Slideshow 12 fastest housing markets for renters to save for a down payment

Published
  • July 13 2018, 2:30pm EDT
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While rising costs to rent are making it more difficult to save for a down payment, some local housing market conditions present more favorable circumstances for renters hoping to make a home purchase.

How long does it take to save up for a down payment? On average, renters spend nearly six-and-a-half years to save enough for a 20% down payment, according to Zillow-owned rental search platform HotPads. But in some cities, where median home and rent values are lower, renters can save for a 20% down payment in close to half that time.

"Home prices are outpacing incomes in many of the country's largest markets, which makes saving for a home more difficult. On top of that, the current generation of first-time buyers is dealing with unprecedented levels of student debt, making the down payment a major factor keeping young renters out of the housing market even though many young people say they have ambitions to buy," said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads, in a press release.

The nation’s most exorbitant markets all lie in California. The Golden State claims six of the top seven cities that take the longest for buyers to accumulate a 20% down payment — reaching upwards of over 35 years in Silicon Valley.

The major hubs of the industrial Midwest offer the best opportunities for renters hoping to put 20% down.

From Cleveland to Pittsburgh, here's a look at 12 housing markets where renters can save for a down payment in the least amount of time. The rankings, derived from a HotPads analysis, evaluated data (based on Zillow reports) on median rents, median home values and median incomes to determine how long renters should expect to save for a down payment, with the assumption that they are setting aside 20% of their median monthly income.

No. 12 San Antonio, Texas

Time to save for 20% down payment: 6 years ($36,840)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 1 year, 1 month ($6,447)
Median home value: $184,200
Median rent: $1,370
Median annual income: $47,263

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No. 11 Atlanta, Ga.

Time to save for 20% down payment: 5 years, 9 months ($40,640)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 1 year, 1 month ($7,112)
Median home value: $203,200
Median rent: $1,435
Median annual income: $52,572

No. 10 Charlotte, N.C.

Time to save for 20% down payment: 5 years, 7 months ($38,880)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 1 year ($6,804)
Median home value: $194,400
Median rent: $1,360
Median annual income: $51,303

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No. 9 Houston, Texas

Time to save for 20% down payment: 5 years, 6 months ($39,480)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 1 year ($6,909)
Median home value: $197,400
Median rent: $1,575
Median annual income: $55,058

No. 8 Columbus, Ohio

Time to save for 20% down payment: 5 years, 4 months ($36,320)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 1 year ($6,356)
Median home value: $181,600
Median rent: $1,395
Median annual income: $51,170

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No. 7 Kansas City, Mo.

Time to save for 20% down payment: 5 years, 1 month ($35,940)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 11 months ($6,290)
Median home value: $179,700
Median rent: $1,245
Median annual income: $50,598

No. 6 Cincinnati, Ohio

Time to save for 20% down payment: 4 years, 6 months ($31,920)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 10 months ($5,586)
Median home value: $159,600
Median rent: $1,210
Median annual income: $50,014

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No. 5 St. Louis, Mo.

Time to save for 20% down payment: 4 years, 6 months ($32,080)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 10 months ($5,614)
Median home value: $160,400
Median rent: $1,190
Median annual income: $50,311

No. 4 Indianapolis, Ind.

Time to save for 20% down payment: 4 years, 5 months ($30,160)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 10 months ($5,278)
Median home value: $150,800
Median rent: $1,230
Median annual income: $49,135

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No. 3 Detroit, Mich.

Time to save for 20% down payment: 4 years, 1 month ($30,820)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 9 months ($5,394)
Median home value: $154,100
Median rent: $1,275
Median annual income: $53,298

No. 2 Cleveland, Ohio

Time to save for 20% down payment: 4 years ($28,100)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 9 months ($4,918)
Median home value: $140,500
Median rent: $1,190
Median annual income: $50,045

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No. 1 Pittsburgh, Pa.

Time to save for 20% down payment: 3 years, 11 months ($28,120)
Time to save for 3.5% down payment: 9 months ($4,921)
Median home value: $140,600
Median rent: $1,090
Median annual income: $49,697