Aug 4, 2023 - Real Estate

Saving up for a house in Virginia takes nearly a decade

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

It takes Virginians an average of 8.4 years to save up for a 10% down payment on the typical home, Zillow data shows.

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: That timeline isn't just for pricey NoVa. In the Richmond metro area, the length of time grows to 8.5 years — one month longer than the state average.

  • 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.

  • 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: The majority of Americans believe it's the worst time ever 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.

Be smart: Homebuyers aren't putting as much money down as they were at the height of the housing frenzy, Axios' Emily Peck reports.


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