In today’s red hot housing market, Gen Zers who are buying their first homes are taking a cool-off in America’s least expensive cities.
A new report by LendingTree, which analyzed mortgage data, finds that Gen Z now accounts for 10% of homebuyers across the country. While much of the generation born between 1997 and 2012 is still working their way through school, the generation’s oldest cohort is expanding as a chunk of the home-buying populace, especially in the least expensive metros.
Salt Lake City tops the list as the most popular metro for Gen Z homebuyers, with 16.60% of mortgages going to that generation, according to LendingTree’s analysis. After Salt Lake City is Louisville, Kentucky, and Oklahoma City, where Gen Z makes up roughly 15% of home mortgages.
At the bottom of the list is San Francisco, where only 3.64% of mortgages are going to Gen Z homebuyers, followed closely by New York City and San Jose.
According to the report, Gen Z homebuyers in more expensive coastal cities tend to have higher credit ratings and take out larger loans than their counterparts in cheaper cities.
The statistics are an early indication that the constricting housing markets in the most expensive cities are not too friendly to those who lack significant capital or high incomes. Preferences across generations evolve with that generation’s desires, like how Gen Xers are now more interested in living in warmer cities. But with all-time highs in American real estate markets, Gen Z’s preferences for buying are clear: cheap homes in cheap cities.