to waive all contingencies. That includes appraisal and loan contingencies. In order to feel secure doing that, you have to have plenty of cash so that there is no issue if the appraisal comes in low, and you have to have a small enough mortgage that you aren't concerned about not being approved. Or else you make an all-cash offer. We recently received a bit of a financial windfall, so we were able to offer more than 50% down. Our agent said that there is nothing unusual about seeing offers with that much cash. Lots of tech people have made plenty during the pandemic. We live in crazy times.

I know it's hard to believe people have that much cash lying around but yes, as a very active East Bay Realtor, I am seeing people putting 20%-60% down within any price point regularly. In a competitive situation when a seller is reviewing multiple offers the seller is more likely to pick the buyer with a higher downpayment, especially if the purchase price and all other terms  are identical or at least very similar. One reason for this is because a buyer with more money down is more likely to close escrow without any issues even in the event of an under appraisal.

You probably can't buy a house with less that 20% down,  You should put down 25-30% and depending on where you are looking offer over asking price.  Just made an offer for a $1.1 M home in Oakland which went for $400k over asking. 
Good luck

We bought a few years ago but we did not have 20% down payment. We put down 12% down. We thought we needed to put down 20% but our financial advisor and realtor both told us that with our income (around 250k) and our excellent credit score plus stable employment history, we could put down 10% and get a house. I took out a 401k loan because I intend to stay at my company practically forever and my position is pretty secure because I serve an essential and unique role, we decided this was worth taking the risk. With our savings and a bit of loan against 401k, we scraped enough money for 12% plus a bit of reserve for moving and minor repair / renovation. We found a house that is much smaller and in need of many updates but it met our minimum requirements. Our monthly payment is high. We practically doubled our housing cost by buying this place. It was painful and I regretted buying this house which requires endless work. Thankfully, we were able to refinance recently so we feel a little better about the cost. It is not our dream house (outdated kitchen, bath, weird layout, crumbling driveway, etc.) but we got our foot in the housing market at least. We put down $140k as down payment and spent $50k to fix up the house and add a small bathroom before we moved in. 

We purchased in that range a year ago and put down 50%. Before we got our home we made offers on 6 others houses and always lost out to all cash offers, including one where we offered the same price as the winning bid (over 50% down, no contingencies) and made it very clear we would have gone higher. The seller took the equal bid all cash and moved on. If it's a really popular house, I don't think 20% vs 50% matters if you're against  non-contingent 100% cash offers. If you can't do that, I think the best strategy is to go for not-perfect houses that are less likely to attract those kind of offers. Our house was not our dream house but it was good enough, and we're slowly making it better. If we had continued to make offers on houses purchased with all cash in this rising market, we would have seen our buying power diminish even more.  Best of luck!

In some cases there is no down payment. People borrow money before they make an offer so that they can just buy the house, almost like writing a check for groceries. This money may be borrowed from a brokerage account or from parents. Many sellers prefer the quick close that they get with this method. Every situation is different.