Mar 14, 2024 - Real Estate

It takes 15 years for singles to save for a starter home in Richmond

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 another terrifying way to look at Richmond's housing market: It takes single people here 15 years to save up for a starter-home down payment, per a recent Point2 study.

Why it matters: That's six times longer than the 2.6 years it takes couples.

  • And it's nearly double the U.S. average.

Zoom in: The median income for Richmond singles is $39,115, compared to $87,348 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 around 7%.

The fine print: Point2 estimates Richmond's median starter home price to be $225,286, based on the median price of the cheaper third of listings in the region.

  • Yes, but: Local singles making the median income could only afford a mortgage of around $107,609, per Point2.

Fun fact: A separate study by Point2 found Richmond to be one of the hardest cities in the country for Gen Zers to buy a house.

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