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The size of a homebuyer’s down payment can make the difference between an affordable monthly mortgage payment and one that squeezes a household’s budget, Zillow, a real estate and rental marketplace, reported Friday.

A 20% down payment on a home’s purchase price is a longstanding benchmark, Zillow said. This keeps monthly payments lower, saves on interest and negates the need for costly mortgage insurance.

Forty-three percent of buyers — of whom 42% are millennials, the largest contingent — put down 20% or more, according to Zillow’s analysis of homebuyers nationally and in five major metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Phoenix and San Francisco.

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