Tags: home | affordability | down payment | mortgage

Americans Need $127K Down Payment to Afford a Home

Americans Need $127K Down Payment to Afford a Home
Quaint brick homes in the Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhoos (Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 20 June 2024 01:20 PM EDT

Middle-class Americans would need to put 35.4%, or $127,000, down on the average home costing $360,000 in the U.S. today to afford it, according to a Zillow report Wednesday.

That down payment is what a U.S. household making the median income would need to keep their monthly mortgage payments at 30% or less of the household’s monthly income.

Putting these exorbitant costs in perspective, five years ago — when mortgage rates were just above 4% and the typical home was worth 50% less — the same home would have been affordable with no money down.

“Down payments have always been important, but even more so today,” says Skylar Olsen, chief economist at Zillow. “With so few [homes] available, buyers may have to wait even longer for the right home to hit the market, especially now that buyers can afford less.”

This may be why people in the market for a home are getting creative about financing.

“Saving enough is a tall task without outside help — a gift from family or perhaps a stock windfall,” Olsen says. “To make finances work, some folks are making a big move across the country, co-buying, or buying a home with an extra room to rent out. Down payment assistance is another great resource that is too often overlooked.”

As many people looked to move during the pandemic, it fueled a scorching-hot housing market that has since left prices elevated, Zillow says. Paired with mortgage rates in the 7% range, buyers and sellers both are on the sidelines. This is heating up the competition among the few buyers that there are out there to bid on a home.

It would take a household making the median income of $37,585 in the U.S. 12 years of saving 10% of their earnings with a 4% annual return, to come up with the $127,750 down payment, according to Zillow analysis of Census Bureau data.

Nonetheless, there are still affordable pockets in 10 major U.S. metropolitan areas, where buyers can put less than 20% of a home’s price down. Pittsburgh has the most affordable housing market in the nation, where many homes are available for no money down.

On the other end of the spectrum, however, a median-income household in San Jose, California, would need more than $1.3 million for a down payment in order to keep the monthly mortgage at a reasonable rate.

The tight housing market is unfortunate, says Rob Chrane, Down Payment Resource Founder, who notes:

“Homeownership is the primary source of net worth and generational wealth for most Americans, and declining affordability is making it harder for average earners to get their foot in the door of an entry-level home. Luckily, there are more than 2,373 down payment assistance programs nationwide with at lease one program in every county.”

© 2024 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
Middle-class Americans would need to put 35.4%, or $127,000, down on the average home costing $360,000 in the U.S. today to afford it, according to a Zillow report Wednesday.
home, affordability, down payment, mortgage
462
2024-20-20
Thursday, 20 June 2024 01:20 PM
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