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 Houston clocks in with the least amount of time needed to save for a 20 percent down payment in the state: 6.2 years.
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.
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. If you’re extremely eager to buy a house in the shortest amount of time possible, Houston might be the place to do it.
Although six years may seem like a while, the plus side is that Houston residents have it easier than Austinites when it comes to buying a home. The average amount of time it takes to save for a down payment in Austin 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.
Those in San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth wanting to achieve their dream of being a homeowner have it a bit better, as they will need to save for 6.3 years and 6.8 years, respectively. Home values in both cities have increased by about 90 percent, but in San Antonio, the median income changed 61.3 percent, whereas in DFW, it grew by 50.4 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.