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Missing ingredient for millennials: Down payment savings

Short of savings and burdened by debt, America's millennials are struggling to afford their first homes in the face of sharply higher prices in many of the most desirable cities.

Surveys show that most Americans under 35 lack adequate savings for down payments. The result is that many will likely be forced to delay home ownership and to absorb significant debt loads if they do eventually buy.

Steadily rising home values in recent years have eclipsed pay increases, making it especially difficult to buy in major growth areas for jobs, such as San Francisco, Denver and Seattle.

Nationally, 37 percent of millennial renters have saved nothing at all for a down payment,...

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