Millennials are waiting longer than ever to buy homes -- here's how many years it takes to save for a down payment in 25 major US cities

Nick Fox/ShutterstockCalifornia homebuyers face a long road when saving for a home.

  • Homeownership is at an all-time record low among millennials.
  • It can take nearly a decade to save money for a 20% down payment on a house in some cities, reveals a SmartAsset report.
  • California homebuyers need to save money the longest, while Texas homebuyers require much less planning time.

Among the many things millennials are doing differently than their parents is waiting longer to buy homes. In fact, millennial homeownership in the US is at an all-time record low – and it’s easy to see why.

A new report by SmartAsset reveals that, in some cities, the average home outweighs the average income by so much that it can take nearly a decade to save for a 20% down payment.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s One-Year American Community Survey, SmartAsset calculated how long it takes to afford a 20% down payment on the median home in 50 of America’s largest cities if workers earning the median income saved 20% of their salary a year. They then divided the estimated down payment by the annual estimated savings to get the estimated years of saving needed to afford a down payment.

Turns out, California buyers face a long road to home – six of the top ten cities where Americans need to save the longest for a house are in The Golden State.

Texas homebuyers, however, need less planning time. Fort Worth, San Antonio, Arlington, and El Paso residents need to save for fewer than three years to afford the average down payment.

Scroll below to see just how long you have to save for the average down payment in 25 of America’s largest cities.


25. Nashville, Tennessee

Years needed to afford a down payment: 3.88

Median household income: $US54,310

Median home value: $US210,600


24. Mesa, AZ

Tim Roberts Photography/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 3.99

Median household income: $US52,393

Median home value: $US209,000


23. Colorado Springs, CO

Years needed to afford a down payment: 4.04

Median household income: $US60,308

Median home value: $US243,600


22. Phoenix, AZ

CraigStocks/iStock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 4.10

Median household income: $US52,062

Median home value: $US213,300


21. Minneapolis, MN

Oksana Tysovska/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 4.18

Median household income: $US56,255

Median home value: $US235,200


20. Las Vegas, NV

Years needed to afford a down payment: 4.47

Median household income: $US51,115

Median home value: $US228,300


19. Chicago, IL

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Years needed to afford a down payment: 4.60

Median household income: $US53,006

Median home value: $US243,900


18. Austin, TX

Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 4.63

Median household income: $US66,697

Median home value: $US308,500


17. Atlanta, GA

Diana Daley/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 4.88

Median household income: $US53,843

Median home value: $US262,600


16. Fresno, CA

Years needed to afford a down payment: 5.07

Median household income: $US44,905

Median home value: $US227,500


15. Sacramento, CA

Hank Shiffman/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 5.56

Median household income: $US55,187

Median home value: $US306,900


14. New Orleans, LA

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Years needed to afford a down payment: 5.68

Median household income: $US38,681

Median home value: $US219,700


13. Denver, CO

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Years needed to afford a down payment: 5.91

Median household income: $US61,105

Median home value: $US360,900


12. Portland, OR

Years needed to afford a down payment: 6.36

Median household income: $US62,127

Median home value: $US395,100


11. Seattle, WA

Lucy Autrey Wilson/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 7.26

Median household income: $US83,476

Median home value: $US606,200


10. Washington, DC

Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 7.63

Median household income: $US75,506

Median home value: $US576,100


9. Boston, MA

Years needed to afford a down payment: 7.79

Median household income: $US63,621

Median home value: $US495,500


8. San Jose, CA

Hank Shiffman/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 7.87

Median household income: $US101,940

Median home value: $US802,000


7. San Diego, CA

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Years needed to afford a down payment: 7.94

Median household income: $US71,481

Median home value: $US567,400


6. Miami, FL

Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 7.96

Median household income: $US34,901

Median home value: $US277,700


5. Long Beach, CA

Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 8.64

Median household income: $US60,075

Median home value: $US518,900


4. Oakland, CA

Radoslaw Lecyk/Shutterstock

Years needed to afford a down payment: 9.55

Median household income: $US68,060

Median home value: $US649,700


3. New York, NY

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Years needed to afford a down payment: 9.68

Median household income: $US58,856

Median home value: $US569,700


2. San Francisco, CA

Years needed to afford a down payment: 9.87

Median household income: $US103,801

Median home value: $US1,024,000


1. Los Angeles, CA

Years needed to afford a down payment: 10.9

Median household income: $US54,432

Median home value: $US593,500

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