Buying a Home in the U.S. Will Take an Extra Year of Saving Up

Economy50 minutes ago (Sep 27, 2021 11:09AM ET)

(C) Bloomberg. Homes in San Francisco, California.

(Bloomberg) — Would-be homebuyers in the U.S. will have to save up for an extra year before taking the plunge, thanks to pandemic-era price gains.

For the typical American, it would take eight years of stashing away 10% of monthly income to build up enough for a 20% down payment — up from seven years before Covid-19 ignited a homebuying frenzy, according to a study by Tomo, a real estate startup.

For many renters hoping to become buyers, scraping together a down payment has always been a challenge. Now the hurdles have gotten higher as bidding wars for a tight supply of listings push prices ever further out of reach. The share of existing-home purchases by first-time buyers declined to 29% last month, the lowest level since 2019, the National Association of Realtors said this week.

The people who save for a down payment “are the people who can,” Skylar Olsen, chief economist at Tomo, said in an interview. “Folks who have a lot of rent burdens tend to save nothing, and there’s always a fairly sizable share of the population who have a pretty substantial rent burden.”

The areas with the highest years-to-save time lines are Los Angeles, with 19.2, San Francisco, with 17.9 and San Jose, with 18.2, according to the Tomo study. In New York, it would take 11.9 years to save for a down payment.

(C)2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Buying a Home in the U.S. Will Take an Extra Year of Saving Up

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