Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: February 8, 2017 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Affording a down payment is a struggle for some potential homebuyers, and SmartAsset recently analyzed how long it would take residents in the 15 biggest cities in the country to save for a down payment.

Philadelphia was included in the study, and researchers found that it takes an average of 3.8 years for someone to save for a down payment in the city. Thanks to the lowest average income on the list, at $38,253, as well as the ninth-highest home prices at an average of $145,300, saving for a down payment may take a while. Philadelphia landed in eighth out of the 15 cities studied.

“How much house a person can afford depends on many factors including location, income, credit score, and savings, among others. In our study, it was surprising to see that even in places like San Francisco where the median income is relatively high, it would be nearly impossible for the average household to afford the ensuing mortgage payments on the median-priced home,” said AJ Smith, SmartAsset’s personal finance expert and VP of content.

The analysis took into consideration the median home prices and income, and calculated how long it would take residents to save 20 percent for a down payment if they saved 20 percent of their income. Not surprisingly, California claimed four out of the top five spots for length of time it would take to afford a down payment, thanks to San Francisco (9.84 years), Los Angeles (9.38 years), San Jose (7.2 years) and San Diego (7.01 years). New York City claimed third place, as it would take residents an average of 99.27 years to afford a 20 percent down payment.

“While it would take 3.8 years to afford a down payment in Philadelphia, given the parameters we explored, that’s a relatively short amount of time compared to other big cities where saving up for a down payment can take almost a decade,” added Smith.