The top spots for Generation Z home buyers

September 13, 2018 - 2 min read

Selecting suburbia

It looks like the suburbs are getting a serious dose of growth in the coming years. According to a new analysis, a whopping 60 percent of Generation Z prefer suburban living — and 83 percent of that cohort plans to buy a home in the next five years.

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Gen Z won’t go rural

According to a new study by PropertyShark, Generation Z home buyers are going to gravitate to the suburbs, with more than half preferring the suburban lifestyle. Another 30 percent say they prefer city life, while only a small fraction plan to go rural. The study showed Generation X prefers rural living over all other options.

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“Paired with Millennials’ shunning of rural and small-town life, all signs point to the continued urbanization, while rural and small-town communities continue to thin out and vanish,” reported PropertyShark’s Eliza Thiess.

As for what metros they’ll buy those homes in and around? Los Angeles, New York City and Denver came in tops. San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Miami, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa, Florida, also made the list.

Currently, the oldest of the Generation Z cohort is only 23. Still, about 100,000 Generation Zers are already homeowners.

Generation Z is ready to own a home

Other Gen Z home buying details

The study also revealed some other interesting tidbits about Gen Z’s potential home-buying habits.

For one, they name student loan debt, down payments and job insecurity as their biggest barriers to buying in. Still, a large chunk — 83 percent, to be exact — plan to buy a house in the next five years. That’s nearly as much as Millennials (87 percent).

One in five Gen Zers has nothing in savings, while 40 percent have under $10,000. The majority expect to pay $37,000 for a down payment.

As for amenities, Generation Z values location first, followed by space and availability of air conditioning. Nearby green spaces and proximity to loved ones isn’t as important as with Millennials and Generation Xers.

“While Millennials prize location above anything else — still keen on living the 24/7 lifestyle, Gen Z would sacrifice location and an easy commute for space and amenities,” Thiess wrote. “For Gen Z, nearby entertainment options rank significantly higher than living close to friends or convenient access to green spaces. Then again, they are the first fully digital generation in history, used to the instant gratification of the online world, growing up mostly indoors and used to communicating with friends via devices as much, if not more, than through face-to-face contact.”

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.