Mar 11, 2024 - Real Estate

It takes 40 years for singles to save for a starter home in Boston

Years needed for <span style='text-decoration: underline 3px solid #6533ff;'>couples</span> and <span style='text-decoration: underline 3px solid #ff4e1f;'>individuals</span> to afford a starter home down payment
Data: Point2; Note: Down payment calculated as the minimum amount needed to have an affordable mortgage (<30% of monthly income) for the median-priced starter home in each market, or at least 20% down; Chart: Axios Visuals

It takes single people in Boston 31 more years to save for a starter home than couples, per a recent Point2 study.

Why it matters: Dual-income partners earn over twice what singles do, according to the data.

  • Boston is one of the least affordable markets in the country for anyone, regardless of their marriage status.
  • Renting is still cheaper month-to-month than paying a mortgage.

Zoom in: The median income for singles is $48,338, compared to $101,265 for couples, per Point2 data.

  • The study assumes people are saving 20% of their income for a downpayment.
  • A starter home is defined as the median price of the cheaper third of listings in the region.
  • This calculation assumes a 6.6% mortgage rate. Current mortgage rates are hovering around 7%.

The big picture: It takes single people four times longer than couples to save for a starter home in the U.S., per Point2.

  • It's even worse than Boston in some places, like in California, where it would take people an entire lifetime to save for a house.

Between the lines: The timeline for comfortably buying a house largely depends on where you live.

  • On the West Coast and northeast cities, singles need decades longer to save for a starter home.
  • In the Midwest, being partnered doesn't give you a huge leg up.
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