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San Jose Home Buyers Need 22 Years To Save For Down Payment

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Prospective San Jose home buyers looking to save their way to a down payment have a decades-long road ahead of them, according to a new analysis from Zillow.

The real estate company found a family earning the median income of $118,000 would need to save for 22 years to come up with a 20 percent on a median priced home, which is $1.288 million. The report assumes the family was able to put away 10 percent of their income every month, without interruption.

With Silicon Valley home values rising at a staggering 295 percent in 20 years, and incomes only rising 93 percent in that period, the time required to save for a down payment has more than doubled. Back in 1998, a median income San Jose family needed only 10.6 years of saving 10 percent for the down payment.

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"The simple fact that home values have far outpaced income growth, lengthening the time needed to save for a down payment, contributes to millennials' struggles to enter homeownership," Skylar Olsen, Zillow's director of economic research and outreach, said in a statement.

"Saving up for a down payment can be tough, especially when the cost of everyday life outpaces the money you put into the bank…It's one reason why more and more first-time home buyers are looking to family and friends for financial help when coming up with their down payment," Olsen went on to say.

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In the San Francisco market, a household making the median income would need to save for 18.3 years to afford the 20 percent down payment for a median priced home, compared to 10 years in 1998.

Over the past 20 years, home values in San Francisco have gone up 253 percent, while incomes have gone up 92.8 percent.

Even in Sacramento, which has become a haven for home buyers priced out of the Bay Area, a household making the median income there would need to save for almost 12 years for the down payment.

Nationally, the average time to save for a down payment on a typical U.S. home is about seven years.

Tim Fang is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco and a native of the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @fangtj.

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