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9 October 2014

For next-generation homebuyers, tradition appears to be alive and well

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It’s tempting to make certain assumptions about today’s teens. After all, they’re the first generation that’s only ever known a right-here, right-now, 24/7 online world. How could their perceptions and expectations not be far different from those of their predecessors?

Well, be prepared to be surprised about how this important demographic group, 21 million strong, views homeownership. They sound a lot like — dare we say it? — Baby Boomers.

More than four in five teens ages 13 to 17 answering our Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate survey identified homeownership as the most important factor in achieving the American Dream. Other factors include getting a college education (78 percent), marrying (71 percent), and having children (68 percent.)

In this age of urban renaissance, you might assume today’s young people have their sights on city living. In fact, just 23 percent of the 1,000 Gen Z members surveyed said they would look to buy in cities. Almost half (47 percent) plan to buy in the suburbs, no doubt seeking the quiet comforts they’ve grown up around.

Speaking of familiarity, these teens are staying fairly close to their roots…but not too close! Thirty-nine percent want to stay in their current geographic region, such as the Northeast or Midwest, and almost as many (36 percent) plan to stay in the same state. Seventeen percent believe they’ll buy in the town or city where they grew up. Ten percent say they’ll eye destination sites, such as in coastal areas or near ski destinations.

Wherever they land, today’s young people plan to more or less stay put. While Gen Z might seem to be constantly on the lookout for the next best thing — be it a smartphone, social media site, movie, or music download — survey respondents said they expect to own, on average, just two houses.

To learn more, read the full press release, and watch the video below. Check back for more insights about tomorrow’s homebuyers, who might become customers sooner than you think — saying they plan to make their first home purchase at about age 28. More about that next time!

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