According to a recent survey conducted by Zillow, more Gen-Zers than millennials will own homes. This is a bold statement for a generation just barely entering the housing market. However, according to Zillow’s poll of 100 economists, they think that’s exactly what the housing market is poised for.
As millennials age well into prime homebuying years (ages 35-44 years), and the oldest millennials are hitting their 40s, the homeownership rate amongst this group continues to decline. When asked about what the Gen-Zers will do in 15 years, 40% of the polled economists believed that 60% of Gen-Z would become homeowners.
What paradigms exist that draw such a stark line between the two generations? Namely, what has now become known as the great recession. A majority of millennials unsuspectingly graduated college with student debt into one of the worst recessions and they haven’t kept pace with historically traditional life milestones like marriage, having children, and buying a home as previous generations have done so.
Forty-five Percent of economists believe that when Gen-Z hits prime homebuying age — between 35 and 45 years of age — in roughly 15 years, they will be better poised to buy homes and they further believe the trend will lean towards buying versus renting in city centers. It is important to note that while the majority believe more Gen-Zers will own homes, 20% of economists believe millennials and Gen-Zers will have the same homeownership rate, and 35% believe that the rate will actually be even less than millennials.
Millennials have been shaping the recent housing market which could possibly have lasting effects on the housing market and shape trends creating a new normal that Gen-Z follows. However, many economists believe that many of the hurdles millennials face in buying a home will be removed for the next generation and that they will be more likely to settle in the suburbs, where homes tend to be more affordable and often boast more space.
The lack of inventory facing today is expected to be resolved by the time Gen-Zers hit their peak age for buying a home. They are also growing up in better economic circumstances than a lot of millennials and many economists think the generation will move to the suburbs and buy homes just like previous generations before millennials. However, student loan debt will continue to threaten Gen-Z’s American dream of buying property just as it has millennials. Student debt alone may be a huge factor in trends that favor renting.