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Despite consumer demand for housing remaining high, homebuyers' confidence in their ability to save enough for a down payment fell in the first quarter, with some feeling less positive than others.

Millennials in particular saw declining confidence toward down payment affordability, with only 35% of millennial first-time homebuyers claiming they can afford a down payment, according to ValueInsured, a Dallas-based down payment insurance company. This is down nine percentage points from a year ago.

But, varying homebuyer profiles showed mixed results toward down payment affordability.

Older homeowners, for example, were more secure than millennials or Gen-Xers in their ability to afford a down payment, in part, because they've had more time to save. Suburban homebuyers were also more positive than urban homebuyers about down payment affordability.

Regarding affordability sentiments, contrasting opinions between male and female homebuyers existed, as did discrepancies between borrowers putting different percentages of money toward a down payment.

Financial concerns were particularly distinct in some of the nation's hottest housing markets, where house values have grown exceptionally high. And overall, 53% of people believed they could see another housing crisis in their lifetime, up from 37% from just a year ago.

From location and age to gender and price point, here's a look at how demographic differences influence homebuyer confidence about saving for a down payment.

The data is derived from ValueInsured's Housing Confidence Index, which is a mean of seven different consumer confidence measures. The components of the index are collected quarterly (on both a national and local scale) through the company's Modern Homebuyer survey, which is conducted by Equation Research on behalf of ValueInsured.
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Home prices sour millennial confidence
Rising home prices are hammering down millennial optimism in down payment affordability. In the first quarter, 35% of millennials hoping to purchase a home within three years claimed they were confident they could afford a down payment. This is down nine percentage points from a year ago, when home prices were 7% lower at the end of the first quarter in March 2017, according to CoreLogic.
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Millennials in top markets most negative
Millennials in cities where home prices saw the most growth were negative about down payment affordability. In Seattle, Atlanta and Denver, which saw the greatest annual gains in home price appreciation in February, according to CoreLogic, less than half of millennials looking to buy within three years reported they could afford a down payment on a home they wish to live in.

In Seattle, which led cities in year-over-year home price growth, only a quarter of millennials claimed they could afford a down payment. This is 10 percentage points lower than the overall consumer average.
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Older buyers optimistic
Older non-homeowners were most confident in their ability to afford a down payment compared to millennials and Gen-Xers. This is likely due to older consumers having had more time to save for a down payment. Some older non-homeowners could also have downsized as renters and have money saved up from a previous sale.
Chicago suburbs
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Suburban buyers more confident
Homebuyers in the suburbs were more confident they could afford a down payment compared to homebuyers in urban cities. As home prices continue to appreciate, they have climbed particularly high in urban markets and created greater affordability challenges. This has even led consumers to migrate from costly urban cores.
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Males more secure
Among male non-homeowners wanting to purchase a home, 40% were confident they could afford a down payment for a house they wish to live in. Comparatively, 36% of female non-homeowners were confident they could afford a down payment.
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High down payment purchasers more sure
House shoppers planning to put a higher percentage of money toward a down payment were more positive about down payment affordability than those aiming to put a small amount down.

About 40% of people expecting to put a down payment of 16%-20% felt they could afford a down payment, but for those hoping to put down 0%-3%, that number shrank by almost half, or 21% of consumers confident in their ability to afford a down payment.
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