Zillow trends contributor Melissa Allison goes visual with the geography of 20% down payment levels for different markets around the nation.

Allison taps into Zillow analysts' theory that spiraling rents are becoming a major suppressor of young households' ability to sock away savings toward down payments. On a monthly basis, the cost to own is dramatically favorable vs. paying a landlord each month. But, the down payment is a major obstacle, especially in some markets. Allison writes:

People used to get there with second jobs, but lenders don’t see this as much since the recession.

“Instead, what you see is somebody graduates from college, they move back home to pay off debt and save money, and they work 50, 60 hours a week at the job that they found,” said Staci Titsworth, a regional manager for PNC Mortgage in Pittsburgh.

There are also more double-income households, and more first-time buyers waiting to buy homes where they can stay more than 5 years and possibly raise families, she said.

People are also coming in below 20 percent, which typically requires paying mortgage insurance.
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