Fewer Singles, More Unmarried Couples Buying Homes

Posted by Amrock

When it comes to younger homebuyers, fewer single Americans and more unmarried couples are purchasing homes, reports National Mortgage Professional. The new study from Zillow, the real estate tech and data firm, has reportedly found the intersection of marriage and homeownership growing wider.

Nearly 15 percent of buyers are now unmarried couples

The new data showed that 14.6 percent of all U.S. homebuyers aged 24 to 35 years old in 2015 were unmarried couples. In 2005, the figure was 11.2 percent, a statistically significant shift according to the report. Conversely, single 24-to-35-year-old Americans accounted for 25.4 percent of 2015 homebuyers, down from 27.7 percent in 2005.

At the regional market level, these trends were even more pronounced. Unmarried homeownership purchases in Washington, D.C. more than doubled, from 7.5 percent in 2005, to 15.7 percent in 2015. Philadelphia also experienced an increase in unmarried couples jumping into the housing market, from 15.7 percent in 2005, to 23.4 percent in 2015. The only market to buck the trend was the Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas metro, where 8.7 percent of buyers were unwed couples in 2005, as opposed to 5.7 percent in 2015.

Double-digit declines in Las Vegas and Minneapolis single buyers

Across the country fewer single Americans were able to purchase in 2015 than in 2005, with some exceptions. The largest shift was in Columbus, Ohio, where 39.7 percent of homes were bought by a single buyer in 2005, yet that figure was only 17.7 percent in 2015. Also of note, Las Vegas single buyers dropped from 47 percent in 2005 to 27.4 percent in 2015, and Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minn.-area single buyers dropped from 42.9 percent in 2005 to 25.2 percent in 2015.

However, the trend did not hold true for major growth areas, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, and San Diego. In particular, Chicago single buyers increased by nearly 10 percentage points, from 24.6 percent in 2005 to 33.8 percent in 2015.

Svenja Gudell, chief economist for Zillow, summarized the report’s findings, noting, “Many singles looking to purchase a home on their own may not make enough money to afford or qualify for a mortgage on their dream home. That makes buying a home with a significant other even more appealing, even if marriage isn’t quite part of the picture.” Gudell predicted these trends would continue, “assuming home value growth continues to outpace income growth.”