Last week, we broke down how long the average first-time buyer would have to save for a down payment in different states across the U.S. This week, we break down how long the average person would have to save to put 10% down on a home by age group.

Housing affordability varies greatly by geographic region, and the same applies to different generations. Based on average monthly mortgage payments, median household incomes, and the median price of homes held by boomers, silents, and millennials, we've calculated a (very) conservative  timeline of how long it will take each generation to save up a 10% down payment on a home costing the median price among their peers.

To find out which age groups can buy homes the fastest, we've mashed up Metrostudy data with Census results on householders' median income, median home price, and median mortgage rate. As a widely-applied rule suggests, homebuyers or households should spend no more than 28% of income on total housing costs. So, we've calculated the amount of money each householder has left, after he or she pays off other mortgage payments, within that 28% of income. Then, we compared the time that householders in a certain age range need to save up the down payment. (We went with the 10% down payment rate in our analysis.)


Millennials and retirees must save for the longest amount of time to put 10% down on a new home. Specifically, younger millennials aged 18 to 24 (usually recent graduates from college or secondary educational institutions) will have to save the longest-- 8.77 years--in order to put 10% down on a home costing $221,600, despite the fact that the homes they shop for are usually smaller and in lower price ranges. 

Retirees aged 65 and over need about 7.37 years to save up the down payment for a $291,000 home, due to the loss of income that comes with retirement. 

It takes the least amount of time for householders aged 45-to-54-year-old to save up the money for a down payment (possibly due to the fact they have the most earning power at that age), but it still takes more than three years and a half to take out a loan for home buying.

Keep in mind that our chart and analysis above are based on median household income and median home price for each age group. Chances are that some folks will need longer saving time if they decide to retire early, choose to buy a larger and more expensive home to house multiple generations, or have outstanding debts preventing them from saving as much as they'd like, like student loans.