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golden coins dropping into funnel above a house, concept of saving up for a property
With rising house prices largely driven by the inventory shortage, the time it takes a potential homebuyer to save for a 20% down payment is only likely to increase going forward.

Nationwide, for a couple, it takes 4.6 years to save enough to make a 20% down payment on a home, according to a study from Zillow that combines home values and 2016 income data from the U.S. Census. It takes a single person more than double to save, an average of 10.8 years. The study uses an assumption of a consumer saving 10% of his and/or her income per year.

There are a growing number of consumers using loan programs with as little as a 3% down payment for conforming loans or 3.5% for Federal Housing Administration-insured loans. But by putting less than 20% down, the consumer is subject to mortgage insurance premiums, and in the case of FHA that is for the life of the loan.

(The Veterans Affairs-guarantee program allows for 100% financing, but only current or former service members are eligible for these loans.)

"Nearly two-thirds of Americans agree that buying a home is a central part of living the American dream, but for unmarried or unpartnered Americans, that dream is increasingly out of reach," Aaron Terrazas, Zillow's senior economist, said in a press release. "Single buyers typically have more limited budgets, which means they are likely competing for lower-priced homes that are in high demand. Having two incomes allows buyers to compete in higher-priced tiers where competition is not as stiff."

A single person could afford to purchase only 45% of the U.S. housing stock, but a married or partnered couple could afford 82% of all homes, Zillow said.

Here are 12 cities ranked by the longest time it would take a married couple to save a 20% down payment where the maximum value of an affordable home is $350,000 or less. Data for single homebuyers is included for comparative purposes.
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An Aerial view of Tucson, Arizona
No. 12: Tucson, Ariz.
Married
Years to save 20%: 5
Max affordable home value: $341,299
Share of affordable housing stock: 87%

Single
Years to save 20%: 10.6
Max affordable home value: $163,459
Share of affordable housing stock: 44%
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view of mytle beach from the top of the ferris wheel, showing the pier, and hotels and condos along the beach and shoreline
No. 11: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Married
Years to save 20%: 5.1
Max affordable home value: $330,608
Share of affordable housing stock: 84%

Single
Years to save 20%: 11.4
Max affordable home value: $147,498
Share of affordable housing stock: 34%
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Daytona Beach, Florida. Beautiful aerial view.
No. 10: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Married
Years to save 20%: 5.1
Max affordable home value: $319,162
Share of affordable housing stock: 86%

Single
Years to save 20%: 11.5
Max affordable home value: $143,778
Share of affordable housing stock: 36%
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No. 9: Laredo, Texas
Married
Years to save 20%: 5.3
Max affordable home value: $229,168
Share of affordable housing stock: 91%

Single
Years to save 20%: 10.5
Max affordable home value: $117,721
Share of affordable housing stock: 50%
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No. 8: Bakersfield, Calif.
Married
Years to save 20%: 5.7
Max affordable home value: $328,127
Share of affordable housing stock: 89%

Single
Years to save 20%: 12.7
Max affordable home value: $146,877
Share of affordable housing stock: 27%
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View of mountains and buildings in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.
No. 7: Asheville, N.C.
Married
Years to save 20%: 6.1
Max affordable home value: $333,587
Share of affordable housing stock: 79%

Single
Years to save 20%: 14
Max affordable home value: $146,317
Share of affordable housing stock: 17%
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No. 6: Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Married
Years to save 20%: 6.1
Max affordable home value: $310,233
Share of affordable housing stock: 80%

Single
Years to save 20%: 11.4
Max affordable home value: $165,294
Share of affordable housing stock: 38%
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No. 5: Visalia, Calif.
Married
Years to save 20%: 6.1
Max affordable home value: $288,060
Share of affordable housing stock: 86%

Single
Years to save 20%: 12.3
Max affordable home value: $144,694
Share of affordable housing stock: 28%
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No. 4: Fort Myers, Fla.
Married
Years to save 20%: 6.3
Max affordable home value: $348,961
Share of affordable housing stock: 73%

Single
Years to save 20%: 13.4
Max affordable home value: $163,882
Share of affordable housing stock: 30%
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No. 3: Fresno, Calif.
Married
Years to save 20%: 6.4
Max affordable home value: $332,678
Share of affordable housing stock: 83%

Single
Years to save 20%: 13.8
Max affordable home value: $152,466
Share of affordable housing stock: 24%
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No. 2: Merced, Calif.
Married
Years to save 20%: 6.8
Max affordable home value: $303,352
Share of affordable housing stock: 86%

Single
Years to save 20%: 16.4
Max affordable home value: $127,096
Share of affordable housing stock: 7%
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Administrative building exterior Johnson Hall on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.
No. 1: Eugene, Ore.
Married
Years to save 20%: 7.1
Max affordable home value: $337,444
Share of affordable housing stock: 81%

Single
Years to save 20%: 16.1
Max affordable home value: $149,415
Share of affordable housing stock: 6%
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