The average buyer in San Antonio needs only two and a half years to save up money for a down payment on a house. The same person would need to save for seven more years to afford a down payment in Los Angeles.
SmartAsset calculated how many years of work are needed to save up for a 20 percent down payment in the 15 largest U.S. cities. The data was based on the median household income and the median home price in each market, and assumed the buyer would save 20 percent of income towards housing.
In addition to San Antonio, buyers in Jacksonville, Houston, Columbus, and Indianapolis need less than three years of saving to afford a house. All those cities boast home values under $150,000.
People in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, however, would need nine years to scrounge together a down payment.
Saving for a down payment isn’t enough, though, as mortgage payments can still be way too pricey.
Take New York City, for example. An average household which makes a down payment of $98,000, would have a mortgage balance of $395,000. Using SmartAsset’s mortgage calculator, we estimate that monthly payments for that mortgage would cost about $2,700, after factoring in real estate taxes. That’s too expensive for the median household bringing in a pre-tax monthly income of $4,400, on average. In fact, that’s a whopping 61% of the pre-tax income.