There is a clear choice among the youngest adults in the U.S. for where they’d like to live. An online marketplace called LendingTree matches people who want to get a mortgage with lenders. According to a new study, most Gen Zers are trying to get into the housing market in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Salt Lake City had the most Gen Zers bidding on homes of the 50 most populous metro areas in the U.S. Adults from this generation made up almost 23% of the area’s mortgage requests on the LendingTree site.
Gen Z is made up of people born between 1997 and 2012, but LendingTree’s study only looked at people 18 to 25 years old. For Gen Zers, Oklahoma place was the next most popular place. There, 22% of mortgage requests came from young people. With 21%, Birmingham, Alabama came in second.
Propensity for Home Buying
The study says that in the 50 biggest metro areas across the country, about 15% of people who want to buy a home are from the generation born after millennials.
Gen Zers aren’t as likely to want to settle down in expensive places like New York City, San Francisco, and San Jose, California. According to LendingTree, which looked at requests made from January to December 2022, those places got the fewest mortgage requests from Gen Z. Teenagers and young adults like those places, but people who just started working and don’t have much saved can’t afford to live there. Six of the ten least popular city areas for Gen Z people who want to buy a home are in California.
LendingTree senior economist and report author Jacob Channel told CBS MoneyWatch, “Many cities in California and places like New York and Washington, D.C., are really expensive parts of the country.” This means that even though many 23-year-olds would love to buy a house in San Francisco or Brooklyn, it’s just not possible. “Younger people are in a situation where mortgage rates are high, home prices are high, and they haven’t had careers for very long so they don’t have as much savings.”
Without a doubt, many Gen Zers have never even thought about buying their first house. Channel said he thinks a lot of the mortgage applications from Gen Z are from people in the group who are better off financially. “That there is the desire to buy, even in the face of headwinds,” Channel said of the figures. Young people who want to buy their own homes like Salt Lake City because it has both city life and outdoor activities.
“If you get sick of the city, it’s a quick drive to the mountains to take a hike, or to the lake to go kayaking, which is more challenging to do if you live in New York City,” Channel stated. “There’s wilderness close by, but fewer people [in NYC] have cars and it’s harder to get there than if you lived in Salt Lake.”