Survey: Owning a home important to Gen Z, but there are other priorities

Affordability understandably tops list of cohort's concerns

Does Gen Z care about homeownership? Well, it depends on what you mean by “care” — at least according to a new survey from Clever Real Estate.

About 92% of Gen Z does say that owning a home someday is important, per Clever’s survey, and only 4% believe they’ll never own a home.

But 96% say it’s not the most important goal in life, prioritizing other ambitions instead. Gen Z’s top goals are professionally focused; asked about which goals are more important than homeownership, 51% cited stable employment and 48% said building their careers. Next up were building emergency savings (34%), starting a family (32%) and getting married (32%).

With the housing market so fraught, 60% of Gen Z worry that they might never own a home, and 96% indicated that they have concerns about buying one. The largest concerns, understandably, were financially oriented, topped by not being able to afford a home purchase, cited by 54% of survey respondents. Forty-eight percent were worried about the unexpected or hidden costs of homeownership, and 45% said they were concerned about not being able to afford a mortgage. Other prominent Gen Z concerns included having to make major repairs (42%), not finding a home that meets their needs (37%), and not qualifying for a mortgage (35%).

As things currently stand, just 18% of Gen Z buyers said they could currently afford a home purchase and roughly 79% of Gen Z homeowners don’t believe that the average member of their generation can afford a home. About 98% of Gen Z say they face barriers to homeownership, including expensive homes (cited by 50% of respondents), high interest rates (31%) and saving for downpayments (29%). There isn’t a lot of optimism that things will get better, either, with some 80% of Gen Z worried that the market will get worse before they buy.

Many within the cohort are already trying to come up with ways to achieve homeownership despite the hurdles in their way. Despite the aforementioned concerns about major renovations, for example, 57% would be willing to put in an offer on a fixer-upper. (Not that that doesn’t come with its own set of challenges; of the 40% of Gen Z homeowners who purchased such a property, according to Clever’s survey, 27% already regret it.)

And about 78% of Gen Z indicated they are willing to offer above asking price for their dream home. Twenty-eight percent — more than one in four — said they would offer $50,000 or more above asking, with 10% saying they would offer at least $100,000 or more.


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