I feel you on this, and I will say that it seems like student loans are the biggest killer of house fund dreams. If you were able to put that 14% into a house fund ($7K/year!) in addition to all other saving, you might be talking about five years to a down payment instead of 20.
That said, I’m thinking about when my parents bought their first home. They spent nothing — NOTHING —beyond bare-bones basics for a year. They ate out zero times. They cooked beans on toast for dinner nearly every night. They took no vacations, purchased no clothes and shared one junker of a car only for necessary trips. That allowed them to save for a down payment despite their low salaries, and getting that toe-hold set them up on a relatively secure path that they’ve benefited from ever since. I guess the question is: Should that kind of sacrifice be necessary for people to do something as basic as securing a place to live? Should people have to scrimp and live completely bare-bones, not just until the next paycheck but for a year or more? Or do we expect that secure housing should be obtainable for normal people without an extended period of sacrifice?