Experts predict that the more than 65 million Americans born from 1997 onward, Generation Z, are about to turn housing on its ear. Gen Zers are expected to buy homes in big numbers over the next 10 years.
What makes Gen Z different from Millennials? Demographic experts say that Gen Z is more financially astute, having grown up during the Great Recession, more techy, and in terms of homes, are looking for a bargain fixer-upper. Experts expect that Gen Zers will continue the downward trend of having smaller families, and are not likely to want big, expensive McMansions. However, Gen Z is likely to have a higher expectation for smart home tech and automation. Center for Generational Kinetics president Jason Dorsey tells Realtor.com, "What we consider a smart home today, that’s going to be old news. Gen Z buyers will want homes to function as one, unified system, rather than a collection of systems.
Real estate agent Benjamin Ulloa may have been one of the first home buyers of his generation. Two years ago, at age 17, he used his savings and a $9,000 loan from his parents to buy a three-bedroom fixer-upper in Hoquiam, WA, for $18,000. The young investor made some repairs and has been renting it out ever since. "I'm OK with buying fixer-uppers, because I have the means to fix them up," says Ulloa, who wanted to start building equity early and quickly. "I'm looking for the diamond in the rough that I can then turn into a beauty." Feeling old yet?