In today’s highly competitive housing market, finding an affordable home can feel increasingly out of reach, especially for singles.

A single homebuyer would need to save for nearly 11 years to reach a 20 percent down payment on the typical U.S. home, according to a new Zillow analysis. However, for married or partnered couples, it would take less than five years. In San Jose, Calif., a single buyer would need more than 30 years to save for a down payment – longer than the lifespan of a typical home loan.

“Honestly, I can not believe the numbers they are putting up for time to save. I see parents helping their children get into first homes. Buyer’s are getting into homes with less than 20% down more often than not.” – Ellen Politz, Associate Partner 

Zillow’s analysis combined home values and income data from Census to estimate how long it would take for both an individual and couple to save for a 20 percent down payment on the median-priced home, assuming they saved 10 percent of their income every year.

Single buyers typically have a smaller budget than couples, which leaves them with fewer homes to choose from and limits them to the most in-demand portion of the housing stock. 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.

Saving for a down payment on the median U.S home takes six years longer for a single person than a couple, according to a new Zillow analysis.

– Less than half of all U.S. homes are affordable for a single homebuyer.

– A single buyer can afford a home up to $176,100, less than the national median home value.

– A married or partnered couple could afford a home worth more than twice as much as a home a single homebuyer could afford.