Ready, Set, Go! Gen Z and Millennials Ready to Enter Housing Market

The newest ServiceLink State of Homebuying Report highlights generational preferences and trends from today’s homebuyers—which are predominantly Gen Z and millennials—who have been found to be optimistic, eager, and ready to buy a home even in light of relatively high mortgage rates and lower income levels, which aren’t putting a damper on their homebuying aspirations. 

The report analyzes generational trends among today’s homebuyers, revealing their sentiment about the current housing market and their intentions to purchase, refinance and leverage home equity this year. Now in its fourth year, the 2024 ServiceLink State of Homebuying Report (SOHBR) features insights from homeowners who either purchased a home or tried to purchase a home within the past four years and focuses on yearly trends that provide valuable insights for lenders, servicers, investors and buyers alike. 

“This is an interesting and pivotal moment in the housing and mortgage industries as the younger generations are not only determined to buy but are seemingly undeterred by the higher price tags and interest rates,” said Dave Steinmetz, President of Origination Services at ServiceLink. “Our study suggests that Gen Z and millennials are poised to impact the market in several ways including purchase, refi and home equity, which is an opportunity for lenders to educate and usher these younger buyers through the process.” 

Key findings of the report include:

  • Eagerness to buy: Younger generations plan to purchase a home in 2024  
  • 63% of Gen Z respondents and 59% of millennial respondents said they plan to purchase a home this year (compared to 45% of Gen X and 21% of baby boomers) 
  • 47% of all respondents, those who purchased a home or tried to purchase a home over the past four years, plan to purchase in 2024. 
  • The younger generations also have a more optimistic view of the housing market in 2024, with 56% of Gen Z respondents and 51% of millennial respondents saying conditions for buying are favorable (compared to 38% of Gen X and 18% of baby boomers). 
  • But can the youngest generation actually afford to buy? 33% of Gen Z respondents reported earning less than $50,000 and 22% reported earning more than $100,000. 
  • The largest overall demand comes from the renting community: 69% of renters and 70% of those living rent-free say they are planning to purchase. Only 34% of those who currently own a home plan to buy in 2024. 

Reasons to refinance: Many homeowners are looking to reduce their current rate: 

  • 27% of all respondents said they would consider refinancing to get a better mortgage rate, while 22% said they would refinance to make home improvements, followed by 16% who said they would refinance to pay down debt. 
  • 34% of respondents reported having more than $100,000 in home equity, up from 21% in 2023. Of this, 19% of this year’s respondents said they have more than $200,000 in home equity. 
  • While equity is growing, only 28% of respondents this year said they plan to take out a home equity loan. 
  • 48% of those who plan to take out a home equity loan will do so to have extra money for home improvements (this is down from 73% in 2023), while 23% said they will do so to pay off other debt. 

Auction are having their moment: Gen Z and millennials are interested in this alternative route to homeownership:

  • 54% of respondents said they’re willing to purchase a home at auction this year (up from 40% in 2023 and 33% in 2022). 
  • Millennials are the most likely to consider a purchase at auction, at 67% (up from 39% in 2023). 64% of Gen Z and 55% of Gen X also are willing to consider auction for a future purchase. 
  • 45% of all respondents say they would use an auction purchase as a primary residence, while 23% would use an auction purchase to fix and flip. 

Market complexities: Some ‘would be’ homebuyers abandoned the process in the last year, but plan to try again: 

  • 42% of respondents (both those who bought a home in the past four years and those who tried to buy) said they considered purchasing a home the past 12 months but decided against it. This included 32% of Gen Z respondents, 29% of millennial respondents, 25% of Gen X respondents and 14% of baby boomer respondents. 
  • 40% of respondents said they decided against purchasing because mortgage rates were too high and the options were too expensive, while 33% said their financial situation changed. 
  • 79% of respondents who unsuccessfully tried to buy a home over the last four years say they plan to try again in 2024. 

Mortgage technology: Popular among all generations: 

  • 60% of respondents leveraged eSign technology for some part of their recent purchase transaction. This includes 74% of baby boomers, 58% of millennials, 57% of Gen X and 50% of Gen Z. 
  • 56% of respondents said the key benefits of mortgage technology is its convenience and ease of use, while 52% cited time savings. 


Click here to see the study in its entirety. Registration is free but is required to view the findings in their entirety.

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Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for MortgagePoint. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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