Mar 22, 2024 - News

A first-home down payment comes (relatively) quickly for Clevelanders

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

Here's an encouraging way to look at Cleveland's housing market: It takes single people just two years to save up for a down payment on a starter home, per a recent Point2 study.

Why it matters: That's just 11 months longer than it takes couples, giving Cleveland one of the smallest "affordability gaps" in the country.

  • It's also more than six years faster than the national average.

Zoom in: The median income for Cleveland singles is $26,982, compared with $51,524 for couples, per Point2 data.

  • The study assumes people are saving 20% of their income for a down payment.
  • This calculation assumes a 6.6% mortgage rate. Current mortgage rates are hovering above 7%.

The fine print: Point2 estimates Cleveland's median starter home price to be $53,524, based on the median price of the cheaper third of listings in the region.

Reality check: Data aside, very few Clevelanders — singles or couples — will be able to find a livable starter home at that price.

The bottom line: On average, it takes single people four times longer than couples to save for a starter home, but the timeline for homeownership depends overwhelmingly on where you live.

  • On much of the West Coast, homeownership is effectively off the table for singles, who would need to save for an entire lifetime.

Stunning stat: Anaheim, California, takes the cake. A single person there would have to save more than 87 years to afford a down payment.


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