Down Payment FNL

Where First-Time Home Buyers Can Save a Down Payment Fast

Down Payment FNL

Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest hurdles to homeownership. However, a new analysis from, a Zillow Group brand, identifies 10 metros where first-time buyers may find it easier to save for their future home purchase, and 10 metros where it may be more difficult.

Three Years or Less to Have 20% Down

In Chicago, a first-time buyer will need about three years to save a 20 percent down payment on the typical starter home - the fastest of the 35 metros analyzed.

First-time buyers in Dallas, Detroit and Baltimore may also find saving for a down payment to take less time than in other metros - with the average millennial household needing just under four years to reach a down payment.'s analysis factored in the median household income among millennials (ages 24-36) and their estimated annual household savings to determine how long it would take to save for a 20 percent down payment on starter home -- or a home priced within the bottom third of the market.

Since nearly half (44 percent) of buyers move outside of their current city with their home purchase, knowing which metros can help ease some of the down payment burden can be valuable for first-time buyers considering moving.

In Portland, Ore., the estimated annual savings for a millennial household is $5,288 - nearly half of what it is in Chicago ($10,821).

Less savings combined with higher home values means a first-time buyer in Portland would need to save for more than 13 years to reach a 20 percent down payment on a starter home - the longest of the metros analyzed.

While In These Cities It Takes More than 10 Years

In Denver, San Jose, Calif., and Riverside, Calif., it would take more than 10 years to save a down payment.

While not everyone chooses to put down 20 percent on a home, it is a good goal to aim for, especially for a first-time buyer. According to Zillow Group's 2017 Consumer Housing Trends Report, 37 percent of first-time buyers (45 percent of all buyers) choose to put 20 percent down or more on their home purchase.

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