Prospective homebuyers setting a savings goal may have to move the post even further as prices are expected to rise sharply in 2018.
According to a new report from Zillow, the precipitous rise in down payments needed to purchase a home will accompany the uptick in sales prices.
Across the United States, the median home value is expected to rise from $202,700 in September 2017 to $208,975 in September 2018, a 3.1 percent increase. If the goal is to put the standard 20 percent down on a home, then that means the average future homebuyer will need to save an extra $105 per month, and a total of about $3482 per month for a year!
In hotter housing markets like Seattle, a 5.2 percent expected increase in home values means that prospective buyers would need to save an extra $394 per month, versus someone who purchased a home this year.
The increase is bad news for first-time homebuyers, many of whom find the down payment to be the biggest hurdle to clear before purchasing their first home. According to Zillow Group’s Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017, more than 59 percent of first-time homebuyers put down less than 20 percent.
“Sky-high rents and rising home prices are putting first-time buyers in a bit of a catch-22,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, in a statement. “Buying now with a low down payment can be riskier, and the offer may not be considered as competitive by the seller.”
According to the report, individuals putting down an initial 20 percent averaged just 1.9 total offers before winning their house, compared to 2.4 for buyers with lower down payments.
“However, a renter who saves for another year to reach a larger down payment may find that the home they love today is outside their budget a year from now,” Gudell added. “For those considering buying in the next year, getting into the market today may make more financial sense than they think.”
Zillow offers prospective buyers an affordability calculator to see how much they can actually afford to spend on a home. The number is based on their income, debt and savings. The site’s mortgage calculator can also provide custom down payment estimates based on home price and interest rates.