Gen Z Homebuyers’ Interest in Diversity Cuts Across Racial & Ethnic Lines

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Patty McNease
Patty@Homes.com

Homes.com Survey Shows Multiracial Support for Diversity as a Social Goal

NORFOLK, VA (October 24, 2019) – Nearly half of future Generation Z homebuyers who plan to buy a home in racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods are motivated by a belief that diversity is a positive force in society, according to a new Homes.com survey of 1,300+ 18- to 24-year-olds. These opinions are shared almost equally by white, Hispanic, African-American and Asian respondents, suggesting an emerging post-racial mentality. 

When asked to select the two major reasons for preferring to purchase a home in a heterogeneous community, 44% of those who expressed that preference answered that diversity is “good for America” while almost 36% said they were interested in being exposed to other cultures. Just 13% of respondents cited either their own racial or ethnic identity or that of a spouse or partner as a factor in their choice.

 The new survey followed an April Homes.com poll that found 58% of future Gen Z homebuyers prefer a diverse community compared to 12% who prefer a homogeneous neighborhood with people who “look like me.” The followup survey examined the reasons why these young Americans value living in a diverse neighborhood as well as the amenities and house types preferred by this age group.

“Gen Z homebuyers have more opportunities to live in racially and ethnically diverse neighborhoods than previous generations because of demographic shifts that have occurred over the last few decades,” said David Mele, president of Homes.com. “Both of our surveys indicate that Gen Zers will take full advantage of these opportunities and continue to change the complexion of U.S. neighborhoods, given that they are the largest generation in history to soon become homeowners.”  

Homes.com’s recent survey also found that:

  • Only 33% of Gen Z members grew up in diverse neighborhoods. Nearly 60% of white respondents grew up in homogeneous neighborhoods, while a majority of Hispanic, African-American and Middle Eastern or North African respondents lived in diverse communities as children.
  • 48% of respondents now live in communities with heterogeneous populations, reflecting shifting neighborhood demographics as well as Gen Z relocations during their college and post-college years. This trend will continue to accelerate as Gen Z overtakes millennials to dominate real estate markets. 

In addition, the survey revealed clear Gen Z preferences in home design. For example: 

  • 46% of Gen Z homebuyers prefer single-family homes over townhomes (7%), detached multi-family units (5%) and condominiums (4%). This is unusual for young first-time homebuyers, but it may change if single-family home prices continue to rise over the next few years before the first Gen Zers begin house hunting.
  • Outdoor entertainment space and open interior design topped the list of desired home features, with 54% wanting a backyard area with amenities like a patio and deck and 44% looking for rooms that flow into one another. Both factors surpassed traditional preferences such as a garage (40%) and hardwood floors (34%).
  • Surprisingly, eco-friendly design and smart home systems ranked last in feature preferences at 22% and 17%, respectively, despite increasing industry attention to both, rising environmental concerns, and the comfort level of younger people with technology.

For more information regarding the Homes.com survey, visit http://go.homes/gen-z-homebuying.

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