What Generation Z is Looking for in NJ Real Estate

nj real estate

The real estate market is gearing up to welcome a new generation of home buyers: Generation Z. This generation, born between 1997 and 2012, are now buying around 2% of homes on the market. That might not sound like much now, but this money-conscious group is poised to become a major NJ real estate purchasing force in the years to come. As the oldest in this group finish college and start jobs, homeownership is the next big move. Here is what Generation Z is looking for in a home.

The big thing to note with this group is that they are interested in single family homes in diverse communities. A survey taken by Homes.com indicated that living in a diverse community was important for 58% of Gen Z survey takers. Instead of condos, townhomes, or apartments, Gen Z largely expects a single family home to be their starter home. Amenities desired by Gen Z included a backyard with a deck or patio, open floor plans, a garage, and hardwood floors.

Something not on their list? Smart home technology. Surprising many real estate experts, smart home tech ranked low on a list of desired amenities, along with eco-friendly appliances.

This generation may be the most informed first time home buyers ever. Being essentially born with smart phones in their hands, this tech savvy group knows more than ever about the home buying process. Even Gen Z buyers new to real estate have likely done some research before approaching a realtor. This also makes them discerning potential buyers: they know what they want and they are willing to spend some time looking for it.

In 2019, Gen Zers were buying starter homes costing on average $160,600, an 11% increase from 2018. This generation, in general, is looking for inexpensive homes in New Jersey towns with strong local economies and low crime rates. Many Gen Zers are looking to settle in the areas around where they went to school, making college and university towns a popular choice.

The financial position of Generation Z may be the only thing holding them back from entering the real estate market. While they tend to be in a better financial position entering their mid-20s than the Millennial generation that came before them, they still have student loan debt to grapple with. With some student loan payments equaling a typical mortgage payment, this is a tall hurdle to jump. On average, Gen Z home buyers are putting only 5% down on real estate purchases, meaning they are likely relying on private mortgage insurance (PMI) to pay for their homes.

Right now, most of the future home buyers in Generation Z are focused on experiences, travel, and paying off their loans instead of purchasing real estate. While they are in no rush to purchase a home right now, this unique demographic of home buyers will be hitting the market before you know it. You can count on them looking for New Jersey communities with easy access to the arts, entertainment, and Instagram-able experiences.

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