Buying, Lifestyle

What Generation Z Homebuyers Want

In part two of our Generation Z series, we share the results of our newest survey of over 1,300 Gen Zers who are planning for future homeownership, and their attitudes toward diversity and home amenities.

In April 2019, Homes.com conducted a survey of over 1,000 members of Generation Z and discovered that 58% of them preferred to live in diverse neighborhoods, compared to only 12% who preferred a homogenous community. This made sense, as they are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in recorded history. But, it also inspired many questions: Why is Generation Z so committed to diversity? How will this commitment shape the real estate industry? How will this generation shape America’s neighborhoods?

In part two of our Generation Z series, we share the results of our newest survey of over 1,300 Gen Zers who are planning for future homeownership, and their attitudes toward diversity and home amenities.

Future Generation Z Homebuyers View Diversity as a Social Goal

Nearly half of future Generation Z homebuyers who plan to buy a home in racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods are motivated by a belief that diversity is a positive force in society. These opinions are shared almost equally by white, Hispanic, African-American and Asian respondents, suggesting an emerging post-racial mentality. 

When asked to select the two major reasons for preferring to purchase a home in a heterogeneous community, 44% of those who expressed that preference answered that diversity is “good for America” while almost 36% said they were interested in being exposed to other cultures. Just 13% of respondents cited either their own racial or ethnic identity or that of a spouse or partner as a factor in their choice. 

Generation Z is Already Shifting to More Diverse Communities

Only 33% of Gen Z members grew up in diverse neighborhoods. Nearly 60% of white respondents grew up in homogeneous neighborhoods, while a majority of Hispanic, African-American and Middle Eastern or North African respondents lived in diverse communities as children.

48% of respondents now live in communities with heterogeneous populations, reflecting shifting neighborhood demographics as well as Gen Z relocations during their college and post-college years. This trend will continue to accelerate as Gen Z overtakes millennials to dominate real estate markets. 

Generation Z Bucks the Trend of Purchasing Condominiums as First Homes

Forty-six percent of Gen Z homebuyers prefer single-family homes over townhomes (7%), detached multi-family units (5%) and condominiums (4%). This is unusual for young first-time homebuyers, but it may change if single-family home prices continue to rise over the next few years before the first Gen Zers begin house hunting. 

Eco-friendly Design and Smart Technology are Not Top Priorities

Outdoor entertainment space and open interior design topped the list of desired home features. Fifty-four percent of respondents want a backyard area with amenities like a patio and deck and 44% looking for rooms that flow into one another. Both factors surpassed traditional preferences such as a garage (40%) and hardwood floors (34%).

Surprisingly, eco-friendly design and smart home systems ranked last in feature preferences at 22% and 17%, respectively, despite increasing industry attention to both, rising environmental concerns, and the comfort level of younger people with technology.

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Audrey is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Homes.com, with a master's degree in strategic communication. A lifelong arts aficionado, she's also a part-time dance teacher in Virginia Beach. Wife to aerospace engineer Ryan and fur-mom to rescue pup Lucy, she's the self-declared World's Greatest Pizza Lover who lives for chocolate and a sunshine-filled day at the beach.

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