As the oldest members of Generation Z enter their twenties and start establishing their careers, they find themselves at the cusp of a significant life milestone – homeownership.
Just as Millennials changed the game in terms of generational purchase habits, behaviors, and expectations, Generation Z is poised to shake things up even further.
In this new era in the housing market, the winds of change are blowing stronger than ever. Made up of the 64 million Americans born between 1995 and 2010, the members of Gen Z, or as some call them, “iGen,” are making their presence felt.
Affordability is probably their biggest obstacle to homeownership, but they embrace innovation. Solutions such as co-buying homes, crowdfunding, and other alternative financing options help them overcome these challenges.
Generation Z are buying homes in earnest - and they’re a bargain-hunting, tech-loving, real estate–savvy force to be reckoned with.
Like the Millennial generation before them, many members of Generation Z are burdened with massive student loan debt. Most have a preference for "lifestyle flexibility" - including the ability to travel, move quickly and work from home. However, they also see the benefits of homeownership.
Most are financially conservative. They know the value of a dollar and the mathematics behind long-term investment. With savings know-how, they are likely to be ready with a solid down payment when the time comes.
A recent survey finds that 97% of the cohort’s members believe they will own a home someday, with 82% listing that as the most important factor in achieving the “American Dream.”
No big surprise here - Gen Z has an affinity for the digital. Online tools, real estate websites, and mobile apps enable them to conduct thorough research, explore virtual tours, and even attend remote open houses, streamlining the homebuying process. Most prefer professionals reach out to them on social media versus email or direct mail.
However, the survey also found almost 90% of Gen Z wants to work with a live real estate agent when conducting the actual transaction. Most think websites will not provide as much accuracy as an expert's opinion.
In addition, Gen Zers are likely to have a higher expectation for technology in the home itself. Growing up with a penchant for sustainable living and environmental consciousness, they are also increasing demand for eco-friendly and energy-efficient homes.