A new study by ATTOM Data Solutions analyzing U.S. residential property loan originations in the first quarter of 2017 shows non-married co-borrowers accounted for 40.2 percent of single-family home sale loans in Miami — more than any other city in the U.S.
Rounding out the top five cities with homebuyers suffering from an apparent fear of commitment were Seattle (37.4 percent), San Diego (28.9 percent), Los Angeles (28.2 percent) and Portland (27.7 percent).
But those numbers don’t mean that Miami has more couples living in sin than any other city.
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“The first thing that comes to mind when you hear co-borrowers is two people who are living together,” says Ron Shuffield, president of EWM Realty International. “But co-borrowers could be anything from millennials buying a home with the help of their parents to investors buying a property together. A lot of home sales we do are for investment purposes or involve buyers who need co-signers, because they don’t have enough credit to qualify for a mortgage.”
The April single-family home sales numbers released by the Miami Association of Realtors this week show median prices went up 3.7 percent in April 2017, increasing from $285,000 a year earlier to $320,000. Existing condo prices increased 6.5 percent, from $215,000 to $229,000.
Mid-market home sales — priced between $200,000-$600,000 — comprised 68.9 percent of all single-family home sales.
Rising prices continue to prevent young home buyers from entering the ranks of homeowners, even though they want to. According to a report by Apartmentlist.com, the homeownership rate among people under the age of 35 remains stagnant at 34.3 percent, nearly the same as it was 2016 and still below pre-recession levels, when it was at 43 percent.
That report, which surveyed 24,000 apartment renters around the U.S., found that 85 percent of millennials in Miami plan to purchase a home or condo.
Nearly 8 out of 10 respondents — 77 percent — cited cost and affordability as the main reasons keeping them from buying. More than a third — 35 percent — said they are not ready to settle down, while only 30 percent are waiting for marriage.
Overall, the ATTOM report shows 22 percent of all single-family purchases in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2017 had multiple, non-married co-borrowers on the loan, up from 20 percent a year ago.
The number of loans originated on U.S. residential properties totaled 1,415,847, a drop of 30 percent from the previous quarter and down 21 percent from a year ago.
The total dollar volume of loan originations in the first quarter was also down 21 percent from a year ago to $347.9 billion, the lowest since the first quarter of 2014.
“Rising mortgage rates made qualifying for a home purchase more difficult and refinancing an existing home loan less attractive in the first quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions in a statement.
The loan origination report was derived from publicly recorded mortgages and deeds of trust collected by ATTOM Data Solutions in more than 950 counties accounting for more than 80 percent of the U.S. population.