The nationwide average to save for a 20% down payment for a median-priced home on a median income is now 14 years, according to Unison’s Home Affordability Report.
For average-earning Millennials, that means homeownership may not be attainable until they are well into their 40s. In the least affordable cities, the average time to save for 20% down was 30 years or more.
Los Angeles won top billing for the toughest major metro to buy into at an alarming 43 years. In L.A., the median home value is $622,523, but the median income is just $58,043, meaning that it could take a prospective homebuyer until 2061 to save up enough cash for a down payment, the report noted.
The most difficult place to buy a home is in a ski resort town in the San Juan Mountains near Telluride. In Mountain Village, Colorado, it would take the average earner 95 years, or until 2113, to buy a home with 20% down.
Unison’s report also tallies average mortgage payments across the U.S., noting that the monthly payment on a median-priced home grew twice as fast as incomes in the past year.
In several cities, which the report labels “boomtowns,” thriving economies have made it suddenly more expensive to afford a home. Cities where monthly mortgage payments are way up are Miami (26%), Las Vegas (24%), Phoenix (20%), and Tampa (17%).
Conversely, there are cities where buying a home is much more affordable, like Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; Kansas City, Missouri; and Columbus, Ohio, where it takes 12 years to save for a down payment. At just seven years, Detroit tops the list of most affordable, followed by Wichita, Kansas, at 11 years.
“The way things are going, an entire generation of Americans may be approaching retirement before they can securely own a home or be forced to take on more risk than they can reasonably afford in order to realize their dream of homeownership,” said Unison CEO Thomas Sponholtz.