Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl ... take out a mortgage?
This could be the case for a lot more couples these days, given recent industry stats that show the number of non-married people taking out home loans together made up 22% of mortgages this year, up from 20% the year before.
These insights from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data company, also find that the share of non-married co-borrowers are especially high in select major cities.
Cities with the Largest Share of Non-Married Homebuyers
1. Miami, Florida — 40%
2. Seattle, Washington — 37%
3. San Diego, California — 29%
4. Los Angeles, California — 28%
5. Portland, Oregon — 28%
The survey doesn't indicate who these non-married co-borrowers are in relation to one other, but there are a few likely scenarios at play here:
Romantic partners are saying "yes" to homebuying before marriage. It's anyone's guess what millennials really want — to grow up and settle down? To Snapchat avo toast until the end of time??? — but growing evidence points to the former, at least where homebuying is concerned.
A 2017 Homebuyer Insights Report from Bank of America shed light that millennials might not be so different from previous generations in wanting to own a home (or multiple) in their lifetime.
Coupled with the knowledge that marriage is on the decline — today about half of adults are married, compared to 72% of adults in 1960 according to Pew Research Center data — it makes sense that partners might be quicker to swap key rings than wedding rings.
“There are fewer married people — and so more couples are buying without being married,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, to Moneyish. He also said that many unmarried co-borrowers bought a home together because they wouldn't have been able to afford one on their own otherwise.
Parents are helping their adult children buy their first home. You might remember that little thing call the Great Recession, during which many young adults took on enormous student debt and entered a less-than-stellar job market. For those with homeownership on the brain but without a romantic partner (married or otherwise), parents might be stepping up to the plate to co-borrow on a home loan.
Indeed, a separate 2015 Pew Research Center report found that six in 10 Americans with at least one adult child said they've provided their kids with some financial support within the past year. While such moves can give younger generations a leg up on building a more financially sound foundation, both parties will want to ensure they've laid the groundwork to keep the agreement on good terms.