Jun 27, 2023 - Real Estate

Saving for a Massachusetts down payment could take 12 years

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

Surprising probably no one, Massachusetts is one of the hardest states in which to save up for a mortgage down payment.

Driving the news: It’ll take Bay Staters more than 12 years to save up for a 10% down payment on a typical home, Zillow data shows.

  • That breaks down to saving 5% of a median household income — $400 every month if you make $96,000.

Why it matters: Massachusetts has seen the highest level of outmigration in 30 years, and affordability has been a major factor driving people ages 26 to 35 out of the state, according to a report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

By the numbers: In the Boston metro area, it should take slightly less time than the state average, at an estimated 11.9 years.

  • The U.S. average is 8.9 years, with states like Iowa as low as 5.2 years and Hawaii as high as 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, Axios' Sami Sparber reports.

  • That’s especially the case in Massachusetts where housing stock is limited and the cost of living is high.

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

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

Steph’s thought bubble: Even if I start saving now, I won’t have enough for a down payment in Massachusetts until after Beyonce's twins are old enough to drive.

Deehan's thought bubble: Maybe if I save practically everything and wait until rates come down I can afford a $400,000 parking space with a river view.


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