It Could Take Years for Big-City Millennials to Save for a Down Payment

Bucking their rent-not-own reputation, millennials are looking forward to buying a home, but many have grossly underestimated just how much they’ll need for that all-important down payment.

Of the generation known for renting everything from designer handbags to desks in a shared office space, 79 percent say they want to purchase a home, according to a report published Wednesday by Apartment List, an online rental marketplace.

“A lot of folks said that millennials would go off and just rent,” said Jonathan Corr, chief executive of Ellie Mae Inc. in Pleasanton, California. “But as they hit those life-event years in terms of getting married, having children, they’re starting to make that transition.”

That doesn’t mean they’re ready to sign a check. Millennials in about half of large metropolitan areas are underestimating how much they’ll need for a down payment on their first home and are not saving at a fast enough pace. 

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