In recognition of American Housing Month, the American Bankers Association Foundation today released an infographic outlining current gaps in homeownership rates, barriers faced by younger generations and communities of color trying to own a home, as well as down payment assistance resources banks and other groups offer that can help overcome those barriers.
According to the infographic and data from NerdWallet, homeownership – in contrast with renting – has played a critical role in helping Americans build wealth and 84% of Americans say that buying a home is a top priority.
Despite the desire to own a home, many Americans encounter obstacles that hinder their ability to do so. The most commonly identified hurdle to homeownership is saving for a down payment. In fact, 1 in 3 millennials cite the down payment as their top obstacle.
“Banks are committed to helping Americans succeed financially,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director, ABA Foundation. “This often includes educating consumers on the many down payment assistance programs available to them through their bank and other agencies, and to help make homeownership more attainable for the next generation and communities of color.”
Student loan debt and rising home prices are two of the biggest factors in preventing millennials from saving for a down payment. With an average student loan debt of $40,000 among millennials and home prices rising by 12% annually, it can take the average home buyer 10 years to save enough for a 5% down payment and even longer for communities of color.
Another obstacle is the perception around how much money is needed for a down payment. According to data from the National Association of Realtors cited in the infographic, the median down payment for first-time home buyers is 7%. However, more than 50% of Black and Hispanic home buyers believe a 20% down payment is required.
Approximately 70% of home buyers are unaware of down payment assistance programs for middle income buyers.
Across the U.S., there are 2,305 down payment assistance programs offered by banks and other organizations trying to help consumers looking to purchase a home. To learn more about these programs and other consumer resources, visit aba.com/Housing.
To view the full infographic, click here.