Jul 5, 2023 - Real Estate

It takes Georgians nearly 10 years to save for a home

Average years it takes a household to afford a mortgage down payment, by state
Data: Zillow Economic Research; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

It'll take Georgians 9.4 years to save up for a 10% down payment on the typical home, Zillow data shows.

  • That would require saving 5% of the median household income every month. Homebuyers would need to save 10% of the median household income to generate a 20% down payment in the same amount of time.

Why it matters: Affordability could be a "major driver of cross-country moves" as buyers seek a lifestyle within their means, Zillow economists say.

By the numbers: In the metro Atlanta area, the length of time drops just slightly to 9.2 years.

  • The U.S. average is 8.9 years, with Iowa the lowest state at 5.2 years and Hawaii the highest at 18.4.

Between the lines: The share of first-time buyers in the U.S. has shrunk to a record low as inventory and affordability issues persist, according to the National Association of Realtors.

  • First-timers are also waiting longer to buy. The median first-time buyer age jumped from 33 to 36 from 2021 to 2022, the latest data shows.

Of note: A record share of Americans believes it's a bad time to buy a house.

The big picture: Saving enough for a down payment is the biggest barrier to entry, says Brandi Snowden, a director at the National Association of Realtors.

The intrigue: 37.6% of metro Atlanta home sales were made in cash in April — a drop of nearly 8 percentage points from the same time the previous year, new Redfin data shows.

  • Nationwide, the share of U.S. cash buyers reached a nine-year high.
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