Single person household, harder to buy a home

One side effect of the rise of single-person households in the United States may be that it takes many people longer to purchase a home:

Assuming buyers saved 10 percent of their income every year, it would take a single buyer 11 years to sock away enough for a 20 percent down payment on a typical U.S. home, versus less than five for couples. To crunch the numbers, Zillow used income data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey and Zillow’s own 2016 home value data; the 20 percent down payment was calculated based on the most expensive home a household could afford.

The analysis reveals that a single homebuyer in Chicago has to save 10 years for a down payment compared with four years for a couple…

Those numbers alone shape a dismal view of homeownership, but couple them with this statistic, and for women, it gets bleaker: Single men are able to afford a larger share of U.S. homes than single women — 52 percent vs. 39 percent…

Despite inventory challenges, it’s important to note that single buyers aren’t necessarily looking at the same homes that couples might be eyeing. Couples may want the yard and be willing to look for residences in the suburbs, while singles may not be willing to lose the amenities that city living offers. And Dantzler, the broker, adds that there are still starter homes out there for single buyers. Just keep in mind that “starter home means different things for different people,” she said. Also, singles exploring homeownership may want to look into low-down-payment home loans, such as the Federal Housing Administration loan that allows for a 3.5 percent down payment.

The single-person household may be popular because one gains autonomy but this may come with a cost: a financial cost. A couple can pool resources and accumulate wealth more quickly. Could the recent drop in homeownership in the United States be tied in part to more people choosing the single life and not having as many resources for a home?

Of course, perhaps the dream is really to be a single-person household with a high income or lots of wealth so one does not need roommates

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