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How Important is Homeownership to Young Adults?

Purchasing a home right now is challenging for first-timers, millennials, generation Zers, and most Americans. But for young adults who were able to maintain steady employment throughout the pandemic-related lockdowns and stay-home recommendations, money saved, in some cases, will go toward purchasing a home.

Three in five millennial and zoomers who responded to a Zillow survey said they plan to use money saved during the pandemic toward a down payment on a home. Behind "paying for everyday living expenses," that was the most common way respondents who saved over the past year said they plan to spend their money.

Zillow Researcher Manny Garcia reports that "homeownership still appears to be a priority and aspiration among those sometimes called the rent forever generation," referring to a Business Insider article on millennials opting out of homeownership.

While many young adults were not so fortunate–with almost 3 million moving back home since spring 2020 due to pandemic-associated financial issues–Zillow surveyed 1,200 who kept working and found that 83% of them had saved in at least one spending category.

When asked how they will employ said savings, 64% said they plan to use it for everyday living expenses, followed by 59% saying they planned to use their savings for a down payment on a home.

Zillow also sought answers to the buying behaviors of millennials, the largest generational group of home buyers, and generation Zers, who are beginning to age into homeownership years.

As for preferred location, about 44% of young adults said they somewhat or completely preferred a home in a remote area, while 36% said they preferred the big city.

About 20% reported no preference. And despite increased opportunities to work from home, 61% still consider living close to work very or extremely important when considering where to purchase a home.

Seventy one percent of millennials and zoomers report discussing their housing decisions with their parents, and 61% discuss with friends. Half discuss their housing decisions with their siblings, while some 29% say they discuss this with their grandparents.

Only 16% reported seeking advice from social media followers, however about 25% of respondents said  social media influencers and celebrities impacted their housing decisions. Men are more likely than women to say influencers inspired their choices.

 

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.
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