First-Time Homebuyers Struggle to Make Down Payments in Denver

January 13, 2020
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Want to buy a home in Denver? Be prepared to save almost $1,000 a month for five years. That’s how much a homebuyer will have to put away in order to afford the roughly $60,000 average down payment required for a home in the Denver metro area. Buying in Denver is especially hard for potentially first-time buyers: They are either priced out of homeownership altogether, or they pay larger insurance premiums and extra costs in order to qualify for smaller down payments. 

Someone looking to buy a typical home in metro Denver making the typical down payment will need to accumulate an unusually large amount of savings, according to a new study from Realtor.com.

“Generally, buyers in denser, higher-priced markets tend to aim for higher down payments as loan risk, interest and requirements tend to increase with higher home purchase values,” said Javier Vivas Castillo, director of economic research at Realtor.com.

In San Francisco, the median down payment percentage runs 24%, while in Los Angeles, it runs closer to 20%. In Atlanta and St. Louis, which are lower-cost markets, the median down payment runs only 7%.

Metro Denver skews toward the more expensive side of the scale with a median down payment of 14% and a median home price of $414,000, according to Realtor.com

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