Generation Z, the youngest potential home buyers, who are beginning to enter the housing market, show a preference for buying homes in culturally diverse neighborhoods, according to a new survey from Homes.com. It’s the first generation in American history to show such a strong diversity preference, Homes.com says. The real estate website surveyed more than 1,000 young adults ages 18 to 24 years old to examine their homebuying preferences.
Fifty-eight percent of potential Gen Z home buyers say they prefer a diverse community compared to 12% who prefer a homogeneous neighborhood, the survey shows. “Generation Z is more multicultural than ever before, with demographics that include the largest percentage of Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks, at 22% and 15%, respectively,” says David Mele, president of Homes.com. “Our survey suggests that their preferences will have a substantial impact on homebuying patterns. That, in turn, may create a new dynamic where diverse communities thrive more than ever before.”
Gen Z is already demonstrating that homeownership is important to them. Eighty-six percent say they plan to become homeowners someday. Their timeline: 14% expect to purchase a home between the ages of 18 to 24; 48% say they intend to buy when they are 25 to 29 years old; and 25% plan to buy between ages 30 to 34. The timeline follows a similar pattern to Generation X and baby boomers, the survey notes.
The top motivators for them to buy is a “place to call home” and for investment value. “The fact that half want to buy because they believe owning a home is a good investment reflects how far the wealth-building aspects of homeownership have rebounded since the housing crash of 2008—when less than 1% of first-time buyers said financial security was their primary purchase motivation,” researchers note in the survey. Having a good home for pets was number three on the list among buying motivators, topping safety and a sense of community.
In choosing a place to live, proximity to work is a top priority (71%), followed by living near friends and family (52%), urban location (25%), proximity to shopping (24%), and access to nightlife (12%).
Source: “A New Generation of Homebuyer Is Here: Meet Generation Z,” Homes.com (June 2019)