Introduction: The Housing Market for Generation ZIn recent years, the home ownership rate in the United States has been decreasing. While baby boomers were able to buy homes in their early 20s, it seems that millennials and Generation Z are struggling to follow in their footsteps. The question arises: can Gen Z afford houses? The answer to this question isn’t as clear-cut as one would think. In this article, we’ll examine the savings habits of Gen Zers, their affordability expectations, the reality of affording a home, the role of location and some tips and strategies for those planning to buy a house.
The Savings Habits of Gen ZersWhile it’s no secret that Generation Z is more likely to be in debt than their predecessors, there is still a significant desire among young people to own a home. According to a 2019 survey by Bankrate, of Gen Zers who are making savings, 56.2 percent are saving to buy their first house. This indicates that home ownership is still very much a priority for younger generations. However, saving for a down payment can be challenging for Gen Zers, particularly when many are still paying off loans for college and other expenses. According to a survey by Clever Real Estate, only 23 percent of Gen Zers have a savings account with a balance of $10,000 or more. This means that many young people are struggling to save enough money to afford a down payment on a home. Key point: While many Gen Zers want to own a home, saving for a down payment can be difficult due to other financial obligations.
Gen Z’s Housing Affordability ExpectationsDespite the challenges of saving money, a majority of Generation Z (79.8 percent) think they are able to afford a house that costs under $200,000. This is a positive sign that young people are still optimistic about the possibility of home ownership. However, the reality is that home prices vary greatly depending on location. According to a survey conducted by Clever Real Estate, only 6.9 percent of Gen Zers think they could afford a house worth more than $500,000 within their preferred timeframe. This reinforces the fact that, for many young people, home ownership may be out of reach in more expensive markets.
The Reality of Affording a Home as a Gen ZerThe reality is that home ownership may be difficult for many Gen Zers, particularly in expensive markets. For example, in 2020, the median home price in the United States was $320,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. In some areas, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, even a tiny studio apartment can cost more than $500,000. Location isn’t the only factor that affects affordability. Other factors, such as credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and job stability also play a role in whether or not someone can afford a home. For many Gen Zers, these factors may make it challenging to qualify for a mortgage and afford monthly payments. Key point: Home ownership may be difficult for Gen Zers due to factors such as location, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio.
The Role of Location in Gen Z’s Home OwnershipAs mentioned earlier, location is a major factor in whether or not young people can afford a home. While some cities are simply too expensive, others may be more affordable. For example, cities in the Midwest and South tend to have lower home prices than cities on the coast. Here are some key factors to consider when looking at location:
- The median home price
- The job market and median income
- The cost of living
- The property tax rate
- The crime rate
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