Saving for a down payment is a major concern for future homebuyers, and singles have it the hardest. It takes a single person almost 11 years to save a down payment for a typical U.S. home – more than twice the time it takes a married or partnered couple.
In pricey markets, the outlook is even longer: It would take a single buyer nearly 30 years to save a down payment for a median-priced home in San Jose, Calif. – longer than the time frame of a typical mortgage.
After the down payment is saved, singles are faced with fewer affordable options because they have smaller budgets. A typical single buyer can afford a home up to $176,100, less than the national median home value – which means fewer than half – in fact, 45 percent – of all U.S. homes are affordable for her. A married or partnered couple, by contrast, could afford 82 percent of all homes.
This married versus single divide persists even when we compare young (under 35) couples with only one income earner to young singles living without an additional income earner in their household. The former can afford 22 percent of the U.S. housing stock, whereas the latter can afford only 11 percent. The gap becomes even more extreme when we consider older households. Single household heads over the age of 35 can afford a fraction…