Gen Z home buying preferences in 2020. They want to become homeowners by 30 and they’re realistic about the housing market challenges they’ll face.

Gen Z (ages 14-23) has high hopes for homeownership. 

According to research by Freddie Mac, Gen Z has a more positive perception of what it means to own a home than Millennials. They value the privacy, control, independence, stability and financial security that owning a home affords.

Gen Z estimates they’ll become homeowners by the time they turn 30 years old. It’s an ambitious goal, given that it’s three years younger than the current median homebuying age, but Gen Z is well aware of the challenges they’ll grapple with before buying their first homes. 

“The data show that while members of Gen Z clearly aspire to homeownership, they are realistic about potential barriers and understand the potential benefits of renting,” said David Brickman, CEO of Freddie Mac. “Although these results are good news for the housing markets, they also highlight the challenges many in Gen Z will face as they enter the market to rent or buy.”

Gen Z Home Buying Preferences in 2020

When Gen Z thinks about homeownership, nearly 80 percent of them would choose to live in a single-family home. More than half say their ideal home would be medium-sized. When it comes to where they want to live, 35 percent of Gen Z would choose to live in a suburb of a big or medium-sized city. Another 30 percent would prefer to live in a rural area or small town. 

The desire to live close to the city without being in it isn’t exclusive to Gen Z. In 2019, the top 10 ZIP codes showing big-time buyer interest and lots of quick home sales were largely in smaller metro areas outside the city or in more rural areas near highways that connect to the city in under 2 hours. 

Gen Z Is Aware of Home Buying Obstacles

Gen Z knows becoming homeowners by age 30 isn’t going to be easy. More than 90 percent of Gen Z acknowledges that home prices are going to be a major obstacle to homeownership. Over 80 percent believe saving for a down payment is going to be a challenge. Almost 70 percent worry about an unstable job getting in the way of achieving their home buying goals. And, of course, there’s also the hurdle of student loan debt that more than half of those who plan to pay for college are concerned about. 

Gen Z Lacks Knowledge of Home Buying Process

Most of Gen Z (65 percent) doesn’t feel confident in their knowledge of the mortgage process, although they do report that they’ve received a financial education at home. 

More than 70 percent of Gen Z would consult with a parent to learn more about the mortgage process. Almost 60 percent would discuss it with a real estate agent. Nearly 55 percent would use the internet to figure it out. Others would turn to family or friends or reach out to a bank or mortgage lender to get a better understanding of the mortgage process. 

“Gen Z is more financially educated and aware than previous generations, and they appear to have a clear understanding of the benefits offered by our nation’s housing market – and some of its challenges. We will continue to follow this emerging generation closely,” said Brickman.

More on Generational Cohorts and Home Buying

Gen Z: Homeowners by Age 30?

Is it a Good Time To Buy a Home in 2019?

How Do I Pay My First Mortgage Payment?

Which States Have the Highest Property Taxes?

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Are You Ever Too Old To Buy Your First Home?

Are Millennials Buying Homes?

What’s the Best Way to Hold Title on Your Home?

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