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Breaking News: Gen Z Overtakes Parents in Homeownership, Report Indicates

When it comes to owning a home, Gen Z seems to be leading the charge. Recent data from real estate firm Redfin reveals that more Gen Z individuals own homes at the age of 24 compared to their parents (millennials and Gen Xers) when they were the same age.


Despite stagnant homeownership rates in 2023 due to rising interest rates and persistently high housing prices, Gen Z appears to be better positioned to achieve the quintessential American dream of owning a home.


Daryl Fairweather, Redfin's chief economist, highlighted the positive outlook for Gen Z in a press release, stating, "Housing affordability remains a concern, but there are promising signs for Gen Z." Factors such as declining rents allow Gen Zers to allocate more funds toward saving for down payments. Additionally, with a robust job market and the rise of remote work, many Gen Zers have the flexibility to choose more affordable living options outside of expensive urban centers.


The Numbers Tell the Story

In 2023, approximately 26.3% of Gen Zers aged 19-26 owned homes, a slight increase from the previous year's 26.2%. While homeownership rates may have plateaued for this generation, they still surpass the rates of their parents at the same age. For instance, around 27.8% of 24-year-old Gen Zers own homes, compared to only 23.5% of Gen Xers and 24.5% of millennials at that age.


Many Gen Z adults entered the housing market during the pandemic, taking advantage of historically low interest rates. This contrasts with the economic landscapes faced by their parents and older millennials, who navigated recessionary periods during their early careers. Despite these challenges, all three generations trail behind baby boomers, among whom 35.6% owned homes by the age of 26.


Several factors contribute to this generational gap, including the affordability crisis and delayed life milestones such as marriage and starting families, prompting younger generations to postpone purchasing starter homes.


How Does Gen Z Afford Homes at a Young Age?

Some Gen Zers may receive financial assistance from their parents or save more for down payments by living rent-free at home. According to Statista, over 50% of 18-to-24-year-olds lived with their parents in 2023.


Moreover, Gen Z demonstrates financial literacy and diligence in their homebuying approach. They tend to research extensively and make informed decisions, leveraging their knowledge to navigate the housing market effectively.


Gen Zers often opt for smaller homes in alternative locations compared to older generations, capitalizing on remote work policies. Their median home purchase price in 2022 was $235,000, notably lower than that of older age groups, and many opted for homes in smaller metro areas with more affordable housing markets.


Looking Ahead

As Gen Z encompasses individuals aged 12 to 27, with some yet to enter the workforce, their earning potential remains promising. While they may not match baby boomers' real estate purchasing power in the near future, Gen Zers demonstrate the financial acumen to achieve homeownership sooner rather than later.


Despite current market challenges, Gen Z individuals who didn't purchase homes during the pandemic have ample time to continue saving and strategize for homeownership in favorable market conditions.


Real estate investors can anticipate a wave of Gen Z homebuyers in the coming years, each with unique preferences and financial habits. Understanding how to engage with these tech-savvy consumers through innovative marketing strategies will be essential for success in this evolving landscape.

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