Think You Know Generation Z? You Most Likely Don’t.

Jun 27, 2024
6 min read
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Who is Generation Z and how do they view real estate investing? What role will they play in the real estate world?

Brought to you by: Locals Coffee

In the past, homeownership has been a key part of the American Dream. Previous generations reaped the benefits of homeownership and witnessed firsthand how real estate investments can pave a pathway to success. However, times have changed, priorities have shifted, mortgage rates have skyrocketed, and inflation continues to rise. Does Gen Z care to become homeowners, or do they prefer the flexibility that renting provides? As a Gen Z Realtor myself, these are all questions that I sought to answer by interviewing 80 Gen Z individuals.

So, Who Is Gen-Z?

Short answer: anyone born between 1997 and 2012. While each generation has its unique worldview, Generation Z's upbringing in a technologically advanced era sets them apart from Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. They are the first to grow up with their lives centered around smart technology. With constant exposure to social media, iPhones, and digital education, they had unparalleled access to information from a young age. This has fostered a generation of open-minded individuals capable of expressing themselves globally at the click of a button. Generation Z is characterized by ambition, entrepreneurship, and a disdain for traditional 9-to-5 jobs. They challenge social norms and are incredibly resourceful in finding innovative ways to generate income.

Generation Z's Perspective on Real Estate

Listening to Gen Z’s opinions and concerns about real estate led me to an intriguing finding. Contrary to the stereotype that Generation Z lacks structure and rejects tradition, they actually prefer the stability of homeownership over the flexibility of renting. While they currently rent, they view homeownership as a pathway to wealth creation. They recognize the potential of real estate investing for generating income and are keen to learn more.

Forms response chart. Question title: When it comes to investing, would you prefer to own an Airbnb property for short-term rentals or own a house for long-term rental purposes?

. Number of responses: 76 responses.

 However, alongside this desire, they harbor significant uncertainty. Only 42% of them believe that homeownership is possible, and many no longer view it as the quintessential American Dream. This blend of aspiration and doubt creates a notable opening for real estate agents to engage with this demographic and address their concerns while tapping into their desire for homeownership.

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you feel like the American Dream still includes homeownership, or do you think our generation's goals have shifted?. Number of responses: 76 responses.

Economic Challenges and Solutions

This doubt primarily stems from the economic challenges Gen Z encounters. They face a tough economy marked by high inflation and increased interest rates, driving up borrowing costs, especially for home loans. With mortgage rates nearing two-decade highs and home prices escalating, first-time buyers struggle to afford homes and believe they will ever escape renting, which sparks great concern for them. According to a Redfin survey, when asked about the importance of affordable housing in the upcoming presidential election, 91% of Gen Z voters prioritize affordable housing, surpassing the concerns of millennials (87%), Gen X (83%), and baby boomers (80%). This highlights the urgent need for solutions to make homeownership more attainable for this generation.

So, while Generation Z's desire for homeownership is clear, achieving this goal in today's challenging economic climate will depend heavily on the availability of creative loan solutions from mortgage companies. With inflation continuing to increase, escalating home prices, and high mortgage rates, traditional financing options may not be sufficient for many first-time buyers. I spoke with Stephanie Bevard, a loan officer with Momentum Loans, about the different financing options, and it’s important for Gen Z to recognize that there are innovative mortgage products, such as flexible or zero-down payment plans, adjustable-rate mortgages, and tailored financial education programs, that bridge this gap. These creative solutions can empower Gen Z to overcome financial barriers and realize their homeownership dreams, making them a crucial focus for lenders aiming to attract and support this next generation of homeowners.

The Digital Revolution's Impact on Real Estate

What truly sets Generation Z apart is their seamless integration of digital technology into every facet of their lives, including their approach to real estate. Virtual tours, online mortgage applications, and blockchain transactions are not futuristic concepts for them—they are the present reality. This tech-savvy generation expects real estate transactions to be as smooth and instantaneous as ordering food delivery or streaming a movie. Additionally, their ability to learn from the market through various digital platforms such as investing podcasts, YouTube channels, and online courses gives them a unique edge. These resources provide Gen Z with valuable insights and knowledge, enabling them to make informed decisions about their investments. As real estate professionals, embracing and leveraging cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality for property tours, AI-driven customer service, and blockchain for secure transactions will not only meet Gen Z's expectations but exceed them, creating a truly transformative experience. This digital revolution in real estate is not just a trend but a fundamental shift that will redefine how properties are bought, sold, and managed in the future.

Future Outlook and Practical Advice

Looking ahead, policy changes and economic shifts will continue to shape the real estate market. Potential measures to increase affordable housing and stabilize interest rates could significantly influence Gen Z's homeownership prospects.

For those looking to buy homes, practical steps include:

- Improving credit scores to secure better loan terms.

- Saving diligently for a down payment.

- Exploring first-time homebuyer programs and grants.

- Seeking advice from financial advisors and mortgage professionals.

- Reaching out to a real estate agent that best suits your needs.

Overall, my research indicates a significant interest among Gen Z in real estate and real estate investing, making them a promising demographic for the industry's future growth. By acknowledging and catering to the preferences and values of Gen Z, real estate professionals can better connect with this emerging demographic in the market. Understanding their unique challenges and aspirations will be key to supporting their transition from renters to homeowners and investors.

For more information concerning different loan programs with low barriers visit: 

Written by: Lily Hatfield, REALTOR®️ with Collier & Associates

NWA Real Estate Market Update

Business Tip: You Won’t Be “Ready” for the Right Opportunity—And That’s Okay

Are you waiting for the "perfect" moment to launch your dream business or switch careers? Discover why you'll never feel 100% ready—and why that's okay. Embrace imperfection, start now, and learn along the way. Stepping into opportunities without feeling fully prepared makes you stronger and more confident. Seek guidance from mentors and peers for valuable insights and support. The right opportunity is waiting for you to take the initiative! Dive in and discover the power of taking action NOW! 💥

Read Full Article

Hot Topics in the Media

Why You Don’t Want To Wait To Invest In Rental Properties

For people in a position to invest in rental properties, now could be the ideal time. Despite higher-than-average mortgage interest rates, the equity gains and potential for rental income may be able to offset those concerns.

-Yahoo Finacne

Mortgage rates aren’t deterring every buyer: Bright MLS

Mortgage rates continue to hover around 7%, as they have since the latter half of 2023 when the Federal Reserve stopped raising benchmark rates. While the conventional wisdom is that high rates are choking the housing market, a new survey suggests it’s not as all-encompassing as one might think.

-Housing Wire

New home sales plummet, but prices barely budge

May sales were well below April numbers and down 16.5% year-over-year, a sign that builder incentives may not be enough to overcome high rates and prices.

-Real Estate News

New Business Licenses

Bentonville is set to welcome Sorara Outdoor Living USA to the Northwest Arkansas scene! Sorara has been providing high-quality, affordable sun shade products throughout the world. Sorara's commitment has always been to create beautiful, first-class, functional sun shade products that enhance outdoor spaces with a luxurious and classy aesthetic.

Learn More

Subscribe to our Newsletter and stay up to date!

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news and work updates straight to your inbox.

Oops! There was an error sending the email, please try again.

Awesome! Now check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.