Zillow Helps Eligible Homebuyers Reduce Down Payment to 1 Percent


Zillow Home Loans has unveiled its 1% Down Payment program to allow eligible homebuyers to pay as little as 1% down on their next home purchase. This program is initially being offered on properties located in Arizona, with plans to expand to additional markets.

With the 1% Down Payment program, borrowers who qualify can now save just 1% to cover their portion of the down payment and Zillow Home Loans will contribute an additional 2% at closing. The 1% Down Payment program can reduce the time eligible homebuyers need to save and open homeownership to those who are otherwise ready to take on a mortgage.

Most markets are in the midst of an affordability crisis. Saving money for a down payment remains one of the biggest barriers for many potential homebuyers. This is especially true for first-time buyers, who are often paying high rents. Typical asking rent nationwide is $2,062, or 3.6% higher than one year ago and up 31% since the start of the pandemic. (The typical rent in the U.S. in February 2020 was $1,597.)  The combination of record-breaking home price appreciation and rising interest rates means a majority of first-time buyers (64%) are putting down less than 20%, and one-quarter of first-time buyers are putting down 5% or less. 

Zillow Home Loans’ 1% Down Payment program lowers the down payment barrier and increases access to the housing market for eligible borrowers. An analysis by Zillow Home Loans’ shows that by reducing the down payment burden to 1% of the purchase price, a home buyer looking to purchase a $275,000 home in Phoenix, who makes 80% of their area’s median income and saves 5% of their income would need only 11 months  to save for the down payment. By comparison, the same buyer who needed to save 3% of the purchase price would require two and half years (31 months) to save that amount.

Zillow Home Loans’ senior macroeconomist Orphe Divounguy comments: “The rapid rise in rents and home values means many renters who are already paying high monthly housing costs may not have enough saved up for a large down payment, and these types of programs are welcome innovations in lowering the potential barriers to homeownership for those who qualify.”

Zillow Home Loans’ 1% Down Payment program is currently available to eligible borrowers in Arizona, with plans to expand. Through the 1% Down Payment program, Zillow Home Loans will pay 2% of the down payment for eligible borrowers. The 2% is paid through closing and not as a payment to the borrower.

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Derrick Patterson
Derrick Patterson
9 months ago

This program helps no one. You can only make 80% of the median income in Maricopa County ($79,200) to qualify. If you make $79,200 you’re grossing $6,600/month. 36% of your gross monthly is $2,376. You don’t want to be spending more than 36% of your gross on a mortgage. At today’s current rate with 1% down and no PMI you can only afford a house that’s $300k aiming for the $2,376 mortgage (I’m factoring in mortgage, taxes and insurance) There are only 6 houses in all of Maricopa County that’s $300k or less. Maybe outside of Maricopa County it works,… Read more »