Gen Z Homebuyers Prefer Smart Homes over Large Homes

WRE News April 2, 2023


Gen Z Homebuyers Prefer Smart Homes over Large Homes

Many U.S. homebuyers and sellers are rethinking their approach to achieving their real estate goals, according to a study commissioned by RE/MAX. 2022 saw a notable increase in mortgage rates compared to historic lows in 2020-21 and with many economic factors to watch based on the first quarter of 2023, Gen Z home buyers are being more mindful when buying their next home.

The global real estate franchisor released a comprehensive, current analysis of consumer tendencies and professional strategies around buying, selling, or owning a home. The U.S. Future of Real Estate 2023 Report was developed in partnership with the advertising agency Camp + King and conducted by leading consumer insights agency Canvas8. The research, which included a survey of more than 2,900 American homebuyers or sellers and expert interviews with real estate researchers and economists, identified six key themes exploring people’s attitudes and values toward buying, owning, and selling homes are shifting.

The six key themes identified in the report as main trends and mindsets impacting home buying and selling in 2023 are:

  1. Information Overload – People want help making better sense of the home buying and selling process.
  2. Real Talk – People want real estate agents to offer more human-centered support.
  3. Modern Adaptability – People are making compromises in search of stability.
  4. Future-Proofed Properties – People are looking for self-sustaining, resilient homes.
  5. New Hubs – People are looking for areas that offer them the opportunity to connect with a community.
  6. Curated Control – People want spaces they can optimize for work and play.

“The events of the past few years have made homebuyers more deliberate about what a home should offer them,” said Nick Bailey, RE/MAX President and CEO. “A home purchase is one of the largest transactions a person will make in their lifetime, so it’s important for them to clearly understand what they’re seeking in a home.  Research like this can help a real estate professional guide them in their search.”

“Times change, and in a fast-paced industry like this one, it’s important to stay a step ahead. The research shows consumers are increasingly turning to experienced, full-time professionals – and those agents make up the RE/MAX network,” added Bailey.

Highlights from each of the six themes identified in the report include the following**:

  • 46% of sellers cite more support in understanding the process as one of the two most important areas of need, compared to just 27% of buyers.
  • 40% of Americans say that terminology/language is a key barrier to homeownership – that’s up from 17% in 2020.
  • 54% of Americans think trust and familiarity have become more important factors when choosing a real estate agent in the past 12 months.
  • Just 25% of first-time buyers reported satisfaction with their recent experience, compared to 74% of experienced buyers.
  • Economic concerns prompted 56% of Americans to buy sooner than they expected – in 2020, 29% of Americans said they bought sooner than expected, citing reasons related to the pandemic.
  • 52% of Americans say real estate agents’ “years of experience” have become more important in the past 12 months.
  • More than two-thirds of U.S. homeowners (65%) who experienced a problem with their property in 2022 recognize that it could have been prevented with routine maintenance and/or inspections.
  • Gen Z buyers are more interested in smart features (78%), new builds (77%), and sustainable materials (81%) than older cohorts.
  • Vibrant local communities are an important factor for younger generations, with 77% of Gen Z saying they consider this when looking to purchase a home.
  • 64% of U.S. buyers say renovation potential is an important factor when looking for a home to buy, compared to 45% in 2020.

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