Achieving what many view as the American Dream is a lot easier with a partner. For a couple, it would take less than five years to save the 20 percent down payment on a typical U.S. home. For someone on their own, that time spent socking away cash doubles, to nearly 11 years.
So says Zillow, the real estate site, which might want to consider partnering with Match.com after this the latest study. Zillow analyzed home values along with income figures from the Census to calculate what it now takes to own a home, assuming people set aside 10 percent of income each year.
Adding insult to injury for single folks looking to own, there's more competition for the least costly houses, since there are fewer on the market. The number of homes for sale across the country is down nearly 11 percent over the past year, and nearly 18 percent for the cheapest homes.
"Single buyers typically have more limited budgets, which means they are likely competing for lower-priced homes that are in high demand," Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas said in a release. "Having two incomes allows buyers to compete in higher priced tiers where competition is not as stiff."
In San Jose, Calif., it would take a single buyer more than 30 years to save enough for a down payment, longer than a typical home loan.
A single person could afford to buy 45 percent of available U.S. homes, compared to couples, who could swing 82 percent of all houses.
The difference between what one person can afford compared to two is greatest in Portland, Oregon, and Sacramento, California, Zillow found. In Portland, 73 percent of homes are affordable for a couple, but only 6 percent are affordable for a solo buyer. For Sacramento buyers, a couple can swing 75 percent of homes while a single homebuyer could afford 8 percent.
The story for single aspiring homeowners is least sad in Indianapolis, where Zillow estimates it takes less than eight years for one person to stockpile enough cash for a down payment. Plus, the city offers them the highest share of homes among the largest U.S. housing markets.