Twenty years ago, a gallon of gas was about a dollar, and it took 5.5 years to save for a down payment on a home. Since the good ol’ days of ’98, home values have skyrocketed — nearly twice as much as incomes — and the average time to save for a down payment has gone up to seven years.
But don’t fret too much. Some Texas cities come in below the U.S. average, and San Antonio is one of them.
To reach this conclusion, Zillow compared the change in median home values from 1998 to 2018 to the change in median income over the same 20-year period. The real estate site assumed that a person earning the local median income was saving 10 percent each month.
Those in San Antonio wanting to achieve their dream of being a homeowner only need to save for 6.3 years. Over the past 20 years, home values in Alamo City have increased by about 90 percent, and the median income has changed 61.3 percent.
The story is similar in Dallas-Fort Worth, where it takes 6.8 years to save for a down payment. Home Values there have increased the same as San Antonio, but the median income has changed by 53.5 percent.
Houston buyers are treated with the least amount of time needed to save for a 20 percent down payment in the state: 6.2 years. Out of all the big Texas cities, the median home value in Houston has increased the least over the past 20 years, 78 percent, while the median income has increased by 53.5 percent.
In Austin, on the other hand, the average amount of time it takes to save for a down payment is a whopping 7.9 years, almost a year above the U.S. average. From 1998 to 2018, the median home value there increased by 90.9 percent, while median income went up by 70.5 percent.
Although Texans, especially millennials, are going to have to be patient with the saving process, things look much better in the Lone Star State than in California. In San Jose, it takes two decades (21.8 years) to save for a down payment. San Francisco and Los Angeles are barely better at about 18 years each.
Main priority in life to buy a house immediately? Go to Pittsburgh, where it takes only 4.8 years to save for a 20 percent down payment. Or check out St. Louis, Cincinnati, or Indianapolis, where you can have a down payment in 5.1 years.