House prices in Los Angeles are notoriously high and unless you already have a leg up on the competition with a hefty nest egg to put forward as a down payment, you might be waiting a long time before you’re handed the keys to your dream home.
A new study by SmartAsset, an online hub for consumer finance information, found that it could take as long as 11.55 years for the average Angeleno to save up a down payment on a home.
SmartAsset used median income figures and assumed that workers would want to save 20% of their income each year for either a 20% of 12% down payment on a median-priced home in Los Angeles.
Their findings showed that California dominates the total time needed to save up for a down payment, with Los Angeles sitting not-so-pretty at No. 1.
An average L.A. resident would need to save for 6.93 years to afford a 12% down payment or more than 11 years to afford a 20% down payment. That’s twice as long as the national average, SmartAsset says.
To put it into perspective, Los Angeles residents would have to save for six times as long as homebuyers in Detroit.
The median home value in Los Angeles is around $812,800, according to SmartAsset. That number has gone up by more than $115,000 since last year when the company last did the same study.
Unsurprisingly, many other California cities were near the top of the list. San Francisco landed at No. 2, meaning homebuyers will have to save for just shy of 11 years.
Long Beach (No. 5 on the list) buyers will need to save for 9.39 years to have a 20% down payment on a median-priced home.
And keep in mind, that’s with today’s house prices. Who knows how much a home may cost 10 years from now?
Now if you’re looking to buy and you just don’t have enough money in the bank to meet that 20% down payment, you don’t have to be entirely discouraged. Remember that 20% down is recommended, but not required. Some lenders will let you finance your home purchase with as little as 3-5% down, and in some cities, mortgages can be obtained with zero down — assuming you have decent credit.
But keep in mind, the less you pay up front, the more you’ll be paying monthly and the more expensive your house will be once interest is factored in.
For more on the SmartAsset study and to read about the methodology used in the rankings, click here.
Below is a list of the cities that topped the list of years needed to save up that 20% down payment.
|Rank||City||Median Home Value||Median Household Income||12% Down Payment |
|20% Down Payment|
|1||Los Angeles, CA||$812,800||$70,372||6.93||11.55|
|2||San Francisco, CA||$1,306,400||$121,826||6.43||10.72|
|4||New York, NY||$685,700||$67,997||6.05||10.08|
|5||Long Beach, CA||$693,600||$73,905||5.63||9.39|
|6||San Jose, CA||$1,119,500||$126,377||5.32||8.86|
|9||San Diego, CA||$768,800||$93,042||4.96||8.26|