Mar 7, 2024 - Real Estate

Singles take nearly 2 years longer to save for a starter home in Philadelphia

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 nearly two years longer than couples to save enough money for a down payment on a starter house in Philadelphia, per a recent Point2 study.

Why it matters: We're one of only a few U.S. metros where having a partner doesn't give you a huge leg up.

State of play: It takes a couple 1.8 years here to save for a down payment — but if you're single, it takes an average of 3.4 years.

  • The study assumes people are saving 20% of their income for a down payment.

The big picture: Philly's gap (1.6 years) is well below the national average (6.3 years).

Between the lines: The city has a relatively affordable housing market where it's cheaper to own than rent but also faces an affordable housing shortage amid low inventory, plus higher prices compared to pre-pandemic times.

By the numbers: The median income for singles here is $33,932 compared to $65,054 for couples, per Point2 data.

  • Starter homes cost $116,086 on average.

Zoom in: Philly ranks 11th among cities analyzed by Point2 with the smallest difference in years needed to save up for a home for singles compared to couples.

  • Topping that list is Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit.

Zoom out: In some parts of California, it would take the average individual more than two generations to save enough money for a starter home compared to two or three decades for couples.

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