San Francisco singles need 27.8 years to save a down payment


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Zillow’s data on affordability is enough to make a single person cry.

Zillow’s data on affordability is enough to make a single person cry.

Photo: Zillow


Zillow’s data on affordability is enough to make a single person cry.

Zillow’s data on affordability is enough to make a single person cry.

Photo: Zillow


Zillow’s data on affordability is enough to make a single woman cry.

Zillow’s data on affordability is enough to make a single woman cry.

Photo: Zillow





























If being single on Valentine’s Day isn’t enough of a slap in the face, this Zillow study may suit the masochist in you: According to the data, a single homebuyer needs 27.8 years to save for a down payment on a house in San Francisco, compared to 12.6 years for a couple.

The study

Zillow’s study combines numbers pulled from home prices in certain American metros in comparison with income in those metros, as reported in the most recent Census.

For purposes of determining how long it would take a single person to save for a downpayment in these cities, Zillow focused on a 20 percent down payment on the median-priced home, and projected that the buyer (single) or buyers (couple) would save 10 percent of their income every year.


Are you looking for housing in San Francisco? If you’re not up to date with some of the code words created by realtors, leasing agents, or landlords, you might find yourself in an unfortunate tenant situation. Here are some translations of code words found in SF Bay Area housing posts.


Media: San Francisco Chronicle








Clearly, the study only offers an estimate. Who can be sure their income will remain the same for any span of time? And since home prices won’t, that the relative income to median home price ratio will stay static?

Even so, SF numbers are enough to make a single person feel pretty bleak.

Local data

Zillow projects that in the San Francisco metro:

  • A single homebuyer needs 27.8 years to save for a down payment, compared to 12.6 years for a couple.
  • A single buyer could afford a $286329 home, or just 2 percent of homes.
  • A couple could afford to buy a $656277 home, or 33 percent of homes.
  • In San Jose, California, a single buyer would need more than 30 years to save for a down payment – longer than the lifespan of a typical home loan.

The study goes hand in dismal hand with another recent study highlighting the sharp uptick in renters vs buyers in the SF Bay Area and nation.

National data

Singles in American cities are largely out of luck if they seek to own a home, per this study:

The number of homes for sale is limited across the country, down nearly 11 percent over the past year, and nearly 18 percent for the least expensive homes. A single person could afford to buy less than half (45 percent) of the U.S. housing stock, compared to a married or partnered couple, who could afford 82 percent of all homes.

Portland, Oregon and Sacramento, California are the two hardest cities for single would-be homebuyers. In Portland, 73 percent of homes are affordable to a couple, but only 6 percent are affordable to a single buyer. In Sacramento, that same ratio is 75 percent vs 8 percent of homes.

Incidentally, Zillow also finds that single men can afford more homes than single women in all 35 metros studied.

The national depressing nutshell: a single homebuyer, on average in America, needs 11 years to reach a 20 percent down payment. For couples, it would take less than five years.

Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert

Article source: https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/San-Francisco-Bay-Area-housing-down-payment-12570800.php

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