Planning and Building Homes for Gen Z Buyers | 2-10 HBW

How Builders Should Prepare for Gen Z Home Buyers

Generation Z will be entering the home buying market in large numbers over the next decade. Here’s what you need to know about building homes for these risk-averse, financially savvy consumers.

Who Are Gen Z Buyers?

The generation after Millennials, Generation Z is defined as individuals born between the years 1997 and 2012. Pew Research estimates that Gen Z will account for as much as 30% of the population by 2019, making them a pivotal force in the modern economy. Although Gen Z is still relatively young, it is expected to have a major impact on numerous industries, including the multifamily housing market. In fact, according to a report from Bank of America, more than 50% of Gen Z-ers are saving to buy a home within the next half-decade.

A survey by Realtor.com sheds even more light on just how ambitious young buyers are about buying homes. Nearly eight out of ten Gen Z respondents said they either already owned a home or wanted to as soon as possible, while a whopping 37% said they hope to accomplish their goals before turning 25. Nearly three-quarters of Gen Z-ers in the poll also said they had already begun saving to achieve their dreams of homeownership, and 56% said they expected additional monetary aid from their parents.

How Builders Should Prepare

To make sure they are building homes that will appeal to Gen Z buyers, builders can’t construct cookie-cutter homes the way they used to. Since Gen Z is the first generation to grow up entirely immersed in technology, they are accustomed to having on-demand access to resources, information and people through cell phones, computers and social media. In turn, builders should consider installing built-in smart home capabilities, along with distributed antenna systems (DAS) which helps boost cell signals.

Lot location is also a huge consideration when it comes to building for Gen Z buyers. Surveys indicate that the younger generation desires to live in communities that are close to work, shopping and nightlife. This makes sense when you consider that Homes.com surveys indicate that Gen Z-ers are more likely to be unmarried — either couples or singles — than previous home buying groups.

Since most Gen Z-ers will grapple with college debt, they will likely look for ways to save money in the home buying process, perhaps opting for more functional, affordable homes.

Finally, because most Gen Z-ers lived through 9/11 and the threat of terrorism, they tend to be more insecure and risk-averse. With this in mind, builders should prepare for pickier consumers who are likely to be leery of potential issues. This means explaining in greater detail and patiently answering questions to help alleviate fears. Builders should also look for ways to ease common concerns and confirm confidence in the reliability of their work by extending warranty protection beyond the typical builder’s warranty.

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