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Where Does Gen Z Stand on Homeownership?

As Generation Z comes of age and moves into their prime homebuying years, 77% of Gen Zers still believe that homeownership is “at least somewhat attainable” even in light of a global pandemic, rising housing prices, and record low inventory. 

Gen Z, which includes persons born from the mid-90s to the early 2010s, remains optimistic about their future housing prospects with 87% of respondents to a new survey from Apartment List indicating that they view home ownership to be at least somewhat important to them—a rate similar to millennials. 

Home ownership has been gradually declining over the last few decades, even though homes remain in high demand as a growing number of millennials rent their housing due to a variety of circumstances. 

While millennials have experienced their own trials—mainly the Great Recession of 2008—Gen Z is facing their own affordability crisis since the beginning of the pandemic. But Gen Z is also the first generation to experience widespread remote work, something that will shape future housing trends if the concept continues to gain traction and become commonplace. 

When asked the question “How important is it for you to own a home, now or in the future?” Gen Z follows in the footsteps of younger and older millennials reporting that 87% find homeownership to be at least somewhat important to them while the two groups of millennials reported 88% for the same question. 

However, when breaking down the data, Gen Z’s specific thoughts on homeownership begin to shine through. 

Older and younger millennials reported that home ownership was extremely important to them at a rate of 34% and 35% respectively, while only 26% of Gen Z had the same sentiments. 

Gen Z’s numbers also remained optimistic when polled about how attainable homeownership was within the next 10 years with 77% reporting that they though buying a home was a probability for them compared to 83% of older millennials and 79% of younger millennials. 

It is important to note that the amount of people who thought home ownership was unattainable for them in any fashion remained low no matter which generation they fell into. 6% of Gen Z said there was almost no chance for them to own a home in the next 10 years, compared with 7% of millennials. 

According to the report, for those in Gen Z, homeownership is not yet a top financial priority for them yet for a variety of reasons. 

“While most of Gen Z still consider homeownership a goal worth working towards, few of them are currently making saving for a home a top priority,” the report said. “We asked survey takers to rank a series of financial goals, and 35% of Gen Z said ‘personal savings and investing’ was their top priority, compared to just 16% who are prioritizing ‘saving for a home.’ Paying down debt fell between the two, with 27% of Gen Z prioritizing credit cards, student loans, and the like. While it has been reported that young adults tend to value experiences over possessions, just 10% of Gen Z respondents listed travel and recreation as their top financial priority.” 

“The share of Gen Z renters prioritizing down payment savings (16%) is notably lower than the comparable shares among millennials young and old (22% and 20%, respectively). Some of this differential is likely driven by the fact that Gen Z are younger, and may not yet be at the stage of life where purchasing a home is an immediate or feasible goal. Gen Z are also earlier in their careers, and likely have less disposable income to put towards home savings than millennials.” 

Apartment List gathered the data for this report from a survey conducted over the course of three days in October, gathering responses from over 8,000 people. The responses were balanced by age and gender according to US Census demographics to ensure that an accurate sample slice was taken. The results were then categorized into three generational groups: Gen Z (born 1997 and later), younger millennials (born 1986–1996), and older millennials (born 1981–1998). Click here to view the report in its entirety at Apartmentlist.com. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle Horst
Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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