Kids these days, they’re always on their phones and…buying homes?
According to real estate company Redfin, 30% of 19-to-25-year-olds in the US owned their own homes in 2022, compared to 28% of millennials and 27% of Gen Xers at the same age.
Despite student debt and other burdens, Gen Z took advantage of a strong labor market and favorable housing market to secure keys to their castles. Since April 2020, the economy has added 24 million jobs, many of which offered favorable work-from-home and hybrid opportunities, not to mention strong wages and good benefits. These working conditions, low interest rates, and mortgage rates made the housing market favorable for young home buyers, who took advantage of  its hospitality before interest rates spiked  over the last year.
In comparison, millennials began their careers in the midst of the Great Recession, which the International Monetary Fund called the most severe global economic downturn since the Great Depression. As a result, 19-to-25-year-old millennials had fewer job opportunities and less capital to enter the housing market at the same rate as Gen Z has. In 2008, national mortgage rates were up around 6%, a height which current mortgage rates are quickly approaching, perhaps preceding  a slowdown in home buying, at least for young people.
Gen Z has also been careful about where to buy new homes. Indeed, their favorite place to settle has been Virginia Beach, Virginia, which accounted for 9% of all home purchases last year. The median home price in Virginia Beach ($255,000) was nearly $200,000 less than the median price across the US, meaning Gen Z is living within modest  means, forgoing  large housing purchases until later, or a bit of both.
The news of Gen Z’s homeownership comes as a bit of a surprise, considering the incessant  talks of widespread economic uncertainty that has dominated the financial markets for months. Although the immediate and long-term future of the economy is, as ever, uncertain, at least Gen Z will have roofs over their heads to weather  it out.