Report: Co-Buyers Bring Big Down Payments

June 15, 2018

Co-buyers—multiple unmarried buyers listed on the sales deed—are bringing some of the highest down payments to settlement, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ First Quarter 2018 U.S. Residential Property Loan Origination Report.

The average down payment for homes purchased by co-buyers in the first quarter was $56,911—46 percent higher than the average down payment of $38,915 for homes purchased by other buyers. The average co-buyer brought 15.3 percent of the average sales price to settlement; the average home buyer brought 11.4 percent in the first quarter, according to the analysis. 

“Given that median down payments rose more than four times as fast as median home prices over the past year, it’s not surprising that home buyers are increasingly getting help from co-buyers—often in exchange for a share of their home’s future equity,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. 

Out of 184 metro areas tracked, the markets with the highest percentage of co-buyers in the first quarter were San Jose, Calif. (48.3%); San Francisco (37.9%); Seattle (27.7%); Honolulu (27.7%); and Miami (27.6%).

“Homeownership rates are still hovering around historic lows—even though lenders continue to offer more low down payment options,” says Michael Micheletti, director of corporate communications at Unison, a firm that provides down payment assistance to buyers in exchange for a share of any future increase in the home’s value. “Letting people borrow more doesn’t make buying a home more accessible or affordable. It’s not surprising that places like Seattle, the Bay Area, and other challenging markets buyers are looking at ways to increase their purchasing power, and reduce the amount of debt they are taking on. The sharing, co-buying and co-owning of a home movement will only grow as more millennials and Gen Z enter the marketplace.”