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Seattle renters need nearly 13 years to save for a home down payment, study says

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SEATTLE -- If you're renting a home in Seattle and are hoping to save enough to buy one of your own someday, it's...going to take a while.

A new study by Zilow's Hotpads shows on average, it takes a renter in the Seattle Metro area 12 years and 11 months to save up enough money to afford a 20 percent down payment on a home. Even if you could get by with the bare-bones 3.5 percent down payment, it'd take 2 years and 4 months, the agency said.

The housing cost numbers are astounding and keep climbing each year, it seems. The median rent is $2,210 in the Seattle Metro area and the median home price is $490,200 -- up 12.2 percent since last year, the study concludes.

HotPads says the typical renter spends 41.1 percent of their household income on rent, when experts suggest spending no more than 30 percent. The time to save for a down payment assumes renters can put 20 percent of their monthly income aside.

It's even worse in California, where markets like San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego can take 22 years to save for a down payment; made more difficult by the fact that most renters have to set aside 55 percent of their monthly income for housing.

HotPads says as daunting as those numbers are, it's only going to get more difficult as saving for a 20 percent down payment becomes more difficult every month. U.S. home values rose 8 percent over the past year and are forecast to rise another 6.5 percent over the next 12 months.

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