The hot trend these days is buying a home with an unmarried partner. In Los Angeles the percentage of young, unmarried duos who are buying houses has increased from 8.1 percent in 2005 to 11.9 percent in 2015, according to real estate listings site Zillow. It analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data for 24- to 35-year-old American home buyers during that 10-year span. The results were released today.
The increase is a result of "how pricey L.A. is," says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist for the site. However, the entire nation has seen a growing number of unmarried couples buying homes. In fact, L.A. is behind the rest of the nation when it comes to the trend.
The national rate for younger unmarried couples buying homes is 14.6 percent, Zillow found. Some of the most expensive markets in the nation, including New York (12.9 percent), San Francisco (10.8 percent) and San Diego (10.6 percent), have generally seen 10-year increases in young, unmarried pairs buying homes —but those couples make up a smaller portion of home buyers compared with the rest of the United States.
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Los Angeles still has a comparatively high percentage of young, single buyers: 32.7 percent. The national average is 25.4 percent. Young, single women (17 percent) are more likely to buy than men (15.7 percent) in Greater L.A., the site found.
Terrazas says the higher combined income of a pair will help buyers qualify for a higher loan than solo applicants. Some of these younger, unmarried duos are same-sex couples, he says.
"Many singles looking to purchase a home on their own may not make enough money to afford or qualify for a mortgage on their dream home," Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said in a statement. "That makes buying a home with a significant other even more appealing, even if marriage isn’t quite part of the picture."