Most millennials need 20 years to save for a down payment – study

by Francis Monfort10 Dec 2018

While a majority of millennials want to buy a home, they find that saving for a down payment is delaying their American dream, according to the 2018 Millennial Homeownership Report released by Apartment List.

A survey of 6,400 millennial renters found that nine out of 10 want to purchase a home. However, only 4.9% of those who plan to buy a home said they will do so within the next year. Meanwhile, 34% expect to wait five years or more.

Apartment List looked at saving rates among millennials and estimated that two-thirds would require at least two decades to save enough for a 20% down payment on a median-priced condo in their market. Only 11% would be able to amass a 20% down payment within the next five years.

Affordability was cited by 72% of millennial renters who plan to purchase as a reason for delaying homeownership, with 62% pinpointing a lack of down payment savings specifically. The survey also found that 48% of millennial renters have no down-payment savings, and just 11% have saved $10,000 or more.

While student debt is keeping homeownership out of reach for many millennials, those without a college education fare the worst. Apartment List estimated that 23% of college graduates without student debt can save enough for a down payment within the next five years, compared to just 12% of college graduates who are currently paying off student loans. However, only 6% of non-college graduates are able to save a down payment within five years.